1977 horror film set in Newfoundland / FRI 4-8-16 / Grammy-nominated rock band for Epic / Oriental blossom / Restaurant critic who lent his name to brand at supermarket / Club that even god can't hit according to Lee Trevino / Ontario town across from Buffalo

Friday, April 8, 2016

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Howard ASHMAN (39A: "Beauty and the Beast" lyricist Howard) —
Howard Elliott Ashman (May 17, 1950 – March 14, 1991) was an American playwright and lyricist. He collaborated with Alan Menken on several works and is most widely known for several animated feature films for Disney, for which Ashman wrote the lyrics and Menken composed the music. Ashman and Menkin began their collaboration with the musical God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1979), for which Ashman directed and wrote both book and lyrics. Their next musical, Little Shop of Horrors (1982) for which Ashman again directed and wrote both book and lyrics, became a long-running success and led to a 1986 feature film. The partnership's first Disney film was The Little Mermaid (1989), followed by Beauty and the Beast (1991). After his death, some of Ashman's songs were included in another Disney film, Aladdin (1992). (wikipedia)
• • •

Accidentally fell asleep last night very early, so now I'm up very early, solving and writing. I was excited to see Patrick Berry's name. I always am. He was the Big Name in attendance at last weekend's American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and he is probably the biggest name in crossword puzzles that I had never even laid eyes on (he doesn't usually come to tournaments). I have now laid eyes on him. I did not, however, meet him. I was weirdly too ... I don't know. I'm not good at introducing myself to people, especially famous people whose work I like. The very thought of it fills me with NAUSEA. I mostly just leave them alone and continue to like their work in silence, from afar. Some people's instinct when they see famous people they admire is "ooh, let's go say hi." Mine is "errr, uhh, let's leave." Mostly I was afraid of gushing stupidly. Anyway, despite having corresponded very briefly a couple of times with him, I couldn't really get myself to go over and say hi. Stupid, as he is by all accounts a nice guy. (Note: I was going to put "famous" in quotation marks, because, I mean ... it's the world of crosswords, so come on ... but I didn't, because here, in this world, where you are reading me, he is legit famous. I know you guys understand).

I thought this was gonna play easy. I sat down with the full intent to speed-solve, just to see what I could do. I normally take a more leisurely approach to themelesses, but the ACPT has me FIREd UP a bit, still. Things were going pretty well there for a bit. BON AMI (1D: "Hasn't scratched yet!" product) was a gimme, so I was able to get most of that corner quickly, off those crosses. But coming out of that corner was less easy. Just looking at the grid would've indicated that that was going to be the case. Moving from NW to center is like moving from the kiddie pool into the deep end—or even more unpredictable waters. The SPANISH MAIN, perhaps (18D: Setting of many pirate stories). I managed to throw DUNCAN HINES across (29A: Restaurant critic who lent his name to a brand at the supermarket), and I got the front ends of the others, but somewhere in there everything ground to a halt. I swung up into the NE and dealt with business up there (LAPDOG and the mysterious "K" in KETCH (23A: Fore-and-aft-rigged vessel) being my only real problems), and then I swung down into the SW and cleaned up down there (with an educated guess on the back end of FORT ERIE). But still I was jammed in the middle. It looked like a lot of prepositional phrases were all converging, and I just couldn't work out how they made sense:

Looked like TURNS IN- was running through TALK IN- and GOES ON- ... but only one of those parsings was actually right. You can see in the above picture how, as much as my '90s music knowledge helped me with FAITH NO MORE (easy), my '90s music knowledge utterly failed me with Howard ASHMAN (hard), of whom I had never heard (possibly because Disney musicals are not my thing, but also possibly because ASHMAN died horribly young (41), of AIDS, the year "Beauty and the Beast" came out (1991)). After getting horribly frustrated, so frustrated I stopped speed-solving and instead took a picture of the grid, I got TURN SIGNALS. And ON HAND, and then the center fell. I figured bing bang boom, I'm done. But no. The SE ended up being the hardest damn part of the grid, all isolated down there. I wrote in DIRE (!?) at 40A: Macabre (DARK), and, well, just one *&%^-up like that is enough to kill you in a very toughly-clued little corner like that. And I *had* TRIBUNE. Still, no help. Unpaid interest? for HOBBY? Brtual (good, but brutal). [Rolled item], all I could think of was PIN (rolling .... pin? I had -I-, and that was the best I could do). Wanted WIRE UP for FIRE UP (53A: Electrify). I have no idea what SHIRR means, even after reading the clue repeatedly (45D: Gather together for stitching) (?). Thank god for ARCANA, which began to even things out. But ouch. Very very uneven solve. Easy-ish for 3/4, and then rough. So, Medium.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS here's a nice slide show of some puzzle people from the recent ACPT. You can see what Patrick Berry looks like! Also, what I look like.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:44 AM  

Berry is a master.

Loren Muse Smith 6:45 AM  

Man, oh man, I thought I was going to have a massive dnf. I think I entered with "Tabu." Erased that quickly to get "lapdog" crossing "gobble."
Then my first right answer – BON AMI thanks to the N off of "No Exit." Sheesh, this was tricky.

Other goofs:

"tunic" for CLOAK
"caper" for ANTIC
"ruche" for SHIRR – I associate this word more with eggs, but it's a word I know.
"goes blonder" for GOES ON A DIET. Actually, I didn't even finish writing that in. This is Patrick Berry, people.

Here was the best part of the solve – seeing that DUNCAN/DOUGHNUT cross. I don't care if it's not Dunkin. It's not Donut, either. I totally took that as a deliberate, sly little joke. Uncovering this cross was like going to retrieve your change from the vending machine and finding some unclaimed quarters in the little cup thing.

Before DOUGHNUT, I was going for some kind of MOLD for the dessert ring.

There's also DEAD crossing DIE.

The clue for LAP CAT is one of the best I've seen in a while.

We've all talked about that phenomenon of feeling like you're not going to get even a third of a grid finished but then little by little you chip away, and before you know it – done. This is the best example of such a puzzle that I have ever seen.

The rotational symmetry – same grid if you rotate it just 90 degrees, right?

