Archaeological find of 1974 / FRI 11-25-16 / Cello attachment near bridge / Actress Raines of Tall in Saddle / Pax century preceding WW I / West Lips Sofa Dali piece

Friday, November 25, 2016

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: ELLA Raines (6D: Actress Raines of "Tall in the Saddle") —
Ella Wallace Raines (born Ella Wallace Raubes, August 6, 1920 – May 30, 1988) was an American film and television actress. // Born Ella Wallace Raubes near Snoqualmie Falls, Washington, Ella Raines studied drama at the University of Washington and was appearing in a play there when she was seen by Howard Hawks. She became the first actor signed to the new production company he had formed with the actor Charles Boyer, "B-H Productions", and made her film debut in Corvette K-225 in 1943. Immediately following her role in that film, she was cast in the all female war film Cry 'Havoc', made the same year. In 1944, she appeared soon after D-Day as a most classy pin-up in the GI magazine, Yank. She starred in a series of big films including the film noir Phantom Lady, the comedy Hail the Conquering Hero, and the John Wayne western Tall in the Saddle. Soon, she began appearing in such films as 1945's The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry with Geraldine Fitzgerald and George Sanders and the 1947 thriller The Web. With the exception of Brute Force, in which Raines appeared with Burt Lancaster, none of her later films were nearly as successful as her previous movies and her career began to decline. (wikipedia)
• • •

Two puzzles. N/NW was the first—hard—and then the rest was the rest—mostly very easy. Took as long to do the N/NW as it did to do the rest of the grid. Maybe if I'd known who ELLA Raines was, or knew my cello attachments, or could see my way to any confident entries besides BOA and ARID, things might've been different up there, but ye gods. 1A: Strongly disparage (BASH) could've been many things. 14D: Marathon runner's bane (HILL) could've been many, many things. I went through all the 4x4s I knew, and while "piece of wood" crossed my mind, BEAM did not. Had RNS for MDS (32A: Ward healers, for short). Nice clue on TRAWL, but very hard (19A: Drag out of a bed?). So I had to claw for every damn answer up there. I think I got SEER and then inferred WAR at the end of 4D: Open hostilities (HOT WAR), and then put the "L" after the "W" before eventually getting TRAWL. Once IMPALA fell (23A: 1958 Chevrolet debut), then I crawled back up and across those long Acrosses (neither of which was anywhere near obvious).

But after that—no resistance. BYPRODUCTS went down easy (15D: Unlooked-for results). I stupidly went with RASSLE instead of RUSTLE at 25A: Take stock? and BAH instead of HEY at 9D: Affronted shout, and those errors caused some trouble, but not much. LEGOLAS helped me get the NE sorted (11D: Orlando Bloom's "The Lord of the Rings" role), and then I backed into LESSON PLAN and immediately dropped all those 5-letter Downs in the middle. Eventually, I was barely looking at clues. Got HEAVENSENT without looking (40A: Arriving at just the right moment). ESAU and TERM, same thing. HORATIO (37D: Speaker of the line in 40-Down) didn't even require my checking the cross-reference. I remembered "HAMLET" had come up earlier, so I assumed that was the reference, and was right. Had to wait a bit on the end of SPACE ___ at 56A: Landing gear? (SPACE SUITS), and had to change I'M FIRST to ME FIRST (39D: Selfishly eager cry), but no problems otherwise. Goes without saying that this is a well-made puzzle. Patrick Berry Fridays (or any days) are rarely anything else. Not exceptional by his standards, but his standards are ridiculous. And so to bed. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgivings. See you Saturday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


G.Harris 12:21 AM  

Never heard of Legolas so that made things harder. But I've learned that with Berry if I persever I will prevail. He seems to be on the same wavelength with me .

RAD2626 12:25 AM  

So much fun to do any Patrick Berry puzzle. Always great cluing, great structure, fun long fill and no junk. What a wonderful way to end Thanksgiving, although TATERS are way down on the list of side dishes you generally think of for today. Did not know TEA CADDIES were used for gunpowder but it fit. Totally agree that NW had the hardest cluing, BAPTISM as well as the ones Rex mentioned, but the bottom half was much easier. Liked all of the long fill a lot.

newspaperguy 12:39 AM  

RAD2626 Gunpowder tea.
Lovely Friday puzzle.

Mike 12:45 AM  

Tore through this in surprisingly short time. Also: I caught up on several indies today and I swear gunpowder tea was mentioned in at least three others.

Dr Phoenix 12:45 AM  

Just tough enough that I was able to finish under an hour without stopping. Perfect Friday level. One mistake I had BEAT for 4x4 clue not BEAM. Also not up on cello attachments left TUTE when it was MUTE.

