Sport similar to paintball / SAT 2-25-17 / Corrupt in British slang / Number of bacteria living on surface that has not been sterilized / Sociopathic role for Alain Delon Matt Damon John Malkovich / Vegas hotel with name from English legend / Giovanni Verrazano discovery of 1524

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Constructor: Mark Diehl

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: AIRSOFT (26D: Sport similar to paintball) —
Airsoft is a sport in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets launched via replica weapons called airsoft guns. //  Airsoft guns are replica weapons used in airsoft sports. They are essentially a special type of low-power smoothbore air guns designed to pressurize air within an internal chamber to shoot non-metallic spherical projectiles (often incorrectly referred to as BBs) typically made of (but not limited to) plastic or biodegradable resin materials. Airsoft guns and pellets have significantly less penetrative and stopping powers than conventional air guns, and are generally safe for competitive sporting and recreational purposes if proper protective gear is worn. // Depending on the mechanism for propelling the pellet, an airsoft gun can be operated manually with a spring-loaded air pump, or on an automatic cycling basis which is implemented either pneumatically with prefilled bottled gas (such as compressed green gas or CO2), or mechanically driven by an electric motor gearbox. // As toy weapons, airsoft guns can often be designed to realistically resemble genuine firearms in appearance, and it can be very difficult to distinguish from one. It is notable that despite their appearance, airsoft guns cannot be adapted to use deadly ammunitions. (wikipedia)
• • •

Took me almost twice as long as yesterday, but since it's Saturday, and yesterday was very easy for a Friday, we're just talking about a regular old Saturday, difficulty-wise. Puzzle is fine. Way out of my wheelhouse, and a bit crusty for my tastes (despite the bold bid for contemporary relevance at 1A: Reject someone, in a way (SWIPE LEFT). I just didn't know a bunch of this stuff. Like ... half a dozen answers, I'd either flat-out never heard of (AIRSOFT? ALMADEN?), or only sort of barely know exist (CAPE COD BAY ... I know the cape, but the bay ... is not something I ever think about). BIOBURDEN was totally unknown to me, but I kind of liked figuring it out. The same cannot be said of REDBONE. I used to obsess over dog-breed books (I love dogs, of all and no breeds), so I was slightly stunned to have no recollection of ever seeing that particular [Hunting dog breed]. The NW corner was pretty tight, but after that, the puzzle was just OK. Nothing special. Adequate. Friday's puzzle was clearly the big winner this week, with Thursday a close second.


How did you get into this thing? I did what I typically do—go straight to the short answers and hope they give me enough information to net one of the longer crosses. Good strategy for biggish corners like NW and SE. Today, I started at COE (28A: Iowa college) and ITSY (25A: Wee, informally) (both gimmes). That led me to IMMERSE and TOM RIPLEY (which was also a gimme, but, as I say, I never look at clues to longer answers until I have had at the short stuff). Despite the gruesomeness of the faux-quaint clue and answer at 22A: "Cheese and rice!" ("NERTS!"), I thought that corner came together pretty nicely. But coming out of there proved both tough and less interesting. Couldn't spell Linda ELLERBEE's name (last letter was "Y" for a while). And then AIRSOFT (total mystery) kept me from having any hope of getting into SW. NE was fairly tractable, despite REDBONE. Needed APED / CAPISCE to get started again in the SW. Finished in the SE. Didn't know BIOBURDEN, as I said, and had a few seconds of bewilderment trying to figure out what answer could possibly start DST- at 55A: 60s sorts (D STUDENTS). Finished at CAMPS, which gave me my final letter—the "M" in ALMADEN. I was born and raised in California. Never heard of ALMADEN. I'll have to try some. Perhaps one of their chardonnays would pair nicely with some DEWED NERTS. Good night.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

98 comments:

jae 12:09 AM  

Slightly tougher than medium for me. My biggest misstep was mPg before APR which gave me mondavi for the wine maker (I have heard of and imbibed ALMADEN) which made this slightly tougher than...

I'd too had never heard of AIRSOFT until yesterday. Kelly Ripa was on Colbert talking about her sons playing it and apparently Colbert is a fan also. COULD not have been more timely.

I disagree with @Rex. I thought this was more interesting and crunchier than yesterday's, liked it a lot! Plus, I just checked and Jeff gave it POW.

Anonymous 12:16 AM  

You probably don't know the breed REDBONE because, well, it isn't one. It's a REDBONE coonhound. You have a coonhound. If someone with knowledge about coonhounds asks for more info, you could say red bone, black and tan, red-tick and a couple of others.

Brian 12:17 AM  

This was a grind for me. Guessing MONDAVI instead of ALMADEN early on killed me in the SE - MPG made sense for car ad letters, as did "get a ROOM", although not together. Being pretty sure on CARRIE finally made me start over there and things started falling in place.

Linda ELLERBEE brought back some childhood Nickelodeon memories. The SWIPE LEFT tinder reference was surprising.

Anonymous 12:36 AM  

@Brian - the tinder reference is only in your head. You swipe left to not take a call.

puzzle hoarder 1:10 AM  

Mark Diehl is my favorite constructor. This wasn't one of his more difficult puzzles but it was a real beauty. TOYCAR was the obvious starting point. I think it's unfair to this puzzle that this entry just appeared two Saturdays ago. That one entry gave up EXCALIBUR and RIAL instantly. From there it was a steady march to every corner. Not easy but a very satisfying medium. An interesting note is that the clue for 19A is a near repeat of a 1A entry in a Diehl Saturday puzzle from over a year ago. It was a challenging one. The entry was FACEPLANT. Like I said I'm a fan. As for yesterday being better, get a CLUE.

Robin 2:12 AM  

Slightly better than average time for me. Got TOM_RIPLEY first and so filled in the NW in a hurry. Then as Rex says, it turned into a grind. SW took a while because I kept thinking 60s had something to do with the 1960s.

Not clue WTH AIRSOFT might be. Nevertheless, kudos for the clueing not seeming like the usual usual.

Brian 2:36 AM  

@Anonymous (12:36)

Definitely not just in my head - google swipe left, their definition widget even explains it in reference to tinder.

