Orrery components / FRI 11-13-15 / Green-hatted Nintendo character / Product whose jingle was based on 1923 hit Barney Google / Metropolis misidentification / Wine of palomino grape

Friday, November 13, 2015

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: FILLIP (9D: Nice extra) —
noun: fillip; plural noun: fillips
  1. 1.
    something that acts as a stimulus or boost to an activity.

    "the halving of the automobile tax would provide a fillip to sales"

    synonyms:stimulus, stimulation, boost, incentive, impetus; More
    informalshot in the arm

    "their support provided a fillip to her campaign"
  2. 2.
    a movement made by bending the last joint of a finger against the thumb and suddenly releasing it; a flick of the finger.

    "the Prince, by a fillip, made some of the wine fly in Oglethorpe's face"
    • a slight smart stroke or tap.

      "she began to give him dainty fillips on the nose with a soft forepaw"
verb: fillip; 3rd person present: fillips; past tense: filliped; past participle: filliped; gerund or present participle: filliping
propel (a small object) with a flick of the finger.

"our aforesaid merchant filliped a nut sharply against his bullying giant" (wikipedia)
• • •

Does the term "flip off" come from "FILLIP"—the whole "bending the last joint of a finger ... and suddenly releasing it" bit? I've gonna start FILLIPing people off. Much more sophisticated way to do it. This puzzle is vintage Berry—wide open, Ridiculously smooth, accessible, varied in subject content ... just wonderful. He makes it look too easy here. Also, the puzzle itself *is* too easy. Hesitations were very few, and always easily overcome. I wrote ONION instead of ANISE (7D: Ingredient in five-spice powder), CLOP instead of CLAP (5A: Flamenco sound), HORSE TEAM instead of HORSE WHIP (27D: Coachman's handful) ... van Gogh's starry night was over the RHINE before it was over the RHÔNE ... stuff like that. Minor stuff. Otherwise, zoom. The one reason I want a Little more difficulty in a puzzle like this is so that I have more of a chance to appreciate its beauty. I want that feeling of having to work a little to break through, and then that "wow" feeling when you uncover something lovely. Here, it was just bam bam bam. Still lovely, but kind of like driving down Christmas Tree Lane, where the houses are all elaborately decorated and lit up, at 60 mph.

I started out by naming the Snowman in 2013's "Frozen" IGOR (I'll have grandchildren before I see that damn movie!) but then look who came to the rescue—our old/new friend Orrery!! She was just in the puzzle (plurally) a few days back, which caused me to reflect on how I knew the word, which caused me to look up the word ... anyway, I am now super-familiar with "Orrery" so ORBS (1D: Orrery components) was a gimme, which made it obvious that I needed to supplant IGOR with OLAF. My proudest moment was getting RICE-A-RONI from just the initial "R" (14A: Product whose jingle was based on the 1923 hit "Barney Google"). That absurd old boxed rice product that they used to give away life supplies of on game shows, the one with the cable car ads from the late '70s/early '80s—this is exclusively how I know RICE-A-RONI. No idea why it popped into my head immediately, off just the "R," but once I sang "BAR-ney Google, the SAN FranCISco Treat!" in my head, I knew it was right.

Read 18A: Green-hatted Nintendo character as "green-haired," but the -U--I pattern meant I go the right answer instantly anyway (LUIGI). Favorite revelation of the puzzle was probably looking at 30D: Metropolis misidentification, looking at my grid (which had --SAPLANE in place!) and having no idea how it could be right. DISAPLANE? Then I got the N.B.A. on TNT and realized that I was supposed to be thinking about "Superman"! "It's a bird, IT'S A PLANE..." Very nice cluing.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Happy birthday, mom

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 6:22 AM  

This puzzle by @Patrick Berry was a good workout, not helped by the fact that I had SCREWED ahead of SHAFTED, and wondering what letter to FILL_IN at the end of FILLIP (thankfully, the POPE clue saved it for me). S'more SMORE at 46-Down (recall that was 1-Across for Wednesday's FORTYNINERS masterpiece by @David Steinberg).

Amusing to see I_QUIT and (waving the) WHITE_FLAG in the same puzzle. And having just learned the plural ORRERIES on Wednesday helped today with the singular clue for 1-Down = ORBS ("Orrery components"). @Rex makes the same point in his review. But I DIGRESS.

Anonymous 8:01 AM  

This puzzle's patent superiority brought home for me again what it is that OFL is *on* about all the time. What if they were all this smooth?