Anonymous 12:47 AM  

If I hadn't lived in Africa, I would not know about gunpowder tea (which is green tea). Still, it was a hard clue. Never heard of alexanders. I had to look up impala to finish up the northwest. Baptism by immersion is common in my faith but it did not come to mind readily. Good puzzle.

G.Harris 12:53 AM  

At first I had diss for bash and dorm for hall. Hamlet and Horacio were gimmes. Once I got the x from Alexander it enabled me to see tax return . All in all a fun exercise.

CDilly52 2:54 AM  

Ah, the old Brandy Alexander after a full thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings, including the taters. Perhaps a soothing cup of gunpowder after the last load of dishes. Thank you Mr. Berry!

chefwen 2:54 AM  

Just the opposite for me. NNW was the easiest, then came the rest. With 1D I just imagined why someone would immerse me in water, Ah yes, to baptize me was the only thing that came to mind. The rest of that corner filled in beautifully. It was LEGOLAS, TEA CADDIES, BRITANNICA and SPACE SUITS that caused me much HEMming and hawing. Kept plugging along which is what you do with Patrick's puzzles and before I knew it, VOILA I was done.

@RAD2626 - Gotta have mashed TATERS with turkey, the gravy screams out for them.

jae 3:05 AM  

Way too easy for a Fri. Solved this after booze and turkey and never hit a bump, perhaps because IMPALA was a gimme as unlike @Rex I was alive in ' 58. I did have LESSON Prep before PLAN for maybe a nanosecond (TM M@A). I know, PB = smooth, well made...and this was that, but it was also kinda non-sparkling.

mathgent 3:48 AM  

Learned (from Wikipedia) that Paul was an apostle albeit not one of the original twelve. Also hadn't heard of LEGOLAS before which made NE tough.

I just went over the puzzle and put red checks by the nice clues and sparkly entries -- there were eight (a lot).

Every PB is a work of art and this is one of his best. All hail the genius! An unqualified A.

Charles Flaster 4:11 AM  

Always a fun, smooth puzzle from PB. Should have been a Wednesday. No bumps or write overs. All the snags as others have mentioned, were easily crossed.
Creative cluing for BYPRODUCTS, RUSTLE, and TAX RETURN.
Sensing an automobile theme--IMPALA, TUNDRA, ACCORD crossing RACECAR(nice palindrome), SEDAN, and
Thanks PB

Unknown 5:25 AM  

This @Patrick Berry puzzle had, as @Rex already noted, three sections that are rather cut off from each other. It took me about half an hour in a tryptophan-induced stupor (no TATERS at our meal, though) to work through, but ultimately was quite satisfying especially with respect to the creative cluing (my favorite: "Paul or Simon" for APOSTLE).

I teach my chemistry students about BYPRODUCTS all the time, though I don't recommend that they ALCOHOL_RUB their work. Two of my Minnesota faculty colleagues recently won RISING_STAR designations (click here and here for further details).

I learned to drive from my Dad in the family IMPALA, and the first car I bought for myself was also an IMPALA. I've been to funerals where the "sweet prince" metaphor was used, so HAMLET was easy ... but just now realized that Ophelia is the same number of letters as HORATIO. Guess I should have paid closer attention when reading our treasured Encyclopedia BRITANNICA.

Second appearance this week of CATSUP, and don't forget it was also in a Sunday September 11 puzzle this year. ICYMI, yesterday was @David Steinberg's birthday: solve this unusual puzzle and contact me off-Rex for other formats. HEY, continue to enjoy this holiday!

Unknown 6:14 AM  

Set a new Friday best (15:24). The NW was the only sticking point, but it didn't take too much fiddling to solve it.

Even by Patrick Berry's standards, this is a smooth grid. When Matt Gaffney filled in for Rex this summer, he used the three worst entries test. What would the three worst entries in this grid even be? EPEE, MDS, and perhaps one of the oft-used first names, MAE or ELLA? The complete lack of junk is amazing.

Well-written clues. I particularly enjoyed BAPTISM (Immersive experience), TEA CADDIES (Gunpowder containers), and TIVO (It lets you see what you missed).

My favorite clue was the relatively simple one for HEAVEN SENT (Arriving at just the right moment). There's nothing really fancy about the clue—it's a straight-forward definition, presented in simple words, without a hint of awkwardness in the phrasing—but this innocuous clue misdirects the solver by suggesting a different part of speech. It's not a trick clue. It's not calling attention to itself. But it displays first-rate workmanship. Pure class.

Oh, and I liked SPACE SUITS below a RISING STAR.

Jon Alexander 6:26 AM  

Solved exactly like @rex....started in the NW/N and could not get traction aside from BOA ARID and MDS. LEGOLAS was the gimme in the NE that got me started, then the rest of the puzzle fell (SE, SW, then middle). Finally got BYPRODUCTS to carry me up into the north. Guessed it was something -RUB, then managed to flesh out the rest of the north. HOTWAR came to me HEAVENSENT and that managed to get me enough traction to finish.

