Intervening, at law / SAT 8-19-17 / Method of fishing / Some fruit pastries / Feature of Namibia and Libya / Root used in perfumery / Noodle soup noodle / 1990-94 New Jersey governor

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Constructor: Mark Diehl

Relative difficulty: Medium-Hard

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ORRIS (24A: Root used in perfumery) —
Orris root (rhizoma iridis) is a term used for the roots Iris germanica and Iris pallida. Once important in western herbal medicine, it is now used mainly as a fixative and base note in perfumery, the most widely used fixative for potpourri. Orris is also an ingredient in many brands of gin.

Fabienne Pavia, in her book L'univers des Parfums (1995, ed. Solar), states that in the manufacturing of perfumes using orris, the scent of the iris root differs from that of the flower. After preparation the scent is reminiscent of the smell of violets. (Wikipedia)

• • •
Greetings, CrossWorld! It's Lollapuzzoola 10 in NYC this weekend, so you've got me, Tyler Clark, for the Saturday and Sunday puzzles while Rex is off solving and snacking.

This went relatively slowly for me, how about you? I started in the NE, then rather worked my way around clockwise, finishing in the middle. Or, at least, I thought I was finished. As I was trying to speed through the opening Downs, I got to (4D: Shows the way) and felt pretty confident with LEADS ON. When I finally finished, I had ORROS crossing it (see Word of the Day, above). Botany is not a strong suit, so being fairly confident with my crosses, I didn't give it the skeptical review it deserved until ruling out nearly everything else. (So, LEADS IN / ORRIS is the correct cross there.)

My other stumbling block was geography. Not sure why I haven't filed this away under four-letter French river or, for that matter, spent any time learning the 102 departments of France ... except maybe that there are 102 of them. Anyhoo, I had _ISE RIVER for (29D: Waterway that lent its name to two French departments) and since at that time I only had __IS_NRI_T for the cross, somehow I convinced myself I should start with F. Only once I realized the "Joint" in (27A: Joint flare-up?) was PRISON did RIOT replace RIFT, completing OISE RIVER.

I found plenty to like, including TRESPASSES (34A: Goes over the line?), IMITATIVE (28D: Like store brands vis-à-vis name brands, typically), TRANSFERS (30D: Students arriving late?), DOWSES (21A: Looks forward to the next spring?), APERITIFS (44A: Dubonnet or Campari), and CONNIVER (49A: Lowdown sneak).

Others slowing me down included (22A: Feature of Namibia and Libya) which I filled in with ARIDNESS on faith, because I had only previously been aware of ARIDITY, (32A: Method of fishing) which might as well be the Word of the Day –Alternate: SEINING
Seine fishing (or seine-haul fishing) is a method of fishing that employs a seine or dragnet. A seine is a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats. Seine nets can be deployed from the shore as a beach seine, or from a boat.

Boats deploying seine nets are known as seiners. There are two main types of seine net deployed from seiners: purse seines and Danish seines. (Wikipedia)

Anyone else start (8D: It covers bridges, typically) with DENTAL APPLIANCE instead of DENTAL INSURANCE? And how many of you knew MESNE (42D: Intervening, at law) without Every Single Cross?

See you Sunday!
Signed, Tyler Clark, Fan of CrossWorld

[Follow Tyler on Twitter]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Trombone Tom 1:45 AM  

Thank you, Tyler Clark, for an even-handed and readable review. I had pretty much the same experience, except I did it clockwise,

Saw PRISON RIOT early on as a possibility even before the crosses began to confirm it. As a former attorney I also knew MESNE. And ORRIS root is familiar from some novels I have read. Found out I didn't know how to spell APERITIF, but I'll enjoy a kir royale any day.

Great clues for MIR and TRESPASSES. But I'm not very keen on seeing ARIDNESS.

I really liked this fairly challenging Saturday gem from Mark Diehl and Will Shortz.

jae 2:18 AM  

Medium-tough for me too and just about what a Saturday should be. Liked it.

Larry Gilstrap 2:40 AM  

Back to the lead on paper solving experience. thank goodness, especially on a gnarly Saturday. New England was white for the longest time, followed by many erasures. In retrospect it shouldn't have been that hard, but for some reason Sandra Day O'CONNOR eluded me. That cross with the New Jersey Governor was no help.

ORRIS, if you say so.

Most folks I know love Medicare, but affordable DENTAL INSURANCE has yet to come across my desk. Help me here!

