Cedar Revolution locale / SAT 8-26-17 / Advice for wannabe loser / 1998 Disney princess / Storied party host / Phrase used as basic tenet of improv comedy / Literary hero who gets resurrected

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Constructor: Peter Wentz

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: BOYLE'S LAW (15A: PV = k, to a physicist) —
Boyle's law (sometimes referred to as the Boyle–Mariotte law, or Mariotte's law[1]) is an experimental gas law that describes how the pressure of a gas tends to increase as the volume of the container decreases. A modern statement of Boyle's law is
The absolute pressure exerted by a given mass of an ideal gas is inversely proportional to the volume it occupies if the temperature and amount of gas remain unchanged within a closed system.[2][3]
Mathematically, Boyle's law can be stated as
P\propto {\frac {1}{V}}
where P is the pressure of the gas, V is the volume of the gas, and k is a constant. (wikipedia)
• • •

I don't think I've ever needed a good puzzle so bad before. Between presidential bigotry and a massive, lethal hurricane, the world was a little too much to take this evening. So it was wonderful to spend time with such a smart, artful, wide-ranging, *living* puzzle. It somehow contained several things I did not know *and* was right in my wheelhouse. The things I didn't know just didn't stand a chance. This is how I like to encounter "things I didn't know": as objects I am flattening on my way to the goal line. There is no part of this puzzle, no nook cranny or corner, that isn't fresh and clean and entertaining. Even the jury-rigged weirdness of "TASTE OK?" made me happy. Once I imagined someone saying / asking it, I realized, "Yeah, that clue's accurate" (8D: "How's the food?"). I hate the word KNEEHOLES (63A: Some office openings). That is the only negative thing I have to say about this puzzle.

[16A: "Um ... I'm standing right here!"]

I knew I was in for a rollercoaster ride when I went swooping into the puzzle via 1D: Former laptop line (iBOOK):

Boom boom boom! OK, that last boom was more thud, as I somehow failed to register the date of the Disney princess (23D: 1998 Disney princess) and missed by eighteen years. And I saw "MULAN" in the theater, too! Ugh. Always hurts to whiff on something you actually know cold. But no matter. Got the NW done quickly and glided over to the NE via EPEE and CHASE, and made short work of that corner as well, despite not knowing LESH (11D: Grateful Dead bassist Phil), or BODYMAN (38A: President's personal aide). Once I worked out "MULAN", getting into the SW was a tad tricky, as I thought the "Forum" of 36A: Forum icons (AVATARS) was Roman, not digital, but YES AND, TAG, and GREG got things moving. Last obstacle was trying to make sense of 43A: Advice for a wannabe loser (DIET TIP). "That's worded weird ... who wants to be a loser?" Who indeed. SE threatened to be difficult, but COME ALIVE proved a good guess at 61A: Start hopping, and ta da, done. Under 7, and that's *with* stoppage time for an early screen grab.

Wishing everyone ... well, just survival, at this point, would be nice.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 2:03 AM  

Mostly easy for me too with the NW and SE just slightly tougher than their counterparts. It didn't help that I had ninePm (off of EPEE) before SWEEPS.

The YES AND improv technique was a gimme because we watched "The Incredible Jessica James" on Netflix streaming this week. It is a delightful twist on romcoms that I highly recommend.

BODYMAN brings to mind Tony Hale on Veep.

Smooth grid with a smattering of zip. Liked it, but would still like more of a challenge on Sat.

tkincher 2:13 AM  

I was good once I got going, but struggled mightily in the SE to close it out. Never heard of KNEEHOLES before except in worn out jeans; it looked right in the grid but didn't make sense. Fun puzzle otherwise!

puzzlehoarder 2:24 AM  

This was a good solve. I started in the NW with CLASH and LESH and steadily worked my way clockwise until the ND of YESAND stopped me. As clued that's a complete debut and a term I've never seen. Even though I had already back filled most of the NW connecting it to the rest of the puzzle pushed the solve solidly into late week territory. The lightbulb went off when I got RNS and SUBROSA. The delay was aggravated by a couple of write overs, ANAL/ORAL and IT/OK. I know that looks like some distasteful sentence but that's what they were. After that confusion it was satisfying to get a clean grid.

Dolgo 3:05 AM  

I agree that it was a bit hard to get going, but once I got a few chewmarks on the old pencil, it came together pretty fast.
BIRDDOG was my first gimme. Then JAY GATSBY.
It's rare to find resurrected heroes who aren't Christian, somehow (besides Jon Snow and Beric What's his name, I mean). So one thinks of C. S. Lewis, even though I never read those Narnia things.
Some early guesses that didn't work were reeds for WINDS, look alive for COME ALIVE. I never heard of the Cedar Revolution, but it was quite easy to guess.

