Peg solitaire puzzle brand / SUN 3-27-16 / Longtime soap actress Hall / Latin word in back of dollar bill / Composer of Windows 95 start-up sound / 1914 battle site / One-named hitmaker of 1950s-60s

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Constructor: Patrick Blindauer

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Pitch Imperfect" — famous advertising slogans, but with one word anagrammed into another word, creating wackiness and "?" clues and all that...

Theme answers:
  • WE LOVE TO SEE YOU SLIME ("Smile") (what slogan is this??? oh ... looks like it was a McDonald's slogan for a few years in the early '00s)
  • THIS DUB'S FOR YOU ("Bud's") (Budweiser)
  • OBEY YOUR T-SHIRT ("Thirst") (is this Gatorade? Gah, YAH, Sprite! My bad...)
  • THE FABRIC OF OUR VEILS ("Lives") (Cotton)
  • YOU DESERVE A BAKER TODAY ("Break") (... another McDonald's!?!?! That seems ... like a foul)

Word of the Day: HI-Q (6D: Peg solitaire puzzle brand) —
Peg solitaire (or Solo Noble) is a board game for one player involving movement of pegs on a board with holes. Some sets use marbles in a board with indentations. The game is known simply as Solitaire in the United Kingdom where the card games are called Patience. It is also referred to as Brainvita (especially in India). // The first evidence of the game can be traced back to the court of Louis XIV, and the specific date of 1687, with an engraving made that year by Claude Auguste Berey of Anne de Rohan-Chabot, Princess of Soubise, with the puzzle by her side. The August, 1687 edition of the French literary magazine Mercure galant contains a description of the board, rules and sample problems. This is the first known reference to the game in print. // The standard game fills the entire board with pegs except for the central hole. The objective is, making valid moves, to empty the entire board except for a solitary peg in the central hole. (wikipedia)
• • •

Hey, it's my old pal, PB2 (PB1 = Patrick Berry). I didn't not understand this theme for the longest time. In fact, it wasn't until I was completely finished that I got the whole advertising slogan angle. I was too focused on random anagrams to notice much of anything else. I kept trying to find some kind of pattern, some rationale, and kept coming up empty. The advertising angle ties things together somewhat, but only very, very loosely. There's just not much (if any) logic to the anagramming. Sometimes it's the product name, sometimes it's not, sometimes the anagram's at the end of the phrase, sometimes it's not ... I don't know. And there are only six theme answers? With that few answers, I'd expect a much zippier and more colorful and cleaner grid than this one. With the exception of UNFRIENDED (79D: Cut ties with, in a way) and ROOMBA (76D: iRobot vacuum), this puzzle felt quite staid and dated. There were several patches of short fill that were very, very rough (ERES EVRY SEI RIEN—three languages in four adjacent answers?!; ISS SHH DEI OSHEA; TRURO DREI ESAU; etc.). It all felt somewhat old, somewhat uninspired, and the theme just didn't hang together neatly, or feel very special.

There must be a million advertising slogans, but it's actually probably very hard to find one where you can anagram a single word and make a wacky phrase out of it, so perhaps the theme is tighter, or at least harder to pull off, than I imagined at first. That said, the slogan seems to be "PLEASE Don't squeeze the Charmin," so some fudging has been allowed. That's fine. Was SMELT IN YOUR MOUTH, NOT IN YOUR HAND too long? Oh, yeah, way too long. GOOD TO THE LAST PROD? A LITTLE BAD'LL DO YA? LET YOUR FRINGES DO THE WALKING? THINK MALLS? I dunno. It's kind of fun to come up with these, but the concept still seems slightly weak. There's some hardcore old school proper noun crosswordese here, like TRURO and LEMA (both of which I learned from crosswords, both of which I've seen only in crosswords, only one of which I remembered today). ENDO ORDO AERO ... and then JEOPARDOUS, which is a word no one has ever used ever. I just kept waiting for this one to perk up, but it never did.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


pauer 12:15 AM  

Speaking ill of an ACPT constructor the week before the tourney is bad luck. It might even be considered jeopardous.

kitshef 12:26 AM  

Kind of opposite experience to @Rex's for me. Very hard for a Sunday and nearly a DNF with TENK/NRA/YAH (YAH?!?!) yielding only after multiple mental alphabet run-throughs and testing of the crosses. But got the theme almost immediately with DONTSQUEEZE ...

I really enjoyed the theme answers and looked forward to each one. But yeah, there sure was a lot of garbage in between.