An imported ACACIA tree is common in my neck of the woods, and the thing is covered with thorns. Giraffes have gentle browsing mouths, apparently.

I grew up in LA, I had nothing to do with it, and my dad always referred to that city up north as FRISCO. For some reason I felt he was offending people we didn't even know. Foolishly, I called him on it. He grew up in Racine, MO which was on the Frisco Line. Discussion over. Otis Redding was in my dad's camp, as well.

Iago is truly an evil bastard. Lying, conniving, racist would fit him. But, boy is he a quotable bastard? Shakespeare was good at creating complex characters. I'm going out on a limb there.

Silly me, but any puzzle with very few three letter answers catches my eye.

Melrose 2:41 AM  

I enjoyed this. Started with Frisco,the rest came slowly, NW corner last to fall. Clever clues, just right for Saturday.

puzzlehoarder 2:52 AM  

Like yesterday's SUMATRA today's ISOLATED was first guess material. The difference was that other than EVAS I had to do some work for the downs. Being a Mark Diehl puzzle every section had a carefully worked in entry or two like the NW corners' ORRIS. The only one that caused me any real problem was MESNE. Oddly that had as much to do with having some kind of mental block over putting in the EA to convert ER==DERS into EREADERS. Strange. Other than that it was an average steady Saturday pace slightly impeded by using a tablet (at the firehouse again.) Coincidental!y I'd just done a Diehl puzzle from '94 while waiting for the Saturday puzzle to come online so I got to do two in a row. This one was a beauty and a real pleasure to solve.

Dolgo 4:57 AM  

I just had a really hard time with this one. My first DNF in a long time. It all started with the NW, when I couldn't get away fro EDTND for F1 and F2. I AM, after all, a Shakespeare scholar, damn it! I need to keep reminding myself not to be too clever. But, in my defense"e.g." usually implies a an abbreviation. If I'd just relaxed and not tried to be pedant-in-residence, it might have come easier.
But, then, I'm pretty hopeless with female golfers and such, and I just couldn't catch on to many of the clever clues.
I DID get ISOLDE right away, though!

Dolgo 5:01 AM  

EDTNS, not EDTND. As in "editions."

Lewis 6:18 AM  

The puzzle got me to wondering about the origin of the term HAM, referring to actors. The best I found was this, from Bill Bryson:

"Ham actor, first recorded in 1875, alludes to the practice of lesser performers having to use ham fat rather than cold cream to remove their make-up. Soon a second-rate actor was known as a hamfatter; by 1902 he was just a ham."

TrudyJ 7:05 AM  

Slow start, but I got there without having to google anything. Last thing I fixed was that French river. Is there a river somewhere called the OUSE? That's what I had.

QuasiMojo 7:16 AM  

I really thought this puzzle would DINE ON me for breakfast. It took me as long as it takes the fat lady to sing Wagner to get a foothold. My first in was ISOLDE, and then, little by little, I made my way through the grid. FLORIO flew in. PEAR TARTS appeared (much better than BANANA PIEs). Solid puzzle with a lot of clever clues. I really liked the ones for PRISON RIOT and NOSE DIVE. Was surprised it took so long for VISA to make the DOW 30. I actually put in ETSY for a moment since it is now crossword common, even though I found it hard to believe they would have that much financial clout. I put in my EAR PLUGS before E-READERS. I also tried --SALMON before IDEAL MAN, thinking it was a fish clue. But I suppose it was Mark Diehl's answer to @Nancy and her query about "Catch" the other day. And finally IF IN DOUBT (which usually is WHEN in DOUBT) I threw in UPDOS instead of MODES and I was all done. You BET. (Although being reminded, even tangentially, of LORENA Bobbitt in the same grid as PEEN left me reeling.

sf27shirley 7:35 AM  

Old timers and sailors called my city Frisco and now so do rappers. For decades it was a no-no. Herb Caen even wrote a book, "Don't Call It Frisco". Guess what old timers and sailors called San Diego? It will never be in the crossword.

Teedmn 8:17 AM  

Sandra Day OCONNOR to the rescue today. PRISON RIOT off that R. Getting TRuancies out of my head for 30D (come on, come on, what's a four letter company name ending in U? M&A? Bueller?)

