Marshal under Napoleon / TUE 12-1-15 / 1987 declaration from Michael Jackson / Beatles song released on 12/3/1965 / Mach3 forerunner / Marc who painted Russian Village under moon / Turkish pooh-bahs

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Opening line of NORWEGIAN WOOD  (55A: Beatles song released on 12/3/1965) — "I ONCE HAD A GIRL / OR SHOULD I SAY / SHE ONCE HAD ME"

Word of the Day: IMOGEN (47D: Daughter of King Cymbeline in Shakespeare's "Cymbeline") —
Imogen was the daughter of King Cymbeline in Shakespeare's play Cymbeline. She was described by William Hazlitt as "perhaps the most tender and the most artless" of all Shakespeare's women. // According to some modern editions of Shakespeare's plays, notably the 1986 Oxford Edition, the correct name is in fact Innogen, and the spelling "Imogen" is an error which arose when the manuscripts were first committed to print. The name Innogen is mentioned as a ghost character in early editions of Much Ado About Nothing as the wife of the Leonato character. Imogen in Cymbeline is paired with a character with the epithet "Leonatus". (wikipedia)
• • •

Oh, Baby Boomers. Not *every* Beatles song deserves its own puzzle. This is a non-theme. It's preposterous. I mean, it's December 1, so not even the timing is right on this one. I kept waiting for the twist, the hook, the thing. But no. The theme is just the opening line of "NORWEGIAN WOOD" and That. Is. All. Good night.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 12:03 AM  

@Rex, hilarious. Now I'm going to have that Sound of Music ear worm all day.

Da Bears 12:07 AM  

So, about a half hour before Rex posted his blog, I posted this comment on Wordplay:

"I like the Beatles but this puzzle wasn't nearly as good as their music. I really would like to know why Will thought this puzzle was worth publishing. Technically, it's okay but the theme is bland. And OSH crossing USB right smack dab in the middle is, shall I say, SO BUSH."

I guess we agree. And I bet Rex is jealous that he didn't see that SO BUSH anagram....

jae 12:07 AM  

Tough Tues.  Normally this Baby Boomer is not fond of quote puzzles, but for a Beatles classic I'll make an exception.   Let's see, what made this tough?  OSSIFY, IMOGEN, spelling LEWINSKY with an i at the end, area before SHAG, CAR WASH, spelling SIEGE wrong every time I see it, and dredging up a lyric I know by heart but haven't heard in years.

Dec. 1965 I was in San Diego (my first time west of the Mississippi) living in a transit barracks waiting for the guided missile cruiser I'd been assigned to to get back from Vietnam Nam.  Good times!  The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Mamas and Papas....we're helpful.

Got to disagree with Rex.  Beatles theme, pretty smooth grid, liked it.

Anonymous 12:09 AM  

Scene: Oslo drukket øl hus, 11:30PM, December 3, 1965

Arvid[grabbing crotch]: Yo, Ringo, I got your NORWEGIAN WOOD right here.

End Scene.

chefwen 12:24 AM  

Rex, we prefer Boomers, you can leave the baby part off. Anyhow, this was right my Boomer alley so I can chalk up another easy, early week puzzle. 47D IMOGEN was the only answer I had to fill in around. Thanks for the back story.

Hopeful for a little more of a challenge tomorrow, but let's not overdo.

Whirred Whacks 12:25 AM  

Rex: what a terrible review. You, sir, are much better than that. All I can figure is that you probably had hurry off to perform emergency critical theory on some smoldering campus issue.

I enjoyed your puzzle, Dan Schoenholz!

WHS 1:22 AM  

God, this thing was musty. I'm basically too young to know or especially care about Beatles songs, Hope/Crosby movies, or, really, even Michael Jackson, so for me, this sort of puzzle essentially recreates the sensation of eating stale breakfast cereal, dry out of the box. Ugh.

Unknown 1:25 AM  

Amen. I will in no way be disappointed if I never again see another Beatles tribute puzzle.

Anonymous 2:40 AM  

I loved it! Love the song! Now I've got an ear worm

Hays 2:42 AM  

Was the ATRA, like, the Moon Landing of razors or something?

Paul Rippey 2:46 AM  

It was a fun theme. And very easy for me. Nothing hard, but also nothing much weird or too x-wordy. Well, AREEL for staggering - that's weak.