I expect there will be some (Bob) kerfuffle regarding GLORY. That clearly a) does not count amen as part of the prayer b) includes the rest of the doxology, in a form used by what I'd guess is a minority. My King James has the 5th to last word as 'the' (if you count amen) or 'and' (if you don't). My New International doesn't include the doxology at all, so GLORY isn't even an option.

Is RED DYE green paint?

jae 1:50 AM  

Top half easy, bottom half medium. The theme was mildly amusing in spots and the fill... EXACTITUDE and JEOPARDOUS and what @Rex, kinda liked it, but Rex makes some good points.

Trombone Tom 1:58 AM  

Mr. Blindauer seldom disappoints and today was no exception. Clever anagrams of well-known ad phrases. Not sure why McD's rates a repeat here. Some of the fill was pretty blah, but I liked CANNELLONI (always a challenge for me to figure out where the double letters go), EXACTITUDE and UNFRIENDED. On the other hand JEOPARDOUS = ?????

Carola 2:26 AM  

For me, the delight meter ended up registering at about the OVALTINE level. DUBS was cute, and RICH MAN and VEILS resulted in winning phrases, but I thought only the effusing over the slugs' SLIME rose to the occasion with the necessary zaniness.

Martín Abresch 2:59 AM  

You are far too kind today, Rex.

I cracked a smile at a few of the theme answers, but the fill was infuriating. Everywhere I turned it was proper names, foreign words, prefixes, and geographic trivia. ERNÖ Rubik crossing IVOR Novella rather sums up the puzzle.

Pardon the indulgence, but the only way that I could figure out how to express my frustration with the overwhelming crosswordese of this puzzle was in nonsensical e.e. cummings-like poetry.














Perhaps I should have chosen a different poetic form, like the HI-Q?

Anonymous 6:20 AM  

IVOR crossing ERNO verges on Natick territory. It think it only barely gets a pass because of the over-use of Rubik-related clues in roses words generally.

Also re: HI-Q, I can't find anything on google images that makes me think up this game was produced since 1980. That should disqualify pretty much any brand name.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:34 AM  

Happily got the gimmick before I finished the grid, and it was of great help in sussing out THE FABRIC OF OUR VEILS.

My "always get it wrong the first time": 60A, SELMA >> SALMA.

Was unfamiliar with 82A, "Clobbers" = WAXES, but snooping around in the Merriam-Webster thesaurus shows the two as equivalent slang terms.

Lewis 6:58 AM  

In Patrick's notes he has six theme answers that didn't make it into the puzzle, one being "It's fringe-lickin' good", clued "Why are you dippin' that tassel in honey mustard?"

I like how the puzzle starts with NICESHOT and ends with NAILEDIT. I would say almost nailed it; the theme answers, except for the marvelous THISDUBSFORYOU, fell a little flat. But there were answers (ROOMBA, EXACTITUDE, IMHOTEP) and clues (PEDESTAL, TRIP) I liked a lot. And the theme was such a good idea! Though the theme answers, except for that DUB one, didn't tickle my funny bone, I still had a blast trying to figure them out with just a few letters in. That's where I had the most fun in this puzzle.

Because I didn't remember ERNO (I was thinking "Eero"), it's cross with IVOR was tough. I unsuccessfully tried to come up with some theme answers myself, so maybe this is a great theme idea whose execution cannot match the idea. Or maybe some people here will come up with some great answers and hopefully prove me wrong.

Overall, I'm grateful to Patrick, for a puzzle much closer to SUPERB than TORMENT.

chefbea 7:42 AM  

Tough Sunday!!! Got some of the answers but couldn't figure out the theme.
Purple prose??? what is that

Happy Easter all...dont eat too many eggs or chocolate bunnies or jelly beans!!

pmdm 7:42 AM  

As I was going through the clues the first time around, I kept saying to myself "Another proper noun, another foreign word, another proper nous, another foreign word" and so on. I don't know if there is an excessive amount, as I didn't bother to count, but it certainly felt that way to me. And all for a theme that for me falls flat. Very flat. Speaking of puzzle that I think should never have been published. Hopefully other comments will show that I am just having a grumpy day.

For those who observe it, happy Easter

Loren Muse Smith 8:45 AM  

This was pretty hard for me. What's worse, I slept late, so I was trying to rush to finish so I could post a comment in the first wave. No such luck. Heck. So it’s so dumb, but because of the new system here, I gave up before finishing - could not see JEOPARDOUS, OSHEA, EDUARDO, TRURO, MURESAN, ROOMBA (kept wanting an H in there. Hi, @jae).