I got the DENTAL connection at 8D early on but with AL in place, I first WROTE "enamel" in the margin to remind myself where the A was in that word because I was sure 8D would be a dentist's technical term for some sort of cover-up for bridges. In the end I had DENTALIN__RANCE and still had to guess that 37A was MARCUS before the ballPEEN hammer hit some sense into me.

17A has me singing "matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch".

That EVAS has to be the SPACIEST clue today, no?

Great fun and a challenge for Saturday, thanks, Mark Diehl.

mathgent 8:18 AM  

In Jeff Chen, the constructor writes that he made the final puzzle in last year's ACPT using the same grid with completely different entries. What a terrific grid. Only two Terrible Threes. I can't recall ever having seen so few before.

A fine Friday marred by only two clunkers, ARIDNESS and IDEALMAN.

"Fifteen-love" is the correct way to express that score but most tennis players say "Five-love."

I don't hear people say Frisco any more. I do hear San Fran though.

I had to stare at the space for some time and question all the crosses before seeing EREADER, my last fill. I was hampered by not knowing MESNE.

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

Thanks, Tyler. Until I read your review I had no idea how much I needed a break from the constant carping of Rex.

The Hermit Philosopher 8:53 AM  

A brilliant puzzle and none of Rex's whining. How refreshing!

mmorgan 8:56 AM  

Same mistake for me on LEADSoN/ORRoS! Otherwise tough but enjoyable.

Mohair Sam 9:18 AM  

An almost three-less grid is likely to be awfully clean, and it was. Fun clues too. Played easy-medium here because the long down came quickly and there were just enough gimmes (some off that) to give us a good toe hold (OCONNOR, FRISCO, FLORIO, FIVELOVE, HALAS, LORENA).

Otis Reddings' version of that tune plays in my head all the time, don't know why - but I'm glad it does. If you use a SEINE net in the OISE do you use an OISE net in the SEINE? @Rex would have had a conniption over EREADERS, he hates all things "E". During a family game of "Taboo" I once used our middle son's name as a hint for the word HAM - my partner, his mother (Lady Mohair), yelled HAM without hesitation. Need I describe his personality?

LORENA Ochoa's second LPGA tournament win was the 2004 Wachovia Classic in nearby Virginville, PA. I was in the stands around the 18th green when young LORENA accepted her trophy, she was laughing so hard she could hardly speak. Betsy King, the Tournament Chair, asked her why the giggles. LORENA explained that she had just made a cell call to her mother back home in Mexico City to give her the good news. Instead of cheers she had gotten hollered at for ruining the finish. Mexican TV had the tournament on one hour tape delay and Ochoa was still trailing by one stroke on the 17th tee.

Clean, fun Saturday Mark Diehl - thanks.

Bryce 9:22 AM  

Fantastic puzzle. Despite dropping in fivelove, ham actor, and aperitif immediately, it still took me a while. There was constant progress until the very end though (where I too had to fix orros).
Thanks Tyler, your tone and demeanor are sincerely appreciated.

Nancy 9:23 AM  

@Quasi (7:16 a.m.) -- Yes, I like to think that IDEAL MAN (17A) is Mark Diehl's response to my "catch" complaint of last week. You should know that I got IDEAL MAN right away, with just a few letters. I never thought of a fish at all.

The cluing in this was delicious. I was sorry when the puzzle was over. The clues for DENTAL INSURANCE (which I saw right off the bat); PRISON RIOT; LOCKER; TRESPASSES and DOWSES are plain wonderful.

I have "erased" stuff. I have "written over" stuff. But I never OVERWROTE anything (3A). Something you can only do on a computer, I guess.

I couldn't and couldn't and couldn't see FIVE-LOVE for the longest time (15A). You see, at Central Park, while we always say "five-thirty" and "forty-five", very, very few people say FIVE-LOVE or "love-five". It's always "fifteen-love" and "love-fifteen". (There's no logic or consistency here, only habit.) Maybe once, 20 or so years ago, I heard someone say FIVE-LOVE. Guess it depends on where you live. @mathgent says it's the preferred term in FRISCO, though. (I knew he'd hate FRISCO, btw.)

I enjoyed every minute of this crunchy, colorful puzzle.

Birchbark 9:26 AM  

Wonderful contrast in PRISON RIOT crossing DENTAL INSURANCE, sort of a microcosm of life in these United States.