Dolgo 3:09 AM  

PS I don't suppose Lewis ever heard of Aztlan, the legendary Chicano Homeland, but it took me a long time not to get it confused with Aslan.

Dolgo 3:16 AM  

In case you were wondering, I taught ethnic American lit a couple of times back in the days when we haoles could still get away with it.

frankbirthdaycake 4:38 AM  

This was a fun puzzle and a nice start to my Saturday. I also earned "kneeholes" is a thing.

Z 5:24 AM  

BODYguard makes sense to me, BODYMAN not so much. Otherwise an easy and fun Saturday. I finished sub-20 and 9 minutes faster than yesterday so definitely easy here.

BarbieBarbie 6:14 AM  

I'm with @Z on BODYMAN.

Nice puzzle but too easy. Half-normal time.

Can't believe someone would not know LESH. Rex is dead to me. (for today)

Lewis 6:20 AM  

Lovely clues for THE BIG BANG and AVATARS!

I knew that the stars were aligned when I plopped in SUB ROSA and BOYLES LAW, either of which I had no idea that I knew. On the other hand, nowhere in my brain was KNEEHOLES, POMELO, or BODYMAN. So this puzzle was a little COME ALIVE, and a little SLAVE AWAY, but at the end -- I'M BACK!

My heart to those in the storm...

mathgent 6:31 AM  

I can't remember Rex ever having been so pleased by a puzzle. I agree with him completely.

"In cahoots" is such a strange expression. I think that it has gone out of fashion. Apparently a cahoot was a somewhat sinister gang of confederates in old French or Scottish. I don't think that it quite means "As thick as thieves."

Phil Lesh is well known here in San Francisco.

Twenty red plus signs in the margin, high even for a Saturday. They more than make up for GAH.

I don't recall a previous puzzle by Peter Wentz. Jeff Chen calls him one of his favorites. His personality came through very strongly here.

Small Town Blogger 7:14 AM  

How is nursing an "oral phase" component?

Peter 7:14 AM  

One of my fastest Saturdays ever -- but it would have been faster if I radent been so sure that the "Explosve theory?" was, without any help, RELATIVITY. The moral: don't waste time (or space, mass, or energy) patting yourself on the back.

Anonymous 7:23 AM  

An infant who is nursing would be in the oral phase. Good puzzle!

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

Anyone else try mAdhATter for the party giver?

- Jim C. in Maine

Mireille 7:42 AM  

The oral phase is the first of Freud's 5 stages of psychosexual development. I don't know how valid it's considered any more by the psychological community...

redrube 7:43 AM  

Babies nurse on their mothers breast or on a bottle

QuasiMojo 7:45 AM  

Never heard of an iBook or Boyles Law and I misspelled Casem. So I had a DNF at the start. But managed to fill in everything else. Body man makes no sense to me and unlike Rex I found TasteOk to be ridiculous. I tried Perle Mesta before Jay Gatsby. A lot of this puzzle didn't work for me. But I prefer it to the more forced puzzles earlier this week. Feels weird to hear Rex being so nice!

AW 7:47 AM  

MULAN was most definitely not a Disney princess. A heroine, yes. A princess, no. Couldn't get a toehold anywhere to start and just gave up on 80 percent of it. KNEE HOLES? GAH? BOYLES LAW? And you guys found it EASY? Feel like a dog slinking off with its tail curled between its legs.

Hartley70 7:54 AM  

NORMA to Orman? Who the heck is called Orman? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised when there are little Apples and Princes and Kumquats running around the playground today. "Howdy, Little Ormy!"

I threw INCAHOOTS down right off the bat, but I too had a hard time getting started. It was the long colloquial downs that saved me like COMEALIVE and SLAVEAWAY.

JAYGATSBY was nicely tricky. I was trying to make Pearl Mesta fit, even though I knew in my heart that only the old folk had a chance of remembering her. I didn't think Peter Wentz was a geezer, so I had to let Pearl go.

There is a gaping hole in my kid lit knowledge and it's name is Narnia. If I fix it, it'll be for crossword purposes only. I watched about 5 minutes of the film and that was more than enough to last a lifetime. The lion ASLAN was particularly annoying.

This puzzle was good fun and that's just how I like my Saturdays.

Mel Torme 8:10 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mel Torme 8:10 AM  

Had me too for a bit, but the clue doesn't say move the first letter, it says add the first letter. So it's NORMA and Norman.

Jamie C 8:14 AM  

I felt pretty good about PAPAYA for POMELO. Otherwise an enjoyable breeze.