Like Rex, it took me a while to see the anagrams, too. (didn't help that I couldn't spell CHARMIN, being a Scott gal myself), and even when I got it, I kept wanting "the fabric of our evils," thinking it was kind of harsh. My version would be clued as "linen, to someone who likes a wrinkle-free, fresh-looking, smooth ivory-colored sheath." Yeah – I never wear it unless I stand up the whole time. Seriously.

UNFRIENDED – anyone else been getting these weird friend requests from strangers who then message you with stuff like, "hi, loren i happy you take my request. I from Truro but am working in the UK now. How are you my friend?" Anyway, I've learned how to UNFRIEND – never had to do that before. (And I've been UNFRIENDED myself – weird feeling because the realization is a slow one, it's like a soft little slap in the face.)

Patrick – normally anagrams don't really float my boat, but put'em in slogans, and now you're talkin'. I'll be thinking about these all day – I bet it's pretty hard to come up with possibilities - IT'S THE REAL NIGHT is all I could think of besides Rex's THINK MALLS… but then you have the pesky cluing problem.

Nice Sunday!

NCA President 8:50 AM  

Did. Not. Like.

That is all.

Lobster11 9:06 AM  

I'm with @Martin Abresch today: "I cracked a smile at a few of the theme answers, but the fill was infuriating. Everywhere I turned it was proper names, foreign words, prefixes, and geographic trivia. ERNÖ Rubik crossing IVOR Novella rather sums up the puzzle." I finished about 7/8 of the puzzle, but as soon as I hit a wall in the SW I gave up just to stop the pain.

Almost every Sunday I find myself thinking that I'm just gonna start skipping Sunday puzzles. Even if I find a theme amusing, which I only occasionally do, I invariably hate the fill. I haven't yet followed through on this "threat," but today's slogfest might be enough to push me over the top.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

I've never seen or heard JEOPARDOUS before this puzzle, but vow to use the word in a sentence at least 3 times today. Can't wait to see how long it takes for someone to say, "Wait...what??"

Z 9:20 AM  

The U in JEOPARDOUS was my last letter in. Speaking ill of a U feels a little like insulting your best friend's new girlfriend, so I won't say anything.

I liked the themers, but the fill seemed unusually aggravating. I'd recount but the poetics of @Martin Abresch suffices.

jberg 9:36 AM  

So there's no REnnet in cotton candy? Who knew? That one held me up a long time -- especially since my knowledge of proper names tends toward the esoteric. ERNO and IVOR gave me no trouble, but the ELLI_/D_IDRE crossing stumped me. Or rather, it stumped me when I had D_InRE. I finally straightened that out, but things were feeling pretty JEOPARDOUS there for a while.

When I was a lad at summer camp, they taught us how to make pictures by pounding large-headed tacks into a plank. I enjoyed it, but my pictures always came out wrong, so I had to go back and NAIL EDIT afterwards.

I did finally fill in the whole grid with the correct letters, but I consider it a DNF because I couldn't for the life of me see how to anagram T SHIRT. Obviously, I hadn't heard the slogan, but still. I used to shine at that game.

47A, as clued, was a little too macabre for me, but fair enough.

Mostly, though, thanks, @Rex, for the history of HI-Q! I hadn't even seen it in there, but I used to love to play.

Joyce Bloom 9:45 AM  

Since when is "EVRY" a word? The official lyrics in the song from The Sound of Music are, "Climb EVERY mountain, ford every stream.....". It may be slurred in actual speech, but there was no question mark after the clue, nor any adjunct such as "informally".

Z 9:53 AM  

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Products, and Proper Nouns as a % of answers. If it gets to 33% someone is likely to complain about the puzzle being unfair

Again, the issue arises on a Sunday of how to count theme answers that are product centered.

Counting the themers.
52/140, 37%
Not counting the themers
46/140, 33%

Even without the themers this hits my threshold of excessive PPP. As an example of the perils of PPP, look at JEOPARDOUS. That's a tough word with an atypical ending. The last four letters are all crossed by Proper Names, none of them especially common. If the solver fails there it may well be from a lack of trivial trivia, not anything to do with word play.

Since there were complaints I counted the foreign words, even though they aren't typically a part of PPP. I did not count foreign names since they are already a part of my PPP analysis.
That's 12 foreign words out of 140 answers, 8.6%. I have no reference for comparison, but it seems higher than usual to me.