Moly Shu 2:48 AM  

First pass only yielded COE, CARRIE, and a guess at MINERS, which I knew was probably wrong but went with it. Glad it was correct. Had fret before CARE, but no downs would agree so I scrapped it and guessed MSNBC to gain traction in the SW. What really helped was putting in RIBS, figuring I'd come back and specify which type later. That gave me EBULLIENT (great word), and I made steady progress after that. I'm with @Jae, liked it better than yesterday.

Hartley70 3:06 AM  

Nice one! I agree with the medium rating. It starts out as impossible but slowly unravels to do-able. I love the feeling of getting that toehold, so thank heavens for the SW. It gave me my entrance with BBQRIBS, MINIATURE and CAPECODBAY starting me off. The rest was easy to fill.

I'd never heard of AIRSOFT but I knew REDBONE although I've never met one. ANNULAR is new to me, but I eat craisins frequently in salads, not trail mix. ELLERBEE was a guess as was EXCALIBUR because I've managed to miss Vegas. I hate the heat so I'd rather go to Monte Carlo or anywhere else given the choice.

My favorite clues were the first and last acrosses. SWIPELEFT was timely and DSTUDENTS was sweet misdirection. Everything in between had the right amount of push back. This was a very smooth Saturday and I enjoyed it.

It's a hard decision for POW. Thursday is still my choice, but maybe Jeff Chen is just too modest to give it to himself. Go ahead, Jeff. You deserve it.

tkincher 3:17 AM  

EXCALIBUR/TOYCAR was my foothold. Puzzle was tough but mostly fair, although the clue and answer for CRAISINS was not satisfying.

Dolgo 3:31 AM  

Good puzzle for trivia fans and devotees of movie versions of Patricia Highsmith novels. Didn't know about Cape Cod Bay, but it made sense, being in the general area of the Verrazano Narrows. Stuff like that and several Naticks made it easier for me than most Saturdays. Now what do I do for my chronic insomnia?!

Dolgo 3:48 AM  

PS Mark Diehl left out Dennis Hopper, who played Ripley in "The American Friend" (1977) directed by Wim Wenders. Your pedant-in-residence thought you'd like to know!

andrea carla michaels 4:27 AM  

Misspelling CAPIcCE gave me McNBC
(Perhaps an Irish channel?)

I really liked learning the literal meaning of ABORIGINAL which is not thought about.
ABO was banned as nonPC from school Scrabble. I guess it's rude in Austrailia.

Dien BIEN was interesting
and how could SWIPELEFT be anything but Tinder?! Very contemporary

Fave moment was getting ARMADILLO from -------LO. Fun fact! Like those pickle/cat videos.

Never heard of CRAISINS... Raisins + ? Crunchy? Is it a portmanteau like cronut?

Mort SAHL still performs in Marin every Tuesday. That quote makes no sense! If the person were the last person on earth, SAHL wouldn't be there. That's craisin!

The good doctor never disappoints!

andrea carla michaels 4:31 AM  

Ah cranberries!

I skip M-W 5:03 AM  

I think of the Arthurian legends as British, definitely not English, i.e. pre-Anglo-Saxon. So clue for Excalibur is wrong. Otherwise, fine puzzle. Old enough to remember Dien Bien Phu . Siege went on and on and on. Thanks, ACME for Craisin explanation.

Craig Baker, Perfect Master 5:04 AM  


After my first run through of acrosses and downs I had almost nothing. Then suddenly I had the entire top half done and nothing in the entire south. Then I was finished. Twenty minutes.

It seemed to solve exponentially with each filled in word.

CAPISCE started with a K and an H, there was "get a room" before CLUE, demoNIC befor SATANIC (which is to The Rolling Stones as ARMADILLO is to Spinal Tap), and I'm glad they named a bridge in NYC for the guy who discovered Cape Cod. Makes me wonder who discovered the Hudson River. Who is the East River named for? How about Long Island, who was he?

Charles Flaster 5:48 AM  

Like and agree with Rex's review again. Like many others, nothing initially, but eventually completed. Lower right took half my time.
Had loads of trouble with D STUDENTS but loved the misdirect. Then BLU ( from the song "Volare" ) gave me the rest of the puzzle.
Creative cluing for PATROLS, ALIMONY, and CAMPS.
CROSSWORDease-- COE, APR, and BANC.
Write over -- CLUE for lifE ( seems like an important phrase! )
Thanks MD

Peter Minuit 6:26 AM  

And I was so sure that Giovanni da Verrazano discovered the Staten Island Ferry, which was why, seeing a wonderful opportunity, he later went on to build the bridge. Oh well.

Groot 7:15 AM  

The opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy features Redbone's Come and Get Your Love.
Rex's posted video shows some of the band in Native dress. Redbone was the first Native American rock/Cajun group to have a No. 1 single in the United States and internationally.

BarbieBarbie 7:24 AM  

@Rex: me too, b&r in California. Almaden used to be one of those wineries known to the locals and highly appreciated. San Joaquin area. Then I think they got purchased by the same guys who own Concannon and Cupcake? I mix them up with Paul Masson, so not sure there. Anyway, they got more commercial, and now are in the "ok table wine" category. Big. Corporate.
This puzzle felt hard to me but for some reason I never guessed wrong and ended up faster than average (note that in this company I'm not mentioning actual time. Too many digits!).

Loren Muse Smith 7:38 AM  

This was hard for me and I had a dnf and I wish I had stuck it out a little longer but I wanted to get my comment in before I had too many earlier comments to read through first. And I wanted to make all the obvious jokes to edge out @ED.

Seriously, though – my two cents from yesterday’s Don’t-Read-Commentsgate – I agree with @Acme – I always read what Rex says because I feel like it’s his “party.” And since I’ve become a kind of inadvertent foil, it’s a good starting point. His write-ups are often quite negative and uncomfortable but I read’em because he makes a bioburden of valid points and says stuff like, “Never heard of ALMADEN. I'll have to try some. Perhaps one of their chardonnays would pair nicely with some DEWED NERTS.”

Before I hit “publish comment” I go back one last time to the previous comments to make sure I haven’t offered up something that someone else has said. So I read them at least twice. But I comment so early it’s not hard to do. The times I’ve missed something from someone earlier and said the same thing without acknowledging that person, I’m really upset with myself. I really am. And when someone says the same thing I do later on and people respond to that person and not me WHEN I SAID IT FIRST I’m childishly stung. And there it is.