Matt C 6:23 AM  

Now that's a review I can really get behind. The puzzle seemed kinda lame to me.

Lewis 6:53 AM  

The theme, to me, is Tuesdayish, balanced by some hard-end-of-Tuesday cluing. I knew the lyrics, so my time was about the same as yesterday's. I learned ICE_DAM and liked the crossing of HOSE and CAR_WASH, and felt equilibrium when I saw that ROW was indeed in one, and that AMPS is indeed up.

Nowadays, because old Beatle songs have been played to death, I need to hear them spaced far apart so that I hear them fresh, not through numbed ears. And when I do hear them fresh, I often relive exactly what it felt like as a teen (when these songs came out), how my mind thought and perceived the world, a priceless memory blast.

CFXK 7:21 AM  

Looks like a tribute puzzle. This week is the 50th anniversary of the release of Rubber Soul. Norwegian Wood, one of its most recognizable tracks, is emblematic of the significant advance in rock music and album conceptualization that virtually all critics agree that Rubber Soul represents. Brian Wilson has said repeatedly that The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (another iconic album) was inspired by and produced as a direct response to Rubber Soul. Though probably intended for December 3 (the anniversary of the release date), I suspect it was Shortzened down to a Tuesday puzzle. :/

Schatzi 8:03 AM  

Rex should have skipped The Sound of Music clip for a mic drop. Fantastic.

Z 8:03 AM  

A quote puzzle and a tribute puzzle! Let's all sing loud hosannas! Of course, such a double dip into lamity had to appear on a Tuesday, fiftieth anniversary or not.

Hmmm, "HAD," ... such an interesting word. Whatever could they be going on about?

I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me...
She showed me her room, isn't it good, norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said, "It's time for bed"

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn't it good, norwegian wood.

Hannaaah 8:09 AM  

Annoyed that ARTY is equated with pretentiousness.

chefbea 8:19 AM  

Love the Beatles!! Loved all of their songs!! This one I have never I did not know the opening line. Got it from the crosses.

Since when are icicles called ice dams??

jberg 8:19 AM  

OK, let's go from basic emotions (I liked it/I hated it) to a little analysis. The trouble with this theme is not that it's a Beatles song. It's that once you get, say ... A GIRL, you've got all four theme answers without any further intellectual effort. Your puzzle-solving experience is radically shortened, and you go away feeling a little grumpy -- unless you can cheer yourself up by humming either Norwegian Wood or "Do, a deer..."

And . . .OSH?? That's only part of a word! Ugh! (Despite the capital K, the brand is named for the eponymous city.)

I'm also unhappy with the idea that the MANLIEST man is the one showing the most machismo. Again, ugh.

But I have to admit that this one almost stumped me -- because I misremembered the line as beginning with the vastly inferior "once I HAD A GIRL" (why I'm not a songwriter). I even looked for some kind of Thursday-ish answer-twisting up there in the NW -- since that would have been the right day for this puzzle -- but since I had everything else filled in, with just those three blank rows up there, I had to reject that. Finally the memory came back to me. (I was born before the baby boom, so my memory is probably worse than yours!)

Well, at least I solved it.

Mscharlie 8:23 AM  

Does anyone know how to print out a puzzle from a previous day? I can't do it now with their new site.

Dorothy Biggs 8:45 AM  

Today was too easy...mainly because it's the kind of theme that pretty much solves the puzzle when you get it. And I got it early...being a [baby] boomer myself.

I don't agree with Rex that this puzzle should be written off so quickly just because it was such an obvious theme but I do agree that the timing is odd. The song was released on the 3rd of December not the 1st. It's not like this song was like the moon landing or the signing of the Magna Carta. It's just another Beatles song...pretty uneventful, really. Honestly the debut of the iMac is probably a bigger deal than a random (even if great) Beatles song. So the disconnect...the two day lapse...from today to the 3rd is what messes up the theme for me.

If you're going to do a tribute puzzle to a random event in history that really has no particular larger effect on the world, then it needs to be special somehow. If WS insisted that this puzzle be published now, 50 years later, then he should have insisted that Mr. Schoenholz do a Thursday-ish puzzle with some gimmick. Otherwise, find another Beatles release song that was released today 50 years ago.

As an aside, "Schoenholz" means "beautiful wood" in German. So, meta?

Even with that meta, release this puzzle on Thursday and you'd have had me. Otherwise, it was just okay.