RooMonster 8:04 AM  

Hey All !
Nice easy breezy FriPuz. Only held up by a couple of writeovers. Had HaRnEsses for HORSEWHIP, until SPOILED changed the A to an O. Also, for the NBA, had nbc, which got me ibex for 31D off the b. But figured 32D had to be STET, so remembered TNT (not a B-ball fan), which got me ISSUE and AGHAST. Then I saw the wonderful answer ITS A PLANE. What a great clue/answer.

Missing the J and Z for the pangram. Was looking for it after the NE. Spongbob clue was fun. SHOE next to HORN. Good one PB1!


AliasZ 8:08 AM  

What, no mention of the RRN? At least III wasn't a figure on the face of a sundial, or two years during the reign of Emperor Augustus (BC and AD).

PB puzzles are inherently easy exactly because of their cleanness. No off-the-wall acronyms, quirky abbrs., variant misspellings, partials, and not overrun by obscure trivia or foreign words. Starting a PB puzzle you know that if the answer you are planning to enter is not a regular in-the-language, correctly spelled word or phrase, then it must be wrong. That inherently helps everything go in smoothly and without trepidation. The one error for me today was 'painted on' instead of BLENDED IN.

IN ESSENCE, what I am saying is that all puzzles should be like this. Of course, that will never happen. Enjoy while it lasts.

And PB, thanks for the earworm, the result of watching SpongeBob with my grandson ad nauseam:

"Who lives in a PINEAPPLE under the sea,
Absorbent and yellow and porous is he,
If nautical nonsense is something you wish,
Then drop on the deck and FILLIP like a fish."

Have a lucky Friday the 13th! End remember, no GNUS is good GNUS.

Dorothy Biggs 8:13 AM  

I found it easy too.

Rice A Roni: the gold standard in why we Americans are obese. Replace those potatoes with highly processed, high in sodium, no fiber, and calorically dense rice product! In fairness to highly processed food, with the advent of double income homes and rising costs of living, homemakers (read: women) had to cut corners somehow. My mom served us this stuff and hamburger helper and frozen chicken. Between working, cleaning the house, ironing (!), and feeding three kids, making a rice pilaf from scratch was just way too much time. Plus, SALT!

Didn't know of FILLIP before. Wasn't he a king of Nice, France? And of course, HONE STABE is always a favorite entry.

PS. I don't know why people are so upset with Frozen. Sure, it's overdone and everywhere, but isn't everything? What about those yellow minion things? What about the 70s when Yodas were everywhere? It's just a movie being a movie and making money on merchandise and Adele Dazeem's (or whatever her name is) voice.

Mom 8:14 AM  

Thanks, son. You too.

Charles Flaster 8:51 AM  

Medium pour moi and a wonderful grid arrangement with numerous white squares yet no quad stacks.
Liked cluing for SAY CHEESE and ISSUE.
Due to my utmost respect for PB (knowing none of us will obtain the gamesmanship he already possesses), I was disappointed in the cluing for
DOSE-- medicine? Accompanies a hospital meal?
HOUSE--gambling opponent? Not in poker.
In fact, with what is going on in NJ right now, the HOUSE is a gambling proponent.
DIGRESS-- going from point A to point B is certainly not a digression but a valid part of deduction. It could be but it struck me as awkward at best.
Did have one writeover-- SHAFTED for SHorTED.
CrosswordEASE-- STET.
Thanks PB.

kitshef 8:53 AM  

My RICEARONI moment was filling in DEEPSEADIVERS off the D. Generally easy, but SW took me quite some time, in part because I resisted OTTER for a long, long time (I was set on romp for a group of otters). Also was looking for something more complex for "is repelled by". Plus do people really steal ALARMS? How would that work?

I still can't understand the rules for ?s in clues. Why does South African game not merit one? Ditto for Time unit?

crabsofsteel 9:00 AM  

Not happy with the clue for DIGRESS, because that should be going from point A to point Q and not B.