I fell in love with my mistake in the Southeast (APERtifs). When combined with 38A plausible error "shade" (Draw toward dark) instead unfamiliar LATEN, invalid photoID in place of VALID ID, and seRENA instead of LORENA, finished in thrice the normal Saturday time. Finally tore everything out to make IMITATIVE work, and it all fell into place a few minutes later.

Z 9:31 AM  

I strongly resisted the ACTOR part of HAM ACTOR. I guess anyone can HAM it up, but it still seems redundant and stilted to me. Also did not much like the esey ORRIS over esey UDON, two words I have rarely, if ever, seen in the wild. Otherwise, lots to love. I assume that ISOLDE's IDEAL MAN is Tristan, so that is a neat little pairing. I also liked the cluing on DENTAL INSURANCE and PRISON RIOT, just misdirectional enough to be fun.

I do have a question, though; Why do IDs expire? My state doesn't even make you come in for a new picture most of the time, so why should my license have to be replaced? Why is my four year old license less valid than my new license? And is my Passport really more of.a VALID ID than my license when I want to head south to Windsor for dinner? That ID lasts 10 years and everything is basically done by mail but it is the most VALID ID I have. Papers please.

Hartley70 9:39 AM  

This was a challenging Saturday for me, and while I knew MESNE, there were a few entries that were new to me. I had no knowledge of HALAS or LORENA, ORRIS or UDON, SEINING or MARCUS. FIVE as a score was a surprise to me also. I had the easiest time with the NE so I started there and worked around. My time was dead average for a Saturday, but it was a DNF because I had to hit the check puzzle button at the end to get the happy song.

prandolph 9:44 AM  

Found it to be medium difficulty, about right for saturday. Also had leadson instead of leadsin. As @Nancy says, people in San Francisco don't live in Frisco. Liked this puzzle a lot.

Sir Hillary 9:55 AM  

Wow, what a grid. Just 60 words, and almost Berry-esque in its cleanliness. A stunning feat of construction.

More importantly, it was fun to solve. For whatever reason, I flew through the NW, SW, center and NE, only to bog down severely in the SE, despite getting LORENA, APERITIF and CONNIVER right away. OISERIVER seems a little awkward (to me, it's just the OISE) so it took me a while to believe that was it. The MESNE / EREADER cross was last in.

Favorite entry was MARCUS, for the memory it provided. I think the only indication we ever get of Brody's first name is when an excited (almost childlike) Indy exclaims, "Oh MARCUS!" as he is packing to begin his quest to find Abner Ravenwood and, hopefully, the headpiece to the Staff of Ra. I love that movie so much, I can practically recite it line-by-line. And with the wonderful Denholm Elliott playing Brody...well, it was fun to have that memory dredged up.

Love the clue for PRISONRIOT.

One of my favorite Saturdays in a while, although the KAC submission from last week looked great as well (I was traveling out of NYT range, so couldn't do it).

Betty Danger 10:14 AM  

I didn't think I was going to be able to finish this. My first pass yielded just a few pathetic guesses. "Dental insurance" finally gave me an in. For some reason, I remembered orris root from Rosemary's Baby. Then I kept slogging away, and suddenly it all emerged. Love it when that happens.

Joseph Michael 10:37 AM  

Solid puzzle with lots of great fill, even greater clues, and only 70 words.

After a rough start, I made inroads in the NE and SW corners and then completed the rest of the grid from there. Especially liked the clues for DENTAL INSURANCE, PRISON RIOT, E-READERS, ARREST, LOCKER, TOMES, and TRESPASSES.

Had "plum tarts" before PEAR TARTS and "photo ID" before VALID ID. Never heard of SEINING and am not used to seeing SMACKER in the singular when referring to money.

As a long-time resident of San Francisco, I have to say that the name FRISCO does have a grating quality, even when sung by Otis Redding.

And, like @QuasiMojo, I find it heard to see the name LORENA without thinking of Ms. Bobbitt who apparently failed to find her IDEAL MAN.

Thank you, Mark Diehl, for a fine puzzle.

Carola 10:48 AM  

Medium here, with my only "for sures" at the start being ISOLDE, APERITIF, SNORTS (nice combo there), and EREADERS and much light "could it be?" penciling in otherwise (ISOLATED, TRESPASSES, SEINING, MIR, ACACIA, UDON), The past tense -ED at 1A got me DENTAL INSURANCE, which of course was a big help in confirming a couple of those and offering a wee toe in the door to others.