Smooth Berry puzzle as always. Great cluing (loved the clues for TRAWL and BAPTISM).

Horatio 6:46 AM  

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Diywriter 7:22 AM  

Small kvetch: having worked as a carpenter, I note that a 4x4 can be a beam, but very rarely is. 4x4s are almost always posts, not beams. Beams are usually not square in profile, and are set "on edge" for strength. 4 x 6s, 4x8s, etc. are far more common beam sizes.

kitshef 7:42 AM  

Occasionally, like once a year, my solve mirrors @Rex’s to a degree. Started in the NE, oozed across the center, hit a wall in the N/NW but with xxxWAR, ARID, SEER and IMPALA filled in.

Cut diagonally down to the SE, where I had I’M FIRST before ME FIRST, and SPACEShIpS before SPACESUITS, then across to the SW.

Then had to slowly chip away at the N/NW. waLL before HILL. BASH was first thought but hesitated to put it in, finally got ProclivITY out of my head for PARTIALITY, and eventually figured out what the 4x4 clue meant (quad was first in there).

For anyone who has just found NYT crosswords and this board, they have had a great introductory week. New (to me) and fun themes on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, less crosswordese in a week than we sometimes get in a day, a David Steinberg and a Patrick Berry, and if they are like me, an education in how to spell ‘portmanteau’. Plus tons of math on Monday!

evil doug 7:50 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
evil doug 7:51 AM  

My rub was mentHOL for a while.

Love SPEW. Sounds like when you do.

Couldn't make 'waterboarding' fit in 1D.

Best band name ever: "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes".

Anonymous 7:56 AM  

NW killed me for a long long time because I had menthOLRUB in there, and never pulled it even when I was pulling out every other answer in the region. The rest of the puzzle was easy.

Zygotic 8:06 AM  

Not exceptional by his standards, but his standards are ridiculous. Yep. Someone was asking about junk fill. Look at the lack here and maybe it will start to make sense. Look at EPÉE, the junkiest, most over-used ese here. First, a decent clue. More importantly, look what it is holding up, APOSTLE, LEGOLAS, and LEADEN. HEY, that's pretty good stuff and those aren't even the marquee answers. Or look at what the second most ese answer holds up, HAMLET in his RACE CAR. Why? BECAUSE Berry knows how to put the YUMmy into a puzzle. And look what is missing, compass directions, roman numerals, Eno/Ono/Yma, all that random minutia we only know because we do puzzles. I don't know how PB is able to do it so much cleaner than anyone else seems able to, but I'm glad he does.

@anonymous late last night - Thanks. I was mostly asking to be snarky, but I found your response illuminating. Reminds me of living in a new neighborhood early in our marriage that had been built on an old farm. The developers had named it "Arbor Heights." No trees. No hills. They had planted some saplings in the courtyards, none bigger than 6' at the time. Our back patio looked out on a cornfield. At least the rent was cheap.

r.alphbunker 8:11 AM  

{27A Future reporter} SEER saved me in the NW. It broke a stall of 2.5 minutes with only ALARMED, PARTIALITY and MDS entered in the NW. SEER gave me 1D {Immersive experience} _ _ _ _ISM which provided the I for IMPALA which provided the L for HILL (@kitshef: really glad I didn't think of WALL} which gave me the H of ALCOHOLRUB which made HOTWAR and SCRAPES obvious. Briefly had {19A Drag out of a bed?} CRAWL and then it was over and a nice sense of accomplishment set in. Details are here.

Dorothy Biggs 9:08 AM  

The NW hit me the same as it did many of you...I wanted gASH really bad (for some reason) and I also wanted cAPcIzE, inaWAR, and host of other terrible ideas all coming together like a dysfunctional family Thanksgiving Day dinner without a TV to distract us and too much wine to keep us from talking politics....ahem...sorry. Yeah, it was a mess.

I'm not sure how I got out of it. HOTWAR appeared, as did SEER and MDS...then BASH and BAPTISM. It got sorted out eventually and order was restored.

The NE had issues too...I wanted a college building to be a quad (wrong) or dorm (equally completely wrong) admittedly I had to Google pentathlon to get EPEE...then the entire thing fell into place.

The rest of the puzzle was easy and fun to do.

Amie Devero 9:20 AM  

NW was hard for me too... "hot war"??? WTH??? And speaking as an athlete, I've never heard of an alcohol rub. So I had menthol rub (which is a real thing) for a while... and hill was as you said: Could have been heel, heat ad nauseum.

jberg 9:28 AM  

This one was easier than it seemed like, as I was on the right wavelength for most things. But it went in fits and starts -- the central sash, then a temporary stoppage; then the NW, and a longer stoppage before I could find a way into the SE, not helped by loTion before CATSUP and then COpE before COME.