Anonymous 8:17 AM  

Hartlley70 - It's Norma to Norman. It didn't say move the N, it said add it.

Rex - You. Don't. Know. Phil. Lesh?


JJ_Rural_MO 8:21 AM  

Hartley70 - it was NORMA to NORMAN - the clue said to *add* the first letter to the end, not *move* it.
Liked the puzzle - one of my quicker Sat solves; had been in a desert of DNFs on Sats.
Also liked the Peter Frampton link - good music for morning coffee.

Charlie Young 8:28 AM  

I would have expected everyone in this crowd to be fans of The West Wing making bodyman a gimme.

Hartley70 8:36 AM  

Thank you all for the Orman/Norman correction! I suspected I was missing something there, but I just couldn't see it. As a "Psycho" trauma victim, however, I myself might prefer to be called Orman if given the choice.

More Whit 8:41 AM  

Boyle's Law and the Big Bang were rare gifts that served as a catalyst, as was base metal. Aslan, honey wine, and body(man????) made the NE a challenging finish to the puzzle. Kneeholes? I'd need a load of analgesics before employing that bit of architectural nonsense.

Birchbark 8:43 AM  

Phil Lesh's bass lines, on a good day, were akin to well-constructed Saturday crosswords. I chuckled at the "herb" crossing of BASIL and ANALGESIC.

mmorgan 8:55 AM  

Whew. Tough one for me, especially the NW, but a truly fine puzzle. It all fell, but it took some work.

Dave C 8:58 AM  

@Jim C. in Maine - I saw MAD HATTER initially as well, but fortunately I was pretty sure about OVER THERE right next to it, which made the crossings fail. The SBY at the end of GATSBY gave me the answer.

Phil Lesh, still going strong at age 77!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) 9:03 AM  

@z and barbiebarbie.... the president's bodyman is the one who makes sure his tie is straight ...etc. ... before he steps to the podium. Like a valet ...

Loved the puzzle.

kitshef 9:24 AM  

Peruvian hollers: INCA HOOTS
Obvious from this vantage point: OVERT HERE
Capone’s tax return: AL LIES
Why are the commercials louder than the program? AD DIN

ANAL and ORAL in the grid clearly intentional.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Meh. Couldn't remember Gatsy's first name, not familiar with improve, and got stuck.

Nancy 9:35 AM  

I was about to agree with @Z, @BarbieBarbie and @Quasi in my objection to BODYMAN, when @Sallie (9:03) came along to tell me what a BODYMAN actually does. (What a vile idea that POTUS has one. Looking at just his tie, I'd say he needs a much better one.)

I was about to agree with @Hartley on the peculiarity of ORMAN, when @Steve Reed (8:11) came along to explain NORMAN. Thanks, Steve. I missed that, too.

Like @mmorgan, I found the NW the hardest. That's because, like @puzzlehoarder (2:24 a.m.), I had anAL PHASE before ORAL PHASE. (Don't ask.) I also didn't know IBOOK and I certainly didn't know KASEM. But most of the puzzle was quite free of junk and I liked it. I didn't find it all that easy, but with the exception of "start hopping" = COME ALIVE, I think it was fair.

Question: If AFTERSHAVE (20A) "hurts when you rub it in", why rub it in? Why, in fact, use it at all?

Exubesq 9:41 AM  

We West Wing fans immediately yelled,"Charlie!"for bodyman. Or was that just me?

Two Ponies 9:42 AM  

A kneehole desk is one you can put your legs under with drawers on one or both sides of your knees. You might be sitting at one now.
The clue for womb was a fun colloquialism.
Again these children's movies in key places of the grid. Too much attention for a cartoon. Give your kid a book.

Tim Aurthur 9:44 AM  

Isn't it a no-no for a clue to have a word that is contained in an answer? I'm thinking 17A and 28D.

Still, great puzzle.

kitshef 9:46 AM  

@AW - while MULAN is not a princess, she is a Disney Princess, which is a set of characters designated by Disney as such, and who do not have to be princesses. Mulan is the only Disney Princess without a royal connection (by birth or by marriage).

Hand up for BODYMAN being a WoE.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

LOL. I had D__TT__ for Advice for wannabe looser and entered DONTTRY. Figured it out eventually.

Nancy 9:55 AM  

Love your DOOK list @kitshef (9:24). Very clever and well clued. Especially AD DIN. One of my real pet peeves. Which is why I always, always mute commercials. But when an ad comes on before I've muted, blaring hideously while I'm, say, in the kitchen, I'll come out even with greasy, yet-to-be-washed hands to find the remote and silence the damn thing.

RooMonster 9:58 AM  

Hey All !
All of my missteps have been said by others. I did have to reveal JOB, as the ole brain wasn't seeing it.