New to me MESNE. ORRIS wasn't new, but I couldn't remember it exactly; my first thought was "attar," which I knew didn't fit the clue, but that made me think "aRRIS," (shades of "Mrs. 'Arris goes to Paris") before DOUBT materialized.

Favorite clue: the one for WILE E. Coyote.

@Trudy Morgan-Cole, the only thing I know about the Ouse is that it's the river in which Virginia Wolff drowned.

Robert A. Simon 10:49 AM  

Best, most fun puzzle in quite some time. Of course, being a Saturday, I had a DNEBTF (pronounced dee-neb'-tif--Did Not Even Begin To Finish), but I loved it nevertheless. Agree completely concerning the cleverness of the clues, and understand how difficult it must be to construct a puzzle this open--hence the forgiveness for MESNE, LATEN and one or two others. I liked the puzzle so much, I was looking forward to seeing how Rex could possibly disagree, but Tyler's enjoyable write-up made any disappointment disappear.

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

kudos to "looks forward to the next spring" ...and... next to ARIDNESS.


Anonymous 10:55 AM  

Nice, tough Saturday.
I liked it in spite of a dnf at leads on/orros. Not familiar with orris.

Chris 10:56 AM  

Nice review, fun puzzle. A little faster than my Sat. average, although time is not a goal for me.
Made my way in, somewhat unusally with the proper nouns, as ISOLDE, LORENA, and HALAS were all gimmes.
Finished in the SW, but like many, had to clean up the LEADIN/ORRIS cross.

Maruchka 10:59 AM  

Ah, DNF in the NW, and too many do-overs everywhere.

Very, very nice GRID, Mr. Diehl.

FRISCO: Known as The City, when I was a kid. Postcards and letters so addressed were - delivered! None dared call it you-know-what.

ghostoflectricity 11:00 AM  

Sorry, thought this one was pretty easy. "ORRIS" is rare but I've come across it before in NYT puzzles. Loved the clues for "DENTAL INSURANCE" and "PRISON RIOT." Once I got "APERITIF" crossed with "TRANSFERS" in the final (for me) quadrant, SE, the end of the puzzle fell into place.

Paul Rippey 11:22 AM  

Got the NW and SW with some input from my family, and I had penciled in MODES (13D High styles) and GOATS (14D Ones always banging their heads against things?) That gave me _ _ _ _ MG for 9A "Response to a sophomoric comment." My daughter chimed in, LOLOMG, which sounded good but led to much suffering. Good puzzle.

jberg 11:44 AM  

It was my bad fortune in my 20s -- but now, 50 years later, my good fortune in regard to this puzzle -- to develop a severe allergy to ORRIS ROOT. As my allergist explained it to me, it is used widely in cheap perfume; Chanel No. 5 and the like apparently do not have any. I became very good at noticing its presence, and had to school myself not to say, "excuse me, but I'm having an allergic reaction to that cheap perfume you're wearing."

Anyway, that mad 24A a gimme. That plus EST at the end of 19A gave me EVAS and then TOMES, and I finally saw ISOLATED. But then I saw DENTAL... and couldn't think of anything except INSERTION, which isn't a thing, I think. So there I was with the NW section completely filled in, and one of the only two exits blocked. Fortunately, TRESPASSES turned out to be the right guess, and I was OK.

I've never heard anyone say EREADER, as opposed to Kindle or Nook, and I couldn't remember whether Iago had said POOR or something else, but the crosses gave it to me, and forced me to give up Ear something at 51A.

I didn't have the O, but still four-letter French river is usually OISE (which was probably happy to be with the participial form of the Seine).

I had no idea who sang Liebestod, but it had to be either ISOLDE or Wotan's daughter, right? Unfortunately, I couldn't remember that the latter was Brunhilde (or is is Brunhilda?), but the crosses made it clear.

I'm not a photographer, but is a MACRO really a lens? I thought it was a tube you inserted between the lens and the camera, in order to change the focal length.

afrOS before UPDOS, and really reluctant to put in either the NESS of ARIDNESS (I tried 'zone' first) or WILE E. without Coyote, but it finally fell into place.

@Z, you should eat out more! Japanese and Pan-Asian noodle shops will generally offer you a choice of soba or UDON, both puzzle regulars.