Props to you, PB. This was deftly pitched to deliver delicious satisfaction upon finishing.

Anonymous 6:56 AM  

Didn't like clue for DOUGHNUT and thought Howard ASHMAN was too esoteric. Otherwise a great puzzle, only ruined because I solved it yesterday when the NYTimes posted the wrong puzzle PDF (which ruined the Thursday puzzle when I glanced down and saw the theme). Oh well, still have BEQ's Monday to solve!

Z 7:02 AM  

Very similar solve to Rex but my Corner-O-Death was the NE. KEaCH for the boat I have no idea about, tarA for the Home I had no idea about, oRion -> dROnE -> PROBE, all of which negated my go to xword fragrance, Tabu. Only just this second realized that the "Home" that was giving me fits is really "Horne," G%} D%#* F*{^ing Sans Serif fonts. Just how many times have people been fooled into reading r-n as an m because of this font? I know I'm not alone.

Also, I'm a little irked at AWAKES. AWAKEN sounds better to my ear and still fits the clue enough. AnHMAN looks implausible, so I fixed it but I give AWAKES a demerit for inelegance. Otherwise, typical clean, smooth, Berry. Even the Masters mini-theme is timely. Although, it is a good thing "rarely" was in the clue for 21A. At least when I do this I don't end up on Sports Center.

Ted Cole 7:12 AM  

I would have gushed stupidly.

Z 7:24 AM  

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product names, and Proper nouns as a percentage of answers. 33% or more and complaints will ensue.

16/66? ~24%
It felt higher to me at times, but that's because they tend to be concentrated, 5 touching the NW, 5 in the central expanse taking up lots of letters. I'll give the clued based PPP an *.



Note, too, that six of the 16 could have been clued as non-PPP. Not an atypical number, but change those clues and the percentage goes down to 15%. I think this is the first Berry puzzle I've run the PPP Analysis on, but I strongly suspect I would find similar results on most of his puzzles. There are lots of reasons the guy is famous, thus is just another one.

kitshef 7:26 AM  

Very satisfying puzzle. The short stuff is MEH, but I’ll take an AAH here and a YEA there for the sake of BONAMI, DUNCANHINES, OTOOLE, ARCANA, FAITHNOMORE (though these do not bode well for the PPP score).

In case anyone doesn’t know the line, the full quote for 54A is “If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a ONEIRON. Not even God can hit a ONEIRON”. It’s funny if you like golf.

And in my wheelhouse, man. SPANISHMAIN off the p, TURNSIGNALS off the first n. Only slowdown was in the NE where TEAtreE was my first guess and took a while to abandon.

For anyone who has ever missed a TAPIN, search for video of Ernie Els’ six-putt from three feet at the Masters yesterday (ooh, it looks like @Z has put up a link). I like ONEIRON, PARS, TAPIN in honor of the first day of said tournament.

Glimmerglass 8:03 AM  

PB is the best. Lots of good stuff. I remember the baby chick with the slogan "Hasn't scratched yet." Does BON AMI still put that on the box? Never heard of FAITH NO MORE, so I was working with a lot of inferences down the center. dog before CAT, of course. sloop before KETCH. wIRE UP before FIRE UP. I hope obedience schools don't teach dogs to SPEAK -- it's a useless trick, not a useful command. Great Friday clues on TALKING HEAD and HOBBY. etc., etc.

Dorothy Biggs 8:04 AM  

Here in Nashville we have a word for drooling, doting, or fawning over celebrity. It's called "germing," (pronounced with a hard G) and it's used to describe something you don't want to do to celebrities or that, if you do it, you're kind of ashamed to do it. So I am very aware of the danger of "germing" when I meet a celeb. I once got a backstage pass to meet Sting back in the early 90s. We all lined up, he shook our hands and as he was getting close to me I was trying desperately to think of what to say...something smart, erudite, thoughtful, intelligent...all I managed when he shook my hand and looked me in the eye was, "Hey." That's it. "Hey." And as he passed on to the next person, the voice in my head was crying, "Nooooooooooo.....!" And that was that.

But the point is that, as I was standing there thinking about what to say, I wasn't thinking of the many things I could say, I was thinking about what NOT to say. "I really like your music!" "I'm your biggest fan!" etc. Classic "germing" lines. What I really wanted to do was grab a beer and talk about Jung, and Shakespeare, and songwriting, and music. That too was playing around in my head...but how do you talk about Jung, backstage before a concert while standing in line and everyone just making small talk? You don't. Evidently, you just say "hey." Smile. Shake the hand. And walk away with a story.

I've worked with only a couple of big names, and working with them is a lot easier by far than the drive-by handshaking thing.

But yeah...Rex I get the feeling. There really is nothing worse than germing. There is no dignity in it.

I also was playing a small, otherwise unassuming little kid's show. I was hanging around the box office right before places and a Rolls Royce pulls up (even in Nashville you don't see many of those) and these people get out and come in. The eyes of everyone in the box office were open wide with a look of panic, excitement, and well...no dignity. I was facing away from the couple and their two kids...and after they bought their tickets and made their way to their seats, everyone let out a collective gasp of relief. I caught a glimpse of the woman but didn't recognize her (evidently, in retrospect, because she had clothes on). Turns out it was Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban just coming to a little kids show Saturday matinee. I was playing the show (alone) from the front of the stage. They sat about 3 feet from me....the entire show.

I would have said something to her except all I could think of was that, of all the people in the theater, she was the only one I'd seen naked...on the big screen...in all her glory. That was the only thing I could think of...so I steered clear of talking to her for fear of what might pop out of my mouth. Btw, she's really tall. If you're Catholic and ever visit Nashville, you might see her at the Cathedral. I hear she goes there somewhat regularly...

Oh, yeah, the puzzle. The SE did me in. I finished, but that whole collection of words down there just wouldn't come. And I also struggled with the many ways to spell HINES. HINdS. Heinz. Early in the morning my access to the spelling of a cake mix brand name is pretty slow.

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Like you, my heart lifts when I see Patrick Berry's name. I tried to explain this to my (non-crossword-solving) husband, saying I know it will be hard, but I'll solve it, and the effort will be not just worth it but fun.

I don't think he even heard me.

George Barany 8:10 AM  

You got that right, @Rex ... what a thrill to meet @Patrick Berry and talk shop with him last week at the ACPT. Approachable, funny in a low-key way, modest, professional, with many interesting things to say.

My time on this puzzle was a bit over half an hour, but no Googling was necessary despite several proper names like FAITH_NO_MORE (had to come here to even learn how it's parsed) that I had no idea of. Trust the constructor!

The major way in which my solving experience differed from that of @Rex: Howard ASHMAN was a gimme (and not to digress, GIMME was what I wrote ahead of the correct TAP_IN). My kids were just the right age for me to take them to "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" when these films first came out, after a long hiatus when Disney did not produce any animated full-length features.

@Loren Muse Smith, we had met two years ago, but it was so good to see you again. DUNCAN DOUGHNUT and your avatar du jour! Evocative of the late, great @Merl Reagle driving by a Dunkin' Donut franchise and seeding a puzzle with UNKIND_DONUT.

@Z thanks for pointing out the Masters mini-theme. Did crossword standby @Ernie ELS really require 10 strokes on the first hole yesterday?! Those readers of this blog who are not yet puzzled out for the day might enjoy @Tim Croce's A Major Accomplishment, written just about a year ago but very timely this weekend.

As for the PS about the "Wordplay" slide show, thanks @Rex for pointing it out. I first saw it yesterday; you, @Patrick Berry, and other cruciverbal luminaries all look great.

Kitty 8:23 AM  

Sometimes instead of falling straight, a dress has the fabric gathered on one side of the waist to add some interest and style.

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

SHIRR about saved my life in the SE, and I couldn't thread a needle to save my life. Strange things that rattle around in our head, waiting for the right puzzle to come along. Never heard of FAITHNOMORE - too old for that to be in my wheelhouse. We grew up with cakes made from mixes, and DUNCANHINES was the choice for fancy schmancy dinners. That didn't stop me from trying to force fit DUNCANHEINZ until it just wouldn't work. But I tried. Never heard of LAPCAT (lap dog, yes, obvs) but in a big puzzle-life coinkydink, a cat crawled up and sat on me during savasana yesterday. Fun puzzle with lots of challenges.

jberg 8:37 AM  

I stared at the center for a long time. Unfortunately, I noticed early on that TALK Is cHEAp would fit at 32A, and spent more time trying to make that fit the clue than I did looking for what else might go there. And despite having read everything Conan Doyle wrote (not really) multiple times, I still put in WArhOl first. No idea about ASHMAN, got that entirely from crosses. I also figured that there must be some tool called a dROP plane, which made PARS hard to see. (I had dAta there at first).

I finally finished by running the alphabet for 57A; arated? brated? crated? drated? I got as far as J before realizing that I could put a hyphen in there.

I grew up in a yachting community; I never sailed, seldom if ever even got on a sailboat, but somehow learned that a boat could be a sloop, yawl, schooner, or KETCH, depending on the placement and relative size of the masts. Don't ask me which is which, but it was enough for this puzzle.

FORTERIE looks like a French word for strength, while ONEIRON is something in the nervous system, right?

Old Lady 8:40 AM  

Never have I finished a Friday that Rex calls medium with no errors so quickly. Guess a good night's sleep helps. I bet Patrick wishes you would have revealed yourself.

Ernie Els 9:04 AM  

Dear Crosswords - I've been a boon to you over the years, saving you from having to justify pluralizing "EL" as in Chicago trains, or even worse, pluralizing EL the letter. I've served you well, and asked for nothing, not one damned thing, in return. So why today, of all days, do you see fit to pile on my humilation? What good does it do you? You just seem small, petty and vindictive. Yeah, I'm looking at you 21A.

Just clue "ELS" with "Golfer Ernie" again, and I'll sue your asses off.

Nancy Klein 9:17 AM  


It did feel like a much higher percentage because the PPP answers were very long like "Faith No More" and "Duncan Hines". Maybe a different type of calculation is in order: PPP spaces as a percentage of total spaces. At any rate, far too many for my taste. Plus I'm still annoyed about yesterday's puzzle, in which I was expected to know the alma mater of a former athlete who played a sport I never followed as well as the name of a Mormon prophet, which inconveniently crossed one another.

Malsdemare 9:23 AM  

This is the first Berry puzzle I've finished with just one reveal, for FAITHNOMORE, a group I've never heard of. But I got the rest and feel incredibly smug.

Yeah, I would have done the cool thing, walked up the PB, held out my hand, said hi. Then: Frozen in my tracks, dopey smile on my face, and unless PB is amazingly nice to grey-haired ladies, slunk away. My niece, on the other hand, would have introduced herself and asked him a question that would have absolutely amazed him and kept him talking for ten minutes before someone dragged him away. I watched her do that to Tom Mangelson, the photographer, at a private showing and was so jealous my socks turned green. His handler kept plucking at his arm and saying, soto voce, "you must meet-n-greet, Tom." Niece is, of course, lovely, but it is her charm and aplomb that captivates.

I really did like this puzzle, probably because it was legitimately a Friday puzzle and I (almost) finished it.

Malsdemare 9:24 AM  

I have to add: for no good reason, "DOUGHNUT" reminded me of Jack Kennedy and "Ich bin ein Berliner." Giggle!

Maruchka 9:50 AM  

AAH, PB. Die Meister Zinger. DaNkA. Thanks for the slide show, @Rex.

NW was buttah. Struggled a bit more than usual (for a Berry puzz) elsewhere. LAPdog killed the NE. Couldn't see CAT for what seemed like nine lives.

Fav of the day - RED CAP. They'll drive you to early seats on Amtrak. Give 'em a nice tip.

Recently viewed a Samuel Beckett documentary and learned that he was a very good golfer. Poor Els.. a sad, bad start. Kill the putter, I say.