@Jim C in Maine 7:35, had mAdhATter in also! Who else could it be? :-) Had to decide whether that was wrong, or if it was OVERTHERE that was wrong. Had to hit Check Puzzle to find out, though. :-(

Thanks to everyone 'splaning NORMAN. @Hartley70, I said the same thing! Who'd name their kid ORMAN?? :-)

YESAND a new one on me. Someone care to tell those of us who don't know what it means? (Yes, I know I can GO OGLE it!)

BODYMAN?? Is that the presidents Car dent repair man? Har. Bodyguard, sure. Didn't know the Prez had a BODYMAN. Thanks @Sallie 9:03 for the explanation. What a horrible job. (At least under Trump. :-P)

@kitshef 9:24 - Har, you beat me to the Random Nonsense! INCA HOOTS was a gimmie!

South part of puz was harder for me than North. Having IMhome wasn't helping. brasS-WINDS, KNEEHighS-KNEEHOLES. And that was after a few Check Puzzle hits.

Also wanted something like bigDOG for BIRDDOG. largeDOG? petDOG? :-)


AWS 10:00 AM  

DNF from KNEErOLES crossing GAr... No, thank you, I'm not comfortable explaining my thought process regarding KNEErOLES.

Anonymous 10:06 AM  

Sometimes you eat the Saturday bear and sometimes...
I got et...

mac 10:08 AM  

Tough one today! Too many things I did not know, I guess.
It's what I expect on a Saturday, so very good.

Bob Mills 10:09 AM  

"Advice for a wannabe loser" means loser of weight. So the answer, "DIETTIP" makes perfect sense. Nothing weird about that.

Teedmn 10:10 AM  

GAH, I was with @Hartley70 and @Nancy on the ORMAN/NORMAN error - luckily it didn't affect the solve at all! (And I'm certainly with @Hartley70 on the subject of Narnia - the book was meh and I never read any further than the first one. I was thinking the resurrected one at 18A would be related to Frankenstein.)

My first inkling in this puzzle was KASEM crossing MULAN but I dasn't put it in without confirming a MULAN crossing and that had to wait for a LINK. So I hopped over to the NE and put in slY for puckish. Thank goodness for that Y because it gave me the HONEY - then I had to wait to see if mead was HONEY WINE or HONEY beer. The worm's EYE view gave that one to me.

This was one of those puzzles where I get halfway and....stop. MAGI crossing IGIVE and DICES. Weave at 60A rather than BRAID. IM home at 44D and nothing else. The M of "home" got me to "makeamove" at 61A. Finally I realized that the only place I associate with cedars is LEBANON. 61A became @Dolgo's "look ALIVE" and the elks' club just confirmed that.

I got the wonderfully clued WOMB and that unjammed the jam - THE BIG BANG exploded all of those wrong answers and I finished though it took almost 33 minutes, a far cry from yesterday's romp, so it was the perfect Saturday. Thanks, Peter Wentz.

QuasiMojo 10:10 AM  

Thanks to Sallie and Kitschef for the insightful and funny asides, and to @Nancy, I agree about "rub it in" since after shave (think Aqua Velva) hurts more when you splash it on not when you rub it in. That's why they invented after shave balm. Lauder used to make a very good one for Men.



joannamauselina 10:11 AM  

That one took me, a nurse, a few seconds to grasp too.

Lewis 10:14 AM  

@kitshef 9:24 -- Gonna get me to the deli to see if I can pick me up a side of BOYLE SLAW.

Nancy 10:16 AM  

@Roo -- I think Mike Nichols, or maybe it was Elaine May, explained in an interview that the secret of improv was to *accept* whatever your comedy partner had just said -- no matter how absurd and improbable. Otherwise you stop the routine dead in its tracks. So by saying YES, AND..., you're accepting where you are in the story and giving them permission to continue along the path of Pure Ridiculousness. Because your partner may know where the routine should be headed, even when you're completely stumped. OTOH, if you have an wonderfully absurd idea of your own, then you take the routine to the next juncture yourself. Now it might be your partner who says: YES, AND...

@Anon 9:48. DON'T TRY is fabulous!

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

Apparently you didn't know Mulan cold. As for the faint praise for taste ok, there's nothing jury rigged about it. It's a common alternative to the question in 8 across. You sir are suprisigly sloppy with your usage. Worst: your insufferable self-righteousness. Your TDS has overcome your sense of proporion. And untethered from reason, are now assaulting us with what appears to be an unending series of insults about the Pres. We get it. Now, get over it, and yourself.

ColoradoCog 10:29 AM  

I suppose if @Rex knew more about Phil Lesh, this blog wouldn't be quite what it is.