AliasZ 9:56 AM  

THE FABRIC OF OUR VEILS made me wonder for a moment: why wasn't it the fabric of our Levi's, or the fabric of our evils, or the fabric of our viles, or the fabric of our Elvis? But just for a moment.

At xwordinfo PB2 himself provides a list of 7 additional imperfect pitches that didn't make the cut, some of them I liked even more than those that did. My favorite one: THE QUICKER PIP-PUCKERER.

Speaking in languages, I counted 13 in today's puzzle: Hawaiian (MAHALO, LUAU), Romanian (MUREȘAN), Japanese (SOBA), Sanskrit (ASHRAM), Latin (ORDO, DEI), Hungarian (ERNŐ), Spanish (ERES, EL TORO), French (RIEN, RENÉ, VAL, ÉTÉ, ENTENTE), German (EINE, DREI, but no zwei?), Italian (SEI, CANNELLONI, PENNE, BARI), Egyptian (IMHOTEP), Hebrew (TEL, ESAU) and Scottish (NAE). I am not even counting FIJI, EMU, FAVA, etc. On the other hand, when I first looked at IRR, ISS, SHH, NTH, SNO, ACTV, TENK, STS, HIQ, EVRY, IDVE etc., they didn't appear to be from any language I knew.

IMPEDERS follows a long line of -ERS words from recent puzzles: DOTERS, SAVERS, PASSERS, MOPERS, CARERS, DYERS, etc.
JEOPARDOUS is arduous at best, downright disastrous at worst.

A mixed bag, this puzzle. I did like EXACTITUDE UNFRIENDED -- NICE SHOT, NAILED IT!

Happy Easter!

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

This was a fun puzzle. For me, easy North and tougher South, but I got it all in the end. To those who kvetch about proper nouns: give the puzzle creators a break and do more reading. I in turn will study botany. Thought Gray did anatomy??
The only really bad clue was the Lord's Prayer one, and it had its witty side, forcing those of us who are doing puzzles instead of going to church on Easter to participate in a bit of the service. Very clever. But, even for those who are Christian, different churches use slightly different endings, so the clue should have been tagged differently. For example, @Kitshef, "forever and ever Amen" IS four words including the Amen-how does your version go? "Are yours, now and forever, amen" is too many. Etcetera.
Loved the starting "nice shot" and the concluding "nailed it." Even this weekend's basketball makes it into this puzzle. Just great.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

Alas; poor Yorick. Mary Magdeline at the grave site and the angel answered her query of "where is He" and the angel said 'He is risen'

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

A slog, I'm afraid.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

This could have been so much fun. And for a long, long time it was. Even though I was at a huge disadvantage, since I've been muting commercials ever since the remote control and the mute button were invented. Every single commercial without fail. (I knew PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN, because that's before the mute button was invented.) But then came the outrageous cluster of proper names...

Don't get me started on the MAHALO/LSU crossing. (I had an M where the L should be.) I have not yet recovered from the Gheorghe thing and the iRobot thing side-by-side. That I actually got this section of the puzzle, despite the peculiar word JEOPARDOUS running between them is a miracle. (I had PRECARIOUS.) And is WAXES really a term for clobbers? Really??? Or am I wrong, here. I forgot to look at that section of the solution. I did think IMHOTEP was fair, and it got me, but good. I had so wanted Karloff or Lugosi. So a colorful, challenging puzzle in places, but one that was absolutely hateful in other places!

Teedmn 10:33 AM  

This is one of those puzzles I was thinking I wouldn't finish, with lots of WOEs for me, too many to list ("thank goodness", the blog commenters chorus!). But I only ended up with lots of black ink in a couple of spots. Where "song" smith finally became AERO; where my answer for "Try" went from "hear" to TEST; my invitation letters were RSVP before BYOB and after I got that B, Gray matter was BraiNY for a bit. That clue for 108A was my favorite. The themers feel kind of tepid and I didn't really recognize three of them (39A, 72A and 100A) so the cleverness was lost on me.

For some reason, JEOPARDOUS is giving me visions of JEalOUS lEOPARD frogs (I really did have too much wine last night). I was glad the mummy was the name of the mummy and not the actor who played the mummy.

Here's hoping for no IMPEDERS to a lovely Easter, for those who celebrate.

Thanks, PB2.