The times I post later in the day, I try to read over most of the comments, paying special attention to the words in capital letters, that day’s grid entries, to see if someone else had the same mistake/thought as I had.

So… for today’s offering… Funniest thought was when I had TOM _ _P_ _ _ for that sociopath and went straight to Tom Pepper. Hah. Sorry buddy. You’re a swell guy and amiably unsociopathic fellow.

Like @jae and @Brian, I fell for the “mpg/Mondavi” deal.

Really cool fact about the armadillo. Like @Acme, I liked those cat cucumber videos until I was skewered for enjoying cruelty. One of my cat Wilson’s favorite games was for me to hide around corners so that he could look for me and I would say jump and yell “YAHHHH” and he would jump and we’d repeat the whole exercise. Now I’m revisiting those times and wondering if I was torturing him.

@ Craig Baker, Perfect Master – me, too for “room” first. I also toyed with “grip” and “life.”

@Forsythia and @Bill Feeney from this past week. I always like seeing former lurkers get a blue name and join in. Please stick around and keep mixing it up with us.

I had two areas, each dealing me a death blow: “scores” for SCORNS and not seeing D STUDENTS so erasing BBQ RIBS. In WV, below 65 is an F. 73 is a D. I’ve never lived in a place with such a tough scale. I always, always think of the fact that the Walmart here sells hardly any wine with screw tops even though finer wine stores sell lots of screw-top wine. They both feel like wannabes showing the world that they have high standards because they’re insecure. I can’t find the words really to explain what I mean, but I really do always think of Walmart wine when I see our grading scale.

Alrighty then. Excellent Saturday, Mr. Diehl. Like Rex, I loved learning BIO-BURDEN.

Glimmerglass 7:50 AM  

My wife just discovered that CRAISINS and apples make a super tart. Delicious. I've never used airbandb, so I don't understand LEASE OUT. Doesn't one just rent a room (like a regular commercial b&b)? LEASE sounds like something longer than "rent." Fine Saturday puzzle.

r.alphbunker 8:11 AM  

42A. {"Get a ___!"} LIFE-->ROOM-->CLUE. Any others?

I had a last minute save of a clean solve. During checking when I got to 26A {Present from the start} ABORIGINAL/7D {Linda ___, "Girl Reporter" series author} ELLERBEE I had ELLERnEE/AnORIGINAL. ELLERnEE did not look right. Only when I replaced the n with a B did I remember the reporter.

@LMS
I am a world expert in my own solve. Nobody knows more about it than I do. The details are here. If you had an identical solve, I would be truly interested and not at all offended if you posted it!

evil doug 8:16 AM  

Had a hunch it was wrong, but stuck with EXCALIBeR/ANNeLAR. Face plant....

Go to the doctor? Get a Matchbox. Good grades? Matchbox. Wish I still had 'em,
and the Dinky Toys, and Corgi Toys....

Keith Olbermann? Certifiable.

QuasiMojo 8:18 AM  

Never heard of Almaden? Ah youth... Almaden was a staple of college (and possibly high school) parties back in the day. Too sweet as I recall. Although they may have improved it over the years.

@Dolgo you beat me to it! I was going to mention Dennis Hopper. Alain Delon is still the best Tom Ripley in my book. Matt Damon was the worst.

LOVED this puzzle. So many surprises and interesting titbits. "Armadillo" was wonderful. So too "D Students." (I had "dissidents" there for a while, thinking there might be a rebus.) I had "Ellis Island" or tried to since I never knew Verrazano had been up in Cape Cod. I wonder if he ate "craisins" while sailing past Martha's Vineyard?

Anonymous 8:49 AM  

Rex, Don't bother with Almaden--cheap jug wine (like Paul Masson).

BarbieBarbie 9:17 AM  

@Anon 8:49, Paul Masson used to be good local wine too. Then bought by Gallo. Sigh. Was that the Orson Welles one...?

Question to West Coasters. Do you see these comments labeled with EST? Or does @8:49 mean nothing to you because your view of that comment is labeled 5:49?

Nancy 9:23 AM  

Way out of my wheelhouse, but I guessed right everywhere and solved it. I, too, have never heard of REDBONE and I thought I knew all dog breeds. I don't know what CRAISINS are (I assume they're something like raisins); didn't know ANNULAR; didn't know BIOBURDEN; didn't know ALMADEN; didn't know AIRSOFT. I was well on my way to a DNF when I finally, finally saw BBQ RIBS from B--R---. That led me to EBULLIENT, which got me through the SE. The NE was pure guesswork. I thought I knew CARRIE was King's first, but I didn't like the C for "Get a CLUE!" I wanted GET A LIFE! or GET A GRIP! I had EL CAPITAN before EXCALIBUR, until I said snidely to myself: "English legend", you moron!" There was some wonderful cluing for PATROLS (14D); ALIMONY (21D); PARITY (4D) and FLEXION (8D). And Mort SAHL was my one friend in the NE today -- somehow I just knew that 10D was something he would have said. A tough, extremely interesting puzzle. What a great week this has been, btw, -- perhaps the best week since I came to this blog. I've loved 4 puzzles in a row.

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

Andrea!!!

Carola 9:35 AM  

Fun! EBULLIENT would be my word of the day, reflecting the joy of many MINI"reveals" as one gem of an answer after another came into view. My way in was ARENA x SAHL; I can't retrace my spagetti-strand-like course from there, but I ended up in the NW, finally correcting my I-was-sure-of Ted RIPLEY to TOM.

I had BIOBUR_E_ and considered BIOBURgEr as a possible flippant scientific term.

I'm one of those old enough to remember Dien BIEN Phu - which is also the.name of a character in the 1970 thriller La Horse, which I highly recommend. Jean Gabin at his steely finest.

@jae et.al. - I also tried mPg x mondavi, which soon proved untenable. It took lots of crosses for me to remember ALMADEN, but then the image of those glass jugs surfaced from deep memory stores. Wine of our 1970s early married life.

@puzzle hoarder - I shook my head over TOY CAR at its previous appearance (too green-paint-like for me) but was happy for the leg up it gave me today.

