Rows / SAT 6-17-17 / Uncut / Flow / Friends / Believe

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Constructor: Ryan McCarty

Relative difficulty: Medium




THEME: None

Word of the Day: SEMIBREVE (26A: Whole note, to a Brit) —
In music, a whole note (American) or semibreve (British) is a note represented by a hollow oval note head and no note stem. Its length is equal to four beats in 4
4
time, that is the whole 4
4
measure (or bar). Most other notes are fractions of the whole note (e.g., half notes and quarter notes are played for one half and one quarter the duration of the whole note, respectively).

The symbol is first found in music notation from the late thirteenth century, and its British name derives from the semibrevis of mensural notation, which is the origin of the British name. The whole note and whole rest may also be used in music of free rhythm, such as Anglican chant, to denote a whole measure. (Wikipedia)
• • •
Can I PIG IT? Everyone say "yes you can!" Lena here, covering for Rex on this debut puzzle by Ryan McCarty. I don't see a lot of Saturday debuts-- it's my favorite day of the puzzling week and I'm a tough customer when it comes to themeless fare. Also when I'm blogging a puzzle for Rex everything takes me like 50 times longer than it does him, and so when the puzz drops at 10pm I know I'm in for a long, and potentially cranky, night.



As themelesses go this one is not terribly sparkling in terms of the overall fill, but the marquee/seed entry, SCHUYLER SISTERS (33A: Sibling trio in "Hamilton") is certainly a modern-day crowd pleaser. Sometimes it's nice to drop in a grid-spanning answer like that with few/no crosses. Maybe you look around to see if anyone saw you just totally own the longest answer in the hardest puzzle of the week.

My solve started at 1D (French anise-flavored liqueur) with the declaration "It's either PERNOD or PASTIS" and confirmation of the latter by incorrectly filling in TIFFS for 19A (Rows) and its correct-yet-incorrect T. Oops. TIFFS also allowed for ENTIRE (2D: Uncut), and so before I knew it I had a wrong answer locked in. I think it stayed in there for a while, too-- I seem to recall ending in the NW and realizing my mistake through TOURNIQUET (4D: Flow stopper, of a sort).

Someone told me that I need to crawl out from under my rock and watch "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." I barely made it through one. Her voice is the vinegar that curdles the show. And that's just one of the problems I have with it. Anyway I dissed the show and now I've got the star's full name stabbing straight down the middle of the grid-- this is the kind of cosmic revenge I can get down with. ELLIE KEMPER (14D: Title actress on Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") was ELSIE KEMP_R for a bit because I didn't know LIDA ROSE (20A: Barbershop staple from "The Music Man") and couldn't remember Ms. EDERLE (46A: Channel swimmer Gertrude). 


Although the fill didn't particularly dazzle me I did find myself enjoying many of the clues. I wanted 25D (Goes for the bronze?) to be ORES so bad because crosswords (you get what I'm saying here, right Crossworld? Those "wait what, you can verb that word?" answers), but I do like the actual clue/answer (SUNS). I also have a masochistic love for those nasty little one-word clues like 3D (Flow), 30A (Friends), and of course the devilish 19A (Rows). They keep me on my toes. Oh yeah, and (Meal maker?) for PESTLE is an excellent clue-- exactly how I like my question markies.

Imagining DANES waging war, fighting for territory, to become the (Builders of the original Legoland) cracked me up. 



The tortured plural STASES (57A: Equilibria) and the tortuered partial ILIE (37A: "Would ___?) did not crack me up. I have burned down almost-complete grids for less ugly fill, and if I were trying to get a puzzle in the NYT I wouldn't have even considered it. And I wouldn't have been terribly attached to the content of that corner-- IONIAN, QUINTE and HISPANIA are not the kind of answers I would be sad to lose. 

Overall a pretty smooth and ultimately pleasant debut themeless. Not too easy, not too hard. Just right for piggin' it. 

P.S. Fun fact: if you accidentally highlight text in Blogger you cannot make it go away. I tried, but ultimately just picked the closest color to the background because, like I said, I'm piggin' it.


Signed, Lena Webb, Court Jester of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex on Twitter and Facebook]

122 comments:

Loren Muse Smith 8:31 AM  

Ok. I’m still childishly jealous when I see a debut – a solo – that’s a themeless. So, Ryan McCarty, I hated you right out of the gate. Well, just a little. Very nice work, though! This was by far the toughest Saturday I’ve done in a while. I clawed my way to the end – had to erase

“Osaka” for OTARU
“pernod” for PASTIS – Hi, @Lena. Thanks for stepping in this morning.
“tiffs” for TIERS – Hi, again, Lena.
“we’re here” then “we’re home” for WE MADE IT
“eureka” for I’M RICH

I left two squares blank: the G and then N of GINS up. Never heard of QUINTE, RAGNAROK, or GINS up.

AMATEUR I got with the fair crosses, but “n00b” was a total woe for me. I looked it up and pieced together some insights -

n00b noun

1. a person who does something stupid, often repeatedly. May be a new player to some particular game.
2. an idiotic or worthless person.
3. variant of newbie but often with a more derogatory shade of meaning - newbies owe their clueless behavior to lack of experience and can improve - but the fundamental characteristic of a n00b is incorrigible obnoxiousness or stupidity.

A n00b is someone who tends to whine or complain when being beaten at a game. He’s a player … who acts in a generally arrogant and rude manner. N00b is more of a reference to the attitude or demeanor of a player than to their skill. ..To be a n00b, one must first convince themselves beyond all doubt that they are the best at their chosen game, and like to prove it by killing level 1s. Noobs often will insult the player in question when they are decline. Similarly, when n00bs are offered advice as to how to become better at the game, they will usually ignore the advice and will often berate the one attempting to help. N00bs will often insult friendlier or more experienced players. N00bs are notoriously bad sports, and upon being defeated n00bs will often call the player who beat them a H4X0R or accuse them of being cheap. In the event that a n00b actually wins, the n00b will announce their superiority to everyone in the vicinity. N00bs will often revive dead posts and flame people for no reason. N00bs usually lack proper spelling and grammar. N00bs use excessive amounts of exclamation marks. If a n00b somehow manages to team up with other players, he will blame the other players for all of his mistakes. N00bs will often demand to be the group leader. Basically, it’s a form of insult describing someone who claims to know everything there is to know about... well everything.


Hah. Wh00 kn00?