For the record, I was born in 1960 so I am the last of the "boomers." I really consider myself more of an Xer...mostly to make myself feel younger...

AliasZ 8:46 AM  

I enjoyed being reminded how old I was. Thanks for that. It also reminded me that both Mozart and Schubert had lived shorter lives than this Beatles anniversary, yet their gift to mankind will outlive us all.

Not much to say about the puzzle, except that despite the thin-ish theme, I enjoyed the clean fill, save OSH, AGHAS, ATRA and a few others. For once, knowing the lyrics helped speed up my solve. I love the Beatles, sosumi.

IMOGEN Holst (1907-1984), the only child of composer Gustav Holst, was a conductor, arranger, music teacher and talented composer herself, as well as an avid promoter of her father's music. Here she conducts one of her father's band classics.

Connection to today's theme: IMOGEN Holst was 58 years, 7 months and 21 days old when NORWEGIAN WOOD was released.

Mohair Sam 8:48 AM  

@Rex - Your review proves that brevity is indeed the soul of wit. Well done.

A tip of the cap from this Boomer.

Doug Garr 8:57 AM  

Hey, Norwegian Wood is a pretty good song. Especially for the Beatles in that era when they were basically coming out of their bubble gum band beginnings.

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

I'm with Rex on this one. And since he cut it short, let me perform some community service by listing some of the cruddy fill: AREEL HUED OSH DOHA IRES SRS AGHAS ATRA CLE NEY. And that's giving IDS and ULNA a pass. On the other hand, Lewinsky is always fun, as was I'm Bad. But all in all I was unimpressed.

quilter1 8:59 AM  

My enjoyment was based in wandering around the grid filling in what I knew without thinking and then looking at the big picture. My dad forbade any pop or rock music so I did not hear the Beatles until well into my twenties so this was not that stale for me. I can understand the objections of others.

Hartley70 9:15 AM  

I thought this was tough for a Tuesday. Every time I see the title NORWEGIANWOOD I draw a blank. I recently heard Judy Collins perform it in a small venue, but I still went blank. I need the first 3 notes to get going and then the lyrics just do that stream of consciousness thing that must be flowing through all of us who were teens in the '60s. Because I had to work a bit, I liked this one.

I struggled with the NW and DOE because I thought the lyrics spelled the scale words correctly. I wanted opted to work and I went with Dopey the dwarf. I liked OSSIFY and IMOGEN.

I don't need a clever twist all the time. Too many sweets spoil the palate. A bit of difficulty does me just fine on a Tuesday.

Nancy 9:38 AM  

UH OH, I thought with a SHIVER yesterday, as my toe caught in something slightly raised on 93rd and Lexington Avenue, this will not be a HAPPY day. I tried to ABORT my forward momentum, but couldn't, and I pitched forward, nose first, taking just enough ACTION to break the fall with my hands and arms. I kept most, but not all of my nose off the pavement by putting a lot of pressure on the area around my two ULNAs. A lovely woman helped me up, which was a good thing since I felt all AREEL. You would not believe how much I ACHE today; I feel as though I had been STOMPed on by A DEER. (And not one named PRANCER, either.) I also look quite a bit like Jimmy Durante. (For you younger people who never saw him, his nickname was The Schnoz {sp?}). Fortunately, I didn't break anything. I guess my bones haven't begun to completely OSSIFY yet. But I do wonder how long this SIEGE of pain will last. Not more than SIX days I hope. OR SHOULD I SAY no more than four? I'm OPEN TO no more than 48 hours. But right now, even after the two Aleve I just took, I'M BAD. I'm not the MANLIEST regular on this blog, so any SPECk of sympathy will be appreciated and will help the pain to EBB more quickly.

Anonymous 9:44 AM  

This was horrible. A 50-year-old song that was never released does not a theme make. And the fill is atrocious.

Mike D 10:12 AM  

@chefbea said: "I love the Beatles!! Loved all of their songs!! This one I have never heard...." Say what?!

cheeseguy101 10:18 AM  

Awful puzzle. Perfect Review.