Carola 9:39 AM  

@BarbieBarbie, I'm a Midwesterner and my times post as one hour later than when I write them, that is, I wrote the post above at 8:35 here.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

Verrazzano is misspelled in the puzzle, as is the bridge in his name, and many especially in NYC know. He is Giovanni da Verrazzano, that is Giovanni from Verrazzano, so one should also use his full name when referring to him. Interesting story about the bridge. An Italian-American John LaCorte tried for years to get the bridge named after him, and was finally successful. LaCorte was an odd, extremely right-wing New Yorker--one of his great initiatives was to offer a $1000 prize to any Italian-American woman who remained a virgin until she was 19! Well, the bridge was dedicated, the street signs were changed, the maps were updated, and someone sent the word out that Verrazzano was misspelled. LaCorte was flummoxed, and it was extremely embarrassing, partly because Giov. da V. was Tuscan, LaCorte was from southern Italy, and it looked like these rubes didn't know how to spell. So LaCorte got together with the Italian American Association (or what ever it was called), they tried to figure out what to do, and they finally came up with a verdict: yes, Verrazzano is the correct spelling in Italy, but Verrazano is the correct spelling in the United States!

Teedmn 9:48 AM  

38 minutes today - a classic Saturday, nice! First in was FAQS crossing BBQ (didn't risk the RIBS right away). And I was EBULLIENT when 45D's COULD went in with no crosses - I consider that a major aha because it opened the SE for me.

PUP TENT crossing CLUE saved me from the mPg mix-up and I drink ALMADEN chardonnay by the box. It's a step up from Franzia, cheaper than snot (hi M&A) and doesn't go bad in the fridge in the two weeks it takes to go through a box (and my husband helps). I was talking with my doctor about my drinking habits and when I mentioned the ALMADEN, she said she didn't know whether to yell at me about drinking too much or about drinking crummy wine.

Alas, my COULD triumph was balanced by a "museE" misstep at 52A which lasted until the MM from MINIATURE and MSNBC. Like many here, the AIRSOFT (not AIRlOFT?) crossing BIEN was my scary, possible DNF spot that I ACED.

During the week, I do the puzzle at work and by the time I post, there are so many comments I can't read them all and still post without running out of lunch break so I skim for a meme and hope I'm not being too redundant. If I get a really cool inspiration for wordplay, I use the CTRL-F and search key words to see if it's been said already, in which case I might skip writing it, or just give credit to the [AB]ORIGINAL writer. When I find I'm the first one, I'm so excited and I keep going back to the comments to see if anyone has noticed only to find that no one else CAREs. Such are the heartaches on a crossword blog for a lowly commenter.

Thanks, Mark Diehl, great puzzle.

Nancy 9:57 AM  

@r.alphbunker (8:11) -- Amen, amen to everything you say in your 2nd paragraph. It's the unique visceral, emotional, and intellectual solving experience of each person -- written with as much immediacy as possible -- that makes this blog interesting. How much will be lost if the person has to think: "No. I can't say that. Or that. Or that. It's already been said." Like you, if someone has an experience or reaction that's similar or even identical to mine, I find that the most interesting development of all. And I've had those experiences here quite often. I remember once writing on the blog to @Carola: "Our experience of solving the last few puzzles was so eerily similar that I'm wondering if we might be the same person."

@Andrea (4:27 a.m.)-- I love McNBC, the Irish channel.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the wonderful performer Leon Redbone in reference to 12 D. Saw him first on Saturday Night Live back in the seventies. Unforgettably voice. Have a listen here. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jGUW0uAwDyw

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

The word *annular* from the Latin for *ring* (whence Cheerio-shaped), related to the words for *anus* and for *hemorrhoid*. One reading the Latin Vulgate would learn in I Samuel 6 the Philistines were plagued by "tumors" and rats or mice, and there were five golden tumors and five golden mice as a guilt-offering. Except the five golden tumors were five golden hemorrhoids in the Latin (and perhaps the Septuagint and Hebrew--I don't know). Most English versions are a little too squeamish to require the flock to imagine "golden hemorrhoids"--so the hemorrhoids are rendered as "tumors."

Stanley Hudson 10:07 AM  

Excellent end to an excellent weekly run of puzzles.

It's 7:05 AM in NorCal.

#Resist

Z 10:13 AM  

DAUBED/BBQ RIBS got me into the SE. Only hold ups there were life to CLUE and Whac-a-Vowel at the ALMADEN/EBULLIENT cross. I won that A/E coin flip. Was amused at the Olbermann clue, the man has a non-zero number of former employers (@Evil - probably, but also probably one of the smartest people on TV). AIRSOFT gave me issues because in my experience it is not a "sport," it is a toy, an especially dangerous toy at that.* Finally getting ELLERBEE gave me EXCALIBUR and then the NE. The NW was my last to fall. Having ARMiDILLO didn't help. COE should have given me an ese anchor, but no, misfiled in the Maine section of my ese library. -----LEFT wasn't helping, either. I finally noticed that the I COULD be an A, which then exposed PARITY which exposed SWIPE LEFT and then it was just a few seconds to finish. A fun solve with demerits in my book for 24A/32A.

@Dolgo - TOM RIPLEY is a P. Highsmith character? How serendipitous.

@Peter Minuit - Nice one.

@LMS - I know it is a character flaw, but I love when Rex tosses of a good one only slightly more than I like when someone takes him seriously. It's a Buy one chuckle, Get a second chuckle free Saturday Special. DEWED NERTS has a certain southern cuisine, maybe cajun, sound to it, doesn't it?






*AIRSOFT rant - feel free to skip - When I taught in a rural district I thought the legislature passing a mandatory expulsion law for having a gun on campus was crazy. We had students taking gun safety classes and learning to hunt at an early age. The idea that a teenager might forget to take their gun out of their car after hunting and then get expelled from school for a year is just mind-boggling stupid. OTOH, selling "toys" to teenagers that look exactly like guns save a too easily missed or removed orange tip borders on criminally negligent. If you spend any time working with teenagers it won't surprise you to discover that teenagers going around with an AIRSOFT gun doing stupid stuff is a predictable result. I much preferred dealing with teenagers who actually had learned about using guns to the risk of losing a student in a police shooting while "playing."