GILL I. 9:20 AM  

@AliasZ.... That was FILLIPn funny!
I didn't find this scrumptious puzzle all That easy!
I started out swimmingly then came to a lousy halt when I reached the east basement area. It didn't help that my standard for negotiations is a cHITchat or that I had HORSE croP or that I thought SHAFTED meant something else entirely. I had to drink a bit more coffee and read the paper before I went back and re-booted. GEEK and ABCS just had to be right so eventually WHITE FLAG emerged and let me finish that area.
Back upstairs...I can't figure out LITER as an answer for the Engine displacement unit. It's just not coming to me. That's OK. I had TIMER because I've never seen the word FILLIP before. I had FAT TIP for the nice extra but then I remembered LUIGI....
Loved seeing ACEY DEUCY but I couldn't spell it correctly so I had to Google.
All I remember about SpongeBob was that he liked to hold hands with the star fishies.
When I SAY CHEESE, I pucker my lips.....

Mscharlie 9:23 AM  

I had Listarine instead of rice a roni. All wrong!

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

As usual with a PB puzzle, it started really slow and then snowballed to the finish. Smooth, fluid and well clued. Even the "III" answer was so well clued, it did not illicit a groan.

Lewis 9:33 AM  


I've reached the point where I come to a PB puzzle with faith that persistence will pay off and it will be solved without help. This is because it is in the language and there are no Naticks. I know that many of the clues will be like puzzles whose answers will come with patience.

I like the word sounding like NEWS crossing ISSUE, the word sounding like SWEET in the same puzzle as SMORE, and the word sounding like ROAN is by HORSE, and I do like that SHOE by the HORN (hi, @Roo!).

Solid and entertaining. Top notch. Once again, thank you Patrick. Even when you are an elderBerry, I will seek your puzzles out.

Carola 9:37 AM  

Agree with @Rex - lovely puzzle, fun to solve. I also agree that it went by too fast, with the exception of the SE, where the "line," "standard," and "misidentification" clues gave me some pleasurable trouble. My favorite was "Metropolis misidentification," as I misidentified the Metropolis in question as Fritz Lang's movie, because of having seen a reference to it in a Times article a few minutes earlier: I wondered if it referred to the movie's robot being misidentified as a person. Anyway, getting the Superman connection was a treat.

I liked the stack RICE-A-RONI + BLENDED IN + SAY CHEESE: sounds like a Wisconsin hotdish.

Do-overs: laPS before HIPS, skaTe before MANTA, SHOULDER Seams before I realized a plural wouldn't work.

Tita 9:37 AM  

Thanks @GB and @Roo for noticing those entries. Adds to my admiration.
This was a medium for me. The bottom half harder than the top.
What may become a favorite clue/answer pair for ITSAPLANE definitely helped to open the SE.

Had fluke before MANTA. Fun fact...did you know that fluke and flounder start off life with one eye on either side of the head, but as they develop, they flop over to one side, and the "bottom" eye migrates to the other side...!
They're also called Picasso fish...

Never heard of the Palomino grape...but then, I'm more of a Porto kind of gal.

I stand by RICEARONI...I still have it, when I crave a bit of a "message from home". My mom is an amazing cook, and part of her diverse repertoire was definitely the occasional shortcut. This was one of them. But she would still doctor it up, starting it off with a roux, adding her own flavoring, using only half (or none) of that mysterious flavor packet.

Thanks, Mr. Berry, though it was over too soon.

Z 9:45 AM  

"Words before taking a shot" should really be "So shoot me." Right number of letters and everything.

Smooth, easy. Not that I flew through it like OFL. Besides the violence I did to my grid at 19A, my coachman (which I briefly thought might be something fashion related) had a handful of HORSEhair. That made #16 some famous quarterback maybe (baseball players of fame usually have either no number (Ty Cobb) or single digits (Musial and Kaline)). Knowing Van Gogh painted in Arles and Arles is on the Rhône* helped replace hair with a HORSE WHIP. Finally, off of IP I thought the "nice extra" could be a big tIP. Was 99.9% sure that Muslims FAST on the Day of Ashura, though, so it didn't take much to unwind my errant thinking.

Standing here with my hands on HIPS thinking that Patrick Berry is the Stephan Curry of construction.

*It's not that Starry Night

quilter1 9:49 AM  

Buzzed through the top half then came to a screeching halt like some others. Persistence paid off as I know PB is always gettable and fair. But the SE was a challenge.

ArtO 9:55 AM  

It's nice to almost finish a Friday (SE my woe with HORSECROP instead fo WHIP) and have to credit PB who makes it possible for me to have a chance at the end of the week. Easy for many of you is a struggle for me but the satisfaction of getting 90% is worth the effort.

Hungry Mother 9:59 AM  

I don't mind an occasional easy Friday. Very pleasureable.