Congrats, Ryan.

seedyberry 8:42 AM  

OK, why is "DRS" the answer to "Practice composition?: Abbr."?

evil doug 8:47 AM  

Well, bronze is an alloy, so it can't be ores. So I put in an equally lousy answer--rUNS, as if someone would compete and be happy with third. DRr? Never noticed. Nice debut.

Two Ponies 8:49 AM  

Just the sort of puzzle I love.
So many things I did not know that I cannot believe I finished it.
That SW corner was rough with non-English words. Scandinavian, French, Latin, Greek, and Spanish. Wow.
No idea about those sisters nor the actress.
I can't see Quakers without thinking of Richard Nixon.
Congrats on the debut, I'll be watching for your byline Mr. McCarty.

bill baker 8:50 AM  

Refers to a medical practice

DBlock 8:50 AM  

At first I thought it would be too easy with long gimmes of Schuyler Sisters Lida Rose and Ellie Kemper but rest put up a good fight so a nice Saturday slog not helped by a total brain freeze on Yogi Berra. I kept thinking of every other person who had ever managed a baseball team even when I could see his face but couldn't dredge up the name. Anyway great end to the week.

teevoz 8:53 AM  

Doctors in a practice together.

QuasiMojo 8:53 AM  

Congrats on the debut Ryan. I enjoyed it. Although if it hadn't been for Sara Teasdale I'd have been a n00b. That at least gave me a toehold. had tans before suns. Pears is in New Zealand, which kept me from getting the final bell for a whole. Anyone ever try Pacific? It's a French non-alcoholic Pastis. Not ENTIREly imbuvable.The DRS answer was the weakest link. But overall impressive. Thx for filling in Laura!

jackj 8:53 AM  

The business of DRS, (doctors, abbreviated), is known as a practice.

QuasiMojo 8:54 AM  

Pears above is supposed to be Otara. Damn autocorrect.

pmdm 8:59 AM  

I never get much headway on a Saturday puzzle, and I don't have that much time to solve it, so I immediately search for all the proper nouns I don't know (most of them) on the first pass through the clues. I was amazed at how much I filled in the puzzle during today's first pass. Am I wrong, or do a lot of new constructors rely more heavily on proper nouns than more experienced constructors. If I enjoyed learning a lot of new proper nouns, I would like this type of puzzle. But alas, the names tend to go in one ear and out the other. Which means today's puzzle solve was faster than normal for me but also less enjoyable. Hoping most of you liked it more than myself.

Carola 9:04 AM  

For me, the crossword offered a gathering of mostly old friends. Right off, I RAN to greet ANTOINE - we've been on a first-name basis (one-way, of course) since I rushed home from 6th grade to catch him on American Bandstand singing about finding his thrill on Blueberry Hill. Then on to BABAR, LIDA ROSE, Yogi BERRA, ELON Musk, Ta-Nehisi COATES, Gertrude EDERLE, and ILIE Nastase (just kidding). However, ELLIE KEMPER and the SCHUYLER SISTERS were perfect strangers, whose identity I had to figure out on my own, using the puzzledoer's DEERSTALKER method of cross-examination.

I liked the conjunction of the Norse and Greek mythic worlds at RAGNAROK over IONIAN. Nor sure why they're united by HISPANIA. Loved the SILVER ARROW plunging straight down the middle of the grid.

@Ryan McCarty, congratulations on your debut. I really enjoyed solving this one and look forward to more.

QuasiMojo 9:08 AM  

I meant Lena!! Sorry. Lol

George Barany 9:11 AM  

Congratulations to @Ryan McCarty for a debut puzzle that tracks some of his interests (as reported elsewhere) and thanks so much to @Lena Webb for an informative review substituting for @Rex. At this writing, @Loren Muse Smith has just posted, hilarious as always, and there is a query from @seedyberry which I am able to address (see next paragraph, though in the interim, several others have also responded to it).

My experience: I thought TANS was reasonable enough for "Goes for the bronze?" (right idea, wrong answer word), so that contributed the only two letters that had to be fixed after applying the "check" function online last night (the A was left over from OSAKA, even though I had by then fixed the T that overlaps IN TERROR, and then it was amusing to see QUAKERS show up elsewhere). This also explains, in hindsight, the tricky DRS answer -- refers to a medical practice.

Lots and lots of proper names, so I was kind of amazed at being able to suss out the rest, even the ones I had never heard of, or had heard of but wasn't quite sure of, etc. @Lena rightly wondered about I LIE, but that was still better than yet another proper name, one belonging to a tennis player from the 70's whose nickname was "Nasty," and one who continues to make execrable comments to this very day (read this, and cringe). @ELON Musk certainly grabs his share of headlines, and has been a godsend to crossword constructors tired of referring to a certain North Carolina university (or its town).

I liked the clue/answer combination for TETRAHEDRA, and was, elsewhere in the puzzle, reminded of the PRAGMATIC aphorism "The winner of the RAT RACE is still a rat." Now, I have a craving to SITZ in a bath, perhaps followed by STRUDELS for breakfast.

Hartley70 9:12 AM  

Great Saturday, Ryan. Congrats!

I clawed my way through, knowing ELLIE but not KEMPER, knowing SISTERS but not SCHUYLER, and having ROSE but not LIDA. I thought I had all the tough ones under control until three blanks at the end. I eventually turned "tans" into SUNS, but the G in GINS forced me to run the alphabet waiting for the happy song.

This was a worthy Saturday dnf work-out. I managed to get BERRA, but it was touch and go. I had to laugh when I had Yogi but Berra poured out like molasses. Crosswords have increased my disregard of baseball. By the end of the puzzle I was delighted that I had completed all but one square. Hooray, an almost win!

Sir Hillary 9:17 AM  

Very hard (a good thing) and an impressive feat of construction, particularly for a debut. But solving it gave me no joy -- not a single "aha" moment or even a smile. Polar opposite of yesterday's experience. So, thumbs down, which probably says more about me than it does about the puzzle.

Tim Pierce 9:18 AM  

The NE corner was particularly rough for me: like George, I entered TANS for SUNS, and ended up with:
* LIDAROSO for LIDAROSE (I've never seen "The Music Man," so sue me)
* DRT for DRS (as an abbreviation for "draft" -- i.e. a "practice composition" -- it seemed plausible)
* OTAPA for OTARU
* IN TORPOR for IN TERROR

So, a decent (for me) solving time of 21:18, but four wrong squares! Ouch.