Gregory Schmidt 10:32 AM  

ANNULAR implies discs. Cheerios would be more accurately described as TOROIDAL. Also disagree with "Hellish" for SATANIC. Hellish refers to the place (infernal, etc). SATANIC describes the being. I think of a person or entity being described as satanic, not a location.

Passing Shot 10:36 AM  

Haven't read the comments so this may already have been answered, but WTF is NERTS? As a dog lover when watches Westminster the way others watch he Superbowl, I have never heard of REDBONE. I call BS on this answer. Also never herad of AIRSOFT or BIOBURDEN. Liked the clues for SWIPELEFT and DSTUDENTS; not sure why the clue for PARITY needed a question mark.

Enjoyed this, learned some new words/trivia.

GILL I. 10:39 AM  

@Anony 10:04....Thanks for the image of my cheerios looking like hemorrhoids.
Well, I went straight to the short answers too. My first three letter entry was LIP at 6D. AHA, 1A has to be BLACK LIST. Gaaaah. That killed me for the longest time. I've never ever heard of SWIPE LEFT nor FLEXION nor ANNULAR (I wanted something torus like for that anal answer). That whole upstairs was really hard. Believe it or not, TOM RIPLEY and ITSY COE saved my upstairs bacon.
I can't imagine an ARMADILLO jumping. I just thought they waddled.
Hand up for Mondavi first. ALMADEN just couldn't enter my mind. It's supposedly the oldest winery in California. I went to visit it in Madera and felt sorry for it. Compared to anything Napa/Sonoma, it's not a happy place. For those of you loving your boxed wines, then go ahead and try this god-awful stuff.
Even though I had a hard time of this, I thought it was the best Saturday in a long time. My favorite mistake today (and I had plenty) was thinking Verrazano discovered the LOST COLONY. Why not? Somebody had to.
EBULLIENT is my favorite word today.

Mohair Sam 10:55 AM  

Wonderful Saturday, Will's on a run - and Rex has got his grouchy pants on again, give the man a box of ALMADEN. Whattaya mean "crusty"? You loved yesterday with its Desi Arnaz and Beatle's British Invasion and call today's gem flawed because it's "crusty" - sheez.

Broke into this one exactly like @Rex (COE and then ITSY) and worked clockwise slowly and steadily just as a Saturday should make you battle. Tons of fun. CRAISINS and REDBONE and ANNULAR all new to us as clued, and we were sweating the first three letters of each when we came here. Phew. Loved the clue for SWIPELEFT. Didn't know CARRIE was King's first, great start. DSTUDENTS a nifty misdirect. And we wanted old Verrazano near Staten Island, why not? Isn't BENT American slang for corrupt too?

@Dolgo - Yup, it's apparently Patricia Highsmith week. I didn't know Hopper played RIPLEY once, thanks for the input. Haven't seen the Malkovich turn either.

Surprised @Rex, the California native, longtime student, career educator, and occasional imbiber, has never heard of ALMADEN. Not that he's missed much.

mac 11:01 AM  

Nice workout, but much harder than yesterday's. The last area was the NW, where BLACKLIST at 1A gave me a lot of trouble. Had a different meaning of wee in mind for a while, as well....

Aboriginal filled itself in, but I started out it was going to be a latin term, ab origi.....

Bananarchy 11:32 AM  

Came here hoping to see Come and Get Your Love; was not disappointed. 10/10

Numinous 11:44 AM  

My step-son had several AIR SOFT weapons, the camo gear that was supposed to be protective and a helmet to protect his eyes. I don't recall his ever going to an AIR SOFT park to play. He did, however, manage to put a fair number of dents in our mailbox shooting out of the upstairs window of his room. One sunny afternoon he was out on the street while a friend of his was in his room so step-son took potshots at the window. The AIR SOFT pellets were not hard enough to break the glass but one pellet went in through the part way open window and hit the screen of his very expensive TV rendering the lower third of the screen black. So, @Z, I am in complete sympathy with your comment on teenagers and stupidity. Sadly, it is the adults who wind up paying for that and the teenagers barely notice. As a side note, my step-daughter who no longer works in food service, ergo no longer eats for free and is having to cook (She's 24 now), tells me she can't believe how expensive food is at the grocery store. Food, paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish detergent. You think we didn't know? Why do you think that we would freak out when you would use five paper towels to dry your hands when there were four dish towels hanging all over the kitchen?

I had a DNF at EXCALIBeR. Talk about chagrinned. Had I known the word ANNULAR that wouldn't have happened. The T of TOY CAR was the first letter I entered. The whole rest of the puzzle just gradually came together. I had a problem with D STUDENTS for the longest time wanting something to do with paNTS from the 1960s. I had the first D and the NTS. I had RIBS but thought that can't be right so I erased it. A bit later I got BBQ and RIBS went back in. BLU was pretty straight forward and that led me to see STUDENTS. That, for me, was the most interesting part of the solve. Everything else just worked itself out.

I agree that Thursday's puzzle was the real POW but I can see why Jeff gave it to this one.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 11:57 AM  

Spent the morning at a surprisingly large and ebullient rally for the Affordable Care Act, started the puz way too late for a Saturday. Got as far as realizing that EXCALIBUR had to be the answer to some Las Vegas Hotel. What a way to clue that! Quit. Have to get on with life.

UncleMilford 11:58 AM  

I liked this puzzle (especially the swipe left). daubed next to bbq ribs made me question myself over and over (DS ... what the hell starts DS???). Only know redbone from the movie "Best in Show", when Christopher Guest decided he needed to rattle off a whole bunch of hounds, then nuts (Macadamia). Good puzzle, good writeup.

Numinous 12:03 PM  

I also remember ALMADEN as being the cheap jug wine around where I grew up. Lindeman's makes an equivalent cheap plonk in Australia, flagons of which I also drank. While the subject of Oz is open, i can think of a lot of words for ABORIGINALs that are un-PC. Dare I share? I'd better not as there is at least one Aussie who reads this blog and while I don't think he or she will be offended, I'll stick to being polite. The Australians were, at one time, the most un-PC people i'd ever known. These days, according to laowhy86 on YouTube, that would be the Chinese.

AliasZ 12:08 PM  


The best Thu-Fri-Sat run in a long time. This gives me hope that rumors of the demise of NYT puzzles as the gold standard have been exaggerated.