Unknown 10:10 AM  

I knew SCREWED would never appear in the NYTimes puzzle, at least not clued as "Given a raw deal". A bit to edgy or PG13. Had GUIDO not LUIGI and scratched my head at FILLIP but knew it was right. Nice to see OLAF as something other than a Scandinavian king (Danish or Norwegian). Had no idea Diane Sawyer is a LILA. Now I'll forever, and rightfully see her as Frasier's ice princess with the same smarmy sincerity. ok, ok, ok. That was Lilith. But close enough.

mac 10:11 AM  

Wonderful puzzle, but a medium for me, mostly because of the NE. Big tip, fat tip, but then I remembered Luigi. For the wine I thought of Shiraz, if only to facilitate a pangram, but no.

It was a little slow to get started, but then it was a steady solve, most enjoyable.

chefbea 10:15 AM  

Didn't know fillip. We have rice-a-roni every once in a while. Got out my jar of five spice powder to check the ingredients...anise was there

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

... embarrassed I had "ILLICLT" instead of "ELICIT" earlier! Need more coffee!

Nancy 10:27 AM  

What a beauty! Plenty of challenge, as I spent the first 3-4 minutes looking for a toehold. (LFAT, anyone, as a new puzzle coinage?) I thought 9A was probably FASTS, but I couldn't confirm it on a single down, so I didn't write it in. I found the toehold in the SW: SMORE/REALM/ESPYS. I worked my way up. but it still took some effort. Much I didn't know: OLAF, PINEAPPLE, RICEARONI, ACEY DEUCY. Such great cluing for SHOULDER STRAP, ALARMS and WHITE FLAG. And I learned stuff -- such as Diane Sawyer's real name is LILA. (A real improvement I'd say...with apologies to all the LILAs out there.) I was sorry when it was over. However, it wasn't over soon enough for me to make the "first cut" on the blog, also not helped by the fact I slept late this morning. A lovely Friday.

AliasZ 10:56 AM  

I almost forgot.

The Wasps - Aristophanic SUITE is arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams from his incidental music for a production of the ancient Greek comedy "The Wasps" by Aristophanes, at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1909.

I thought it would be perfect companion to today's lovely puzzle, with some early buzzing sounds soon turning into an upbeat escapade with more than a dash of humor, only small pockets of dissonance that are quickly resolved, then ending with firm, decisive chords that leave you fully satisfied and wanting more.

My idea of a perfect Friday puzzle. Alas, it's over too soon...

Bob Kerfuffle 11:01 AM  

Fun, easy puzzle.

@Rex stole my thunder, in that I was going to say that I am the only person on the planet who is not familiar with Frozen.

But that 1 A clue sensitized me to what seemed like quite a lot of trivia clues, to which many commenters here seem to object. Fortunately, most were common enough that I knew them.

The obligatory nit: (32 D) It seems to me, as an amateur, volunteer proofreader, that the proofreader may cross out some verbiage he considers unneeded or incorrect, and it is the editor's prerogative to say STET, put it back. Of course, as I type this, I realize that in the fashion of crossword clues, "Proofer's direction" could be interpreted to mean, "Direction given by editor to proofreader," so puzzle is again correct.

thfenn 11:03 AM  

Definitely a woo-hoo from me. Finishing any Friday is a thrill, in the neighborhood of half an hour is, well, more than a thrill. Yes, having learned what ORRERIES are I managed to start off with ORBS. ANXIOUS before AQUIVER hurt. No idea what FILLIP was, got it from the crosses, was trying to get past FREEBY but that's always FREEBIE, no? Didn't we see SMORE recently? Love SMORES.

Saw the ? on 'go from point A to point B' but couldn't come up with DIGRESS, given that's what you do when you don't go from point a to point b, so I digressed but got there eventually. DEEPSEADIVERS and RICEARONI both jumped out at me, those were fun. Favorites were Standard of negotiation and Metropolis misidentification.

Most Fridays I still don't even come close, just too much I can't even fathom. This one was fun, clean, challenging (to me), and has me wanting more...