Believe it if you need it, if you don't, just pass it on.

Malsdemare 10:57 AM  

Oh my, this took forever and I STILL had a DNF at MULoN/AVAToR. So many areas of confusion that I shared with others: pearlmesta, don't try, Ibmpc, lookALIVE. But I knew BODYMAN (Charlie!), got BOYLESLAW after staring at it forever, ANALGESIC (which I could use right now), THEBIGBANG. I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't know Phil LESH (never been a deadhead), and gave Mr. Gatsby a new first name, even though I read the book and my partner is named JAY. Sheesh.

But I'm grateful for the distraction, both for the reasons Rex mentions and because puppy was up at six, and partner, who usually takes the early shift, is off golfing for a few days.

I liked this one. Thanks, Mr. Wentz.

jberg 11:15 AM  

I took "storied party host" in the figurative sense, as opposed to a host in an actual story -- and I wanted Perle Mesta so bad that I seriously considered taking out ATM and dropping the last letter of her first name. Fortunately, I got BASE METAL just about them, so ATM stayed, and I saw JOB and then JAY GATSBY.

My first entry was BOYLE'S LAW, although I wasn't sure what the k stood for; but it had to be a LAW, and six letters, so... I put it in but doubted it. My first sure entry was Casey KASEM.

DIET TIP was tough even after I had DIET, because I was looking for some specific advice, e.g. "DIET now!" rather than a synonym for advice itself.

I didn't really know Phil LESH either -- although the name emerged from memory after I had a couple of crosses. I couldn't really name the members of the CLASH either, although I know much of their music.

Great puzzle, I agree.

old timer 11:20 AM  

Easy *for a Saturday*. OFL rates puzzles according to day of the week. This one would be very hard for a Tuesday. I did choose to Google for BOYLES LAW or I would still be stuck in the NE.. It took forever to remember Kasey KASEM though. I ended up with "Casem" and wondered what an IBOOC might be. After a moment I figured it out.

Oh wait. I actually had a DNF I see. Did not guess TAG and did not know GREG Daniels at all. Thought he might be a "Grey" Daniels. But I did get JAY GATSBY. Perhaps the most memorable character in American literature. For some reason BASEMETAL went right in.

Must say, OSHA was a surprise. I was wracking my brain trying to think of a group that does not cover the self-employed. Insurance company? Some Social Security agency? No that could not be. I collect Social Security based on self-employment earnings.

Glad to see @Rex liked this one.

Unknown 11:25 AM  


Joseph Michael 11:26 AM  

Easy? GAH. It was HELLA hard.

I cry foul at MULAN crossing KASEM, ASLAN crossing LESH, and BOYLES LAW crossing anything.

Otherwise this was a great puzzle and it was a welcome change to hear Rex finally say so. I especially liked KNEEHOLES, ALL AFLAME, and THE BIG BANG and the clues for ORAL PHASE, YES AND, and DIET TIP.

Still trying to get used to BODY MAN which sounds more like a description of a lech. But maybe that is an apt phrase for a personal aid to the president in today's world.

Hobbyist 11:41 AM  

Mad Hatter for me as well.

GILL I. 11:41 AM  

See...here's the problem living in the left coast. All you smarty pants living East get to swoop in here and say every single thing I wanted to say. I was cackling to my self as I wrote in INCA HOOTS and @kitshef already stole my thunder.
@Rex...I was so happy you liked this puzzle...I LOVED it. I never know with you...But looking at the puzzle, I just could not find a single thing that bothered.
I actually found this a bit easier than yesterday's. The only thing that gave me trouble was LESH SUBROSA but Peter makes is so wonderfully easy to patiently fill in the missing letters.
Big smile greeting Casey KASEM Out of Sight Retro Night. Who doesn't remember his America's Top 40?
Was it you @AW who said MULAN was not a princess? She most certainly was and she saved China.
Love POMELO DICEd with a sprig of BASIL.

Anonymous 11:48 AM  

Can we stop pegging body man to presidents? Lots of muckety mucks have one. I can assure you, for instance, that the head honcho of a major entertainment entity has one, and uses him at every out-of-office event I've ever known about. Including those where it's only his own employees.
And, as far as I know, a body man is burly. I've yet to see one as skinny as Charlie from The West Wing.

Carola 11:52 AM  

Tough for me, fun to grapple with, satisfying to finish. My initial ALLIES and HEP in the NW got me nowhere. I had better luck with a guess at CLASH next door, whose crossing long Downs gave me what I needed to chip away into the interior. Last in: DIET TIP. Favorite "Ohhhh!": JAY GATSBY (I was also looking for someone like Pearl Mesta).
Learned from previous puzzles: KASEM. May have finally learned from this one: LESH.