Unknown 11:50 AM  

felt medium challenging. northwest filled in quickly; then southwest. wasn't keen on NOSEDIVE cluing (not really a market term), HAMACTOR (seemed redundant). challenging center (started with FReSnO which led to other problems until MARCUS cleared things up). not sure why MACRO clue was shortened to "photog." good saturday journey. liked it!

r.alphbunker 11:58 AM  

How about 33A {Station that people once looked up to} MIR
Good luck at Lollapuzzoola.

Changed LEADSON to LEADSIN just before clicking the Check Solution button. LEADS ON means deceives.

24A. {Root used in perfumery} ORRIS from OR_ _S

4D. {Shows the way} LEADSIN from LEADS_N

Details are here.

old timer 12:55 PM  

Even though I am a lawyer MESNE did not leap to mind. It is used only in the phrase MESNE profits, in my experience -- profits while property has been misappropriated in some way.

CONNIVER went in last, forcing a change from "imitation" to IMITATIVE. I know the names of all Departements de France, though not always their locations. I wanted OISE early, but OISE RIVER seemed wrong. Lame! OFL would have something to say about it. BTW there are I think two rivers Ouse in England. The average tourist has seen the one that runs through York.

I got ORRIS only by cheating a little. My iPhone gets a little use most Saturdays.

Wileyfex 1:27 PM  

The Ouse is in England

pmdm 1:29 PM  

Z: I would humorously answer that replacing IDs justifies charging money for the new ID, so it's a money maker. Last time I renewed my NYS driver's license, I didn't even have to sit for a new photo, since they had my last one in a digital file.

Thomaso808 1:59 PM  

@Lewis, thanks for that factoid on the origin of HAMACTOR. Your Factoids and Quotoids are sorely missed!

How about this for a quotoid for today: "A ham is simply any actor who has not been successful in repressing his natural instincts.” -- George Jean Nathan (American drama critic and magazine editor) (from Wiki).

Having been born and raised in the city of San Francisco, I seriously considered taking a DNF rather than write in that odious name-that-shall-not-be-spoken for 25D.

What a great puzzle by Dr. Diehl! DENTALINSURANCE, har! I still remember his last puzzle in June had a clue "It's got teeth" for JAW. I had sAW. Could also have been mAW. Also, I love his dentist-constructor photo on Thanks, Mark!

Joe Dipinto 2:01 PM  

A fairly smooth solve. Started with ISOLDE, entered O'CONNOR for the down-cross, and then promptly filled in FRISCO -- in the wrong direction. So I had to Wite-Out the (F)RISC(O) that eventually became (F)LORI(O). My other error was having BAD ACTOR at first, so I had to use the Wite-Out pen *again*.

I did weigh LEADS ON v. LEADS IN, but to me LEADS ON typically means "coyly seduces with no intention of gratifying," so LEADS IN won out.

BarbieBarbie 2:04 PM  

@Maruchka, me too on The City. (My hometown is Livermore) Cmon Ogden Nash fans, applause for his couplet:

If you want to be boiled in oil or Crisco
Just call San Francisco FRISCO.

Average for me. Loved the grid.

Joe Dipinto 2:22 PM  

@Betty Danger 10:14 -- the smelly root in the necklace in "Rosemary's Baby" was called tannis (a fictitious substance, I believe).

RooMonster 2:35 PM  

Hey All !
NW was a bear. FIVE LOVE is a thing? Never heard that, always Fifteen LOVE. Plus DOWSES as clued, ORRIS and UDON, made for tough going. Rest of puz came in slowly, but surely.

Cool grid design. OK clues. My favorite writeovers was wahWah-GROWUP.


Hungry Mother 2:45 PM  

I happened to GROWUP in the Bay Area in the 40s and knew that FRISCO was anathema. I went to Villanova in the 60s and knew that "Nova" was anathema. So it goes. An enjoyable slog today. No problem, just a lot of time.

Anonymous 2:59 PM  

"1-Across Rule" for me, with 3-D leaping out, so the whole quadrant except for the rest of 8-D just filled itself in, with 34-A sticking out to help carry on. But blew the 4-D/24-A square with no knowledge of perfumery. Other than that, one of the easiest Saturdays in memory.

Joe Dipinto 3:25 PM  

Since Joan Rivers came up in the comments yesterday, it occurred to me that 9-across could have been clued as "Frequent Joan Rivers comic-reproach."

Tita 4:28 PM  

solitary at 1A made me happy till. Erased it for what was most wonderfully and DENTureadhesive.
Very tough puzzle... lots of staring at wide open spaces.
But I perervered, with only a tiny DNF at the popular ORRoS/LEADoN.