Nancy 9:54 AM  

As usual, I began the puzzle without looking at the constructor's name. But I did know it was Friday. "How can this be so easy?" I said to myself. Then I saw PB1's name. Now I was really unhappy. "It's Friday AND it's Patrick Berry!" I all but shouted at the puzzle. "Get harder!" And it did, but not quite enough. I had ripped through to DUNCAN HINES on the horizonal and to SPANISH MAIN on the vertical, and then I hit the clue for FAITH NO MORE. Now really! Do you remember when bands had names like The Kingston Trio and The Supremes?

But despite the PPPs, almost all the answers were in my wheelhouse: OTOOLE; DUNCAN HINES; WATSON; ASHMAN; SARA.

For 34A, I was looking for GOES blonde, but it didn't fit.

On 56A: When was the last time you saw a REDCAP at any station? We should live so long! I haven't seen a REDCAP for, give or take, 55 years. And I'm always looking, believe you me!

My favorite answer by far was 54A. If neither God nor Lee Trevino can hit a ONE IRON, who am I to even try. I have absolutely nothing to apologize for.

So a fun puzzle. But not, at least for me, a hard one.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:59 AM  

Fine, fun, medium puzz.

Hand up for LAPDOG >> LAP CAT; also 17 A, ANNOY >> ANGER.

@NCA President - Your story reminds me of a time when, at an extremely low point in his career, Roy Orbison played a small, sorry bar at the Jersey shore, and I sat the whole time what felt like six feet from him. I wish I could have mustered a "hey."

kitshef 10:00 AM  

@Ernie Els - The day started poorly with a plumber, a pinhole leak, a $200 bill and a gaping hole in the kitchen ceiling. But then I read your post and I head off for the rest of my day beaming!

KandRFenton 10:02 AM  

wIREUP/wAX vs FIREUP/FAX had me stumped until the very end.

I bit on LAPdog vs LAPCAT also.

And I tried an L in HOBBY as the political form of unpaid interest.

I had to stop on this one last night and pick it up again this morning.

KandRFenton 10:04 AM  

Perhaps a class action suit with all the female sheep in the world would be in order?

Unknown 10:14 AM  

I was definitely not on the same wavelength. Took me a long time to finish. Do people have DOUGNUTs for dessert? I know cats sometimes sit on laps, but is there such a thing as a LAPCAT? (It's not like certain breeds are lapcats, right? In fact, it's probably not even the fixed disposition of an individual cat. It's more like the mood of a cat at a given moment that makes it decide to sit on a lap.)

Nancy 10:15 AM  

@kitshef (7:26 am) -- Thanks for citing the entire ONE IRON quote. I've never heard it before and it's much, much funnier that way! I'm going to send it to my brother the golfer. He's probably familiar with it, but maybe not.

@Ernie Els (9:04 am) -- I wish I knew which of the blog regulars you are, because I'd love to give you the credit you deserve. Your post is one of the funniest things I've ever read on this blog!

Unknown 10:16 AM  

And a BAD DAY is as apt to make someone angry as it is to make him blue.

Proud Mamma 10:22 AM  

Somebody above said chip away. That explained this puzzle to a tee!

Watson and Lena were the only PPP I knew and got right away, although some, like O'Toole I guessed pretty quickly.

I think of shirr as usually past tense.

Liked (?) cluing.

Trombone Tom 10:23 AM  

I really like Mr. Berry's puzzles but found this one a little more challenging than OFL did. Except for BONAMI, which I know the name of but never heard of the phrase clued, the NW was in my wheelhouse and fell easily.

My problems came from hanging on to LAPdog way too long. I guess I was thinking that all cats are LAPCATS. (( know they are not.) Also had wIREUP before FIREUP and smOcK before CLOAK.

Never heard of FAITHNOMORE but the crosses saved that one. And I didn't realize that TEAROSE was from the orient. I would have guessed it to be English.

Really enjoyed the long downs in the middle and DEADBEAT, even if I didn't know the name of the rock band.

The wife is a long-time sewer of garments so I'm sure that's why SHIRR was somewhere in the back of my mind.

Thank you Messrs. Berry and Shortz for an enjoyable puzzle.

Sonia S 10:48 AM  

Had NAUSEe for a long time because I'm just that fancy. Yeah, don't ask me what a yee was supposed to be. Also got stuck on Home instead of Horne.

And LAPCAT ... argh.

Final stuck bit was wire up instead of FIRE UP, leading me to stare angrily at the puzzle for some minutes trying to remember what "wax" would be in a rolodex. Because I do remember rolodexes, though I would prefer not to.

mac 11:04 AM  

Amazing puzzle, tough but doable. Bottom line: I learned a lot of factoids.

Lots of wrong turns: smock for shirr, on call for on hand, lap dog, as it is for as such, no exit of course, coals for molds. But I was having a good time all the way!

I had a few sightings of Patrick Berry as well, last weekend, but I also am a little reluctant to approach someone I haven't been introduced to.

Anybody eats doughnuts for dessert?

Chaos344 11:09 AM  

First, a wrap-up from yesterday.

@Nancy: Glad you liked my comment about unconditional love Nancy. Us dog people know the difference!

Sorry that I don't have any pictures of Chaos in my computer files. He passed away a long time ago, and I never down-loaded any of his photos. Maybe I will scan a few and put them on my profile. If I do, I will let you know.

@Z: Great to know Rex is a Tiger fan. It earns him extra points on my admiration scale. :>) Yes, 2-0 is still 2-0, so I'll cut K-ROD some slack for the opening day flustercluck. He just better not make a habit of it. Yes, now the Damned Yankees! It's very doubtful that you hate them as much as I do. Remember, I live in New York and I am surrounded by their obnoxious fans! Having said that, and excluding last year, I've had my revenge lately. Can't wait for today's game to start in balmy 39 degree temperatures! LOL.

@Jen CT: Thanks for that great write-up! So glad that you are doing well. Dogs do have different personalities, so I totally understand about Oliver. Glad he's with a PTSD vet now. So obviously Rex loves dogs too!. After yesterday, his stock is soaring with me. LOL. I will check out that video link of Emmy a bit later. Best of luck to both of you!

Phil Schifley 11:23 AM  

It's lap dog not lap cat. Every cat is a lap cat since that's a size description. A lap dog fits in your lap, ergo that type of dog is apropos to the name. All cats are lap sized, therefore all cats are lap sized. That's a silly made-up crossword clue/answer. Also, "sad day" seems a better fit to me than "bad day," although bon ami makes it the latter. Still seems a bit forced. Beyond those two it was a pretty straight forward puzzle.

jae 11:26 AM  

Easy-medium for me with @Rex the SE a tad tougher than the rest. Me too for wIRE Up before FIRE UP plus sEnsor before KEYPAD and, I only know SHIRR in reference to eggs @lms.

FAITH NO MORE and ASHMAN were both WOEs so a guess was required, although not a difficult one.

Delightful grid, delightful clueing, incredibly smooth....Patrick Berry!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) 11:37 AM  

I finished with one Google ..good ?Friday for me. . But when I followed the link to the slide show, I got a story about Pope Francis. Unless he stopped by the ACPT , I assume the Times changed the lead story on you. Dang, I'd rather see Berry (and you).

Carola 11:39 AM  

AAH, what a Friday pleasure, a fine mix of knowing it right away (BON AMI, SARA, GOES ON A DIET), seeing a familiar phrase suddenly materialize (SPANISH MAIN, DEADBEAT), and gotta figure out from crosses (FAITH NO MORE x ASHMAN). Thank you to 9th grade Home Ec for SHIRR. Had to change: ANnoy, LAPdog, TALK the talk.

@Loren - DUNCAN DOUGHNUT: awesome! And I didn't think I could like the puzzle any better than I already did.

@Z - Same here on AWAKEn-->AWAKES

@kitshef - Thanks for the full quote!

@Malsdemare - For a discounting of the "Berliner" story, please see here.

Aketi 11:47 AM  

When I was in high school, I had many odd jobs. I was once hired to clean house by a woman who must not have cleaned her house in year. I Had never heard of BON AMI before I met her and had hoped to never hear of it again. She did not believe in any cleaner other than BON AMI. She made me clean windows with it which took about 10 times longer than with Windex and a paper towel or squeegee She even made me clean her oven with it. I literally worked on that oven for and entire weekend. In my state of ANGER, I had visions of what I might done to her house with a can of Easy Off. Needless to say, I do not consider BON AMI to be a good friend of mine.

GILL I. 11:56 AM  

I guess what I really like about Patrick Berry is that even if you don't know names like SARA Paretsky or FAITH NO MORE or how to spell DUNCAN's last name, you can really finish his puzzles. A glass or two of wine in the evening and some strong coffee in the morn and then a happy dance ensues. At least for me.
I can thank my parents for making me shake hands with everyone they introduced me to as well as the (oh dear god) "how do you do's" because I have no qualms about going up to someone I admire and giving them a huge smile and a big ole shake. I'd do that to you PB.
@Jen from yesterday....Oh WOW....but I'm so sorry for the problems. Emmy looks just like an Emmy and a winner to boot...Love the pictures from @Rex. Are you still raising butterflies? I planted some milkweed in a big pot...They look sad.:-(

Joe Bleaux 12:00 PM  

LAPCAT?! C'mon.

Wm. C. 12:16 PM  

@JBerg -- FYI, re yawl-vs-ketch. Both have two sails, the larger mainsail in front and the smaller mizzen in back. The difference is that the ketch has its mizzen forward of the rudder post, the yawl's is behind it. My wife and I, with another couple, did a bareboat week-long circuit of the BVIs on a forty-two foot ketch about 20 years ago. Great memories!

Sorry about Ernie Els' first hole yesterday. There he is, less than a half-hour into (arguably) the most elite week of the golf year, knowing he has absolutely no chance of winning. Bad as that is though, I'd say that the Frenchman Jean Van De Velde's blowing of a three-shot lead going into the 18th hole of the 1999 British Open was worse.

Lewis 12:18 PM  

We come to expect PB's grids to be astonishingly clean, so it doesn't get mentioned much. But it should be recognized every time because it is so rare. This is a 66-worder. Look at that huge expanse of white in the middle, yet where is the crosswordese anywhere in this puzzle? Amazing. We also expect cheeky cluing, and today doesn't disappoint: LAPDOG, PROBE, TEETHE, FUNHOUSE, GOESONADIET, and DIE (for which I originally had "oat" as the rolled item).

We are in the presence of a master constructor in the PB ERA. 'Tis a good time to be a crossworder.

Sargetron 12:21 PM  

The crossword world apologizes profusely for the indignities heaped upon you. We all feel your pain, and hopefully the editors will more sympathetic in the future. Good luck this weekend. We're all pulling for you. Hope you make the cut!!!

Charles Flaster 12:28 PM  

Played easy except lower right.
Writeovers--HOBBY for lOBBY, FAX(DNF ),
Thanks PB.

Mr. Benson 12:40 PM  

Interesting that FAITH NO MORE, clued by "Epic," was in today's crossword. I was expecting to see the video of that song linked with the writeup of Wednesday's "what is it?" puzzle, because that song famously repeats the phrase "what is it?" dozens of times.

Unknown 12:41 PM  

Re @Rex et al and celebrities: For most of my life, I have run into them, often enough I finally made a list. It includes Olympic medalists, other famous athletes, actors/actresses, musicians, authors, composers, politicians, inventors (like the guy who invented Silly Putty), orchestra conductors, TV personalities, comedians, and even an astronaut. Unlike @Rex, with those I actually conversed more than with a passing exchange, I seemed to have found a way to avoid (@NCA President) "germing." In fact, in several cases of extended time around them, I was their sort of go-to guy to get away from those that were, feigning excuses to come over and hang out with me.

Some examples of such encounters:

After a concert where I had done some work on a concert hall where Philippe Entremont was then conductor of the New Orleans’s Symphony, the two of us were hanging out in his dressing room having some really nice scotch. A knock on the door produced some patrons of the orchestra, the usual dripping with wealth type. They “germed” him over his “maaar-velous” performance. Eventually and graciously dismissing them, he closed the door, and with the look of a kid who had just been made to eat his spinach, asked me straightway, “Where’s the scotch?!!”

When I met john Denver at a summer music pavilion the morning of a one of his concerts, he walked over to me and the conversation started thusly: "Hi, I'm John Denver." [shaking hands with "no s**t Sherlock" running through my head] "Chuck McGregor, nice to meet you. [Looking around] Wow, great day for a concert here." "Sure is." (It WAS a top 10 summer's day.) We went on from there for a few moments discussing the virtues of the venue before he had to go and do stuff. The rest of the time he would acknowledge me in some way when he saw me, like a nod or one of his engaging, toothy smiles.

I met the actress/director June Havoc (sister of Louise aka Gypsy Rose Lee). Later in her life, she had purchased, funded, and lovingly participated hands-on in the restoration of a small old train depot and various other 19th-century buildings in Cannondale, CT. I walked over to where she was seated and, without any introduction, simply said, "I loved what you did with Cannondale." She looked up at me with tears welling up in her eyes. She paused to compose herself and then presented me with an obviously, very heartfelt, "Thank you." We then chatted for a while about her project.

What would I have said to PB at ACPT? Something like, “It’s a pleasure to meet you. [Then obviously looking around generally or, if possible, in particular at someone who had just “germed” him] I see you have a few fans here.”


Nebraska Doug 12:49 PM  

Doughnuts are not a dessert. Good puzzle. I was stuck in the SE until HOBBY came to me, it all fell after that.

old timer 12:52 PM  

Totally impossible for me, because I've never heard of FAITH NO MORE. Oh, I got DUNCAN HINES immediately -- he was a well-known food critic in my youth, who went on to make cake mixes. My wife's Triple Chocolate bundt cake really demands that brand of chocolate cake mix. The SW was easy enough. In the SE, I could only get SHIRR on crosses -- for me, "shirr" is a way of preparing eggs.

But without Googling for FAITH NO MORE I never would have gotten in to the NE. The answers up there were good, but far from intuitive. It did not help that my bleary eyes at first read "home" for "Horne". Once I wrote in LENA, I had the FUN in a FUNHOUSE. and could admire and stroke the amusingly clued LAPCAT.

Question: Is TEA ROSE really an oriental bloom? I always thought the TEA ROSE was an English, or at least European invention. Most of the roses in your garden are TEA ROSES you know.

Masked and Anonymous 12:54 PM  

Pretty grid. Pretty non-desperate fill.

@still009andstillnoACPTessay: yep. That's kinda why M&A don't go to ACPT, much. I mean, if U waddle up to Patrick Berry and introduce yerself as Masked & Anonymo6Us, what's the best that can happen, I ask U? PB1 likeliest answers…
* "Shortz granted me immunity from talking to dudes like you."
* "Who?!….?"
* "Go bother your Rex Parker buddy weirdo."
* "Gaaaaah! Runt puzzles!" [fills a wastebasket]
* "But, your name tag says Duunot Resussitate?"
* "You're even more polished and handsome than I imagined!" [har]

Anyhoo, back to the superfine FriPuz. Just outta curiosity, I checked out what was in the online puz PDF file today, since this puz was in there yesterday. It was the ACPT essay that @009 is no doubt intendin to post here, tomorrow. Far out, man. Kinda neat, how he handed in someone else's homework photoshoot, today, tho.

Like @muse said, best string of puzanswers = DOUGHNUT-DUNCAN HINES GOES ON A DIET.

First puz entry, off nothin: WATSON. Had to be. Last entry: FORTERIE. Dangerous-est entry: FIREUP/FAX. Wanted WIREUP, and WAX looked fine, so skimmed over readin the clue, to save precious nanoseconds. So … fave sneaky false-weeject: WAX.

Wanted LAPEEL.
Thanx, Mr. Berry. Rest easy … I'll catch yah, next tourney. Gotta split; don't wanna miss the moderation cutoff...

Masked & Anonymo6Us

runtz illustrated.

Chaos344 12:56 PM  

Berry Berry nice puzzle, but then it is Patrick, so no surprise. Finished within a minute or two of my average Friday time. Had the same initial mistakes that most everyone else had. Like LMS, I was in too much of a ruche! I made egg-zactly the same mistake at 45D. I'm SHIRR I won't make that mistake again. No serious clunkers, but I definitely didn't like changing LAPDOG to LAPCAT. Any cat that surreptitiously attempts to creep onto my lap, immediately becomes Amelia Aircat. Funny how they always land on their feet, huh?

Also, totally agree with glimmerglass about the clue for 42 across. Teaching a dog to "speak" is a parlor trick, not a command. "Quiet" is a command. There is nothing worse than a dog who constantly barks and will not shut up on command. A well trained dog barks when someone is at the door, or when it hears an unusual noise at night, but immediately ceases barking when told to.

Haven't watched a TV commercial since the mute button was invented, so had no idea about the BONAMI jingle. It filled in when I changed SADDAY to BADDAY.

@Z: Sorry to hear about your Corner-O-Death. No option to change the font? I have no problem reading the font in AcrossLite. Thanks sooo much for that link to Ernie. Totally forgot about the Masters yesterday afternoon! Don't think I've ever seen anything like that from a pro. Poor Ernie! Ten minutes till the first pitch at Comerica. Looks like I'll have to watch the Tigers on TV and the Masters on the computer? Such problems! LOL.

@NCA President: Interesting take on "germing." I've never heard the term.

ROTFLMAO! Loved your Nicole Kidman story! Agree, our little Aussie "Sheila" does like to walkabout in the bush without her knickers when plying her trade on the silver screen. I can think of three such films without even trying, but Eyes Wide Shut was, without a doubt, her pièce de résistance!

Cassieopia 1:13 PM  

I had MENKEN before ASHMAN, animation fan that I am. And who knew Duncan Hines was an actual person? Thank you to @Loren for pointing out Duncan Doughnut cross, observations like that are one reason I come here.

Favorite of the day was "Unpaid interest?" Least favorite was LAPCAT - is that even a thing?

This was an exceptionally satisfying puzzle to solve, I'm starting to understand the reason for the enthusiastic Patrick Berry fans.