JC66 12:00 PM  

Hand up for mAdhATter

The Clerk 12:46 PM  


OISK 12:48 PM  

DNF again, but with Kasem crossing Mulan I had no shot. Never heard of either, although Kasem has been in the puzzle. For some reason I remembered it as Kasec.
The problem with a cross like that is that if you missed the Disney movie, _ulan could be anything. Otherwise fine puzzle.

teevoz 12:54 PM  

I found it to be derisive. Shoulda been CHILDCARE

teevoz 12:54 PM  

Me too

Marge 1:09 PM  

Could someone explain avatar as a forum icon.... don't get it

Space Is Deep 1:21 PM  

DNF. The NW got me. Made the move not add letter mistake. Thought of NADIA and ADIAN. Thought it had to be right. It was my undoing. Other than that I liked it. Medium for me. BODYMAN, is a WTF for me.

clk 1:35 PM  

Everyone's got their wheelhouse. On my initial run through, LESH was about my only gimme.
I spent a while trying to recall if MULAN married a prince but finally decided it didn't matter because she could still be considered a Disney princess.

Phil 1:38 PM  

Forum as in internet arena of commenting and blog replies and such. The commenters usually choose an icon as the on line representation, self, mood, message, whatever. Called an avatar

CDilly52 1:40 PM  

Right there with you. This one was not anywhere near my wheelhouse!

Stanley Hudson 1:48 PM  

Sunshine daydream . . .

Masked and Anonymous 2:04 PM  

@Marge: This here Rexworld Comment Gallery is a sorta online forum, and some folks here use avatars (pictures of their dog or cat, etc.) as their identifyin "icons". M&A goes commando. But, I digress.
M&A Help Desk

M&A breezed thru the NW, then handed this fine puz over to the PuzEatinSpouse, who ate up the SE and SW. She then handed it back to me, and I splatzed EYE into the empty NE.

Many leadless paper-contact nanoseconds passed, before M&A finally thought of MA????'s African warm heart. (Kept wantin somethin that started with MANDA?.) Also had trouble with BODY???, as wanted to shoehorn GUARD into the ???. Sooo … NE put up a fight, at our house. Eventually got it all, after gettin FLY then FLAW then ALLAFLAME then cleanup.

Cool fillins. fave was INCA HOOTS. Best desperate moment: YESAND. Also really admired SUBROSA, as that is a brand of real real funky schlock flick DVDs. Example: "Peter Rotten Tail"; flick has to be viewed front-to-back, to believe that someone would bother.

staff weeject pick: Gonna go off the forest preserve a little, and pick: HEP. Its {It was cool in the 40's} clue has possibilities, as a whole new puztheme. Well, at least as a runtpuz theme. Answer to the clue could be YEP [as in: yep, is was cool when it was down there in the 40 degree temperature range.] Honrable mention to GAH, tho.

Thanx, Mr. Wentz.

Masked & AnonymoUUs

Be extra safe, all U Gulf folks. M&A has some friends down there -- and his thoughts are with y'all.


GHarris 2:10 PM  

Googled too soon to get Lesh. Everything else then fell into place. Had diet til and therefore lomelo as salad ingredient and didn't realize my errorr until I came here.

Joe Bleaux 2:18 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
G. Weissman 2:32 PM  


Laurie 2:36 PM  

Bodyman from "West Wing" or Obama.

Joe Bleaux 3:14 PM  

Excellent, yes. Easy, no. A late poster can't say anything that hasnt already been said. (GAH!)

Ellen S 3:21 PM  

Amen @Joe Bleaux.

gem 3:58 PM  

As a VEEP fan, wondering if a BAGMAN (Tony Hale role) is the same as a BODYMAN.

JMS 4:33 PM  

Being only vaguely familiar with "Mulan" but not enough to not know it wasn't Yulan, plus having just met my nephews delightful new wife Yuling during the eclipse show, got me tripped me up with Kasey.
Plus, what the heck are kneeholes? What kind of "office" does that entail?
Otherwise, yeah, kinda fun.

Trombone Tom 4:36 PM  

Enjoyable puzzle, but I found the bottom side more challenging as I was stumped at POMELO.

Glad to see my old HS pal Phil LESH appear. Phil played in one of my bands briefly -- get this, trumpet and piano. Obviously a man of many talents. Tell me he's not really 77!

Lots to like, from IN CAHOOTS to BOYLES LAW to KNEEHOLES.

Dawn 4:39 PM  

KNEEHOLES was a head scratcher for me. Finally figured they must be tights with runs around the knees! :) Great puzzle, though.