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

Worse than an ear work. As soon as I saw 55 across, Beatles song from December 3, 1965, I knew what the answer was, which really, really scared me, because I don't know why I know that. I may have seen it in another puzzle, or maybe, being five months old at the time, it made a deep impression, but this puzzle was under two minutes for me because i just happened to know the answer and I didn't even need to look at the clues. Not a great puzzle.

mac 10:33 AM  

Since I didn't look at the reveal at 55A, it wasn't a walkover for me, although a very steady and quick solve. Icicles instead of ice dams (those things can do a lot of damage....) the only write-over.

Easy but fine Tuesday.

Pete 10:36 AM  

To me,Norwegian Wood is only a Murakami novel. Of course I knew the song existed, but so what?

Noam D. Elkies 10:50 AM  

"Norwegian Wood" does have some distinction (e.g. one of the earliest "rock" songs in 3/4 time); too bad The Beatles didn't do anything with that great Mixolydian opening line other than repeat it three times in each stanza. I gather that the "wood" ends up being fuel for the singer's arson (Wikipedia quotes McCartney explaining "it meant I burned the f∪cking place down as an act of revenge"). The puzzle, I didn't mind - it was the rare occasion that I could fill in the theme entries for this kind of puzzle even when solving from just the Down clues. Yes, a pity the anniversary isn't quite right.


Katherine 10:52 AM  

Medium? You're kidding, right? This was one of the easiest Tuesday's ever.. more like a Monday!!

Malsdemare 11:00 AM  

Best @rex ever!!! Now I shall go read the comments.

Anoa Bob 11:03 AM  

I did this puzz last night. I got the entire set of themers & reveal right away, and thought that there had to be more to it than just the straight up lyrics-song title bit. And there is. I decided to wait to see if anyone else picked up on it. Kinda disappointed no one has.

The lyrics are written in a crypto, Bob Dylanesque style, and tell the story of an affair that Lennon had with a woman (I ONCE HAD A GIRL) that ultimately turned out badly (OR SHOULD I SAY SHE ONCE HAD ME). Should be obvious even to the most casual observer.

The second layer of the theme is the real money shot. The first hints are there in the NW, with HAD OUT (which later is followed by MANLIEST HOSE, which, of course = NORWEGIAN WOOD) & then OPEN TO. This builds to the climax at UH OH, I'M BAD, with the next level reveal coming out at 38 Down. See? Another affair that turned out badly. Bonus hint: The black squares form the likeness of a blue-HUED, semen-stained dress. You're welcome.

Billy C 11:03 AM  

@chefbea that's like saying "I love the Yankees. I love all of their players. It's just that I never heard of Roger Maris..."

Joseph Michael 11:07 AM  

This is OK but one of my least favorite types of puzzles. If you know the quote, you simply fill in the blanks.

Seems to be a macho sub-theme going on, with MANLIEST, CAD, I'M BAD, SHAG, ACTION, and WOOD along with BIKE BOYS hanging out at the SW corner. But how did PRANCER get in there?

Jisvan 11:18 AM  

All these years I thought the lyrics were "I told her I didn't come call up to sleep in the bath" which is rather salacious and so poor grammatically, but hey, I was a tween when Rubber Soul was released... Always liked the song. Super easy solve. Thanks, Z, for a real aha moment!

Carola 11:40 AM  

Super easy Tuesday. Once I had I ONCE, I flew through the rest of the grid.
I liked the Beatles tribute and the bonus tributes to a few other songs, too: CHAINS (my baby's got me locked up in CHAINS, 1962), BALI Hai (1949), Where the BOYS Are (1961), Doe A DEER with some YODELS from the lonely goatherd, and the slightly misspelled UH-OH, I'm Falling in Love Again (1958).
Harbingers of winter: ICE DAMS + SHIVER (@chefbea, ICE DAMS are ridges of ice that form on the edge of a roof; water from melting snow backs up behind them, can get under shingles, and seep down into the walls of the house. As I learned.)
Interesting mirroring of LEWINSKY and MANLIEST.

RooMonster 11:57 AM  

Hey All !
Well, accidentally hit a wrong button, and my post erased. Oh well. Okay puz.


jp flanigan 12:01 PM  

The theme was the only thing i liked about this puzzle.

old timer 12:09 PM  

December 4, 1965. Some friends went up to Berkeley from Palo Alto, for some reason. As we walked through the streets south of campus, it seemed like every single resident was playing "Rubber Soul" with the windows open. We basically could hear bits and pieces of every track on that album, in the course of our stroll. It was one of those experiences that comes only once in a lifetime.