Often being both the NERDIEST and the SpACIEST in the room, EVA was my only gimme for a long time.
Thought it was hoplessly hopeless with all those golfers and footballers and governors and roots. But the other stuff, after putting a a big fight, finally fell.

I did like OISE and SEINE, really loved the clue fe WILEE.

Fabulous puzzle, Mr. Diehard.
And so nice to see some of my puzzle friends at Lollapuzzoola where I put in a cameo appearance. Seems like they had a howling good time there!

Tita 4:43 PM  

@jberg...having OISE and SEINING together made me look up the origins of the river and the net. The river was named for Sequana, a Celtic deity.

The word seine has this entry:
Old English segne "drag-net," from West Germanic *sagina (source also of Old Saxon and Old High German segina), a borrowing of Latin sagena (source also of French seine, 12c., which contributed to the form of the English word), from Greek sagene "a fishing net," also "a hunting net," a word of unknown origin.

Can't tell if it's coincidence or not.

GILL I. 5:15 PM  

What a great puzzle, Mark. Took me about three sittings to finally finish her and when I did, I was sad...I would've liked some more.
Lots I didn't know and lots I guessed. My first entry was GROW UP and I thought that was too easy. Each entry seemed to take me forever - letter by letter and then a big AHA once I figured out the answer.
My biggest stupid mistake and I mean stupid because I seem to be the only idiot who entered it was having Otis sittin on some dock in maybe a pond or a lake I never heard of in FResno. Just couldn't get SE(I)NING nor MAR(C)US. Had to Google for MARCUS and then I saw the dreaded FRISCO.
How did GRIDIRON go from football to a cooking utensil? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Don't ever drink Dubonnet without it's needed good gin. It's pretty awful on its own.

Nancy 5:18 PM  

Well, it's now after 5 p.m., so I'm supposing that the results of Lollapuzzoola would be known -- or almost known -- by now. I'm wishing luck to all Rexites, but especially to the always delightful @Teedmn, with whom I spent a most enjoyable evening last night. I hope, @Teedmn, that I didn't ply you with too much wine, and that your solving faculties were sharp as a tack this morning. (I was a little hung over myself, but, then, I'm not competing, so it hardly matters. Just between us, I'm having some hair of the dog at this very moment.)

Happy Pencil 7:50 PM  

Where I play tennis, I'd say it's about fifty-fifty between people who say "FIVE-LOVE" and those of us who are correct. ; )

@Lewis, thanks for digging up the great tidbit from the incomparable Bill Bryson. And @Mohair Sam, thanks for yesterday's piece of trivia about the Amelia Earhart photo. I had been following the initial flurry of excitement about the picture but somehow missed the (unsurprising) news that it had been debunked. Appreciate the update!

Teedmn 7:58 PM  

@Nancy, since my only Lollapuzzoola goof-ups, puzzle-wise, came in puzzle #3, I would say you can hold yourself blameless - your excellent hospitality did not contribute at all to my errors. Even though neither @BobKerfuffle nor I achieved our goal of improving our standings from last year, (we're blaming it on a crop of smarter solvers this year, yeah right), we had a great time, and I got to renew my acquaintance with @Tita and @BobK and @mac, I met @Rex Parker himself, and talked to many gracious constructors such as David Steinberg and Finn Vigeland and Brendan Emmett Quigley.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and the puzzles had flair and originality (and challenge).

Two Ponies 8:53 PM  

@ GILL.I, I believe a grid iron is the.... iron grid that holds the logs in your fireplace.

kitshef 10:07 PM  

Very difficult, right up to the point where it became impossible (ORRIS/UDON/LEADS IN). Had no clue on either cross.

Great cluing and a tough, fun puzzle. One of those days I thought I had no chance to finish - but almost did.

Phil 10:45 AM  

DENTAL INSeRT cap for me as a guess. Although I loved the 'aHa' INSURANCE.

Big Steve 46 2:49 PM  

Save the use of "Frisco" for obnoxious people from San Francisco (of which there is no shortage). Use often and with a grin: it just drives them nuts!

Thomas McKean 8:05 PM  

Tyler Clark: read Saki! As Christopher Morley said, "There is no greater compliment to be paid to the right kind of friend than to hand him Saki, without comment."