Also felt pretty wobbly about PASTIS/SEMIBREVE/IRAN, but I did manage to make that work out.

Loved the longer fill here: ELLIE KEMPER, SILVER ARROW, DEERSTALKER, TETRAHEDRA, TOURNIQUET, RAGNAROK, and of course thanks for that big fat "Hamilton" gimme to start the puzzle off with.

BarbieBarbie 9:21 AM  

What @pmdm said. Also, @evil already mentioned it, but I'm still fuming, so: BRONZE IS AN ALLOY. Go ahead and make that kind of mistake, but don't blog about it without correcting it.
@Two Ponies, I was thinking about Richard Nixon today too-- quite a coincidence.

This puzzle was hard for me but my time was normal. Which may just mean all Saturdays are hard for me. Boy, did I have a lot of rewrites. Did not leave me satisfied. A curious mixture of gimmes (DEERSTALKER, LIDAROSE) and toughies (SEMIBREVE, QUINTE).
And now my daily earworm has been set: "Dream of now / dream of then / dream of a love- SONG! ...that might have been..." Ah, Mama Partridge.

Rob 9:24 AM  

SUNS threw me for a while, I too thought the cross was a tortured abbreviation for "draft," so I had TANS (never heard of OTARU). Solid puzzle, I liked RAGNAROK, BERRA, and IONIAN.

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

Ragnarok and quinte in the same quadrant? Crossed by "senate"? Disappointing because I found the rest of the grid the precise kind of puzzle I like on a Saturday - you might not know the answers but you can get there through persistence and logic. Not so with that quadrant.

Bilbo Baggins 9:41 AM  

Hey, who you calling a homo?

mathgent 9:45 AM  

I turn up my nose at puzzles which are too easy so I can't bitch about ones which are too hard. Thirteen unknowns for me. I guessed wrong on three or four entries, so DNF. I'm hoping that I learned some stuff but I have my doubts about "quadrel," OTARU, HOMO "floresiensis," RAGNAROK, QUINTE, ELLIEKRAMER (I also saw part of one episode of Kimmie Schmidt), Ta-Nehisi COATES.

I learned something, but, like @Sir Hillary, didn't have any fun along the way.

puzzlehoarder 9:50 AM  

I haven't been this beat up by a current Saturday since I started coming to this blog. After the two hour mark I still had seven blank squares to fill in that upper central area. I just made things up and googled ELORYKEMPER to see if I got that right. Spell check changed the first name to LEROY and I thought, oh yeah REDAROSE for 20A. This mistake lead to another hour which somehow allowed me to figure out TILER and SILVER. When I finally called it quits I still had ELVIE crossing VIDAROSE. For a puzzle that picked on so many of my weaknesses I thought a single dnf isn't bad. At xwordinfo IFound I had six more incorrect squares! GUL for BUY was the worst. GETS for GINS and TANS for SUNS are a little more understandable. Just a bad night. I got to sleep at 2:00 AM and had to get up at 4:00 AM to come to the firehouse. This was one puzzle I should have stopped and finished today.

Maruchka 9:52 AM  

Really enjoyed, especially the clever (overall) cluing. Who doesn't love PESTLE, EVER SO and BATE, which is new to me. Thanks, Mr. McCarty.

Breezed from NW to SE, and then hit the PPP blockade. Osaka/OTARU, terra/TETRA (nice that it's not the fish) and Aegean/IONIAN. No ideas for QUINTE and the TV show. Look-ups, bah.

DANES - I'm rereading 'The Savage Canary', a history of WWII Danish resistance. Brave, modest, tolerant, and fun-loving. An antidote to what's happening now.

Trombone Tom 9:56 AM  

This one was a real workout for me and ended up a dnf because of the SCHUYLER SISTERS/ELLIE KEMPER crossing. Neither of them was in my ken.

Learned about Kakuros and Ta-Nehisi COATES. Hand up for OsAka before OTARU.

EDERLE was one of those words you just had to know in old crosswords.

More Whit 9:57 AM  

Far too many proper names, obscure trivia (ragnarok...semibreve...Elon...Antoine...Otaru ...etc) for me. Not an enjoyable solve - creative answers (tourniquet) were the very rare "birdies" on this layout obliterated by a dozen dreaded others.

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

Merits at least a Medium-Challenging in my book. Steady work was required, and progress was made, but still came in at a full 4 minutes over average.

Gettable, but not without some pain.

jberg 10:07 AM  

Yeh, but earlier in history those DANES lorded it brutally over Iceland, and sometimes Norway -- and before that they and the other Viking lands were the terror of coastal Europe. It all depends on the circumstances.

I liked it, but DNF -- been in Japan 8 or 9 times, but didn't think of OTARU. It's a port? I had heard of it as a stop on the train line someplace. So I went with OTARa/taNS and didn't notice DRT at all. I should have, so the error is my fault.

As clued, a nOOb (or is it n00b?) could also be a newbie, newb, or noob -- they're all AMATEURs. So those capital letters or digits seem an unnecessary complication.

WE're here and WE're losT before WE MADE IT -- better clued as 'world in known space, if you like Larry Niven's work.

CG 10:12 AM  

Brutal. I spent three and half hours of my Saturday on this. Crossing LIDA ROSE with TEASDALE, which crossed DRS and OTARU?? (Couldn't see DRS because I had TANS locked in for SUNS.) Never heard of a SEMIBREVE or SCHUYLER SISTERS. Was convinced that a company called BONES made Legoland (EBERLE seems better than EDERLE, yeah?). There were so many squares I wasn't sure of, it took so so long to get everything straightened out. But now my streak is unbroken, up to 115 days...we'll see how much further I can take it.

Ellen S 10:14 AM  

@Barbiebarbie -- I don't get why another commenter's error has you fuming. Lots of us, maybe even sometimes you, have gaps in our knowledge (or "lacunae" as someone I can't stand would have said, proving she had none). Sometimes we don't put together what we know. I thought "oreS" was a brilliant wrong answer for 25D. Me, I just had the prosaically wrong taNS for a long time.

I'm dumb enough that for me, SENATE brought an "aha". . I kept thinking it would be some group word, like trio or quartet, a group of a hundred, would that be a centad? But the first letter kept wanting to be an S, so I was stumped for a long time. When I finally had enough crosses to fill in the blanks for SENATE, I should have been embarrassed and humiliated, or as the puzzles have it, abased. But I'm old and senile so I just felt proud. (If Puerto Rico becomes a state, it will ruin a lot of puzzles. I guess bein' a state may be better than being a colony. Independence isn't an option, huh?)