Arlene 11:04 AM  

This wasn't so easy for me - had to look up a few things. But had one error in the end - had FILtIP - and that made for TITER. It turns out that FILTIP is an add-on to cigarettes. And TITER does have a measurement component.
My favorite was SAY CHEESE - it just jumped out at me from the crosses.

jae 11:14 AM  

Yes, easy and delightful. Some of the same minor missteps as @Rex. Liked it a bunch but I wish it would have been tougher.

old timer 11:15 AM  

The difficulty with this puzzle was, of course, the highly segmented layout. Not a lot of connection between the NE (where I started) and the rest. But DIVERS led easily to DEEP SEA, and ACEY-DEUCY was an inspired guess, and about the time I confidently wrote in HONEST ABE and SHOULDER STRAP, I was saying to myself, "Gosh, this certainly is a *smooth* ride. I wonder who ..." And of course, there was PB at the top of the grid. So I knew that the LILA/OLAF cross would not be a Natick; each name would be the most common choice. And, as I finished in the far E, RIGS would be right and I would have good GNUS -- and Mr. Happy Pencil if I had been solving online.

Given OFL's odd mistakes today, I am obviously now the 7th best crossword solver in the Universe. NOT! It's just that Patrick Berry makes it easy to complete the puzzle with nary a writeover.

Anonymous 11:24 AM  

Stared at HONESTABE/HINESTABE for 10 damn minutes. For some reason, just could not parse it correctly. Trying to come up with a Joe Montana reference didn't help. Everything else was a quick Friday fill.

Unknown 11:25 AM  

Worked my way through by getting the left half but took a while to get footholds in the right. Kept at it and the AHA moments finally came, especially ITSAPLANE. Needed just one reveal letter and done.

My first thought was why did this seem so nicely challenging with great clues but, in the end, so nicely gettable, even for things like ACEYDUECY/FILLIP/LUIGI/PINEAPPLE which I didn't know but could fill in as guesses and be correct? Seemed almost ERIE...but not CREEPY.

For some reason I never looked at the constructor's name until I came here and ESPYS it.

My second thought was DUH! When I saw it was P.B. (whom I've learned from this blog is an [the?] elite constructor), no one would have had to tell me to SAYCHEESE before shooting me. That was the best AHA moment for this puzzle, HONESTABE!


The English Avocado 11:30 AM  

Happy Birthday, Rex's mom. I just wanted to thank you for the Rice-A-Roni ad. It was nice to have that bit of pulp to flesh out the write-up today.

Joseph Michael 11:36 AM  

SMORES and ORRERIES seem to be popular this week. Great puzzle which I solved from the ground up, with the NE corner posing the greatest challenge. Many great clues as well. Favorite was that for IT'S A PLANE.

Phil 11:41 AM  

I love III right in the center.

Yeah i can see it

RICEARONI BLENDEDIN with SAYCHEESE = new mac and cheese dish

AZPETE 11:49 AM  

Me too. Should be point b to point a, no? Also don't like fillip or manta.

SteampunkSpider 11:53 AM  

I proudly put in "urban myth" for "metropolis misidentification". I was sad to see it go, but " it's a plane" is fun, too.

nick 12:05 PM  

Beautiful and balanced and fun. Happy to be an intermediate solver and get resistance along the way with time to savor. Loved the cluing for 'it's a plane'.

This seems to be the week of smores, as well as (earlier) REI and Mr. Ed.

Karl 12:16 PM  

Not too tough for a Friday. The one hiccup for me was in the SW where I had to run through EMMYS and TONYS before I came up with ESPYS...Entertaining puzzle.

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

I don't know what merits the ratings. Time, I assume. I use Across Lite and this one took me 35 minutes. I guess that's a long time for many people. But, I finished with no do-overs. The last letter to fall was the final P in Fillip. Knew the across answer had to be Pope, but hesitated since I'd never heard the term fillip and it sure didn't look right.

To me, finishing without cheating is the objective, no matter how long it takes... What do most of you consider an "easy" time for this one?

Bill C 12:28 PM  

I had RONI and saw Barney Google and said, well, that has to be Yankee Doodle and could not understand why MACARONI didn't fit.

Usual great Berry, though FILLIN made some sense and FILLIP is absurd. But PONE was also sketchy and eventually POPE made more sense.

gifcan 12:33 PM  

I could not get the northeast corner. FILLIP did not reside in any part of my brain.

Is MANTA complete without the ray?

SHOE HORN is a cozy fit.

Joe Bleaux 12:39 PM  

Excellent puzzle, nice pace. As Karl Childers would say, I understood a good bit of it, but not all of it. Software "suite"? All right, then. Orrery? Gotta look it up myself. Wouldn't digression be going from Point B (back) to A? And "fillip"? You learn something every day. Good 'un for a Friday.