So, when I had "IO-CE----GIRL and saw it was the opening line of *something*, and realized that OPENTO worked, I filled in the entire song and title, with a big grin on my face. The rest of the puzzle was pretty easy in any case -- IMOGEN was the only answer I got entirely on crosses.

I was thinking the puzzle would have been a lot harder for someone born in 1970 or later. Maybe not -- the Beatles are part of our shared culture, even if you're a Gen Xer or a Millennial. But I certainly liked the puzzle.

Masked and Anonymous 12:43 PM  

@Anoa Bob: MANLIEST HOSE. har.

@Constructor Dan: Thanx. Yer puz brought back a lotta primo memories of when this old fart first heard the "Revolver" album, 50 years ago this week. Happy Albumversary, lil tune.

@009: yep. Not every Beatles song need show up in a NYTPuz theme. Kinda maybe worth it, when those cool openin Lennonmeister lyrics and the song title all fit so nice and symmetric, in this case, tho.

This is a rare case where the grid entries with runtpuz immunity (28) almost approached the count of ones with Patrick Berry Immunity (33). The runtz call this alignment of planets "Patrick Berry In Mutiny".

fave weejecta: MOO. NEY. NEY is nice and desperate, as it has Nobody Immunity. Clue for NEY used here pretty much sucks. Marshall NEY? Just don't have the special ring of "Marshall Dillon", to it. Random samplin of far superior clues, offered here only for instructional purposes [please -- no wagering]:

* {Perverse longing??}
* {Japanese currency in retreat??} (Intercontinental variation on first bullet's clue)
* {MONEY talks, MO walks??}
* {Centrally-located part of Disneyland??}
* {East end of Sydney??}
* {R&B singer whose #1 2006 hit woulda been "S Sick"??} [Hint: Flip side woulda been: "NorwEgian wood YO]
* {Rob Rey's refusal??}

… well, U get the idea.

Masked and Anonymo4Us


Bubba 12:58 PM  

Rex, lighten up on us Boomers. Younger generations don't do crosswords or buy premium content online, such as the NYT crossword. So give us a Beatles theme now and then. Plus, the Beatles transcend generations. Otherwise I thought it decent fill, very little junk or arcana. Love your blog, though I'm going to suggest a bar (look it up on the Gen Y Urban Dictionary) with your morning coffee. See we Boomers can be hip.

Teedmn 1:16 PM  

The song came out when I was 5, before I was aware of popular music outside of what my parents listened to (no older siblings to introduce me to pop/rock). In fact, the Beatles were over about the time I became musically aware, so I really first got into them during college. I've always found the lyrics to NORWEGIAN WOOD ambiguous so before commenting here, I Googled the meaning of the song and found some pretty funny comments on the subject here:

Norwegian Wood

I liked this puzzle even though it is a "quip" puzzle. It had CHAGALL, OSSIFY, YODELS, LEWINSKY. BOYS will be BOYS trying to be MANLIEST. (I'M) BAD and MOODS next to each other. CARWASH crossing HOSE.

Thanks, DS.

Masked and Anonymous 1:32 PM  

"Rubber Soul" album. day-um. yep. M&A always gets that and "Revolver" album titles confused.
Ironclad proof of my old-fartedness.
Was actually more of a 45rpm kinda dude. (lil darlins)

This has been a neat musical puz week, so far. Yesterday's had a big musical guest, right smack-dab down the middle. And a couple more in the themers, too -- but I ain't gonna spell em all out and be no oldies-puz--spoiler.

Peace on Earth, good will toward BeatleMANia.


Alby 2:06 PM  

Will went with difficulty level over timeliness. That's discipline. As for Norwegian Wood, not a bad showing for a two-minute-long, 50-year-old song!

Masked and Anonymous 2:39 PM  

Shame @009 had to snark and run, so quick.
Thought this TuesPuz had a lotta great longish fill. And IMOGEN.


* LEWINSKY. Bill Clinton works these NYTPuzs, evidently, so this will be a nice extra walk down memory lane, for him.
* SHIVER. Cool, seldom-seen entry.
* ICEDAMS & PRANCER. Holiday spirit.
* Marc CHAGALL. Classy stuff. Nice.
* CARWASH. Reminiscent of the coveted HOGCALLS.


NeilD 2:56 PM  

I agree with Rex. I love the Beatles but I'm not a fan of all these tributes. I suspect most people will either get the whole thing immediately or be mystified until the very end.