My biggest problem in the whole puzzle, though, was spelling BRITtaNICA wrong. Once that was resolved, it all went right in.

Lewis 9:29 AM  

We come to expect a clean grid from PB, and we always get it, but the solving experience mainly comes through the cluing, and PB is sterling on that front. My favorite clues were for TRAWL, RUSTLE, SEER, and HEM, but there were other wordplays in the cluing as well. I wanted "wall" for marathoner's bane -- the obvious answer to a former marathoner -- but HILL works fine and made for a great misdirect. As a bonus the puzzle has one of the most famous palindrome words ever. And, as usual, with PB, persistence paid off.

When I saw Patrick's name on the puzzle last night, my heart swelled with thanks-giving, and once again, he didn't disappoint.

QuasiMojo 9:36 AM  

I always look forward to a Patrick Berry puzzle. It's like the difference between an Old-Fashioned and a Harvey Wallbanger. He's got class. I do have one quibble however. Wasn't Lucy an anthropological find? I think of archaeology as digging up buildings or signs of civilization. Lucy was just a pile of old (albeit, very old) bones. And a great find. But then I am probably not up on the niceties of scientific nomenclature. It would be cool to see Zinjanthropus in the puzzle some day. Thanks Mr. Berry for a fun Friday marathon with no insurmountable "hill" to speak of. But then I'm an Ella Raines fan from way back.

Nancy 9:56 AM  

There were many parallels between my solving experience and those in Rex's first paragraph. I, too, found the NW by far the hardest section and I wanted AREA for the 4x4 for the longest time, but it didn't fit with BOA at 5D -- of which I was fairly sure. After all, what 3-letter word beginning with an A is a showgirl prop? An ASP? She would be a pretty unusual showgirl.

What got me into the NW were the --LL at 14D. I knew that marathoners had to deal with The WALL at around Mile 19 and that they also hate HILLs (as who among us does not?) So one way or another the LL would be there. I also wrote in SEER with confidence and BOA and MDS with somewhat less. Once it started to come together, my experience completely changed and I started to fly through the rest of the sections. Yes, there was an annoying Lord of the Rings clue, but it was fairly crossed. I loved the clue for BAPTISM (1D) -- I was looking for some sort of Virtual Reality Thingie. Ditto RISING STAR and HEAVEN SENT. But, oops, here's CATSUP again:) A very enjoyable puzzle and over too soon.

Steve M 10:00 AM  

Solved from the bottom up and got tougher as I got to nw

Teedmn 10:09 AM  

NICE! That was my last entry into this puzzle and also the best word to describe it. As usual, PB1 gives us an interesting solving experience, postprandial with the TATERS and the YUM.

It was a BAPTISM of smoothness, with no ugly BY-PRODUCTS or LEADENness. Why was this a great puzzle? BECAUSE!

And it was deceptively Friday-easy, as Patrick Berry's so often are. I did have trouble starting, putting in "dorm" for HALL but somehow RUSTLE helped me find the exit from that SCRAPE. And in my marathon experience, hitting the waLL was worse than any single HILL but I persevered and made it to the finish line, not in record time but with a satisfying sense of accomplishment. Thanks, PB1.

seanm 10:14 AM  

this one took me way longer than it should have. had the NE and SE and S all done in <10 minutes, and then just could not get through the middle. floundered for the next 20 minutes making almost no progress at all, and then finished in 50. having ISAIDSO instead of BECAUSE really put me down a bad path and prevented me from getting the BRITANNICA (with the I start i assumed it was some sort of reference to the industrial revolution) and the entire SW. TAXRETURNS took too long. didn't know there was a gunpowder tea. didn't know ALCOHOLRUB was a thing. but still i'm disappointed i didn't do better. there are some PB puzzles that really work for me, and some that emphasize that he's more rex's generation than mine.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:37 AM  

Solved in reverse order, having started with HORATIO crossing SHARIF. Ending with SCRAPES and HOTWAR.I didn't think SPEW passed the 'don't mind thinking about it during breakfast' test. Mainly because I immediately thought that someone who was at my Thanksgiving dinner may well have been doing it. Sigh. I invited some youths to add energy to the gathering of sober old folks. It sort-of worked.

Interestingly, included with this morning's home-delivered Times were all the special sections from the coming Sunday, including the Magazine! So I could get a jump on all of you, if I didn't have so darn much to do today and tomorrow. And Sunday.

kitshef 11:00 AM  

@jberg - you were not alone on the BRITtaNICA spelling. I did the same, and so did r.alphbunker.

Anoa Bob 11:00 AM  

EPEE was just on Jeopardy. The clue, about Olympic Pentathlon equipment if I recall correctly, was from a category of words with one consonant.