Rabi Abonour 10:34 AM  

An opaque theme, some slogans unfamiliar to me, and some tricky proper nouns (DEIDRE Hall??) made this very tricky for me. Martin did a great job showcasing the fill. I respect the theme, but the wordplay didn't land for me and the rest of the solving experience wasn't that great. Love NAILED IT, though.

Yomothy 10:38 AM  

I wanted
Please don't squeeze the Chairman

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

I can't figure out whether there are only 11 comments today because it's Easter or because of potential disgust over the fact that you went easy on what is arguably the dumbest puzzle of 2016

Tim 11:20 AM  

Aw, Rex, "staid and dated"? No love for NAILED IT, SPIKE HEELS, ROSS SEA or ON POT? Heck, even OWIE, BYOB and MAHALO feel a cut above the old school puzzles to me.

Actually, I agreed with you about much of the fill -- all that SEI / RIEN, VAL / LEMA (a Natick for me), IRR / RENE, RPI, TEL, ISS, SHH, and so on. But I got the groove of the theme pretty early on and enjoyed most of the theme answers, with the possible exception of YOU DESERVE A BAKER TODAY -- it's just a bridge too far for me for that clue.

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

As a man ignorant of all things textile, I thought that maybe, just maybe, a "tulle" was something awful (corset-like) that brides endured out of tradition but that was otherwise brutally uncomfortable, so I went with THEFABRICOFOUReviLS (100A). In hindsight, that was pretty weak, but it really cost me precious minutes.

Live and learn. When my daughter gets married, I will now not leave the room when she tries on "tulle".

Overall, a tricky but satisfying puzzle. 3 mins. over average, so medium at best.

Prof. Gary Weissman 11:41 AM  

After getting "don't squeeze the rich man" I thought "this is too dumb" and stopped. Reading Rex confirmed this for me. Also, am I right to think that there is an increasing use of foreign words in the NYT crossword? Seems a bit desperate.

Joseph Michael 12:14 PM  

Once I finally figured out what was going on, it was such a disappointment that I just stopped working on it.

One of my least favorite puzzles. So I can't say I NAILED IT and I can't say I care.

Wm. C. 12:23 PM  

@Tim11:20 --

Hey, nothing wrong with RPI: (a) it appears once or twice a year here; and (b). I went the Rest! ;-)

On the puzzle, I agree with the sentiments above: too much slog and too little fun.

Roo Monster 12:27 PM  

Hey All !
Did enjoy the themers, got a chuckle out of 'em. But, (buts are smelly! [Drive Time commercial]) I have to agree with most about excessive PPP and Foreignese. Sorry, PB. To counter: I am jealous of most of your puzs, and the fact you keep getting published, as I'm still waiting!

DNF, as had zwEI-DREI, and Bad-BEA ("___ sport!"). Oh well. That TENK was writeover from Thon-TEle-TENK, also ACTi-ACTV, Airship-AVIATOR, vol-ISS, soyA-FAVA. Not too shabby for a SunPuz! Couple of other wrongness, OSHEr, VAs/sEMA.

I happen to like the way JEOPARDOUS looks. There were some good answers to sorta balance all the -ese.

Used to be on a dart league years ago, and when I read 1A, actually wanted BULLS EYE there! Cause that's what you yell sometimes when you hit one! :-)


Davin Kuntze 12:28 PM  

Just before doing this puzzle, I did the New York Magazine puzzle that has a nearly identical theme (phrase + anagram = wacky phrase). This puzzle worked that theme much more elegantly. But that's not saying a whole lot. I gave up on the lesser puzzle in annoyance after just a couple minutes. Found this puzzle enjoyable aside from a few "seriously! how?!?" outbursts. I still think 43D is the worst of the bunch. Didn't understand 108A until I came here. I've never heard anyone seriously say "on pot." That said there were a few nice long downs and the windows start up sound is a favorite (useless) bit of trivia. Brian Eno wrote a whole slew of "micro-compositions" that are fascinating. Three second symphonies.

mac 12:28 PM  

Medium-tough Sunday for me, and I enjoyed the struggle. The puns worked for me, and it
was nice figuring out the tough spots. The whole Obey your T-shirt area was the last to fall.
Hazzardous for jeopardous (why would we ever complain about learning a new word?) didn't

I don't get compact - entente, I'll look it up.