I am often EBULLIENT
As I crawl into a PUP TENT,
But I'm gravely disappointed
When I sit on something pointed.

Lewis 12:18 PM  

@acme -- Craisins are dried cranberries; no portmanteau.

This was a beauty, testing my fortitude, releasing space grudgingly but inevitably, making me dig deep and eat some dirt to reach the treasure. On Saturday I want some words I've never heard of and today there were three (AIRSOFT, BIOBURDEN, REDBONE) not only for the new knowledge but for the challenge of getting them without having to look them up. I also want one or two gimmes to keep me motivated in tough areas (today CARRIE and TOYCAR). I also want some answers that I think are right but I'm not totally sure, to keep me off balance (today CRAISINS and SOLO, i.e.). And I want some swaths, that is, areas that fill in quickly, victory after victory, after a key answer has been set down (most of the South). I want some lovely words, such as EBULLIENT, and clues, such as the one for DSTUDENTS. And finally, I want a feeling of completeness in the puzzle, and satisfaction at my solve. Check and check.

This was the real Diehl. Very grateful, Mark.

Dick Swart 12:30 PM  

Very nice Saturday ... hard enough without being over the top.

"Cheese and rice" is "Jesus Christ" in Cockney rhyming slang. Hoe does "nerts" come about?

Gregory Nuttle 12:49 PM  

Chalk me up as another victim of the mondavi/mpg cross; and a big ol' DNF after a wrong guess at ELLERBiE/BIiN. Solid puzzle, though, I enjoyed it.

old timer 1:00 PM  

CRAISINS are an Ocean Spray brand name for cranberries designed to replace raisins in a snack. It is portmanteau name I think.

Almaden I well remember. It is a place near San Jose where they used to mine quicksilver (mercury) which was essential for gold mining back in the day, Named after the original Almaden in Spain which has produced mercury for 2000+ years. The vineyards near there were the site of the original Almaden winery, which prided itself on having a fine variety of good wines. By the time I was in college they were producing mostly cheap wines from the Central Valley and there was little reason to admire their product.

The puzzle was too hard for me to complete without help, though I did immediately think of Mr RIPLEY and eventually figured out DSTUDENTS and EBULLIENT and changed "mpg" to APR. ELLERBEE was the one Google I used for discovery rather than verification.

Bill Feeney 1:14 PM  

My favourite puzzles are the ones I stare at thinking I'll never get anywhere. Then a toehold, foothold, and hold on I think I can do it! Nice level of difficulty with some gimmes sprinkled throughout. I always thought a bioburden was what a ghost writer goes through trying to make the inarticulate prose worthy.

Bill Feeney 1:22 PM  

@LMS I think your Walmart story is dead on. Screwtop wine in a high end store? Perfect. Must be good. Screwtop wine in Walmart? Plonk.
And those grades? Cmon. Just leads to mark inflation as only so many can fail. Love your takes on the puzzles. Hope your students are starting to realize how lucky they are.

Joe Bleaux 1:34 PM  

Oh, get a grip!😊

phil phil 1:53 PM  

I'm aghast sometimes at what Rex admits to not knowing. Redbone?? almaden winery??? Amazing. I'm from the midwest and they seemed to do quite a push there but maybe they weren't big in CA or East coast.

I was caught out on spelling of PARadY. giving me plausible NERdS and ATE aT. I knew it wasn't parOdy so I thought I got had it right.

Joe Bleaux 1:53 PM  

Masterful Mark Diehl nearly scared me off with this one. After a couple of toe-hold passes, I got SAHL in the NE, which led to ARENA and an intuitive PATROLS. I stalled out in the middle, and then, recalling Olberman in the SW, got that quadrant opened up and the domino effect ensued. A few lucky guesses, several clever clues, and a couple of "Aha!" moments later, I somehow finished. POW, for my money.

JC66 1:57 PM  

@Dick Swart

I think NERTS is a PC version of nuts, as in

Balls said the Queen, if I had two I'd be King.

GILL I. 2:07 PM  

@Loren...Regarding the screw top wines....Times have changed. I had my first Muga Rioja Rosado screw top about 3 years ago. I didn't even know it was a screw top until I opened it. Many of the Spanish as well as Australia and New Zealand wines come sans cork. Spain goes that route because of the scarcity of natural cork. I looked into it and spoke to a very knowledgeable person at BevMo and he assured me that some very fine white and roses come that way. The premise is that you don't get that corky taste. Since white and blush are drunk at an early age, there is no reason to expect it won't be delish.
I won't say the same about a bottle of Mumms though...I need the pop!
Where is @NCA Pres?

phil phil 2:26 PM  

Those Italians can't live with them but we'd be so much poorer without them.

'Splende un sorriso di stella negli occhi tuoi blu!'

Beautiful song Parlame d'Amore

Arden 2:34 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue tick Hound 2:49 PM  

Why would anyone bother with Almaden when you can smoke some good bud legally?

Masked and Anonymous 2:49 PM  

Well, this snarlin puppy put up a heckuva fight, at our house. Left a dump on our rug, too boot.

"How did you get into this thing?" -- @RP.
Answer: COE, then assumed I before C, then ITSY, then DEMONIC, then NERTS, then trouble brewin. Desperate 17-A role: MOERIPLEY.

Most every comment has been covered by earlier Comment Gallery birds (yo, @muse), as per usual on a SatPuz, by the time M&A qualifies. Sooo … M&A will simply summarize each corner's solvequest experience, in a word or two:

NW: Ripply.
NE: Craisy.
Middle: Black square-ish.
SW: Friendly-esque.
SE: Bee-Ell-oo-oo-oo.

staff weeject pick: BLU.

Thanx, Mr. Diehl. Leapin Armadillos, this thing was hard.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


friendly-esque:
**gruntz**

DigitalDan 3:11 PM  

Rex, you're going to have to break down and visit the glorious West Coast, in particular the SF Bay Area. Almaden is not only a winery but a prominent name for the wonderful Almaden valley, various streets, and even an IBM research center. Once you've spent some time here, Almaden will be Natick no more. Named after a Spanish city famous for mining mercury, the valley's mercury mines led to the local name.