Nancy 10:16 AM  

Like Quasi, I had TANS before SUNS. Unlike Quasi, I didn't know enough to change it. It gave me OTARa, which seemed just as right to me as OTARU would have. Heck, I had OsakA first, so I was at least heading in the right direction.

I also had PERNOD before PASTIS. But I didn't end up with PASTIS. I ended up with PASToS, since I had oRAN instead of IRAN. You see where we're going here. Geography has always been my bete noir, and it caused me plenty of grief today. Oh, and I also had LIeS before LIDS at 5D. You see why, right?

I found this puzzle absolutely ridiculous in the amount of obscure knowledge it required. And I refused to Google. My only solace was that no one else would know this stuff either -- at least that's what I thought. Unlike @mathgent, I am not delighted to learn new things in puzzles because I know that I won't bloody remember any of them! I mean do you really think I'm going to remember RAGNAROK??? ELLIE KEMPER??? Fats Domino's real first name??? Get real, people. I have a fighting chance of remembering SEMI BREVE, but it's not a proper name. (I originally had dEMI BREVE, to go along with my PERNOD, and that may actually help me remember. But don't count on it.) Too much trivia. A challenge, yes, but not my kind of challenge.

Passing Shot 10:18 AM  

Hmm. Learned a lot, but not much joy in this. I'll remember OTARU, SEMIBREVE, and RAGNORAK. Nice debut, just not in my wheelhouse (though, like Lena, smugly dropped SCHUYLERSISTERS in about 3 seconds). taNS before SUNS; baja before AERO; and really wanted "nip" before conceding TOE.

Steve M 10:39 AM  

Toughest Saturday in a while eek

Anonymous 10:42 AM  

I have never heard of a sitz bath, after looking that up I think that is a good ting.

Teedmn 10:52 AM  

Gah, epic fail here with a triple DNF. I had three quarters of this done in 20 minutes - the NW took another 20. @Nancy could have solved for me, our problems often dovetailed (@Nancy's LIeS at 5D was a brilliant Casco, in my opinion). taNS was never corrected. I thought a "Practice composition" might have been a lawyer's term for some sort of brief, tort, etc., so DRt (dissertation?) was fine, as was OTARa (I thought of but didn't enter Osaka).

I've never seen "The Music Man" so vIDA ROSE crossing ELvIa (yes, I had a sort of scared, SEMI BRaVE whole note) was another trouble spot. Is PASTIS a pastiche of Pernod?

Even though I saw Hamilton in March (hi Diana!), filling in the UY in SCH__LER was a sort of educated guess. But what kind of friends were QUA__RS. QUAsaRS came to mind (who knows what new definitions lurk in the heart of the Urban Dictionary?). Ack, I even have a Friend friend, sheesh. Dope slap when that one fell.

So congrats on the debut, Ryan McCarty, and a themeless Saturday besides, impressive.

Lewis 10:56 AM  

@lena -- Terrific review! Pluses, minuses, without bile. Are you the one that convinced Rex this week to not have a single tirade?

Today I felt like an EWS sufferer (Empty Wheelhouse Syndrome), with a dozen answers unknown, nine of them proper names, one a grid spanner (though I did correctly guess SISTERS). Too big of a handicap to overcome without some help, which I kept to a minimum, allowing me to do lots of pleasurable figuring out. I do like to be occasionally schooled by a puzzle, to keep my ego in check, and this did a consummate job at that.

64 words, 30 blocks, clean grid -- terrific debut, Ryan ("Jackpot!"), and for me, a very enjoyable battle.

Erik 10:57 AM  

Lena,
You are far too nice... kindly might even be a good word to use. For the marquis puzzle of the week this one was pretty awful. Full of croswordese and obscurity. I know Hamilton is popular right now, and maybe Kimmy Schmidt is too (though not like House of Cards or Orange is the New Black...) but these are not worthy of such prime real estate. Furthermore, STASES, QUINTE, OTARU and EDERLE are all signs of laziness by the constructor.

In short, his debut puzzle shows he is still an AMATEUR

David Fink 11:03 AM  

Kicked my butt.

Exploding Head 11:05 AM  

@ Nancy, If you are going to forget everything
why can't it be the Publish Your Comment button.

old timer 11:08 AM  

It's Google Day for me on a Saturday, and boy was this one harder than yesterday's. In particular I had to look up OTARU and verify that BAGNAROK was correct, which I got only on crosses. It did not help that my immediate thought for that grid-spanner was Schermerhorns. When that did not fit, I remembered SCHUYLER and SISTERS became obvious.

Writeovers: Like many of you I had "Pernod" before the more generic PASTIS. Wanted the prosaic
"Giant" before the delightful BABAR. Had "Aegean" before IONIAN -- I always get those seas mixed up. And even though I wanted GINS from the get-go, I had "states" for a while, but finally figured out that STASES is the plural of "stasis".

I was able to put BERRA in at once. Yogi-isms are many. The other one I have always liked is, "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." And while I never am sure whether that swimmer was "Eberle" or EDERLE, DANES put me right, there.

Mohair Sam 11:08 AM  

Wicked tough puzz, now I know Satan's alias when he shows on earth - no surprise he'd consider the Scandinavian "Day of Doom" a gimme.

We got all the corners but flamed out in the middle. Would have finished if I had remembered my beloved DEERSTALKER (I've always been convinced I'd look better than Basil Rathbone in one of those things), but I didn't remember it. And thinking ELLEN and not knowing RAGNAROK and failing to suss QUAKERS (embarrassing for this Pennsylvanian). DNF city.

There was a Pierce ARROW too, that added to our confusion. Told puzzle partner if she gave me one letter I'd remember Fats' name. She said "Second letter 'N' from ENTIRE" and I popped in ANTOINE. Hand up with the OsakA crowd. I know all my Yogi quotes, he opened the SE for us. Nifty clue for PESTLES, wicked clue for DRS. Saw "The Music Man" when I was young, LIDA ROSE is the reason I didn't watch a musical again for ten years.

Sent our middle son and his wife off to New York as a wedding gift last year - the trip included "Hamilton" tickets. We'll get to see the show and enjoy the SCHUYLER SISTERS ourselves with just three more months of eating dry toast for breakfast and mac and cheese for dinner to finish paying for the kid's tix.

Congrats on the debut Ryan McCarty, Saturday no less! - great puzzle. You whupped us, we'll get you next time.

Tom4 11:10 AM  

Ouch that was difficult.

Bill Feeney 11:14 AM  

Because so much of the puzzle was unknown to me, I had SAMPLE before SENATE. "Survey says.... Hats off to those of you who threw in answers to many of the clues. I struggled forever and had to use check puzzle repeatedly. Ellie Kemper was such a delight on "The Office" that it's said that Tina Fey wrote "Kimmy" specifically for her.

GHarris 11:31 AM  

When ragnarok crosses kemper and you throw in quinte there's no way I finish without help from Dr. G. Nevertheless felt good about working out the rest on my own. (Oh, cross of Otaru with tetrahedra also required outside assistance)

Unofficial Blog Cop 11:40 AM  

@Exploding Head, if only that were possible. @Nancy doesn't like to learn new things because, well, she already knows everything. Maybe she'll return today and regale us with stories of her various operations and sicknesses.

GILL I. 11:46 AM  

I really started by not liking the puzzle. I thought "oh ugh...lots of names and trivia." Then I wandered around a bit, plunked in STRUDELS and IRAN and changed Pernod to PASTIS. Now that brought a smile. Dad and my step-mom lived off and on in Nice and I have the pre-dinner, every night, sunset, sitting on the balcony, must have "The Milk of Provence" drink stuck in my head - and it's pleasant. The memory is nice but gadzooks that stuff was awful. My very first drunken stupor was after drinking about 5 anisette and falling off the bar stool in Cuenca, Spain. I hate anise and that's PASTIS. I like fennel though!
Anyhow, I continued to smile with LIDA ROSE because I saw the Music Man a thousand times. My one-time nemesis AEROmexico, let me finish the upper NE. Yay me!
@DBlock...exact same thing for me. I KNOW who BERRA is, I love his Berra-isms (hi @old timer) my favorite is "It gets early out here" and yet I couldn't remember his name for the longest time. Head slap when I got the R off of IM RICH...
As much as I was enjoying this I came to standstill in the basement area. Could not finish the HEDRA of TETRA because I wanted Mr Ponzi and his schemes to fit in for 29D. Never filled in the RAGNAROCK nor the DANES. And yet I didn't care because I got all the long names, despite not knowing them in an intimate way.
@George, I bet if you ate too many STRUDELS for breakfast, you might need to SITZ in the bath for quite some time. God bless the inventor...!
Thanks Ryan M. congrats on your debut.

prandolph 12:12 PM  

Tough puzzle but interesting. By the way, I like Nancy's posts.

Bob Mills 12:26 PM  

"Suns" is a terrible answer, because the clue calls for a verb. "Sun" is not a verb.

BarbieBarbie 12:26 PM  

@Ellen, the difference between a blog and a comment is the same as the difference between an Op-Ed piece and a letter to the editor. There's a different standard, or should be. You're right, I am often wrong and underinformed. I like these comments because they set me straight. I also like it when people express things about themselves, for example George Barany getting worked up about chemistry. Feel free to continue to let me know it's not OK for me to get worked up about chemistry. Nevertheless, I will persist.

Frayed Knot 12:40 PM  

Not knowing or having heard of HISPANIA, RAGNAROK, OTURA, QUINTE, ELLIE KEMPER, LIDA ROSE, or SEMIBREVE, among others, made this the hardest Saturday for me in a while.
And while I knew SISTERS it took me forever and several crosses before I reconnected to SCHUYLER. Side note: my grandparents retired to Schuyler, Virginia which was also the home town of 'The Waltons' - so if that answer comes up in future XWord clues you'll now have me to thank for it.

Eventually pieced together most of it.

mac 12:41 PM  

Very nice debut puzzle! Took longer than my usual Saturday effort, not a bad thing.

Stanley Hudson 12:46 PM  

Another wake and bake Saturday, which made this solid debut puzzle even more delightful.

Teedmn 12:46 PM  

Hand up for liking @Nancy's posts. Always erudite and funny. Her voice comes through very well. And she likes learning things (note her use of italics in her post.)

boomer54 12:50 PM  


i am new to the ...comments ...and do not want to seem fresh ...but ...

i have been doing the nyt ,,,since ...1947 ...and appreciate ...

each solver has a personal standard and goal ...however ... i must

admit i am perplexed at tim's comment re ...solving the puzzle ...with 4 wrong squares

respectfully ...

Larry Tate 12:50 PM  

Leave Aunt Clara, er Nancy, alone.

Brian 12:55 PM  

Oof, the NE. Had taNS for SUNS, didn't know TEASDALE or OTARU, and question mark clues for abbreviations can be brutal on DRS. Had to look up both the ones I didn't know in order to catch my wrong squares and finally finish.

Otherwise, some of the long fill was in my wheelhouse, which made this puzzle smoother than other people seem to have experienced. ELLIE KEMPER on Kimmy Schmidt (and the Office) is great, that was my first fill in. John Hodgman has a comedy special called RAGNAROK that he filmed on December 21st, 2012 that's about the end of the world, although thinking about it now, I guess he was was mixing mythologies. I was in the chorus of a community theater production of Music Man back in middle school, so LIDA ROSE was there after getting a cross or two to jog my memory - the barbershop songs are kind of non sequiturs plotwise, so they're not especially memorable. Still haven't made it through Hamilton, but I have enough friends who are obsessed with it to get SCHUYLER SISTERS pretty easily.

evil doug 1:05 PM  

Whoever taught her how to do italics should be shot.

old timer 1:11 PM  

@Gill I., I have been to France, Spain, and many other countries, and while I sometimes like to order a PASTIS, I cannot imagine getting drunk on it. Much less, in Spain. It's a pleasant drink but self-limiting in my experience. I think the one place I did get drunk was in Copenhagen, when my student tour group discovered the tasty and strong beer from Carlsberg called Elephant, and many of us alternated bottles of Elephant with shots of aquavit.

(Oh, I've been tipsy drinking wine in France, and who wouldn't be? But that Danish combination was a killer! A nice killer, if you know what I mean, but I am still amazed that we managed to stagger back to our hotel, which was in fact a university dorm.)

jae 1:25 PM  

Medium for me and pretty much what @Lena said about the puzzle.

Add me to the horde that had OsAka changed it to OTARa and kept in taNS. Missed it by 2 squares - DNF.

KL 1:36 PM  

A quiz in a box to a great extent, the trivia obscure enough to make the solve a tedious grind. If you want to know why many don't bother with crosswords today provides a good example.

Mohair Sam 1:36 PM  

@Gill I - How can you hate anise and love fennel? Same taste.

@Nancy - Don't let the bastards get you down. Never change.

@Doug - I believe it was @Z who trained her on the use of italics.

@Z - Keep your head down.

evil doug 1:47 PM  

Never has a formatting tool been so abused and overused--unless you count ACME's attraction to exclamations (see: Elmore Leonard's Rules for Writing). They're both meant for emphasis, but if you emphasize everything, what's the point?

Masked and Anonymo6Us 2:05 PM  

Put up a heckuva fight, here at the hotel breakfaste buffette dinin area. Dinin room staff tried to help a little, maybe so they could get M&A to vacate the table, cuz then they could finish cleanin up. Eventually we picked up and moved to the lobby area. Thanx to Brian for SILVERARROW and to Juana (sp?) for AVEENO. AVEENO saved my bacon, in the NE, where I had fired up with GETOUT fot BEATIT, GIANT for BABAR. EVERSO and TOE still fitted, so got totally lulled into false security for a spell. Them dinin area people are smarties.

Lotsa unknown names swirlin around in this grid, which eventually led M&A to consult with the iPad Research Dept. This of course is fair, cuz the editor and constructioneer likely also had to do similar research. Especially on RAGNAROK. This turned M&A's battered brain to covfefe. Dinin area staff thoroughly backed m&e up, on the wisdom of research. Juannah (sp?) called the puz "dee-ablo", a coupla times.

staff weeject pick was divided up, a bit. Brian liked ZAP, while Wannah (sp?) got pretty riled up in a funny way over DRS. Left em a real big tip, in case I need em for the SunPuz.

Admired the jaws of themeless grid design, for 2nd day in a row. Nice debut and thanx, Mr. McCarty. Can't help wonder if RAGNAROK translates to RANAMOK?

Masked & Anonymo6Us
on the road

Beowulf Geat 2:36 PM  

So, DANES have devolved into world-wide fame for producing little plastic toys? I never was impressed with their valor.

MichaelT 3:00 PM  

"Schuyler Sisters" is not a modern day crowd pleaser to the 99.9+% of the population who has not seen Hamilton. The cultural phenomenon of our time! My eye.
This was a difficult puzzle. Tons of proper nouns I had never heard of. Lucky to finish.

GILL I. 3:15 PM  

@old timer...Not PASTIS...Anisette! Chinchon!...served all over Spain. Cheap stuff that slid down your throat with the greatest of ease...then you slid down the bar stool.
@Mohair...I know - crazy but I saute fennel with a lemon green olive chicken dish and the taste isn't anise at all!
I hope @evil doesn't mind my ......I'd be devastated.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous 3:29 PM  

Lena tends to rate things easier than they are. This was obviously challenging, not medium, since many people, including myself, did not finish. Actually, after a few googles, I got everything filled in at least. I agree that just because Hamilton is popular, it is getting way too much real estate in puzzles. Most people likely have not seen it. So how would they know the characters? The Dane thing was quite obscure. Too many names made this little fun.

Anonymous 3:36 PM  

Thank you Laura Looman.

Larry Gilstrap 3:40 PM  

More trivia than wordplay. Not that there's anything wrong with it. This results in a challenging puzzle for solvers who have never heard of SEMIBREVE, or seen Hamilton, or have only studied Greek or Roman Mythology. I guess that's fair for a Saturday, and most of the crosses are gettable. For example, I know my poets, so Sara eight letters is automatic, but Japanese seaports?, not so much.

Aren't half the guys from New Orleans named ANTOINE? Despite what you've heard, Fats Domino just had a round face, as did Chubby Checker, and Pee Wee Reese was 5' 11". Gonna Google Lefty Gomez, Crazy Legs Hirsch, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Speedy Gonzales, who knows? I might be on to something.

Some times I'm outed for being that guy who does the NYT Puzzle everyday, and try to quickly change the subject to the weather or my sciatica, anything. Today's effort, it's like what people who don't do crosswords think a puzzle is like.

In my opinion, it's a Blog Foul to mention another commenter by name and then post a disparaging word or two. If I post something that is inaccurate, feel free to correct me. I appreciate it. Otherwise, if you don't like a characteristic of someone's online persona, best keep it to yourself. Scroll down!


Hungry Mother 4:14 PM  

Got all but 4 letters, which for me is a good Saturday. Lots of nice stuff in this one. SUNS instead of "tans" would have helped from the outset.

hankster65 4:19 PM  

Big, big DNF. My 20 puzzle streak comes to an ugly end. I didn't know any of the big ones and only a few of the small ones! My nightmare puzzle, for sure.

Aketi 4:22 PM  

Loved RAGNAROK thanks to a niece and a son who hooked me on Marvel movies (well at least some of them, Thor is not high on my list) and SILVER ARROW.

The Belgian nuns taught me to tipple PASTIS. For more hard core drinking they'd move on to Poire Williams. I forgot about Pernod so just lucked out on this one.

QUAKER just reminds me of breakfast, which on Saturday mornings includes a side order of the Mac Attack, three different versions macaroni and cheese. I've never tried it paired with STRUDEL, but it does go well with cinnamon rolls. Today's pairing with truffled eggs was to die for,

@Nancy, the faux Latin translation of @Mohair Sam's advice is nolite te bastardes carborundorum. The two things I learned today were that some women have that phrase tattooed on themselves and that people who harvest donated organs hate donors that have tatoos because it is very challenging to cut around them for skin grafts.


hankster65 4:24 PM  

Big, big DNF. My 20 puzzle streak comes to an ugly end. I didn't know any of the big ones and only a few of the small ones! My nightmare puzzle, for sure.

Anonymous 4:28 PM  

@Exploding head, try duct tape to put your head back together. If you try really hard, my fragile friend, I think you can get OVER IT.

Aketi 4:58 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trudy Morgan-Cole 5:01 PM  

Being both a Hamilton fan and a Kimmy Schmidt fan helped get me going on this one ... right in my cultural wheelhouse.

Aketi 5:22 PM  

@evil, sorry, but it's just too tempting. You reminded me of how Woodstock in Charlie Brown talks:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Malsdemare 5:46 PM  

Tough! I got through about 1/3 before I had to leave to go test some dogs and their handlers for pet therapy, and the break helped a little. I've never seen "Hamilton" but I've got the CD (is that like "well I've never been to heaven but I've been to Oklahoma . . . ). When I heard via the grapevine (insert rest of refrain here; you're welcome for the ear worm) that the music was terrific, I hit the iTunes store, so SCHUYLERSISTERS was gettable on the second pass. And the music is fabulous; my absolute favorite is the King's lament. ANTOINE also just tumbled in after pre-test wracking; go figure. Nothing about those dogs had anything to do with Fats. Hand up for EbERLE. And I had taNS, which gave me DfT, so I had four wrong letters at the end. I hit Reveal errors, and just plain guessed at DANES. I know lots of dogs, lizards, and cats that love to SUN themselves so I was okay when my pure guess proved to be correct. But I had to stare at DRS for a long time before the penny dropped.

Loved DEERSTALKER, googled for ELLIE, entered SEMIBREVE with great hesitation, but still, because of above errors, a big fat dnf.

I'm the one who reports on illness and operations. Also dogs, jobs, and other things the puzzle or comments bring to mind. I come here to annoy others with my experiences and read up on what Z, Nancy, Aketi, Evil, Mohair, Barany and the rest have been doing and are thinking. Please don't anyone -- except maybe exploding head and UBC -- change. And you, exploding head and UBC, can eat my shorts. Or just click on my name and I'll disappear, something I imagine some folks who know me wish they could do.

Bring on Sunday!



Nancy 5:54 PM  

Some non-italicized hugs to the always-wonderful @Mohair, @Teedmn, @GILL, and @Aketi (too funny!), as well as my new besties, @prandolph, @Larry G. and @Anon 4:28. Friends are what keep me on this blog. They don't even have to be QUAKERS.

Nancy 5:55 PM  

Oh, and I love you too, @Malsdemare. We were both typing at the same time.

Exploding Head 6:16 PM  

Fish in a barrel today.
You folks are too easy.

AZPETE 8:46 PM  

Came here expecting Rex to rip this a new one. Disappointed 😔. Too many proper nouns that required too much googling.

Annette 9:10 PM  

I must be on Ryan's wavelength, as I posted my fasted Saturday ever ("23 minutes faster than your average time").

Annette

Unofficial Blog Cop 9:33 PM  

@Malsdemare, Only if you leave skid marks.

Anonymous 9:56 PM  

@Exploding Head, please don't stick your head in a barrel of fish. It's unlikely to keep your head from exploding and you might drown. Perhaps a recompression chamber might help.

@Unofficial Blog Cop, I doubt anyone is surprised that you have coprophagic tendencies. Perhaps if you take vitamin B12 supplements you might see some remission in your symptoms.

Randy 10:37 PM  

Hardest puzzle for me in a while. Had the NW corner completely empty after filling the rest and couldn't finish.

Sallie 11:24 PM  

Extremely hard for me. Hardest puzzle in years.

Michael5000 12:27 AM  

This one was maybe the "worst ever" for us in terms of its "know it or don't" content. Obviously, of course, we didn't "know it."

Curleegirl 12:49 AM  

It's Ellie Kemper, so if you filled with Kramer, something else is off.

AW 12:54 AM  

I prefer puzzles that clue creatively but have "gettable" words. This one was just too rife with obscurities. A poet named Sarah who wrote a poem that maybe a handful of poetry-lovers know? Some woman who swam the Channel who knows when? A Japanese port? A sitcom star? A British musical note and some esoteric fencing pose? Geez Louise! How is that fun to solve!?

Curleegirl 12:56 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curleegirl 1:05 AM  

Would someone mind explaining why friends and Quakers are synonymous? Mad for about to explode?!? It's barely irked, and technically means insane rather than angry. I, like many others, found this puzzle too arcane by half.

Curleegirl 1:18 AM  

To sun oneself and thereby become bronze.

Hartley70 2:24 AM  

I'm late to the party, but if I knew how to create italics here, I'd use them forever more. Brilliant, @Aketi! Jealousy is a BASE emotion, and today's Nancy bashers are a pathetic lot. Learn to write as well as Nancy and you might learn to appreciate her gift.

Greg McFadden 5:10 AM  

Super nerd comment. The Deerstalker cap, the pipe, the magnifying glass and the Inverness coat are all creations of William Gillette (an actor who famously played Holmes onstage for many years.) None of these things which we associate with Holmes are even mentioned by Doyle. So unless you're counting movies and plays only, an incorrect or fuzzy answer.

Z 8:19 AM  

24 Pop culture, product names, or other proper nouns. This would be a fine number if the word count was 76, but for a 64 worder it is way to high. I'm not surprised to see some struggled.

@Mohair Sam - He's a pilot so probably has terrible aim anyway.

Rob 8:45 AM  

@Curleegirl: The Quakers are also called the Society of Friends.

Definitely some obscure stuff in this puzzle, or at least some stuff I didn't know -- I got QUINTE from crosses -- but RAGNAROK seemed eminently fair. I understand not everyone will have learned their Norse mythology, but RAGNAROK isn't a deep cut of the genre. No more unfair than, say, HADES or ARTEMIS. Crosswords' Greek mythology clues get much more obscure -- I never remember the Furies when they come up, for example -- and people don't bat an eye at those. I think in this case people are conflating what they don't happen to know with what's unacceptably obscure.

As a person who had TANS instead of SUNS, SUNS is a legitimate verb at this point, albeit a nasty bit of cluing with that ? across. To sun oneself is a generally accepted turn of phrase in current usage.

Loki 9:02 AM  

I guess in November we will know it: Thor: Ragnarök.

salty 10:45 AM  

I usually spend about an hour on a Saturday, I gave up on this one after 2.5 hours with 6 wrong squares (and quite a few more were mostly by luck). too many obscure stuff, and TANS/SUNS... ugh

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

I finished! Hooray for me!
- Nestle/ Nastid/ Demi breve - doesn't Nestle make frozen dinners? Yum, Nastid!
- Eberle/ Banos/ Quinto - was so sure of EBerle - could have been Banes/ Quinte; at least I'd be closer.
- Drt/ Tans/ Otara - since everything else was so obscure, if it hung on tans, it must be right.

Matthew G. 5:19 PM  

Never heard of either PASTIS or SEMIBREVE, so I was lucky to guess correctly on that S square. Could easily have been a Natick, with DEMIBREVE and PASTID seeming almost equally plausible.