Chuck McGregor 12:33 PM  

The whole bottom portion was made tough variously, with the various PPPs: YVES / REEVES / MOORE / ENO / DION / ALI / MURESAN / ROOMBA / VAL / LEMA / BARI / TRURO / OSHEA / EDUARDO. I did correctly guesse ROSS SEA and IMHOTEP with two letters (the two gimme Ss) and one letter, the M, but those led to little more.

Having RSVP vice BYOB sure compounded things.

I see others have made similar comments about these and other proper/foreign answers. As to those comments, @Z and @Martín Abresch share the NAILED IT award.

Several write-overs and letter cheats later, including the “R” for the IVOR / ERNO natick, I finally got it all.

It was an average Sunday, taking a long time and some cheating to finish. However, that’s the way I like them. I have no shame about needing help, considering I did get the other 98%.

I sorta got the theme, but didn’t parse out the anagrams until after I was done. As such, it didn’t help with the solving, but once I did parse them, I was left in wonderment about how constructors come up with such cool stuff.

I did not know there was a non-anatomical Gray.

The only real bright spots for me:

OVALTINE: Love it (the basic malt variety).

EINE Kleine Nachtmusik: An all-time favorite piece. I was delighted to finally get to play it with our orchestra a couple of years ago.

Gee, as a former hippie and still a musician, I have no idea what ON POT means....

NAILED IT: In a regular Monday night jam session I play in, this is the “punch line” which one of the players always appends to the end of each song.

Happy Easter!! (Except for GLORY, noting the lack of any Easter-eze in the puzzle, certainly not ESAU)


Doxologydoc 1:11 PM  

I'm with kitshef (see above): GLORY for 51 across is dubious.

Keith Brumbaugh 1:13 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doxologydoc 1:14 PM  

I'm with kitshef (see above): GLORY for 51 Across is dubious at best.

Hungry Mother 1:49 PM  

Struggled with TENK being a long race after doing 3 marathons and a 50K race last year. But I had ESCAPING instead of ESCAPISM, which required me to turn on the red letters. I enjoyed the theme.

Alysia 1:50 PM  

Actually, as originally written by Rodgers & Hammerstein, the correct title is, indeed, "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."

JoeTheMusician 1:56 PM  

Dnf because of the Southwest. Stuck on Gray for anatomy,not botany. Could not figure out either exactitude or entente. But shouldn't snivel as I got the theme, even if for a while I had OnlYYOURSHIRT.

aknapp 1:59 PM  

I'd've questioned my life choices had I put IDVE in a puzzle (or published same) ...

Martín Abresch 2:03 PM  

@Z - Lol at the comment about speaking ill of a U. Also, I really appreciate the time you put in to do the PPP analysis. I have found this to be interesting and instructive. Thank you.

Mohair Sam 2:10 PM  

Played easy/medium here but didn't really enjoy - mainly because of @Z's PPP factor which I knew would be high. We were bailed out by catching on to the theme early and knowing them all cold except the SLIMEy one from MacDonalds. UNFRIENDED a great word, is that why there are so few posts on my Facebook page? NAILEDIT a clever closing shot.

Mrs. M remembered @Nancy mentioning earlier that she muted commercials and predicted accurately she'd be unhappy here, she was. EVRY surrounded by four different languages was brutal. This Jeopardy! fan laughed at himself for struggling with JEOPARDOUS, apparently I wasn't alone.

Italian pasta names generally describe their shape, orecchietta (little ears in Italian) resembles an ear for example - Can anyone find feathers in the PENNE tube?

@Chuck McGregor - Amen on EINE Kleine Nachtmusik. I never tire of it. Saw the clue, played the CD this morning.

puzzle hoarder 2:14 PM  

Luckily I'm working today as this turned out to be more of a time suck than I'd care to put in at home. It started easy in the north and seemed to become progressively harder as I went south. The fill was difficult enough for me to have to rely on solving the themers to help finish the puzzle. That's really the way a themed puzzle should be. My biggest problem was probably how sleepy I became. By the time I got into the lower half my eyes were sore and my eyelids were actually puffy. It was all the work of coming up with the ese while going around the unknowns and parsing the themes.
@Nancy you are not alone MSU/MAHAMO was my one mistake. MAHALO is probably in any of your wahines' guides to Hawaiian but I'm not familiar with it. I fell hard for the Tigers/Detroit /Michigan misdirect. One bit of shallow solving marred an otherwise clean grid. Still I consider this to be one of your better Sundays.

ZenMonkey 2:49 PM  

@Joyce The song is called "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."'ry_Mountain

I'm not religious, but I thought the JESUIT/ARISEN cross was a nice nod to Easter.