Teedmn 1:37 PM  

I'm in the @Rex school of celebrity watching. I've nodded to the few "important people" I've ever run into, mostly because I wanted them to know I realized I had been staring, but introduce myself? No way. I have a friend who runs into celebs all the time and seems very comfortable starting up conversations: he once spent an evening talking to Elvis Costello after a concert in St. Paul and he has tuned Prince's piano. Must be nice to be so confident.

This was the toughest PB1 I can remember. The NE is the blottiest of the quadrants but other parts have their share. 9D was 'robot', then 'dROnE'. I had the Tabu thing going at 17A. 30D was 'armor' before CLOAK and in desperation, I put in IRA as something "rolled" even though they are "rolled over".

Thanks, PB1, for the mental exercise!

Chronic dnfer 2:31 PM  

Cheated (a little) and still dnf'd at wax/wired up. Enjoyable though. Great puzz. Going golfing now. Cheers!

Banya 2:48 PM  

Horror movie fan, here. I've never heard of ORCA. I looked it up and it stars Richard Harris & Charlotte Rampling. Added to my netflix queue!

Martel Moopsbane 2:48 PM  

@kitshef - the quote behind the answer to 54A also shows that Mr. Trevino has a great sense of humor, having been struck by lightning 3 times in his career.

Tita 2:51 PM  

Thanks @lms for those pairings, esp. DUNCAN DOUGHNUTS!
I did gush stupidly at Mr. Berry when I dragged @loren over to meet the grandmaster and asked him to sign my puzzle board!!

One of the reasons I love Fri/Sat puzzles best (except for Thursdays and Sundays and an ACME or Pepper Monday)...
I race through a small section (NW), struggle, stare, struggle, stare, go to bed, repeat, throw puzzle down saying I'll never finish, ppick it up again, and - FINISH!!!

@kitshef - lol - I'm not a golfer, inferred ONEIRON, and now will never forget thx to that quote. Thx for sharing it.

@Glimmer - a sloop is rigged midships - I thought yacht for a few desperate moments, keeping KETCH in the wings while waiting to be shown that rover and dROnE were wrong.
btw- My can of BONAMI still has the slogan...

SHIRR got me out of a bind too, though I hesitated a long time figuring it was way too ARCANe even for a PB Friday. Was smug when it turned out to be right.

Thanks Mr. Berry for a perfect Friday!

Sargetron 2:56 PM  

Ernie, the crossword world apologizes profusely for the indignities heaped upon you. We wish you well. Tap in to your resolve and come out of this stronger. We are not your bogeymen, we support you. Get back on the track to carding pars and birdies!!

Unknown 3:36 PM  

Not much time to type, here, but I greatly enjoyed this one. At one point, I had the NW corner, most of the SW, and a few answers in the SE. The center was blank, and I was beginning to worry that I might have to cheat to solve the puzzle.

I had FORTE--- (Ontario town across from Buffalo) and took a guess with FORT ERIE. From just the final IN I was able to pull SPANISH MAIN. A few short crosses later I used the final ORE to pull FAITH NO MORE, and then everything came together.

Nothing is quite so satisfying as solving a grid that you were almost ready to give up on. (... up on which you were ready to give?).

beatrice 3:57 PM  

@Z - I share two of your complaints.

Never having heard of the band-down-the-middle, and reading 'Horne' as 'home', I was a very unhappy solver. Once the 'home' error came to light the puzzle began to hum along, but I still resorted to googling the band (which I almost never do), because I was stuck in Depeche MOdE. The other is the awkwardness of AWAKES - sounds quite archaic. For those interested in pursuing the matter, the wonderful website Stack Exchange quotes from the OED's rather opaque explication. http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/148744/a-study-of-awake-and-awaken

Got held up on WATSON - I can't see how he is a 'biographer' - memoirist, perhaps.

@jberg - ONEIRON is the Greek word for 'dream' - oneirology is the scientific study of dreams.

Okay - seeing (TEA)ROSE brought to mind John Wilbye's 'Lady when I behold (the roses sprouting). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sc88mtqFR0

The leader of our consort asked if the lyrics reminded anyone else of 'Moses supposes (his toeses are roses)' from "Singing in the Rain". It did, and does, and here you are https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKlub5vB9z8

puzzle hoarder 4:22 PM  

We've had a busy day at work so I'm commenting late. If I hadn't wasted so much time on LAP DOG I'd have finished considerably faster. At least a lap-dog is an actual thing. A lap cat is a cat cat. Where's the green paint shout out. It seems with some constructors people just turn into lap-dogs. The rest of the puzzle was great. Shirr seemed completely new to me however it turns out I've seen it twice before. The SE was the last to go in. I had a TRIVIA/ARCANA write over. PROP was hard to see as I kept wondering why STOL didn't lead to anything. ASHMAN may be a debut I have yet to score the puzzle.

Sargetron 4:47 PM  

The full Trevino story is that someone once asked Trevino what he does when he's caught out on a golf course during a lightning storm and he answered, I hold up my one iron, because even God can't hit a one iron!

pauer 5:04 PM  

One of my favorite recordings is Howard Ashman singing on this demo of the title song from "Beauty & the Beast." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ctJOAho3xE#t=27

The final lines get me every time.

Nancy 5:10 PM  

So, though no one has asked, I'll tell you anyway: My brother the golfer had heard the ONE IRON golf witticism. He also knew, without my telling him, that it was Lee Trevino who said it. And, no, he hadn't looked at this blog. He doesn't know from this blog. He doesn't even do crossword puzzles.

Re golf: It's hard not to see a pattern here. There's ONE IRON and PARS and TAP-IN, but there's also WATSON. Now, here it's clued as the Sherlock Holmes biographer, but I'm just taking a peek at today's coverage of the Masters tournament. They're showing a hole being played by the venerable Old Master, Tom WATSON. What's more, the New Master, Bubba WATSON, is at the tournament too, though I didn't see him. So PB1 could have used a golf clue for WATSON as well. Did this puzzle appear this week because of the Masters -- arguably the best and most important Grand Slam event in golf? Just wondering.

Diana,LIW 8:17 PM  

@Teedmn - yes, thinking of going to Minn Puz tourney. Actually - likely. Would love to meet up with any other commentators, of course!