Also recently on Jeopardy, the correct response to a clue about one of Columbus's ships would have been "What is the Niña", pronounced "neen yah". The contestant, however, mispronounced it "nee nah", and, without skipping a beat, Alex said "correct", and moved on. I hold the NYT xword responsible for this degradation.

I first thought of (SCUBA) DIVING for an immersive experience at 1 Down, but memory of my grandparents 1958 IMPALA ruled that out. And it would require a POC to fill the slot..

Another memory from that time is of a natural amphitheater of a sort near where I grew up in rural Tennessee. It had a pool, four or five feet deep, in the bend of a creek, with a small, sandy beach gently sloping into the water. It was surrounded by woods and a small hill with a panoramic view made it an ideal spot for a BAPTISM. One I can still picture in my mind, with crystal clarity, of the the preacher leading the initiate, clothed all in white, into the water and lowering her completely under, while chanting sacred verse. The image has an eerie, almost surreal feel to it. The locals would have called that an "old timey" BAPTISM.

Nancy 11:15 AM  

@Anoa Bob (11:00) I have reached the Great Age of I Won't Tell You and never in my life have I heard the Columbus ship pronounced the Neen-yah. Not by elementary school teachers. Not by high school teachers. Not by college teachers. Not by historians on TV. Not by historians not on TV. Never. It may be a different matter in Spain, but we're not in Spain. If Alex had corrected the Jeopardy contestant, I would have *pronounced* him either pedantic or pretentious.

Andrew Heinegg 11:32 AM  

Had the same solving experience as most including Rex; If you are an experienced solver and not even necessarily a capable one, seeing PB's name above the puzzle is essentially a guarantee that you will probably not be able to 'walk' through the puzzle but, you know you can finish it without cheating because you are assured that it is a puzzle constructed without gimmickry or oddities. There is rarely, if ever, an off answer that makes you feel that it is not right after getting it. You just have to be persistent and use logical deduction and inference(s).

My personal nit for the day is hill for a marathoner. As a former marathoner (prior to losing my meniscus to surgery and developing hip arthritis, probably from too much running), I think of a woe as a cramp or, as Lewis suggested and which would have been the best answer for the clue, 'wall'. But, that is minor. As always, it was a good workout without stress like it used to be doing a ten mile run at an 8 minute pace. Sigh.

old timer 11:37 AM  

I grew up in Southern California, home to among other places La Canada (pronounced Lahcun Yada), so I was taught about the Neenya, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Southern California place names are an interesting collection of Spanglish: "Santa Monica" pronounced as it sounds in English, but "La Hoya" (La Jolla) down there next to San Diego.

I always start wherever I can find a toehold, in this case BRITANNICA (which I at first misspelled with one N and two T's) and HAMLET BECAUSE, and HORATIO EMIRATE, etc. on the other side. RUSTLE got me into the NE, and I glanced up and noticed the puzzle was by Patrick Berry. I knew then that if I persevered I would get the very difficult NW corner. I had "Edna" instead of ELLA, and RNS instead of MDS, but iMPALA and SEER gave me BAPTISM and BASH.

Always a smooth solving experience with PB.

Phil 11:37 AM  

I don't remember secondary character's names that often so legolas... thought maybe he played le golem.

Anyway had to do a puzzle check on BAPTISe eDS. Putting in emergency doctors, eDS, first and missed the baptism error.

Bah, who cares.

Great puzzle again PB., thanks

Phil 11:42 AM  

Oh and had waLL for marathon runners bane.

Jane Thorne 11:49 AM  

I shudder to think of how the people you cite pronounce Don Quixote.

AZPETE 11:52 AM  

Thanks for straightening us out!

AZPETE 11:56 AM  

Think you're correct.

AliasZ 12:16 PM  

This post-Thanksgiving-day super-smooth PB puzzle was HEAVEN SENT. It helped me overcome a day of overeating. ALCOHOL -- aye, there's the RUB!

Who hasn't heard ALEXANDER'S Ragtime Band by Irving Berlin?
HORATIO Parker (1863-1919) was an American Romantic composer, organist of Trinity Church NYC and Boston, and teacher of Charles Ives at Yale University.
But I had no idea they had a RACECAR in the 16th century.

Why am I offering three musical links today? BECAUSE.

Happy recovery.

Hungry Mother 12:22 PM  

Very fast Friday for me. My first puzzle most days is a "commuter" puzzle, which I try to solve without looking at the down clues. This frequent exercise alllows me to ignore clues I find unhelpful. So I never got the clue for TEACADDIES, but the phrase just fell into place.