LindaPRmaven 2:50 PM  

"somewhat uninspired" from @Rex sums it up for me. Another desultory Sunday puz from NY Times. Recalling 'Champagne Tony' LEMA the only bright spot. (He in turn brought to mind ChiChi Rodriguez - seen occasionally in puzzles- whom I believe used to call the putting green the dance floor. ) The WSJ Friday crossword contest has become my weekend teaser of choice.


Izzie 3:26 PM  

Arisen seemed like Easter-eze to me. And Tiger Stadium put this Detroiter into Wayne State University (WSU).

Leapfinger 4:12 PM  

I'd forgive a much worse grid for the likes of LISTEN_TO_YOUR_TSHIRT.
Fortunately, PBlindaer, being the Master Carpenter he is, NAILEDIT

Didn't think old War 'n' Buff-It hath a way with TP-based rules, but, hey! Live and learn's the name of the game. @Yomothy, great alternative!

Room for another small anagram at 53A?
(Overheard at the film awards) Who's the next speaker?
Quiet, it's the director of "Chi-Raq!"

Nothing pleases me more than multilingualISM; even my favourite finish is Tung oil.
OSHEA: Catch-22 that I always want Minderbinder
BraiNY seemed to fit [Gray matter] almost as well as BOTANY
Any criticism of EXACTITUDE would be JESUITical. Especially if one's first guess was EXACTness.

JEOPARD_O'_US: A game, without question, where one answer could be "abbrev of nervous ocelot that belongs to we'uns"
IM_HOT_EP: What Priscilla said to her spouse, aka Le Roi (en francais), when they were in Paree en ETE

@Marvin A: LOL-funny!! Was it after your usual bedtime?
@ChefBea: for 'purple prose', try David Baldacci
@kitshef: not green paint; RED DYE #2 was common on ingredient lists; #40 seems HOT right now

Well, Sun's over the yard-arm somewhere; time for a Martini and ROSSSEA

Happy Sunday to all, even those who celebrate neither Purim Nor Easter

Masked and Anonymous 4:26 PM  

PUPPY, MY KENO BABY! Tough one to clue up, tho.
Anyhoo, liked the theme idea.

@009: yep. ELTORO/ERES/SEI/RIEN lingo stairstep led M&A directly to ONPOT.
Also, felt palpable tension at R?S/EL?ENTE crossin, tryin to decide between T or G. But guessed right, so … ok.

Did this big guy in two installments. Part 1 was with yer traditional cinnamon rolls. Part 2 was after vacuumin the joint, so to speak, as am expectin guests later for Easter dinner (yo, @JESUITs). So … just finished er up. M&A may thus have missed all moderation cutoff points until April 15th, by now (yo, @muse).

fave weeject: HIQ. Cannot believe that the brain that pot built could not get this, for many precious anno-seconds [sub-themer!].
fave names: IVOR. TRURO. MURESAN. IMHOTEP. Knew that last one from schlock movies "The Mummy" and "Bubba Ho-Tep". Next flick in series suggestion: "Roomba Ho-Tep".

Liked this puz better than @009. Maybe the two installments helped mellow me out.
Thanx, PB2.

Masked & Anonymo12Us

p.s. Happy Bunny Day!

precious ACPT practice:

will undo whatever gained by the precious ACPT practice:

Mohair Sam 5:30 PM  

Anybody else read @puzzle hoarder's comment today and hope like hell that he or she is not an air traffic controller?

There is a New York engineering school known as RIT. If it is ever clued as such we may have a record number of DNFs that day.

Lord, I hate soaps. We've all heard of Susan Lucci because she lost something like 20 straight Emmy awards. Beyond her soap opera clues should be banned, you're the New York Times for Heaven's sake - didn't a DEIDRA win a Tony or something?

Leapfinger 5:36 PM  

Evry so often I wonder whether there's a correlation between peoples' knowing about ASA GRAY and Jethro Tull. Jethro Tull bandied about the idea of a horse-drawn seed-drill after first monkeying around with a man-drawn seed-drill (which fared poorly since man-drills do not thrive in the British Isles). Ultimately, his horse-drawn ho helped to provide the basis for modern agriculture.

Which argues against DParker's observation that you can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think.

Nancy 7:08 PM  

@Mohair -- Please tell Mrs. M for me that I'm GOBSMACKED and quite touched that she remembered.