Joe Bleaux 12:42 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown 12:49 PM  

I agree with @quilter1. 30 minutes to get all but SE. Then 60 minutes more on SE.

SHOULDER _ _ _ _ _ wasn't clear. I was thinking "yoke" or some other aspect of women's apparel that I simply don't know.

[Given a raw deal] ScrewED for 20 minutes then ScammED for 20 minutes

[Go from Point A to Point B?] DIGRESS (?!) Wow. That was unclued!

[More than surprised] Amazed on and off for 45 minutes
[Time unit] month before ISSUE. But this is classic Berry misdirect, so I was able to dig it out after about 30 minutes.

cbs then STET then cbs then STET (repeat a dozen times)
[Arranges] R _ _ _ S <-- total mystery to the very end when it came in off the crosses.

[Coachman's handful] HORSEreIn, HORSEmane, HORSEcroP, for 50 minutes before HORSEWHIP. I put a lot of energy into coming up with four letter variants of bridles and bits.

[Standard of negotiation] breakeven off the bat. I didn't change it for 50 minutes.

[Metropolis misidentification] gothamcit/y was all I had in mind

[South African game] oryx then ibex then zebu alternating. Finally GNUS. Ugh.

Since "trig" is abbreviated in the clue, the "Trig ratios" had to be something like "ctans" or "cotns" or (because Will gets this wrong regularly) atans (arctans) which aren't trig ratios, except for crossword purposes. When it came out as SINES, I felt more than a little burned by the "trig" in the clue. But at least SINES are trig ratios. Sigh.

Monicker for #16 . . . JOEMONTAN/A? COMEBACKK/ID?

Yes, a GEEK is a sideshow oddity, or could/should be. I've know a few GEEKS, and I'm not proud to says so. I don't use the word except pejoratively. Do you?

jp flanigan 1:30 PM  

Great puzzle. SE took a long time. NBC crossing IBEX (instead of TNT and GNUS) and then RHINE gave me "HINES" so i naturally wrote in HINESWARD (he was #86 bot #16) and that fit with SCREWED (instead of SHAFTED). Then i was just staring at a incredibly wrong board that seemed very right to me. So, this one took about double the time it should have.

Unraveling wrong answers in a good puzzle is actually pretty fun.

Teedmn 1:30 PM  

Great puzzle, with a bit of zing - unlike @Rex, my Christmas lights expedition was at a 25-30 mph pace. The top half fell easily, with a slight pause to get FILLIP/LITER but my Runs before RIGS stopped the flow for a time. HORSE reIn made for some interesting rewrites - for a brief moment 58A was eiNESTein (what, did he discover something important about # 16, sulfur?) and I considered cHeaTED for SHAFTED even though I had the A of STRAP in the right place. But my sneaking suspicion that 31D was GNUS gave me RIGS, TNT, ITSAPLANE and I was at the end of the street, ready to turn around and look at the pretty lights all over again.

19A made me think of the other night - we were cleaning out our basement bar area and my husband came across a little sample size bottle of Scandinavian schnapps. He cracked it open and pour us each a shot. CHEESE is not what I said, it was more like "Yecch, tastes like kerosene". You really need the herring in wine, the mustard and crackers to put that stuff away. It's enough to make one say "I QUIT"! Not something I want to keep ONTAP.

Thanks, PB1, for the nicest Friday in a while.

Mohair Sam 1:30 PM  

Jesus Rex - I guess if you can link good old RICEARONI to the beloved strains of "Barney Google" (wtf?) off just the R this puzzle was as easy as remembering that Helm's Deep is not near Roark's Drift in South Africa. But for us it was medium/challenging - and another delightful PB late week test.

Held up for quite a while in the NE - we had IQUIT and DIVERS and POPE and therefore were dead sure of bIgtIP for 9d (Nice extra). Finally remembered Mario's partner and filled things in. Now FILLIP is actually part of my vocab, but you folks who have seen "Inside Out" know exactly where it resides - just a touch hard to find.

Would like to have the 10 minutes back that I spent trying to think of nicknames for Joe Montana at 56 across, thank you Patrick.

@Z - Much prefer your clue for 19a. Wouldn't you love to be allowed to respond to that statement in kind just once per lifetime?

Numinous 2:17 PM  

I suppose my tastes are a bit mundane @Z, thatStarry Night is my favorite impressionist painting. To get even tackier, Bouguereau is probably my favorite Realist painter. Patrick Berry would be my favorite constructor if I didn't like David Steinberg's work so much. I find it ironic that I didn't like DS's work at first but like so many things one finds annoying, it has grown on me. For example, take a word or phrase you can't stand but hear constantly; eventually you'll find yourself using it. Constantly.