QuasiMojo 12:24 PM  

@Phil Phil, I did the exact same thing and I didn't care either. haha.

puzzle hoarder 12:40 PM  

This was a classic PB puzzle. Brilliant on the construction but routine from a solving standpoint. Those first two acrosses were strangely amongst the few difficult elements. Like most people I don't think of 4x4s as BEAMs. That clue for MUTE is a Shortz era debut. It's been used for a trombone but never for a stringed instrument. TRASH is much stronger than BASH for 1A. The way it popped up for me even though it obviously couldn't fit kept me from seeing BASH. I got it from HOTWAR and BAPTISM. That's quite a solving inversion. A similar glitch occurred with LEGOLAS. GIMLI blanked out the elf's name until YOGA (gimmie) gave me the G. Unfortunately there's not much to say about that amazing middle section. It was like shooting ducks in a barrel.

Zygotic 1:19 PM  

La Niña. I grew up in a bastion of Dutchness and all my teachers pronounced it with a tilde over the second N. I have never heard anyone say it as Nina.

I see I'm not alone in misspelling BRITANNICA, but it looks like I'm the only one who wondered why there were too many squares for BRITANNia. BRITAiNniA maybe?

dick swart 1:48 PM  

Joining with others to say "Thank you, Mr Berry" for this Day-after-Thanksgiving-Morning xword. Fun! And looked like it was going to be a lot harder than it was.

Perfect with a cuppa, a chocolate croissant, and a slight headache.

Larry Gilstrap 2:02 PM  

A little Bible, a little Shakespeare and I'm off like a palindromic RACE CAR, not that '63 Chevrolet IMPALA SEDAN my buddy drove. The bane of the Boston Marathon is Heartbreak HILL, or so I've heard. It's hard not to like words spelled like TRAWL, brawl, crawl, scrawl, drawl, and my absolute favorite, sprawl. Sweet memories of that one.

For many years, I toiled in the classroom as a teacher. Ask any educator, planning can be a pain. Young teachers drop like flies from the resulting anxiety; what am I going to do today? Even in the environment of a supportive staff, teaching five or six classes with two or three different preps is a withering chore. Experience helps, of course. But, some school environments are actually hostile to teachers. I've been there. Imagine a school district with an anti-public education school board. I've been there. A common form of harassment involves LESSON PLANS. The principal, or his surrogate, is pressured from above to create additional redundant paperwork for already harried, but dedicated teachers. Those days are far from over.

Soliciting free legal advice here: is my or anybody's TAX RETURN public record? I'm guessing not.

Leapfinger 2:31 PM  

I did not know about the Ives-y covered HALLs at Yale, yet opted for HALL over DORM as well as Heartbreak HILL over WALL. Alas, RNS prior to MDS.

Despite thinking the HAMLET/HORATIO clue combo painfully easy for a Friday, all the remaining SPACE SUITS me perfectly. HEAVEN-SENT, yes? D'ACCORD.

Enjoyed a lovely gathering, as all the most controversial persons were last-minute dropouts. One favourite moment for me was when a well-loved nephew mentioned going to pick up some meat at what he described as a not-fancy, just 'a bare-bones butcher shop'. 'Bare-bones butcher', I just loved that.

Hmm, apparently LESSON PLANS are not by TATERS taught.(Hi, LG, my sympathies!)

Black Friday today, so it's a great time for all so inclined to go out and BY PRODUCTS. Me, I'm in lazy tryptophan-clearance mode.

Numinous 3:10 PM  

@Nancy, I've been around a little while too but, like @old timer, I'm from California and I have never heard la Neña pronounced without the ~ tilde.

@Jane Thorn, I used to live around Anglo-Saxon types and I've heard the Don's name pronounced as Quick set. But then, I knew someone who pronounced the city in Arizona Alba queer quay and the Mexican state as Chee hooa hooa. Speaking of my dog who is half chee hooa hooa, shes grown a bunch and now looks like stretch Town Car limo with a lift kit.

I worked my way through the clues with almost no entries until I got near the bottom. That all filled pretty easily as I worked my way up to the NW which gave me the most trouble. In the NE I did start entering samwise until RUSTLE turned me on to LEGOLAS. I read LOTR so long ago I wasn't really interested in the movie. I remember the Ralph Bakshee failure and was expecting more of the same. It seems like no matter how good a movie is, it never does a book the justice it deserves. The Harry Potter series, in my experience, is a rare exception in that it does a much better job than most. Is it possible that the HP books are less reflective than most? I did notice, as I read through them, that the writing matured along with the characters. I admired that about them.

I didn't realize this was a Patrick Berry puzzle until I went to xwordinfo to see the comments there. Jeff, of course, gave this his POW. Patrick, of course, had nothing but his enigmatic smile. He always looks smug to me but, then, so does Mona. This was ultimately getable with no googles and in twenty minutes under my average Friday time. If I ever get around to solving these in @Rexian times I'm afraid I'll stop enjoying them.

tb 3:13 PM  

@Nancy: I went to a small public school in a small town in the southern midwest, which is decidedly not a bastion of political correctness or of linguistic sophistication. However, in school it was always pronounced with the tilde -- "neen yah." I have never heard it pronounced without the tilde (or enye.)