Anoa Bob 3:20 PM  

FLEXION, ABORIGINAL & EBULLIENT all get a Top Drawer ranking from this word-nerd.

I do think a literal reading of ABORIGINAL would mean that the only place where homo sapiens are such is in Africa. At least that's what the people who study human ORIGINs tell us. There are no indigenous or native or ABORIGINAL people anywhere else, just immigrants or descendants of immigrants.

I was taken aback, aback I say, by 48A ORATE as the answer for "Keynote, e.g.". I was thinking adjective. I'm trying to think of some way to use "keynote" as a verb that sounds anywhere close to a natural utterance.

And yes, I did notice the two-for-one, helper square equivalent S at the end of PATROL/MINER & RESENT/DSTUDENT. Thanks for asking.

Maruchka 3:32 PM  

Must agree with OFL Close. but no cigar. Tubular/ANNULAR messed with the NE far too long. Don't know the RED BONE/coon dog breed but looks like a very pretty PUPpy. And who could forget Leon REDBONE?

Favs of the day - EXCALIBUR. Loved the kooky John Boorman movie. Also, Linda ELLERBEE - a gem.

@r.alph - Get a horse!

Got caught up in Fourth Estate defense today. Feels like being stuck in some frat house initiation that never ends..

Maruchka 4:08 PM  

@r,ajph - Oops. Too many letters. Get a mare? No, not the same.

Space Is Deep 5:06 PM  

Challenging for me. Had to chip away bit by bit. Used my eraser a lot! Glad I stuck it out. Always satisfying to finally finish a puzzle so many answers that I didn't know.

Anonymous 5:18 PM  

In regard to a puzzle last week, I do not think that mice should be the plural of (computer) mouse. If one purchases a few computers, they do not purchase additional mice. It's mouses.
If someone gooses me, and then does it again, I did not receive geese.

AZPETE 5:32 PM  

Like your avatar.

pmdm 5:44 PM  

5:18PM: Dictionaries allow the plural of a computer mouse to be either mouse or mice.

If you use goose as a verb, the plural of the verb is gooses. The plural of the noun is geese. Your comment compares apples and oranges.

AZPETE 5:47 PM  

LOL!

evil doug 6:05 PM  

What's the difference between a snake and a goose?

A snake is an asp in the grass....

Anonymous 9:46 PM  

I'm now approaching 70 and I've only once in my entire life heard the word *nerts*, and that was on television. In the orig. I Love Lucy, Desi was having a particular difficulty with Fred and Ethel Mertz, and he exclaimed "nerts to the Mertz!"

OISK 9:59 PM  

Never heard of "Swipe Left," which I gather refers to some computer APP I don't have. Don't know who Tom Ripley is, not familiar with bioburden, nor raisins. So when I finished anyway, I was certainly ebullient.

Since I have actually BEEN to the Excalibur in Vegas, and I have seen and photographed an annular eclipse, you'd have thought that the "u" would be no problem for me. But I left an "e" there, like many others. Conquered the hard stuff, only to get beaten by carelessness. Ouch. Nevertheless, I thought this was a fine, apt, Saturday puzzle.

Z 11:19 PM  

@DigitalDan - Mayhap you missed Rex writing, "Finished at CAMPS, which gave me my final letter—the "M" in ALMADEN. I was born and raised in California. Never heard of ALMADEN." (emphasis added)

Leapfinger 7:54 AM  

@Anoa Bob, How about I wouldn't keynote that speech if I were you? As natural utterances go, it's close, but still not quite a cigarillo.

I also went torULAR tubULAR ANNULAR, and thought right away of Leon REDBONE.

If you spend an evening
You'll want to stay
Watching the moonlight
On CAPE COD BAY
You're sure to fall in love
With Old Cape Caw-aw-awd

[The Singing Rage, Miss Patti Page. I remember aton of those old songs because I learned English primarily by listening to the radio after school]

Thoroughly enjoyed the EBULLIENT fill, with clues picked fresh off the beau vine. First thought the beast that jumps straight up when surprised would be something like a SPRINGBOK, but I guess that sort of thing can happen when you ARMADILDO.

I think we got a good Diehl of the finest (EX)CALIBUR

GHarris 9:47 AM  

I consider myself well educated,well read and a reasonably competent solver but when aleatory, a word wholly foreign to me, is crossed with nudge spelt with two o 's and everyone else gets it without complaint, l know that I'm playing out of my league.

Leapfinger 10:25 AM  

@GHarris, ditto moi for an aleatoric first-timer, but the spelling of crosses seemed fairly fair to me. Nudge, as in an elbow-poke or (nudge nudge, wink wink) has the U-sound of mud, while the pestiferous nag that's a noodge has the U-sound of put or book and could even be transcribed in Yinglish as 'nooj'.

Dragoncat 11:18 AM  

Rex, Rex, Rex: "Have No Fear" you will see it eventually. Thought this was clever and fun.

Z 11:58 AM  

*A-Hem* This is the Saturday comments, not the Sunday comments.

jberg 7:47 AM  

I'm just off a 5-day drive to Florida (leisurely, we stopped to visit a few relatives), got the Saturday paper late Saturday and the Sunday one yesterday -- so I'm catching up. I thought it was a little easier than medium, even if I did take 30 hours to finish it!

@BarbieBarbie and others--In the late 1960s in Wisconsin, we considered ALMADEN to be one of the better California wines. I don't think it got any worse, I think that California wines improved in general, and some of those that had always been good (e.g., Georges de Latour from Beaulieu) began to be shipped out of the state. Of course, Almaden may have been better back when it was sold only in California.

Burma Shave 11:38 AM  

MINERS SWIPELEFT, CAPISCE?

CARRIE RESENTS my BBQRIBS and SCORNS them as SCRAP and inedible,
I COULDn't CARE less, her EBULLIENT fibs are not CREDIBLE:
DEWED, she IMMERSED my REDBONE,
DAUBED and ATEIT with a moan,
now she CAMPS in my crib, I HADN'T a CLUE she's so sensual.

--- TOMRIPLEY-SAHL

rondo 12:12 PM  

+/- 35 minutes of careful solving and no write-overs nor EDITS. Hard to believe with not much more than the COE BIEN MINERS line and the P (ePa or mPg, no it's APR)to go on after one time through the acrosses, and CARRIE and PUPTENT from the downs, but that SE sent me on my way and it filled in nicely ending on the P in LIP. Slow start, faster at the finish; reminds me of something.