Otherwise a very easy solve thanks to SCHUYLER SISTERS, ELLIE KEMPER, and DEERSTALKER being gimmes that filled the center up instantly.

Startled that SITZ bath passed Will's editing. Either you don't know it or, or you do know it and it fails the breakfast test.

kitshef 7:19 PM  

So many unknows. Kimmy Scmidt, Hamilton, LILA ROSE, the British note thing, what TILERS do, the damn car. And of course, they all cross one another in a small area of the grid, making it basically impossible.

Yet I still would have had a clean solve if I could just have come up with BUY from -U-.

Anyway, calling this medium is an not merely wrong, it's a slap in the face.

Curleegirl 7:21 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curleegirl 7:25 PM  

@Rob Thanks!

Burma Shave 11:57 AM  

BEATIT

The SCHUYLERSISTERS were EVERSO MAD,
in TIERS, not PRAGMATIC with how slow WEMADEIT.
IMRICH unlike the AMATEURs they've had,
"I BUY where ILIE, so let your master BATE it!"

--- ANTOINE AVEENO

rondo 1:08 PM  

This took about an hour fifteen, mostly because I'm watching The Open, but also because of the popular OsAka/taNS cross, QUINcE and WerehEre. So several inky areas. And the SCHUYLERSISTERS only showed up due to crosses as I, like most people, have not seen Hamilton.

You've gotta be familiar with your edda to know RAGNAROK. Not unheard of for this former Scandinavian Studies minor.

Don't know how many more years of the RATRACE for me. Closing on a second property soon is not PRAGMATIC in that regard.

Only hint of a yeah baby candidate is ELLIEKEMPER. My only knowledge of some of these celebs comes from Parade magazine in the Sunday paper.

Can't BERATE a puz like this.

rain forest 1:40 PM  

Nice one, @BS.

The old brain wasn't totally engaged today, and, something that rarely happens, I lost the drive to see this to the end. So, DNF.

Netflix actress, MB racer, Scandinavian thingy... I DID somehow get SCHUYLER SISTERS without knowing anything about Hamilton, and DEERSTALKER was almost a gimme, but most of the rest of the centre section remained white. It also didn't help that I had OsAka and taNS and wouldn't change it. LIDA ROSE? I now realize that is a song from The Music Man sung by a barbershop quartet, but impossible during the solve.

I think that had I been a tad sharper this morning I might have liked it.

spacecraft 2:07 PM  

DNF. Way too many obscure PPPs for me. Oh, look over there: a single actual word: BERATE! Sorry, this one was CLEAROUT of my wheelhouse. ELLIEKEMPER? OTARA?? RAGNAROK??? Be serious.

ILIE INTERROR of these partials. Get back to me when "words" return to crosswords.

5wksltr 2:22 PM  

I loved "buy" for "believe". Even with the B, it took forever to solve.

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

Refreshing, truthful comment by Nancy - this was a pisser infestation of a puzzle.
Rejected.

Anonymous 3:01 PM  

From Syndication Land

This was a "know it or you don't" puzzle. Unfortunately for me, I didn't! I look forward to Saturday puzzles all week. This one just made me sad. : ( Never heard of Ellie Kemper. At one time I tried Ellen Pompeo!

Diana,LIW 3:19 PM  

I used to work with some professors who like to kinda "brag" about how "tough" they were. I'd always say that anyone can make a course "tough" if they put in too much (reading, writing, exercises, etc). But it takes a truly good teacher to make a course intellectually challenging and thus, stimulating. You can guess which road this puzzle took.

I was surprised at how much I did get, but basically this was a trivia-fest - not the kind of entertaining and thoughtful challenge I enjoy. The constructor had some really good clue/answers you could suss out - wish he had done more of that. Too many places where I had to shrug and say, "I don't know."

Smiles for a quintessential BERRA quote. It ain't over till it's over. It's over.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana,LIW 3:55 PM  

PS!!!

SUNS can definitely be a verb. My cat knows where the sun goes every day, and SUNS himself in the appropriate window. He does not tan.

However, I must say that the clue for LIDS should have had an "'" as it is possessive. (Should read "preserves' covers. Otherwise you insinuate that you are preserving some kind of cover.) Yes? No? Anyone else see that? I didn't see anything in the comments.

Lady Di

leftcoastTAM 6:47 PM  

I commiserate with @spacecraft, @Lady Di, and all others who were zapped by the PPPs. I feel badly burnt.

strayling 7:44 PM  

This puzzle exemplifies why I prefer cryptics. So many proper nouns I didn't know gave me a big fat DNF in the NE.

A cryptic would have given me an alternate way to solve. Figure out the instructions in the clue and they tell you how to construct the answer. The trade off is that you also have to figure out what the actual question is, hidden within the clue.

strayling 7:50 PM  

It's a bit of a reach, I agree, but it works if you think if collections. A bottle might have a bottle cover. A crate of bottles could have a bottles cover.

Diana,LIW 9:56 PM  

Dear @Strayling - I believe you are responding to my post??? Could you explain further...

DLIW

thefogman 7:21 PM  

I am a day late and a dollar short after struggling with this for the entire weekend. I found this puzzle to be among the toughest ones in a long time. I had most of the wrong answers Lena did (Osaka, Pernod, tans) and since I use a pen the grid ended up a smudge-filled inky mess.
After reading the helpful definition provided by posted above, I have concluded that The Donald is a n00b and his picture should appear in dictionaries beside this word from now on.

thefogman 7:30 PM  

EDIT - I thank Loren Muse Smith (not Lena) for the definition of n00b.

strayling 8:16 PM  

The lack of an apostrophe in the LIDS clue. Not wrong, but it takes a contrived example to show that usage.

Saturday puzzles should be harder 1:51 AM  

Really enjoyed this. 25:22 My final 5 minutes in the NW. I know PASTIES but not PASTIS.
The SW is kinda dark...[MAD, RAT RACE, DEATHS, TORE AT]
21d. How about this....Letter opener to a follower? [DEAR STALKER] ....
Boo! Hiss! Tired, old "Vamoose!" clue for 7a.[BEAT IT.] Missed a chance for a Michael Jackson reference, or Eddie Van Halen. Anyone else read the Chuck Klosterman interview where Van Halen says he doesn't listen to music much at all. The last album Van Halen bought was Peter Gabriel's "So." That came out in 1986.

Blogger 12:55 PM  

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