So perhaps, Ms. "this isn't Spain," you are the pretentious one.

Anoa Bob 3:16 PM  

@Nancy, I see my attempt at humor by saying I held the NYT xword responsible for the degradation of Spanish pronunciation fell flat with you.

I do, however, believe it's neither pedantic nor pretentious to try to pronounce words correctly, whatever the language. I've always thought that was the mark of a well-educated person.

Anonymous 3:30 PM  

HEY, youse guys! How many T's in BRITain? Ditto for BRITANNICA.

Leapfinger 3:32 PM  

Isn't there a topical ALAR MED to reduce that
pesky 'mask of pregnancy'

Chronic dnfer 3:47 PM  

We've seen hotwar before. Cheated to get bash then went pretty quick. Great puz.

Trombone Tom 3:50 PM  

As always it's a real pleasure to encounter a PB puz. His humorous and interesting cluing makes for a good experience. This might have been a little easier than some of his offerings, but still lots of fun.

Agree with most of you that the NW was a challenge and made entry a little slower.

Hand up for diSs before BASH. Went through a lot of pains and injuries before getting to HILL.

Thank you, Patrick Berry.

The great longer entries are too numerous to recite here.

old timer 4:06 PM  

The Brits pronounce "Quixote" "quicksot" or at least used to. The usage survives in "quixotic". I think anyone born in California or the Southwest would use the Spanish pronunciation, and the Academia Real (the Madrid arbiter of all things Spanish) changed the spelling to "Quijote" some time ago,

Anonymous 4:46 PM  

Lucy was a paleontological find, not an archaeological find. See Louis Leakey. Then say paleontological fast three times.

Anonymous 4:49 PM  

How many Ts in Brittany? Same root. I spelled it wrong the first time too.

Tom 5:02 PM  

Easy Friday solve. Easier than the usual Friday for me. Since I'm a car guy, got IMPALA off the bat, then BAPTISM from the clue that just clicked for me. SEER, and HOTWAR fell into place, and before I knew it I finished the whole thing with nothing else to do on a lazy Friday. I usually like to struggle a little, then the satisfaction of solving is a little greater. Seen the clue referencing gunpowder a lot the last couple of weeks. Gotta go find something to do to keep me out of trouble.

Crane Poole 5:18 PM  

A festival of write-overs. MINERALICE for ALCOHOLRUB, etc. etc. Never heard of gunpowder tea. And what a struggle in the NW, but completed the thing in average time without punching a wall. Nothing really unfair - a good tough puzzle.

Anonymous 6:04 PM  

"Old timer" is perfectly correct that Don Quix-it" is perfectly correct in England, as is Don Joo-ahn"', the way Byron himself said it. Besides, does anyone in the US call the capital of France Par-ee instead of Paris? Or call Spain "Espana"? But, one supposes, pedants will be pedants.

Nancy 7:48 PM  

Wow! Just got home to find to discover to my great surprise that many people here were taught to pronounce Nina Neen-yah in school. Mea culpa, everyone. I think it may be more a generational than a regional thing. Remember, I was in elementary school and high school in the '50s, so maybe people have become more sophisticated about Spanish pronunciation in all the intervening decades. I'm pretty sure, too, that I never saw a tilde over the second N in any history text. It might be interesting for some of you to see if you can find any textbooks from that long ago era to confirm that the tilde is indeed missing. Probably, though, they can't be found -- too many decades have passed. I wonder when the tilde did come in in American textbooks? Anyway, I'm sorry if I was wrong.

Anonymous 8:35 PM  

@Nancy, I'm with you. I never heard anyone using a tilde when growing up. It may be generational. I doubt the Lone Ranger's pal would be called Tonto (Idiot in one translation dictionary) in today's sensitive world, but it never bothered anyone at the time. In college (late '60s) I pronounced lieu as the French do (how I learned it in France) and was corrected by my English who said we are in America. Awareness of foreign pronunciation did not exist in most schools, nor did anyone care. Times seem to have changed in that regard.

JC66 12:36 AM  

I thought it was pronounced OPERA.

Anonymous 5:19 AM  

The Brits say Jag-u-are, so I guess they say Jew-a-ca-molee or Jew-a-ta-mala.

Greg 11:08 AM  

Thoroughly enjoyed it, and as per usual for Mr Barry, no groan-inducing fill. Thumbs up.

Bill MacGillivray 3:48 PM  

Paul was not an apostle, there were only 12 apostles, 13 if you count Matthew.

Zygotic 4:14 PM  

@Bill MacGillivray - You get an F in Bible Studies.