Pdxrains 3:40 PM  

Right there with ya. This thing was musty like boxes of Bing Crosby Christmas albums in grandma's attic.

Anonymous 3:41 PM  

Hey Bubba. Ironically, [HIGH:low] #4 by K. Austin Collins was released today. I'm going to suggest a little crow with your evening martini.

You do know who he is, don't you?

Cool is the rule.


Lobster11 4:50 PM  

I'm with @Mohair Sam: "@Rex - Your review proves that brevity is indeed the soul of wit. Well done."

I'd just add (1) exclamation point (!) and (2) "....sometimes." This one wouldn't have been nearly as hilarious if OFL hadn't ranted at great length, in obsessive detail, on each of the 891 days.

jerry k 4:56 PM  

Well, it was a Monday puzzle, but yesterday was still November. The third is Thursday, but a puzzle like this disqualifies it from being a Thursday puzzle, as well as (sort of) a Wednesday puzzle. So, I thought today was fine.
Make sense?

Numinous 5:41 PM  

@Old Timer: Wow. We were both there the same day. Damned if I can remmember what I was doing that day but I bet you dropped into either The Forum or The Mediterranium for coffee. I'd have been in either of those places that day. No brainer for me, I was living south of campus, in fact I grew up there on the corner of Durant and Telegraph. Somewhere around then I moved to an apartment one house north of the corner of Haste and Fulton. Is there any chance Dec 4th was the day of the Big Game? Any chance you were connected with Stanfrod?

I got a smile out of the theme and some fond reminiscences. I'm really really sorry @Rex is too young to share that. There are tunes from ten or twenty years before I was born that still have meaning for me. I"m not going to throw up my hands at the lyrics of Chatanooga Cho Cho and say,, "big f___ing deal, Who the F___ cares?" Rubber Soul and, along with it, NORWEGIAN WOOD, did mark the begining of changes in pop music. Rock groups, as I recall had begun to go beyond their blues and folk roots by then. The Fillmore Auditorium was having shows every Friday and Sturday night. Those were interestings times.

I had no real problem with this puzzle and much of the short fill didn't bother me or I might not have noticed it. I did have an Oh Wow moment with I figured out I ONCE HAD A GIRL and readily filled in the rest of the themers. Nice way to remember those days right around my birthday fifty years ago.

DigitalDan 5:50 PM  

Norwegian Wood is, if not my favorite Beatles tune, among the top three. Completely matched the mood of my college days, hanging out in somebody's apartment somewhere. I always thought it was about hashish or something, but apparently just described the cheap paneling in the place where the events inspiring John's song took place. "So I lit a fire. Wasn't it good Norwegian wood?"

Tita 6:47 PM  

Blah...I agree with Rex, @jberg, @ncapres,, and others. Sure, I know the song, but...this is not a crossword puzzle.
Unless it IS a selfie, in which case that would make me like it a little more.

@Nancy...did that really happen? My well wishes are on their way.

old timer 7:39 PM  

@Numinous, I'm very glad my reminiscence struck a bell with you. I was at Stanford, and Fall Quarter I lived off-campus with some friends -- one of whom moved to Berkeley after graduation and ended up living on Parker St, while he got his Master's. I lived in Kensington three years later (summer of 69). Lived in the City summer of 67. I don't know why we went to Berkeley that day. Wasn't Big Game, because that would have been the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Probably because Berkeley was a cool place to go. Probably we went to Cody's or Moe's or the other good bookstore on Telegraph. Possibly one of us had a friend we wanted to get together with. Wouldn't have spent our money on coffee, but might possibly have had a burger, either near Telegraph (LaVal's?) or at Oscar's, best burger and fries ever -- and pie too, I think.

Unknown 9:14 PM  

I have not read the comments and just finished the puzzle at this later hour. Got the theme and filled those answers in very early on. Easy solve but do have one gripe.

56d Something perfect acoustics eliminate.

Oh my! Where do I begin about the complete wrongness of this clue?

First of all, acoustics do not eliminate echo. In fact they don't "eliminate" anything. They might be designed to not have echo (i.e. a series of reflected sounds). On the other hand, an audio myth is that very loud low frequency sounds can cause one to "eliminate" an echo of one's meal, so to speak...


Wish I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say "perfect acoustics." Perfect acoustics for what?

Sometimes a back wall or balcony face in a concert venue is intentionally designed to reflect "echo" back to performers on stage. This gives them a sense that their sound is "getting out" to the audience. It's comforting to them. So echoes are the prefect acoustics to accomplish this.

Reverberation actually consists of a whole series of echoes. Eliminate the "echo" (i.e. a series of reflected sounds) and you don't have perfect acoustics, you have NO acoustics!! Generally the idea is to eliminate or mitigate discreet echoes (plural) that interfere with speech or musical intelligibility. And there is rarely the potential for just one. The architect's acoustical consultant eliminates these by design, not the "perfect acoustics" as clued.

A much desired, relatively discrete echo is the reflection of low frequencies from the ceiling of a concert hall. So designing perfect concert hall acoustics includes intentional echo. The perfect acoustics for a lecture hall would not.

Some years ago we were setting up for a gig (cocktail music) in an old converted carriage house (read horse barn). All hard surfaces in this relatively small space meant (OH OH) the acoustics were exactly what we did not want. At the moment I was contemplating on how badly the acoustics might HOSE us and what to do about it, I overheard a guest say, "The acoustics in here are wonderful!" Perfect!


Numinous 10:44 PM  

One day, quite some time ago, the Beatles' catalogue (all their copyrights) went up for sale. Michael Jackson said, "I'M BAD," and bought it up! I imagine, even now, his estate is still raking in the performance rights.

Bond 11:00 PM  

@ Rex: Suggestion, That you do more of this succinct style of review when you're this disgusted. Saves time, yours and ours. Also, you will be less susceptible to haters hating on you, though I always find your reasons consistent and logical, overall. Your Duchamp-like review is amusing but I don't agree. Rubber Soul is a great album. So it's a couple of days off from the release date. Out of 365 days, a fifty-year commemorative can be a few days off, apropos the day's level of difficulty as the puzzle is written,no?

@ WHS- Since when do you have to be old to know or love the Beatles? They sound as if they recorded their stuff yesterday! It's that good. I know of people of all ages who love and appreciate the Beatles.They're basically a musical litmus test, the way Ed is a thinking one.


Tuesday morning, an easy solve, a harder solving experience.
Homage to the antithesis of a CAD:
Beloved Brother, great human: It’s NORWEGIAN WOOD!
How many hours did we play, I ONCE HAD A GIRL, OR SHOULD I SAY SHE ONCE HAD ME? ...the Beatles’ B Minor, always so easy to sing.
After you had to go, our good friend J. found by chance Rubber Soul and on it WAS written, “Property of ” you! You stole it from me, I just know you did! He started out SSE, to bring it, but totaled the car and everything in it except himself and the album. (What are a few ribs, right?)

And, what about that card you managed to send not only thru cyberspace but thru afterspace? However did you do it?
We’d just returned from brunch on Central Park West in the building with the big brass letters. (Who knew to boycott? Two year’s ago he was just the city’s reigning goofball with the orange comb over.)
I opened my IMAC; typed in the password, and there filling the screen was a big red HAPPY MOTHer’s day card from your in-box! Mom and I - all of us - stood around the desk looking at the card, your in-box over to the side of the screen; SHIVERs abounding.
Your young BOYS are OKAY, but their ACHE will never dissipate. It’s all over their faces. The more days that pass, the deeper grief gets, because it’s that much longer since we saw your loving smile. Emily of Amherst says it best, writing from her workshop on the second floor. Having committed this to memory for Dad’s eulogy so many years ago, it may not be exactly right, four shelves of the Emily library across the room, but…
They say that time assuages.
Time never did assuage.
As actual suffering strengthens
As sinews do, with age.
Time is a test of trouble
Not a remedy
If such it prove, It prove too
There was no malady.

MOO, whom you met when you last visited, when travel was hard for you, the colonies being the first and the only sights that you wanted to see - wonders really, you said- in this big city, has been in since January after a decade on the mean streets of New York. He’s enjoying retirement from his hard life; one of the relatively few success stories of the thousands of homeless animals in the five boroughs. I leave the sound machine on ‘meadow’ for him when I go to the others, and his eyes, once so irritated by the ubiquitous construction, are wide-open now and healing, w drops and wash.
BTW Feith was on Fareed. Lying like you wouldn’t believe, with a straight face. You knew it was he who cooked the books on WMD, as you knew pretty much everything else.
Miss you more than words can say, as they say.

Z 5:50 AM  

@Anon3:41/Zippy - It's hard to tell, but I suspect "Bubba" was trying to be satirical. I did enjoy HIGH:low #4.

@AnoaBob - Har.

@Teedmn - What a rabbit hole. I love the cited interviews and how even the primary sources don't provide much clarity of meaning. As if authors know what their work even means.

Again, two lamest puzzle types: Quote Puzzles and Tribute Puzzles. At least the write-up and comments were fun.

Hard to believe I bought this ten years ago.

Eve's Dropper 7:45 AM  

Oh Bond, you've made me all Weepy.

What a paeanful way to start a Wednesday mourning.

Burma Shave 9:33 AM  




rondo 10:39 AM  

Haters gonna hate. Lovers gonna love. Consider me the latter for this puz. It’s not just about the one song, but you need to start somewhere. Rubber Soul is/was a landmark release in the history of pop/rock music. Apparently half of the commentariat doesn’t appreciate music or history or music history. OFL and others are really showing their ageism and lack of awareness – are they really that shallow?? So you don’t like tribute puzzles – tough hop. I don’t like rebus puzzles, but I don’t call them “preposterous”. Get over it.

This was really a BOYS puz with SHAG on top of HOSE flanked by (one-time pudgy yeah baby) LEWINSKY and MANLIEST crossing ACTION. Shave that with your ATRA, OKAY?

I almost feel sorry for anyone who didn’t like this as a Tues-puz, but I’m OPENTO wringing their necks. On the other hand, this puz left me HAPPY, so I probably wouldn’t.

spacecraft 12:24 PM  

Thanks to @Carola, I now know there's such a thing as ICEDAMS. Only one other blogger even mentioned ICicleS. Huh? Show me a solver who DIDN'T write in ICICLES on that clue and I'll show you a liar. This is the single most blatant misdirection I've ever seen--and it comes on a Tuesday??? You CAN'T NOT have written ICICLES.

That one glitch moved the puzzle from easy to medium-leaning-toward-medium-challenging. It was my entry point, an ironclad "gimme." Yeah. No wonder it took me a while to uncover a section of the lyric I could identify--which happened at _RS_OUL_ISA_. At that juncture, I saw the line, and hence immediately the whole line and song.

I always thought that the title referred to a particularly mellow strain of weed. Well, I WOULD think that, in the '60s. As for the grid loaded with sexual innuendo: UHOH, where are your MINDS, people? Tsk.

Other than that ugly central crossing and that most unfortunate bleedover EKE (EEK!), I thought the fill was quite OKAY. You have to admit, if you can work LEWINSKY into your grid you've done something.

As to OFL's abject dismissal, I think it's grossly unfair but not totally unexpected. You can't just willy-nilly slap the lyrics to a song down into a grid; first you have to notice that the line breaks--at the natural phrase break!--into segments that fit a letter-count pattern. That alone needs a bit of luck, methinks. But he believes every theme should have some kind of extra punch, outside of itself. Well, sometimes, old BOY, a cigar IS just a cigar.

And this one was a fine smoke. B+.

rondo 1:09 PM  

@spacey - nice Kipling paraphrase. But I did not fall for icicles since I already had the E from CLE. ICEDAMS are common enough here in MN, especially on older homes with poor insulation/ventilation in the attic.

rain forest 3:02 PM  

Sorry @Spacey. I did not write in ICicles (wanted to, but didn't). I do remember one winter up here when I had an ICE DAM problem, although I didn't know that's what it was called. Luckily, thanks to climate change, it doesn't snow here anymore.

It does rain a lot, though (Rain being another Beatles song), and on a rainy day I first played Rubber Soul on my reel-to-reel tape deck and was blown away by NORWEGIAN WOOD, and of course the rest of the album.

I think this tune is a fine theme, honouring a landmark song and album by the best band to ever come down the pike. You can have your Adele.

The puzzle, while not completely free of weakish fill is also just fine. Liked it a lot.

leftcoastTAM 3:17 PM  

NORWEGIANWOOD is one of my Beatles favorites, but it took several crosses to recall the opening lines. (I was a bit chagrined to see Monica's name snuggled in nearby.)

ULNA and IMOGEN took a bit of looking at, too.

Otherwise, a fun, medium-challenging Tuesday.

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