@aknapp -- Delightful comment! Couldn't agree more.

kitshef 10:54 PM  

Anon at 10:04. 'for ever and ever. Amen' rather than 'forever and ever. Amen' in my Book.

Auntie Nancy 11:25 PM  

@aknapp -- Irresponsible comment! Couldn't disagree more.

Sam Scott 12:13 AM  


Hartley70 12:49 AM  

I had a great time with this puzzle this morning. No complaints, but I also loved your comment, @aknapp.

phil phil 12:56 AM  

Why would one side of a quad be dorm....say...
Don't remember the 'former' NBA'er so missed that cross
Missed italian with spanish cross as well

And haven't watched TV for a few years so the ads had me needing crosses except for the older Mcdonalds and buds and charmin

Gregory Schmidt 8:19 PM  

In addition to some of the truly wretched fill, I call shenanigans on the Erno/Ivor cross.

Anonymous 3:34 PM  

I always like to change the end of the Lord's Prayer to "forever endeavor". Amen.

Burma Shave 12:21 PM  


TALL in her SPIKEHEELS, a CUTIE on her PEDESTAL, I’d say.
I’D’VE taken a NICESHOT of her, IDEAL to show her VANE story,
but some other RAT NAILEDIT, MAHALO. She went to the LUAU for a LEI.


rain forest 1:18 PM  

Though there were many IMPEDERS in here, I managed to finish this toughie. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience, and I liked all the themers, though I wondered whether THE FABRIC... was actually an ad slogan. Sounds more like some philosophical musing.

There was a healthy sprinkling of proper names and -ese, but when I finished, I looked over the grid and thought that this was a well-constructed puzzle, so MAHALO, PB2.

spacecraft 1:28 PM  

I so often oppose OFL as a photo opposes its negative (!), that it scares me a little when he virtually prints my comment for me! ALL that he said, especially the rough fill part--including a whole area SE of center that's a virtual natick nest. After I had the most improbable town name TRURO filled in, I did seem to recall that it was used some months ago. No matter how often I see it, I'll shake my head. Who would name a town TRURO? You can hardly even SAY it. If I ever moved there I'd start a renaming campaign.

Top was easy; bottom somewhat more JEOPARDOUS. Yikes. So yeah: easy-medium. The pasta mini-theme (CANNELLONI, PENNE) is making me hungry, so I think I'll go eat. Poor Gheorghe MURESAN--with just a little talent he could've been something. A sequoia amongst the pines. Oh well...his career was about a C-, and so is this puzzle.

rondo 1:35 PM  

Three of today’s answers sum it up for me – COMPLETELY USELESS TORMENT. @Martin Abresch NAILEDIT above. @Lewis COMPLETELY didn’t. This type of Sun-puz is why I may give them up. I got the gimmick right off with the RICHMAN, but there was no humor in the answers, and the fill????

But then there were three answers of interest, all yeah babies. Long time daytime yeah baby DEIDRE Hall for one. ComBUSTable Salma Hayek. And CUTIE ELLIE Kemper. I’d give any one of ‘em a LEI.

I did cheat to finish, after running through the prayer (not cheatin’ more like churchin’), I looked at the back side of a dollar bill to find ORDO. By that time I didn’t care about a DNF.

This is a day where IDVE rather jammed 3 or 4 letters into a square, if it brightened up the puz at ALL.

AnonymousPVX 3:35 PM  

Let's see, the Lord's Prayer clue depends on the version, JEOPARDOUS is a word even Alex Trebek wouldn't use, too many (obscure) proper names…I solved and still didn't like.

I really wish more people would call out poor clueing for what it is, either complete laziness on the part of the constructor or an active attempt to make sure no one solves.

diana,LIW 9:59 PM  

I really appreciate Z's PPP analyses. Today, it led to a dnf.

But I still enjoyed the puz. Loved the themers. Thought they were funny.

Do any of you keep a list of Puz-ese words/phrases? I am considering doing so...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Puzzle Constants

Rina 9:29 AM  

Sussed the theme quickly at RICHMAN, which was evidence that the entire fill would consist of arbitrary inanities. Going on that assumption got me quickly through this puzz, exceptional for its meh-ness. ps I often get to the puzzle long after it's published.

bohbehchow 2:32 AM  

Amen indeed

Joseph McGrath 11:54 AM  

Ditto to everything that Martin Abresch wrote. Furthermore, I hated this puzzle.

Blogger 2:10 AM  

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