Gorelick 4:50 PM  

Yes And I knew it was wrong

Joe Dipinto 4:57 PM  

This was good, with more exciting fill and cluing than yesterday (apologies to Sam Trabucco, but even he admitted to wishing that puzzle had had more snap). Having never been a Deadhead, Phil's last name didn't immediately arrive ("Weir? No, that was Bob...") But my brain eventually pulled it out with no crosses in place.

I did initially get confused by the "Norma" clue, thinking you were supposed to move the letter, to get...Suze Orman, who I didn't think was a man? I really hate that kind of clue -- the word becomes something else if you do *this* to it -- it's excessively coy and smarty-pantsy. A Norma Desmond-related or Opera-by- Bellini clue would have sufficed there.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 5:01 PM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

Hungry Mother 5:01 PM  

Boyle's Law a gimme for this old Chem Major (for 3 semesters), time was very fast. Fun puzzle.

Gorelick 5:03 PM  

I'd say that this is so (Del!) close that I feel funny adding some nuance: "Yes" is the act of agreeing with whatever your partner is establishing. So, if your partner says, "There is nothing fun to do on Mars today," you would absolutely not say, "Well, it's a good thing we're not really on Mars!!" But neither should you just say, "Man, there sure isn't." Because that doesn't move the scene along. The "And" part is when you say, "Well, we never promised our clients fun. We promised them jobs."

evil doug 5:22 PM  

You mean John Tesh wasn't in Grateful Dead?

Anne 7:55 PM  

Easy, harumph. Perhaps you didn't just move your son to his apartment at college, in a U-Haul, with just the two of you because your husband had to work. And then had several glasses of wine after returning the truck and getting home.

I shall now return to the Saturday puzzle, which I usually don't struggle with but am this evening. :-)

Joel Fass 8:39 PM  

This one kicked my butt! I had a 'jones' for the NYT puzzle b/c I now live in PA, and the Inquirer puzzle is a snoozer---do it in my sleep.

LH corner was easy, but I still don't get 'oral phase' ('nursing is a key component of it'). Kneeholes I never even HEARD of! I had 'make a move' for 'come alive'---then it was time to cheat!

Thank you, Rex!

gifcan 8:51 PM  

Madhatter was my first entry.

Jackie 11:39 PM  

The symmetry of ORAL PHASE and ANALGESIC was also a nice, geeky touch.

John 1:20 AM  

Easiest ever for me too. Everything in my wheelhouse. POMELO, whatever it may be in a salad, is a very popular grapefruit flavored soft drink in Uruguay, where I spent five years recently. The usual first guesses slowed me down - no one else had IBMPC for IBOOK? That really gives you Casey CASEM. GOLF club instead of GLEE club too.

Doc John 3:05 AM  

KNEEHOLES seemed to figure prominently in just about every Hardy Boys book I ever read. Someone was always hiding in one.

joebloggs 9:35 AM  

Who has ever seen GAH written anywhere other than this crossword before?

Paul 1:01 PM  

Fun puzzle to solve, but surprised that it was accepted. In addition to ORAL/ANAL, it had BANG over ANAL over COME over HOLES. Hmmmmm...

Geophany 2:05 PM  

Best and most satisfying puzzle I've done in a long time

Tarheeled 3:23 AM  

One of the worst, most unpleasant puzzles I've ever attempted. Mad hatter before jay gatsby, for example, kinda screwed up that section for me. Maybe I just wasn't geared up for such obscure clues. Had to turn to Rex almost immediately. I used Google to get Boyle's law, but it didn't help much with anything else! Bah!

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Burma Shave 11:09 AM  


IGIVE NORMA the EYE and say, "You TASTEOK."
LOUDly with GLEE during the ORALPHASE.


rondo 11:26 AM  

Gotta fess up to a rare DNF today as Golf club and bAH next to each other in the SSE just wouldn't go away. YESAND I'm pressed for time to do some exterior painting. LESH an outright gimme.

Ole makes the clues section and his proper name OLAF an answer for St. OLAF College in Northfield, MN. Still no Sven.

IGIVE the yeah baby to Tina FEY or of course, NORMA Jean.

Liked the puz, but have never considered pot an ANALGESIC.

rondo 11:30 AM  

BTW - St. OLAF *is* in the NCAA, albeit Division III. Famous in the MIAC for their fans' "Oom yah yah" cheer.

thefogman 12:36 PM  

Easy? Rex, are you kidding? This one was HARD! I finished but not without help from The Google to solve PV = k (BOYLESLAW). Nothing in my wheelhouse here, not the least of which is physics and Disney princesses. Some found it easy. I found it tough. But I ask you - was it appetizing? Does boiled slaw taste okay?

thefogman 12:53 PM  

Burma Shave should put out a book.