Unknown 9:43 PM  

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Burma Shave 10:03 AM  


IFINDOUBT about the IDEALMAN and RESIDING is in question,
get ISOLATED, I BET you can, for a MACRO FIVELOVE session.


spacecraft 11:10 AM  

First of all: WAKE UP! I'm yelling at the syndilinker, who once again has apparently taken his EREADER to bed and dozed off. We're still back on Wednesday.

To the wide-open grid. I can't fathom how great a challenge it must be to fill a grid with only 20 black squares. Some plurals and two superlatives (NERDIEST and SPACIEST, both of which could describe yours truly!) help, but still, quite a feat. Naturally, there will be a few stretches:

--> FIVELOVE. I have heard this way of scoring, but only informally. In any organized match or tournament, of course, the first score is fifteen, not five.

--> RECIPE. Secret______ is a pretty far-out clue for that!

--> the Natick in the NW. Solving on paper, I have no "happy pencil" to tell me that I'm wrong somewhere. I finish the puzzle, come here, and find out one way or the other. In this case, it was a dead tossup, so I flipped a "kern," as Ed Norton would say, and it came up I. Now if only I could TRANSFER some of that luck to my casino visits!

--> LATEN is a legit word--that I've only seen or heard in crossword context. No one out here in the real world would utter such a word.

The rest of it went, I thought, pretty smoothly. I'd call it medium, and that only for a couple of trouble spots. Hats off to Mr. Diehl for this one. DOD is ROSIE Perez. Ooh yeah, baby. They could ARREST me for what I'm thinking. Birdie.

Teedmn 11:34 AM  

@spacecraft, there's guest bloggers through Sunday in real time - your regular programming should be back on Monday.

Teedmn 11:39 AM  

There are guest bloggers. I hate it when I do that - I see it more and more and it makes me cringe, but especially when it is I who errs.

Diana,LIW 3:19 PM  

After my first couple of go-thrus, I had six answers - five were correct. I know cause I confirmed. (Cheated blatantly.) Proceeded to cheat some more with a few WOEs.

Then proceeded to slowly suss out the rest. Just when I thought I was over a barrel, another aha would appear. Loved latching on to HAMACTOR and TRESPASSES.

But all in all an epic dnf. Back to being Nurse Nancy for my IDEALMAN.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 4:46 PM  

Started this before leaving to watch my son's volleyball team lose a close one. When I left, I was sure this was going to be a massive DNF. Coming back to it, I got some traction in the SW leading up to TRESPASSES, SEINING, and MARCUS. So then to the SE where I just plopped in EREADERS, helped by the "A"
from LORENA.

After that it was somewhat tortuous filling in the rest, going almost letter for letter until FLORIO (don't know why I knew that), and ARIDNESS (is that a word?), and then back to the partially filled-in NW where I confidently put in ORRoS and LEADS oN. I don't know from perfumery roots, and the down was perfect, or so I thought.

So, a DNF as predicted, but maybe not so massive.

A challenging puzzle for me, but one which impressed and delighted me.

leftcoastTAM 6:17 PM  

Brain froze up today. Had a combination of a Natick (ORRoS/LEADoN), misspellings (too embarrassing), and inane geographical confusion (Fresno instead of FRISCO).

Have take issue with clues for TRANSFER students ("late" for what?), and EREADERS (I read mine in bed sometimes, but I don't "take [it] to bed"). And FIVELOVE? Okay, but a bit nasty.

Brain did thaw out a bit, but too little and too late.

strayling 9:00 PM  

That was fun! I'm still trying to figure out if IMITATIVE is self-defining or not.

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Bananafish 11:51 PM  

Wow, this was a tough puzzle, just about as tough as they come. I probably do not deserve credit for finishing because I had two squares wrong, but I am taking it anyway. For 10D -- "Situated (in)" -- I had RESIDENT for RESIDING, giving me the honorable James FLOREO (rather than FLORIO) and the well-known fishing technique, SEININT (rather than SEINING). Seemed plausible to me.

This was a pretty remarkable grid, so I can forgive some of the stretches, including at least three separate entries that I saw as GREENPAINT: IDEALMAN, HAMACTOR (it is just a HAM) and PEARTARTS (for which I had PEACHPIES for a while, slowing me down considerably). Did not really like LATEN either - that's not a word that anyone actually uses.

thefogman 9:12 AM  

Tough puz. I'm still trying to solve it. Stay tuned...

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