I'm not a fast solver and maybe I'm just getting better. I dont know. I'm not going to call this puzzzle easy but I still finished it in eight + minutes faster than my average Friday time. And I enjoyed the heck out of it. I did cock an eyebrow at III and I have no idea how it might be ironic to steal an ALARM. Not sure how a HORSE WHIP is a "handful", Their shafts are usually slender. These and other thoughts went through my head as I solved this exceptionally nice Chenian POW. My favorite moment was the Metropolitan misdirection. I was thinking Fritz Lang too. I nearly had a PECKeNPAH ending today but I erased the K in GEEK before filling in the last letter. I looked and looked at the #16 quarterback then suddenly saw that RHONE looked better than RHiNE. I changed that and put the K back in and, tah dah.

I really enjoyed solving this.

OISK 3:02 PM  

Loved this one. (didn't post yesterday, but I REALLY loved that one) I wonder how many others out there can actually sing "Barney Google (with the goo goo googley eyes)." I had a horse-toy named "Sparkplug."

Never heard of Fillip, but the NE was so smooth otherwise that it fell right in. Number 16 - Doctor K ? No. Whitey Ford - Chairman? No. Who else wore 16... Oh! THAT 16! Always great fun when I get misdirected like that.

Thanks, Patrick.

Rabi Abonour 3:39 PM  

Funny to see van Gogh paintings in the Times and Buzzfeed today. Metropolis misidentification was by far my favorite clue. Nothing bad here in the sense of lazy crossword fill, but I didn't love the SE. A few things were awkward to me, but what stood out most was 54D. That's just such an archaic use of GEEK.

Clark 4:17 PM  

I was very frustrated by this unknown sports figure called Hone Stabe. Everyone seemed to know this Hone Stabe guy. I felt very left out. So, I googled. What is a HONESTABE?



Took me a while to begrudgingly admit that there probably isn't such an event as the "N.B.A. on Ice"

Mariela 5:38 PM  

Regarding the DIGRESS clue, I think people are missing the point. If during a discussion you are arguing a certain point (Point A) and then suddenly shift to arguing an unrelated point (Point B) you have digressed from your original argument.

beatrice 5:43 PM  

LUIGI Boccherini (1743-1805) was an Italian who spent most to almost all his adult life in Spain as a court cellist and composer. He was the first composer of both string quintets and quintets for strings and piano. He also 'put together' the first public performance of a string quartet, whose players included both himself and one FILlIPpo Manfredi.

M. Boccherini seems to have arrived in Spain around the same time as FLAMENCO dancing; I don't know what music was being performed to accompany it, but Signor B. did compose several quintets for guitar and strings. The most famous is probably the one nick-named 'Fandango', complete with castanets. Here is the last combined movement, and pretty nifty it is,

Wanted and would have preferred buggyWHIP (though all the same to the HORSE, I suppose), and personally loved the clue for DIGRESS!

Nancy 5:44 PM  

Anon 12:23 -- You ask what would be an "easy" time for this puzzle. My response would be: You might just as well ask what would be the maximum amount of time one should take to eat a lobster dinner. Or how quickly should you expect to be able to read a wonderful novel. Or to walk along the Seine. Or to finish a glass of Mouton Rothschild. When you're in a puzzle tournament, then, I understand, it IS about speed. (That's why I, personally, did not enjoy Lollapuzzoola this August.) But at any other time, @Anon 12:23, go with your gut feeling: It is indeed about finishing the puzzle and not about how fast you can gallop through it. While there are people here for whom a really fast solving time is part of the challenge, I gather that's not the case with you. And why should it be? Take off your watch. Turn your clock against the wall. And just enjoy the solving process for its own sake.

Mariela 5:48 PM  

My nitpick is with the Super Bowl clue. Even the very first Super Bowl was called that by sportswriters, many football fans, and the NFL Films crew who were filming it. The name had been coined by football team owner Lamar Hunt six months prior to that first game. NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle disliked the name, however, and insisted the game be officially called the "AFL-NFL World Championship Game."

Super Bowl III happened to be the first time the league finally acquiesced to popular usage and made the name official by using it on their promotional material.