Anonymous 4:56 PM  

Paul was not a Disciple. Easy mistake.

Jeanne d'Arc 11:42 PM  

Oh Dear God. Please let's not have any more religious clues!!

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Waxy in Montreal 10:04 AM  

No BAPTISM of fire but a HEAVENSENT easy-peasey Friday from Patrick Berry (great PARTIALITY for his puzzles) allowing most of the day to prepare TATERS, etc. for New Year's Eve festivities. And doesn't take a SEER to remind syndilanders that preparing for TAXRETURNS will be underway soon, if not ASAP.

Diana,LIW 11:59 AM  

Smooth, steady, clean solve. Really appreciate that on a Friday.

Had adDoN before SEDAN, dorm before HALL.

Mom had a 63 IMPALA - learned to parallel park with that huge boat.

Wonder when today's paper will show up? One never knows...

Diana, Waiting...

rondo 12:10 PM  

Oh, I was so smart. Plopped in BAPTISM immediately then IMPALA then ProclivITY where PARTIALITY was supposed to fit, creating what became a six space long inkfest. But the BYPRODUCTS of the correct ending of the wrong word sent me to the more friendly southern regions before fixing that NW mess.

Some 40 years ago I had a 1971 IMPALA SEDAN, much bigger than my 2013 ACCORD coupe. It was no RACECAR, but there was plenty of room in that IMPALA to make the SCENE BECAUSE it was as big as HMS BRITANNIC, or at least a shrimp TRAWLer, what a boat. Terri and Sue, you were HEAVENSENT.

Back to the 30s and 40s for yeah babies MAE and ELLA.

Are LEGOLAS a subset of toy building blocks? All by crosses there.

A PB1 puz is always a good time. He deserves all those compliments because he EARNS them.

spacecraft 12:17 PM  

I'd say medium for a Friday. Once again the NW is the last defense; others are beginning to see. I misspelled BRITANNICA with two T's and one N, otherwise a clean grid. There was one head-scratching moment in the center with TEACADDIES, which arrived purely on crosses, but what in the WORLD they had to do with gunpowder I had no idea. There really is such a thing as "gunpowder tea??" What...BECAUSE it looks like it?? To me it is totally absurd to call it that. Never in a million years would I have associated gunpowder in any way with tea.

One other clue was an eyebrow-raiser: "Make it" for COME. I, uh, don't think I'll touch that one with a 10-foot 4x4. People who insist on saying "CATSUP" are the same ones who say "coopon" instead of "coupon" ("kyupon") like us common folk. Their pinkies, like their noses, are permanently elevated.

DOD ELLA Raines may be a bit old-school; of course, we always assume the title refers to the lady's HEYdays. I guess if you want a more recent candidate we could go to Jane ALEXANDER. MAE West, of course, deserves honorable mention. What else to say? It's a PB; it's a birdie.

Burma Shave 12:38 PM  


In this SCENE HAMLET’s too thirsty to RUSTLE up grub.


rain forest 2:31 PM  

NICE. What else is there to say?

I'd call this overall medium (*for a Friday*), and smooth. Like most others, the NW was the last to fall. If I had seen the IMPALA clue earlier, I might have made better headway, but in the end it all fell together. For a while, for TEA CADDIES, I thought that some sort of CAnDIES was a slang term, but then I remembered gunpowder TEA, which I've never had,but heard of. Does it explode when you drink it? Figuring out BRITANNICA was fun, and HEAVEN SENT was excellent.

Agree about 4X4's. Not particularly BEAMs very often, but what the hey, it's a Barry. Gimmes SEER, IMPALA, TUNDRA, and LEGOLAS were a big help.

For me, TATERS (with gravy) are an essential part of a Thanksgiving dinner, along with the turkey and assorted vegetables, and maybe a smidgen of cranberry sauce. YUM.

Good one.

centralscrewtinizer 2:57 PM  

Larry Gilstrap, nice summary of the travails of teaching. I became one late in life, teaching science and math to mostly middle schoolers, fifth to eighth grades. Hardest job I ever did.
Took a while to move from grunt in the front to guide on the side, heh.

eastsacgirl 5:04 PM  

Exact same experience as Rex. NW took me as long as rest of puzzle. All I had was SEER & ALARMED for the longest time. Sussed out ALCOHOLRUB and then finished quickly. Great puzzle, good fill.

BS2 9:33 PM  


LUCY was just HEAVENSENT (and so cute),
Don't be ALARMED BECAUSE she's no MUTE,
she'll cry, "HEY, don't COME, MEFIRST!"


BS3 9:49 PM  

No love for the 12:38 Shakespearean drinking ditty? HAMLET SCENE HORATIO RUB, ALCOHOL. I'm feelin' LEADEN,

BS4 9:52 PM  

Why did BEAM disappear after ALCOHOL? Odds bodkins.

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