Diana,LIW 1:49 PM  

Sure, LESH was a gimmee, except I put in Weir. Giving me CW__H. Hmm, what's wrong here? Got it straightened out.

Really happy that my St. OLAF guess was correct. And, thanks to a silly cartoon in a study skills book I taught from, BOYLESLAW finally got put to use.

But the DIETTIP did me in. I had ADDto and wouldn't let that go. I mean, if you contribute you ADDto, not on.

I did let Golf go for GLEE. And did the ORMAN trick for a while. And dallied with bAH or pAH for a while.

Got my statement from dental insurer yesterday - GAH indeed!

Love the YESAND tip for improve - use it lots. Once you know it, it makes your intuitive responses come more readily.

Knew CYANS, but you know what I wanted.

Skyey to all!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for blue skies

rainforest 2:07 PM  

I'd have to say "medium" overall. Just like yesterday I had a tentative start with a few gimmes (BOYLES LAW, EPEE, EYE, LEBANON, SWEEPS) and took some time to flesh the thing out.

Oddly, in some sections I would say to myself, "this isn't going to be ----", and then it was, eg AVATARS, YESAND, KNEEHOLES, LOUD, WOMB. Those entries are what did the trick.

Very satisfying to finish this one.

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

What's this embedded link all about? Kneehole was straightforward...

spacecraft 3:06 PM  

Way, WAY DNF. I don't have a single thing in the entire top half. I got up late to begin with, did the SE and then put in MADHATTER for the storied party host. It took forever to dislodge that beauty, and I guess I just didn't have enough fight left. I still thought something was wrong looking at YESA_D. Nothing at all makes sense in there, including the N. YESAND????? What the? You tell me how YESAND could POSSIBLY make any sense. Bah!

thefogman 3:39 PM  

I too did not understand the embedded link until I researched it after solving. It's a hyperlink hidden inside text that takes you off the page when you click on it. Like this. And I did also put down mad hatter before untangling the mess and finally getting JAYGATSBY. There were plenty of misdirects in this puzzle. Nice to know I wasn't the only one who found it hard.

JimmyBgood 5:32 PM  

My first thought was Perle Mesta too. Showing my age,I guess, but she was known as the hostess with the mostest. Took me way too long to finish for the over all easiness of the puzzle. I actually figured out more of the harder ones before the easy ones. Funny how the mind works, or doesn't.

Diana,LIW 7:26 PM  

@Spacey - the first two rules of improve are yes and and. You agree with your partner, then add to their story. For example:

A - I found Grandma's pearl-handled pistol in the basement the other day.
B - Oh yeah - the one she got for her 16th birthday?
A - Right - from crazy Uncle Miltie!
B - Didn't he end up in Congress?
A - Actually, he was a lobbyist for the NRA

You get the picture. If you have kids or grandkids, the following:

A - Ring, ring. Time to get up.
B - I'm too sick to go to school.
A - That's too bad, you'll have to miss Billy's party after school
B - I think I feel better!
A - You look a lot better - it's a miracle.

Lady Di's School of Drama and Comedy

BS2 8:42 PM  

@thefogman - you're relatively new here, I've made several comments over the nearly 1000 consecutive days of posting verse that nobody has approached me yet re: the book rights. Self-publishing probably not an option.

BS3 9:08 PM  

Plus this doggerel is probably only amusing to some of the few who see it.

thefogman 10:02 PM  

BS - I for one find your dogerrel quite amusing.
And now for something completely different:


What would it be like to lead a dog's life and not know you lead a dog's life? I do. I had over-parked my time with wretched rhymes and jingle-jangle lines. My metered mind had run out of nickels, so I began to write free verse. I moved to assonance and dissonance, from passonance to pissonance and found myself the dog's delight. - Dr. John G Young

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Unknown 1:11 PM  

Challenging but ultimately doable.
I thought Rex would absolutely REAM it OUT, though. There's a lot of questionable stuff in here: KNEE HOLES, ALL AFLAME, TASTE OK... These are not common phrases that people use. And can we banish EPEE from crosswords forever? Please??

Anyway, I didn't hate it, just thought Rex would.

I put "say yes" in for YES AND, which tripped me up for a while. NW was the last to fall. Casey KASEM finally rescued me up there.

Solving a few days late in syndie-land, but still a nice morning brain workout!

BonnieB 5:59 PM  

I’m doing old puzzles. I knew it was Milan because I’m an animation nerd and knew the date but true, not a princess. Disney heroine would have made me happier.

BonnieB 6:00 PM  

Damn you autocorrect! Mulan.

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