Z 8:22 PM  

@anon12:23 - The ratings are based on time and day of week. Monday puzzles are easiest, Saturday hardest, with Sunday being about Thursday level but bigger. All of us are also comparing our own times to our own times. My record fast Monday (around 6 minutes) would be late week for Rex. An easy Saturday for me will be at least 20 minutes. This is way down from when I started, where "easy Saturday" meant I finished without help from uncle Google.

@Joe Bleaux - A software SUITE was when you would buy a bundle of apps together and they would work relatively easily together. I haven't seen ads for SUITEs in years.

@Casco Kid - I see GEEK and "geeking out" used all the time in the same way "nerd" or "Trekkie" get used. Sort of "you think you're insulting me and I think you're living an empty and pointless life without real passion." And there was this. The only time I see it as truly pejorative is when used as clued here.

@Numinous - Since Starry Night is one of my desktop pictures I was wondering how I didn't know the full name. Turns out I did. Interestingly, Uncle Google took me to Starry Night when I googled "Starry Night over the Rhône." It took an extra click to get to the wiki page I linked to earlier.

@Clark - Just in case you aren't joking, HONEST ABE, president #16.

Music Man 8:56 PM  

Definitely the easiest Friday I've ever done, of course a berry never disappoints though. Loved it! 👍🏻

chefbea 8:57 PM  

So scarry...what is going on in Paris. Pray for everyone

Anonymous 9:38 PM  

@Mariela - re DIGRESS, couldn't agree more.

Suzy 10:15 PM  

Thank you, Patrick Berry! And, alas, now that Lila (not Sawyer) is my granddaughter, I ran up the white flag and watched Frozen with her.
Not too painful after all.

spacecraft 10:58 AM  

For me it was a tale of two puzzles: three easy quadrants and then the SE. I made the same mistakes as OFL, but HORSEteam really SHAFTED me for a while. See, I continued across with MOLE for the garden interloper. "Metropolis misidentification" is a (not Captain!) Marvelous clue. Yeah, I was the different kid. Everybody else was a Superman fan, but I was into Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel, Jr. I loved how Billy Batson got whacked in the head before he could finish saying "SHAZAM!" It was always "Shaz--unhh." Every time.

But I DIGRESS. Finally, after heavily inking over WHIP/PEST, I got it all done, and was Berry pleased. A, as usual.

Brma Shave 2:28 PM  


She was all AQUIVER for what was ONTAP,
and I DIGRESS, but do ATTEST, that I did CLAP,
when to her HIPS I pulled her SHOULDERSTRAPs,
I was the MANTA reveal those SUITE PINEAPPLES.


rain forest 2:50 PM  

As usual, funny comment @Spacey.

Echoing everyone else, what a nice puzzle! Hard not to say "smooooth", which is almost the default descriptor for PB1. He could use that as part of his nom de plume (smooth PB).

Much of my experience was similar to others, but I am proud to say that I got ITS A PLANE off of just the P, which really helped the SE. Tried Joe Montana before HONEST ABE there, but that was the only stumble.

Liked it a lot.

rondo 3:08 PM  

Not so easy when down south one fills in fashionRunwAy and the F gives me FUDGE, which gives me crosses GLOBE for sphere, and the correct ESPYS at the bottom. Talk about write-over ink while working that one back from E to W, since ALARMS went off and things were obviously wrong. My grid is a mess, but finished.

Frequent fill ENYA is the yeah baby of the day. I wonder if the photographer had her SAYCHEESE cake for that topless photo.

So today we have OLAF (the long version of Ole), but again no SVEN. They never appear together. And I’ve never seen Frozen.

INESSENCE, I made a mess of a good puzzle. That’s my GNUS.

leftcoastTAM 4:19 PM  

A Berry smooth, relatively easy Friday.

The NE presented some challenges. FILLIP isn't a word I've heard for some time, and its crossings with LITER and LUIGI didn't help much.

I liked DIGRESS and its clue. These days HORSEWHIP sounds a bit cruel, especially if it's a handful, though I know it's a staple on the race tracks.

INESSENCE a good day to solve. Tomorrow is another day.

Teedmn 1:27 AM  

Nice one today, @Burma Shave

Bromeli, Ed 3:02 AM  

Too easy for Friday,
I know I've improved, but 15 minutes! on a Friday? Don't patronize me NYT!

THE SIMPSONS "Black Eyed, Please" season 24 Ep. 15

Lisa Simpson:
"She's brought her own orrery!
And it's got no Pluto! How cutting edge!"

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