Clark 10:00 PM  

A LAP CAT is definitely a thing. Most cats in my experience are not lap cats. Our three cats certainly are not. (Well, the two adult cats sure are not, and I am pretty sure that the kitten will not be a lap cat when she is fully grown.)

Anonymous 10:06 PM  

I had a SADDAY with a DNF bc I've never heard of Bonami, so sonami sounded just as good.

But with FAITHNOMORE in a puzzle (a gimme for guys of a certain age), I am not to sad after all.

Z 11:08 PM  

@Chaos344 - Dead tree and pen solver here, so no options to select a different font. Why pen? Because pencil on newsprint just doesn't show up very well unless you're sitting at a desk or table.

Burma Shave 10:31 AM  


I have ONEIRON in the FIRE,UP in my bed,
But IPHONE another to ASKFOR a score,
SHE SAID SHE believed, but has FAITHNOMORE.
SHE won’t SPEAK in ANGER, and SHIRR won’t be feared,


Ted Cole 11:49 AM  

Ted Cole here in NY, agrees

spacecraft 12:07 PM  

Yeah, that ONEIRON is a bitch. I don't have one, and wouldn't get many PARS with it. I don't quite get TALKINGHEAD for "Show authority?" but it's all good; crosses filled it in. The rest is pure PB; eagle!

My LAPCAT was a dog at first. For the DOD we'll have to settle for Emma WATSON of the Potter series. Coulda been worse. See ya tomorrow.

rondo 2:35 PM  

This was a tale of two puzzles and for a while I thought the east might never meet the west. Had the west about completely filled and nothing in the east except Mr. HINES last name. The SPANISHMAIN was damn hard to cross. Partially my own damn fault because yeah baby LENA Horne’s last name in the clue looked like Home through my bifocals that obviously need to be replaced. Where the heck is the home of “The Lady and Her Music” I kept thinking. After I finally read it correctly LAPdog fell in creating further confusion helped along by the fragrant tabu. ASSUCH, that NE is one blue ink blot.

Can’t ever see BONAMI without thinking of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Probably the first movie in which I was aware of product placement. The bloodstained organ keys couldn’t be cleaned ”. . . and they even used BONAMI.” That line was repeated several times. Must’ve worked, I remember that line 50 years later. Do they even still make BONAMI?

DUNCANHINES was a gimme (or a TAPIN), but I haven’t used a cake mix since my mini-course in home-ec in high school. Do they even still make DUNCANHINES?

Anyway, it was a toughie for me, but a PB1 can almost always be solved with a bit of determination. I think I’ve earned the right to relax with some XRATED ARCANA. Or something.

rain forest 2:55 PM  

Typical Patrick Berry. Starts off easy, then gets hard, then gets impossible, then small gains are made, impossible becomes hard again, and then finishes up easy. At least for me.

I sort of grimaced at LAP CAT for reasons given above. Opens the door for other pets: LAP BOA, LAP PIG, LAP RAT, or, @M&A LAP EEL. However, I guess it works. Didn't know the band, but it just appeared as I got other answers. Only real hangup was in the SE where KEY fob held me up for quite a while, and I, for some reason, didn't think TRIBUNE would be correct. Was trying to get UTAHAN something in there.

Very nice Friday.

leftcoastTAM 3:25 PM  

This medium-challenging puzzle took time, patience and some good guessing, and it was very satisfying, finally, to solve.

Errors to start were sADDAY and LAPdog, and because of the latter, the NE was the last section to go.

Before that, needed lots of crosses to get the long middles, and they seemed so easy and obvious only after seeing them.

SHIRR sure was new to me, FAX seemed very outdated, and ASKFOR was quite a toning down of "Demand."

I liked this PB puzzle.

Diana,LIW 3:48 PM  

Read Rex but not the comments yet.

Hilarious solve for me, with many wrong guesses to botch up the works:

tabu for BRUT
oat for DIE (yeah, I doubted that one)
pins for PARS
tipin for TAPIN
noexit for NAUSEA
secret for ARCANA

This all left me scratching my head like a LAPCAT with fleas. So I came here and cheat-checked, and found the error of my ways. Also looked up FAITHNOMORE as I'd never heard of them.

Already had the SW filled in, and bit by bit got the rest. Until I had wireup for FIREUP. Wax? Wax? Is this some new cell phone I'm not aware of? Ohhhhhhh, FAX - of course.

@Rainy - I don't think you're thick-skinned. I think you legitimately had run into w/hope at work, probably heard it several times, and therefore, as with so many words and phrases, it neutralized itself. In all the places I've lived (NYC, Philly, NJ suburbs, San Diego, Albany, La Jolla, Bend (Ore), Port Townsend, Chicago, Spokane, Pacific Grove) I have never come across the beast in the wild, or in situ as we say in the crossworld. So I only have the 100-year-old reference - hence my reaction was instant. And I agree that afro is about as offensive as ponytail or crewcut. So thanks for explaining your experience. (Which reminds me of an example - "Splain that to me Lucy" has become part of the vernacular. And, yes, some would sneer. But Ricky didn't, and neither did their kids. It even morphed into the more recent "man-splaining")

And speaking of Syndies - where is Ron Diego? Cathy? Kathy? eh? Anyone?

And, BTW, you can see Ferris Bueller on the big screen this weekend in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Check TCM for theaters.

Diana, Waiting for the Ferrari

Longbeachlee 4:53 PM  

Blue period had to be Monday. Why didn't the Bounding Main fit? Am I the only one?

Diana,LIW 11:10 PM  

Final note for today, with more followup tomorrow, but I just must say that today, while solving, the two pets needing a sitter were, indeed, CATS. Lovey, dovey, smoochie, smoochie cats!!!!

Diana, Kitty Mom, Lap Provider

kathy of the tower 1:47 AM  

@rondo: I laughed when I read your comment about "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken". I am fairly sure that is one of the only times I've come across BonAmi. I must have been about eight years old back then.
@Diana LIW: I'm considering going to the crossword tournament in ST. Paul. We'll all have to meet up.

I worked my way through the puzzle slowly but surely. My second gimme was arcana. Oh, how the crossword mind works.

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