Certainly have seen and heard of ALMADEN. Almost put in Mondovi while considering mPg.

Never heard of REDBONE as a dog. The band, yes. And I saw Leon REDBONE live over at St. Kate's many years ago. Get me down my walkin' stick. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru4IqqeNduM

I recall Linda ELLERBEE from NBC (not MSNBC) news back in the day before there were many women in that role. She deserves a yeah baby for that.

Nice puz to start a nice day here in MN. The marinating started last night for BBQRIBS tonight.

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

Well, shame on this Las Vegan if I didn't know EXCALIBUR. But I also had (because it's a longish clue with an underscore, so caught my eye) BIEN. So FLEXIng was out...but FLEXION doesn't really mean the same thing, so I was stumped for a bit. Eventually it did prove to be FLEXION, but a much better (and harder!) clue would have been simply "Bending." Had to come back there later to get it.

Meanwhile, I saw another gimme: there's only one entrée I can think of that comes with Wet Ones: BBQRIBS. Once again my residence proves helpful: the ones at Ellis Island on Koval are to die for. Melt. In. Your. Mouth. Weird that my usual aversion to initialism didn't apply this time--but the entry did cause a problem when 41-down appeared to be a past-tense verb, which would leave me with a 55-across starting with DS____. Despite ultra-gimme CARRIE from my favorite author, the SE was difficult to parse until (groan!) DSTUDENTS came to light. I join many in the ignorance of BIOBURDEN, but crosses and a modicum of common sense uncovered it. Also in the SE, I fell into the mPh trap, quickly repaired.

So, as so often is the case with me, I wound up in the NW. The -LLO ending for my leaping mammal really helped there. Luckily, I have heard of SWIPELEFT before, though it took a few crossing letters to come up with it. TOMRIPLEY, not so much. Also never heard of AIRSOFT; that one was strictly crosses.

We just had CARRIE in her LEIA role for DOD; in her memory I award her a curtain call. I kind of liked this one; it had more actual words and fewer PPPs, though the alphabet soup continues: the above plus MSNBC. Ah, whaddyagonnado? I guess it's here to stay. CAMPed, as it were. Birdie.

Anonymous 2:41 PM  

This one established a new record for the number of answers which were totally unknown and never heard of, even when solved. Unpleasant.

Longbeachlee 5:26 PM  

Capish, capisci (pronounced cah-pee-shee), but never capisce (pronouced cah-pee-shay)

spacecraft 6:39 PM  

anon. 12:50 is moi, if you didn't already guess.

d,LIW 7:28 PM  

Haven't read any comments yet, so forgive me if I, well, you know...

Got killed in the NE. REDBONE? And then there was BIOBURDEN. So I'm not all that attuned to this puzzle's vocab.

@Sailor - thanks for yesterday's OSIER answer. Mr. W is in charge of all the palace gardens, so I'm not privy to that kind of talk.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 7:37 PM  

The NW corner was just too tough, my coffin corner.
SWIPE LEFT and TOM RIPLEY undid it.

"Reject someone", the clue for SWIPE LEFT??? Okay, if Diehl and Shortz say so.

Disappointing.

leftcoastTAM 8:31 PM  

To continue my "Disappointing" conclusion: At least for today, I think 1/3 of the posters genuinely solved it, 1/3 may have come close, and 1/3 are cheaters (by my pen and paper, no help standards).

rondo 8:51 PM  

The BBQRIBS were great

Pballer 4:53 PM  

Surprisingly I've never heard of the dog breed Redbone. But I have heard of airsoft before! I'm actually pretty big into paintball so it was pretty easy for me to spot that one out.

Unknown 8:22 AM  

Greetings to the general public, i want to tell about how i was cured of HIV/AIDS disease by a Doctor called Dr EHI. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HIV and i saw comments of people talking about how Doctor EHI cured them. I Was scared because i never believed in the Internet but i was convince to give him a try because i having no hope of been cured of HIV/AIDS so i decided to contact him with his email that was listed on the comment (dr.ehispelltemple1@gmail.com) when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my HIV result came out negative. I pray for you Dr EHI God will give you everlasting life, you shall not die before your time for being a sincere and grate men. Am so happy, you can also contact him if you have any problem Email: dr.ehispelltemple1@gmail.com

Kendric Abigail 1:24 PM  

I am a 40-year-old. My Hepatitis B (HBV) disease appeared at the age of 34, with no hope of a cure from the hospital i looked further for an alternative treatments, a friend of mine told me about Health Herbal Clinic in Nigeria who sell herbal treatments for diseases including Hepatitis B disease, I contacted the herbal clinic via their website and purchased the HBV herbal remedy. I received the herbal remedy through DHL couriers within 8 days and i immediately commenced usage as prescribed, i used the herbal remedy for about a month and 1 week, my condition has greatly improved, all my symptoms including Abdominal pain, Nausea and vomiting, Loss of appetite, I am HBV free! contact Health Herbal Clinic via their email draribaspelltemple@gmail.com or visit https://m.facebook.com/greatdrariba.. PLS HBV is not a death sentence, there is a cure!
Whatsapp: +2348140439497

Unknown 3:09 AM  

thank for good posting...
gclub
gclub online
goldenslot

John Williams 2:13 PM  

I am From Macomb Michigan and am really grateful and thankful for what Dr Melena Anderson has done for me and my family. I Was having HEP B for good three years with no solution, the diseases almost took my life and cause I was unable to work and I was also loosing lots of money for medication, but one faithful day when I went online, I met lots of testimonies about this Dr, so I decided to give it a try and to God be the glory he did it. he cured me of my diseases and am so happy and so pleased to Write about Dr Melena today. if you need his help of you also want to get cured just the way I got mine, He render vaccine for these diseases HIV/AIDS, CANCER, HERPES, ALS e.t.c For more information on how to get cured contact him on his active email: dr.melena.anderson@gmail.com dr.melena.anderson@aol.com, read more on her Blog:http://andersonmelena.blogspot.it/2017/08/hivaids-vaccinecure-2017.html

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP