City with piers / MON 11-13-17 / Alternatives to mums

Monday, November 13, 2017

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (slowish for a Monday) (3:18)

[I seem to have leaned on the keyboard at 39-Down... it's Monday, I'm sure you can figure out the right letters]

THEME: "COOL / HAND / LUKE" (65A: With 66- and 67-Across, source of this puzzle theme's quote) — a quote theme to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this movie's release (Nov. 1967): "WHAT WE'VE GOT / HERE IS FAILURE TO / COMMUNICATE" (20A: With 37- and 52-Across, #11 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years ... 100 Movie Quotes" list)

Word of the Day: Susan ISAACS (39D: Susan with the 1978 best seller "Compromising Positions") —
Her first novel (and first attempt at fiction), Compromising Positions, was published in 1978. It was chosen as a main selection of the Book of the Month Club and, like all of her subsequent novels, was a New York Times bestseller. Her fiction has been translated into thirty different languages all over the world. She has also written a work of cultural criticism, Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women are Really Doing on Page and Screen. // In addition to writing books and screenplays, Isaacs has reviewed fiction and nonfiction for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Newsday. She belongs to the National Book Critics Circle. Isaacs has written about politics, including a series of essays on the 2000 presidential campaign for Newsday. She has also authored op-eds and articles on feminism, film, and First Amendment issues. (wikipedia)
• • •

I don't know how the constructor or editor or someone couldn't see what a bad idea this quote puzzle was right away. Most people (esp. those who haven't seen the film, i.e. most people today) think that the quote is "WHAT WE'VE GOT HERE IS ***A*** FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE" (or, if you're a spelling hero like me, "WHAT WE'VE GOT HERE'S A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE." I get that the quote here is technically accurate, but honestly I don't care if it came from a ****ing shooting script with Donn Pearson's own damn signature on it—it's Monday, and most people the quote only one way. Now I have listened to the quote in question, and there is no doubt that the puzzle quotes it precisely and accurately. And Yet. The quote is famously "misquoted" for a reason—because it is *requoted* in the movie itself with the damned *A* in there. Here. Here. Lisssssten.

So the accuracy of the original quotation doesn't matter, for Monday puzzle purposes. Most solvers—or ... let me dial that back and say "a good number of solvers" (like every one I've spoken to so far tonight) are going to flail around in that "A" / no "A" portion of the quotation, and that will be all they remember about the puzzle. Or it will take up most of their attention. Not the effect you want to have, esp. on a Monday. And I mean, for what—a basic quote puzzle? Gotta be a better way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this movie's release.

Puzzle was definitely on the slow side for me, both because I had to work out the quote thingie, and because originally I didn't see that the theme clue was asking for a quote. I thought it was asking for a movie, because my solving software broke the loooong clue just after "Movie" and so the word "Quotes" went totally out of my sight line (clue appears at top of grid in Across Lite, and when it's really long the font gets really tiny). So for something like 20 seconds I was wondering how in the world there was a movie with a title that long that I'd never heard of that was somehow also the 11th greatest movie of all time (!?!?). Fill on this one is pretty blah, but that's what happens with you have a lot of short Downs. Only the SW corner is really icky. The rest holds up OK. And actually the longer Acrosses are pretty nice. Lots and lots and lots of names in this grid, but only ISAACS gave me any trouble (no idea who that is) (39D: Susan with the 1978 best seller "Compromising Positions"). I also don't really know MITA, but I also never saw that clue for MITA, so that was convenient. I thought [Alternative to mums] might be DADS but it wouldn't fit :(

See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Kendall 12:17 AM  

@Rex there is some strangeness happening in your grid around DUBYA,

TomAz 12:20 AM  

You could put an answer key in front of me and I couldn't fill this in in 3:18. I don't know how the speed solvers do it. This took me 7:34, just 13 seconds longer than my Monday average, or so says the NYT xword website.

I never even noticed the "error" in the quote that Rex devotes 2/3rds of today's posting to. Crosses helped fill in the middle part and I didn't think twice.

This puzzle was fine. It's been decades since I saw Cool Hand Luke but it wasn't hard to figure out. No "wow" but Mondays rarely do.

I do wish the clue to 13A had been something like "Republican Senator who thinks Trump is an ass."

64A reminded me of the PJ O'Rourke line: "Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system."

Kendall 12:22 AM  

I only know this quote from what I just learned is the re-quote so I was baffled that I didn’t have enough squares to fill it in. It doesn’t help that I despise quote puzzles which didn’t help the overall solving experience. On to Tuesday..

Tom 12:27 AM  

Is there another way to clue ONUS rather than a burden? Maybe “The tab is ON US.” There seem to be a lot of burdens on a regular basis in the NYT lately. OLD FLAMES brought back some pleasant memories. Didn’t really pay attention to the theme as the downs came pretty easily. Slow time as I kept going back in my mind to my OLD FLAMES who used to ride on the back of my Honda in college. Rochelle Bayee from Lafayette, I remember you well. Big sigh. Thanks for a reminiscence on Monday.

Larry Gilstrap 1:32 AM  

I admired Paul Newman and saw COOL HAND LUKE at the Covina Theater. I was a bit of a movie buff. I remember Strother Martin's line containing the indefinite article, but flailing was short-lived; I trusted the editor. LUKE's crime involved alcohol and a pipe cutter, resulting in some damaged parking meters. Great scene! Hard boiled eggs might have played a role, as well.

We have good friends, Canadian immigrants from Europe, who seasonally visit the desert. Delightful people. They have learned that in dealing with this American, the metric system might as well be Martian. Speed, distance, volume, or temperature better be on my terms, or I glaze over. I have heard of KILOS of dope, but KILOS of eyewash seem legitimate enough. Kinda joking here. Wow! Two big paragraphs on two entries.

I know something about track and field events, and EDWIN Moses owned the 400-meter hurdles. That is a physically challenging race. We've all run a lap at one time or another, but put formidable hurdles in each lane, count out the steps around the track, and clear the hurdle cleanly. The race is grueling enough; imagine the training regimen? He was an amazing athlete.

Nice Monday puzzle which I hope portends a productive day for us all.

chefwen 1:34 AM  

Never saw the movie (not my type) didn’t know the phrase, so this Monday seemed a little on the difficult side. No write overs, just took me longer than your typical Monday, which is O.K. I hate zipping through Monday thinking “we’ll I guess I’ll go clean the kitchen, nothing else to do”.

Rochelle Bayee 1:37 AM  

@Tom, had you had a decent vehicle, things might have worked out.

Anoa Bob 1:39 AM  

Some think Cool Hand Luke was Newman's best role. I think for sure it was character actor Strother Martin's best performance.

Here's a Variation on today's theme.

Arnold Stoner 1:51 AM  

I thought everyone knew that quote, even on Mondays. And everyone knows that the Strother Martin version without the "a" is the definitive quote. This quote should be taught in schools around fifth grade or so and also included in immigration entrance exams. Maybe all the Strother Martin quotes too, like "Piss on old-time hockey!" and "...that goddamn Finkelsteen shit kid! Son of a bitch!" I know that last one has some language a little too blue for fifth graders but it's okay for immigrants, due to them being desperate and not speaking English or caring about anything. If anyone would like more information on Strother Martin and immigration just leave me your address and I can send you some material I've collected on the subject. Thank you and God bless.

Robin 2:35 AM  

"What we have here is (a) failure to communicate" is right up there with "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." But at least in CHL, there was a re-statement with the apparently missing article.

mathgent 2:39 AM  

The line is better known than the movie. I eventually saw the movie because the line had been quoted to me so many times. I didn't care for the movie -- too many scenes showing Paul Newman being tortured, for one thing.

The line is #11 on the AFI list but the movie isn't in the AFI top hundred.

An OK puzzle. Quite clean -- I only found three pieces of junk and just a few Terrible Threes. I learned that the famous line doesn't include "a". I suppose that the line was intended to show that the Strother Martin character spoke in a stilted way, perhaps in a dialect.

A lot of Newman roles that I prefer. Off the top of my head: The Sting, Butch Cassidy, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Thomaso808 3:27 AM  

Very good Monday puzzle by Peter Collins. I really appreciated the great quote combined with the movie title on the bottom row. Clean fill. Well done!

I think the missing “a” on the quote was a minor blip - can’t imagine anyone will “flail around” unless they want to, and as Rex pointed out, the quote was correct.

Good to know that OFL’s solving software doesn’t always show him the whole clue. Wow.

Yesterday Rex criticized the first three down entries GIS, INQ, FEU, saying, “GISINQFEU, you guys, GISINQFEU!” I just noticed that Michael Sharp’s first published NYT crossword on August 17, 2010 has the first three down entries GIS, ADA, LOW. “GISADALOW, Michael, GISADALOW!” At least yesterday’s puzzle had a SQU theme forcing the fill.

Constructor Peter Collins, with over one hundred NYT puzzles published, notes on Xwordinfo that this is the first one published since his father, an avid solver, passed away in August. Condolences to Peter and thanks for continuing to construct.

Kimberly 5:01 AM  

Have to agree that the lack of “a” was confusing, because the line we remember is always the Paul Newman version. The earlier recitation was just foreshadowing. We remember the second version.

That and those eggs. (Shudder)

That said, the clue does cite the source, which chose the first instance of the line in the script, so it’s not really worthy of a multi paragraph rant.

Over all it was nice having a Monday puzzle which required a little thought.

Lewis 5:24 AM  

From the AFI top 100 quotes (which is easily Googled), here are the beginnings to the top five:
1. Frankly,
2. I'm gonna make
3. You don't understand! I coulda had
4. Toto,
5. Here's

I feel a bit cheated because nowhere in the top 100 was the famous quote from Snakes On A Plane...

evil doug 5:27 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
evil doug 5:28 AM  

Misquote: “Play it again, Sam.”
This is often believed to have been said by Bogart in Casablanca. In fact, the closest Bogart came to the phrase was this: “You played it for her, you can play it for me…If she can stand it, I can. Play it!” Interestingly, Ingrid Bergman’s character comes closest when she says: “Play it, Sam.”
~Top 15 Film Misquotes

Anonymous 5:51 AM  

13A no doubt is an homage to Michael Sharp.

QuasiMojo 6:24 AM  

Another famous misquote is "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore..." from Network. Peter Finch actually says "I'm AS mad AS hell and I'm not going to take it.." etc. I read somewhere he flubbed the line as scripted by Paddy Chayevsky, but they kept it in (although it is more grammatically correct. Perhaps Finch's education in French schools as a child was showing through.) I'll have to go watch "Cool Hand Luke" again. It's been about 50 years since I last saw it. :)

As for the puzzle, it felt like there were too many people's names today. A lot of literary architecture for a cinematic pay-off.

"Compromising Positions" was made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon and directed by Frank Perry. The latter is better known for directing Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest" another source for a famous flick quotation. #72 on the AFI list.

Strother Martin 6:52 AM  

This comment section is failure to communicate.

G. Weissman 7:01 AM  

OH OH is a cry of anticipation? Maybe, if what’s anticipated is answering a teacher’s question (Horseshack). Terrible. And MITA? I mita knew that if I’d paid more attention to photocopiers a few decades ago. Terrible.

G. Weissman 7:02 AM  

Really, who asked?

kitshef 7:16 AM  

Thoroughly unpleasant Monday.

Never a fan of quote puzzles in the first place, but if you are going to inflict one on us, at least spare us stupidities like I CALLED IT and the clues for OHOH and, especially, ICE.

No hesitation whatsoever on the quote. Guns N’ Roses used the quote – as worded in the puzzle – in the song Civil War.

Oh, well … on to Tuesday.

Katapult 7:22 AM  

Am I really in such a minority saying what an unexpected joy this puzzle was? Unexpected, because: Monday. Boring. When I realized what the quote was, I started grinning ear to ear. I think it's maybe the best line ever, in a movie everyone should see. Yes, I tripped on the "a," and because I didn't remember Susan Isaacs and refuse to learn sports stuff, that slowed me down, but oh well. It's good to have a little challenge on a Monday.

If you haven't seen the movie, by all means don't click on Rex's video which is a terrible spoiler, but do find a way to watch it. Don't however do as I did, and gather the family 'round the telly to watch with you -- unless your relationships with them are more salubrious than mine are with mine. I made that mistake years ago, on a visit to my widowed mother, while my sister and her youngish son were there. "It's a classic," I told them. "Your cultural education is incomplete without this movie." Really, all I remembered of the movie was that line. From that night with my family, about all remember now is the voluptuous young siren, wearing something that clung to every curve like a second skin, washing a car in front of a bunch of sex-starved prison inmates. She made washing that car the most erotic activity in the history of sex. She spread her body across the metal; she squeezed that soapy sponge; the men howled and drooled; my family squirmed and made nervous jokes. Yes, older people and even mothers can fail to be shocked by sex, but my mother has never been one of them. And there was my impressionable little nephew, learning how raunchy his aunt is. I figured my sister was cursing me as a corrupter of youth. We got through the car-wash scene, only to proceed to the torture, the violence -- and, yes, the eggs. So watch it by all means, for That Line if nothing else, but choose your companions carefully.

What a wonderful tribute puzzle! Thanks, Peter A. Collins.

Hungry Mother 7:44 AM  

Easy one today. I’ve seen the movie several times and still remembered the quote incorrectly.

chefbea 7:51 AM  

Never saw the never heard the line from it. But did finish the puzzle. Noticed that we had dog eared again.

We met a man here in Wilmington whose mother made the flag that went to the moon. He has a picture in his office of his mom and the flag. He gave us a copy

Lewis 7:54 AM  

Anyone with untoward words toward this puzzle spends a night in the box.

ghthree 7:56 AM  

Larry Gilstrap: What was it Edwin Moses owned? Wasn't it the 437.44 yard hurdles?

17th century Dutch fop 8:01 AM  

Does anyone remember prancing?

Anonypuss 8:12 AM  

I normally dread Monday's puzzle because they're so easy, but today's was a delightful departure from the norm. I had enough moments of head scratching to qualify this as "challenging."

And given all the usual kvetching, I wanted to register my vote in favor. (However, I acknowledge that I am almost indiscriminately grateful for the creativity of others.)

Anonymous 8:20 AM  

“I was three seconds slower than my average, which for me, a speed solver, is an eternity on a Monday, “ said painful Mike Sharp.

mathgent 8:26 AM  

@Lewis (5:24): I think that AFI published its top 100 lines before Snakes came out. I'm a Samuel L. Jackson fan, too. Some of the funniest scenes I've ever seen were with SLJ in Hitman's Bodyguard.

rorosen 8:32 AM  

a great contribution, Katapult! that's the way to comment!

John Child 8:46 AM  

I enjoyed this, and it kept me working longer than most Mondays. Yes, the precise wording of the quote was a hitch, and I blanked on MAJA, but mostly the plethora of names forced me to crosses over and over. Darn near a quarter of the puzzle is names. Z may count out the PPP for us, but I thought this was a lot of trivia.

Thanks for the memory of the movie and of OLD FLAMES Mr Collins, and condolences. Your dad would have loved this.

Nancy 9:05 AM  

As soon as I had WHATWE, I knew what the quote was going to be, so it must be a very famous quote, right? I was wracking my brain to try to remember what movie it was from -- but a single letter, the L in COOL, jogged my memory. So why create a puzzle around this particular quote? Why not. Mostly easy, with a few clue/answers that were a little chewier, and some nice, colorful fill: I CALLED IT; BOFFO; LET SLIDE. As Mondays go, pretty decent.

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

As someone who subscribes to home delivery of the NYTimes, and who solves the daily puzzle in the morning using a pen w/the actual printed newspaper, I cringe whenever Rex rails on about the failings of how clues appear with his solving software. IMHO, the printed layout of the clues are part of the game - and, like many entertainment options, some of the subtleties of the art/craft are lost when the audience chooses the digital version over analog. I, for one, had no problem w/the "sight line" on the Movie quote today.... just like last Friday, when I had no problem with Patrick Berry's two-part clue for the first and last name of the Dominican fashion designer (when the puzzler used an ellipsis on each of the clues).

pmdm 9:11 AM  

TomAz, your first comment reminds me of a humorous story. One of the Times crossword editors (whether it was Shortz or not I don't remember) once raced a speed solver to complete a Saturday puzzle. He had the completed puzzle in front of him and the speed solver had never seen the puzzle. So all he had to do was copy the letters from the completed puzzle into the blank puzzle. Much to his chagrin, the speed solver won the race.

When I talk with people who don't solve puzzles, they inevitably say how difficult the Times puzzle are. I tell them only the end of week puzzles are rather difficult, and that anyone can easily solve a Monday puzzle. I hope non of them choose today's puzzle as the first puzzle they try to solve. I imagine it would be very difficult for a beginner who is stumped by the proper names and is not yet familiar with the crosswordese entries. The worth of the puzzle stands on its own, but it should not have been assigned a Monday slot.

I can imagine a big tirade of complaints if the quote were inaccurate. Instead, we have a tirade of complaints that the quote is accurate. Go figure. I guess since the point of the wrtie-up seems to be to complain, complain, complain, it really doesn't matter. I myself always musquoted the line. So I learned something that I don't think I will ever forget. That's a plus. So, Mr. Collins, you did the correct thing and congratulations to you. Your father must be smiling down on you from heaven.

Z 9:22 AM  

Quote puzzles are below tribute puzzles on the “Not My Cuppa” list, but for the type this one was okay. Speaking of great quotes, I watched Casablanca last night. During the broadcast Rex asserted that Victor Laszlo > Rick Blaine. Hmm. This strikes me as a classic Betty v Veronica debate.

@Lewis - Tee Hee.

@Katapult - ESPY, ESPN, Mel Ott, deke, RBIs (not RsBI), and that various teams are used to clue ALE, ALW, NLE, NLW, AFC, and NFC will get you pretty far without having to learn anything about sports.

I’m was a little surprised to see the PPP question arise so I did go back and check:
Quickie PPP
Pop culture, Product names, and other Proper nouns as a percentage of the puzzle answers.

30/76 for 39% BUT 6 of these are the quote and reveal. Take those out and the PPP is 24/76 for a still high 32% (33% is my somewhat arbitrary cut-off for problematic PPP level). Today’s PPP was in my wheelhouse so I missed the relatively high level, but I do expect higher difficulty than usual for some solvers.

GHarris 9:24 AM  

Easy and enjoyable. His own technical foul ups seem to make Rex cranky. A tip of the hat to those companies who withdrew their ads from that excuse for a journalist, Sean Hannity who termed sexual conduct with a 14 year old “consensual “.

Steve M 9:24 AM  

Crap if you don’t accurately use the quote

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

I am in agreement that I do not believe the times that people quote. I also do not believe that Rex never has a "did not finish" since the online puzzles tell you when you have the puzzle completed. My print version doesn't offer this.

The puzzle itself was horrible for someone who does not know a name from the Simpsons crossing the name of a painting; the name of the author of Rebecca crossing the name of author Roald and author James; a nickname for the 43rd president crossing a column in architecture.

This was not a Monday puzzle at all and I would love to see enough talent from constructors to leave out the names that they have to Google because they are in a jam. My preference would be a clue that says "Random set of letters" to "Finger Millet" because the constructor could not get rid of Ragi, for example. At least with the former, I know that I must use the crosses.

Nancy 9:27 AM  

The 12:37 a.m. comment and the 1:37 a.m. "response" make for the kind of pleasure that compels me to read this blog.

@mathgent (2:39 a.m.) -- You left out "The Verdict", my personal favorite Newman film.

@Lewis (5:24 a.m.) -- Spoiler alert, everyone else. I didn't look them up and here are my answers: dear, I don't give a damn! an offer you can't refuse
3...class. I coulda been a contender.
4...we're not in Kansas anymore.
5...looking at you, kid.

I'm right, right?

Ry 9:36 AM  

I second kitshef here. Cool Hand Luke is one of the great movies I am ashamed I have never seen, but the quote was a gimmie since I have listened to Guns 'n' Roses Use Your Illusion II over a thousand times and didn't think twice here.

yaffa 9:41 AM  

Loved the movie. Paul Neuman is one of my favorite actors of all time. Got stuck on the A but figured it out. Did not know glads or mita.

evil doug 9:56 AM  

Well, thanks for asking, G. Weissman. Here's one especially for you:

Misquote: "Me Tarzan, you Jane!"
As believable as it seems, this line was not spoken in the 1932 film "Tarzan, the Ape Man". Here is what was actually said:
Jane: (pointing to herself) Jane.
Tarzan: (he points at her) Jane.
Jane: And you? (she points at him) You?
Tarzan: (stabbing himself proudly in the chest) Tarzan, Tarzan.
Jane: (emphasizing his correct response) Tarzan.
Tarzan: (poking back and forth each time) Jane. Tarzan. Jane. Tarzan…

Joseph Michael 10:03 AM  

Not usually a fan of tribute puzzles, but this was a good one and provided a little more challenge than the typical Monday.

Got the quote after filling in only a couple of letters, but got stumped briefly by the source. I kept hearing Jack Nicholas's voice in Twelve Angry Men ("You can't handle the truth...") until Paul Newman and those mangled parking meters and hard boiled eggs finally came to mind. Great movie!

Thank you to Peter Collins for including the quote as it was WRITTEN and not as Rex remembered it in his SQUAWKATHON.

semioticus (shelbyl) 10:06 AM  

All those short Downs and Proper Nouns and crosswordese dense regions made the fill a drab for me. It was average at best. But again, it's a tribute puzzle so what can one expect? Looking forward to tomorrow.

ArtO 10:10 AM  

All that griping about the quote with the denouement being that it's totally accurate. Talk about much ado about nothing!!

Agreed, though that it was tougher than the usual Monday but...what's wrong with that?

Two Ponies 10:13 AM  

I loved this puzzle.
Peter Collins is a real pro and today it really showed.

One of my favorite clues was about the flag. Fun moment when
I realized it had nothing to do with earth geography.
Nice story @ chefbea.

Some days Rex seems to set the tone for comments.
I was very surprised at the negativity for a puzzle
that I found much more enjoyable than the usual Monday.

rosebud 10:14 AM  

One of our favorite movies for all time, my kids learned the quote from the Guns’N Roses song, thanks for the memories.

Tom 10:15 AM  


thursdaysd 10:15 AM  

I hate quote puzzles and I've never seen the movie, but I got the quote with no difficulty and certainly didn't notice a missing "a".

I was more annoyed by MITA which I have never encountered before. It was nice to see DAPHNE du Maurier.

Unknown 10:19 AM  

Dubya? Never heard that one

Mohair Sam 10:20 AM  

If Peter Collins had made this a 16x15 and thrown in the "A" in the quote you know damned well that OFL would have bitched endlessly about the inaccuracy and linked to Strother Martin on the hillside.

Now we enjoyed this puzzle, but have to admit that Anon(9:25) has a point.

@Nancy - Yes a thousand times to "The Verdict" - Newman/Lumet/Mamet combo just too good. And didn't you just love hating James Mason in that one?

@Z - Watched "Casablanca" for zillionth time yesterday too. Have lost all faith in Rex with Victor>Rick assertion. The stuff of heroism like Victor Laszlo's is in each of us, but cool like Rick? - some cats got it, and some cats ain't.

Paperback Writer 10:23 AM  

Typical Monday time for me is 8 mins -- this took me 21! I didn't know either of the literary proper names, DAPHNE and ISAACS. MAJA crossed with ASTER only happened by guessing the A. MITA? Literally never heard of this company, I guess it's before my time (and I'm 45).

puzzlehoarder 10:33 AM  

I didn't notice that the quote lacked an indefinite article until I read Jeff Chen's comments. I can't remember whether I got that section of the quote from the crosses or just filled it in without using the A. Either way it's an interesting fact that I wasn't aware of.

A good example of how little thought I give to themes was that after having the entire quote in I got down to the SE corner first and worked west. Not yet having read the 65A clue I found myself stopping to look at the words LUKE and HAND and wonder what they could possibly have to do with each other. This only lasted for a moment or two but it was a classic forest for the trees moment.

My condolences to the constructor on the loss of his father.

GILL I. 10:37 AM  

I'm stale...Oof, this took a long, but most pleasurable time to complete. Of all things, LACE. I kept thinking "what on earth is poked in the eye?" Kept thinking pig.
After a welcome back Pinot, I managed to wipe up the errors Mr. SULU and put in your much deserved LT.
COOL HAND LUKE and Paul Newman and Butch Cassidy and the Hustler and those blue eyes...drool. Loved him and I also loved his wife.
This was a good Monday to come back to. I enjoy hard. I got it today.
@Katapult...Loved your "gather the family round the telly" story. My mom was never squeamish about watching sex either but every time we watched any kind of horror flick and a severed hand would all of a sudden appear, she'd scream incredibly loud. I mean REALLY loud and then start laughing, REALLY loud.
Good Monday PAC.

kitshef 10:45 AM  

@pmdm - "I can imagine a big tirade of complaints if the quote were inaccurate. Instead, we have a tirade of complaints that the quote is accurate." - perfect.

@Ry - first dance at my wedding to mrsshef was Sweet Child O' Mine from Appetite for Destruction.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Wow, this blog's pride + ignorance quotient is way higher than the usual 85% today. Great going, folks!

Anonymous 11:15 AM  

Do you have anything, anything at all to do in your life, Anony 11:08, other than spew hate at a bunch of people you don't know? What a pathetic way to live. I imagine I speak for just about everyone on the blog when I say that it's truly wonderful not to be you.

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

Can we have a one month moratorium on the Simpsons? I bet in an honest poll of all Americans, you'd probably discover that nearly 3/4 of all of our citizens have never seen it. So we get this bartender clue in the natick with a Goya painting and an actress at 10 down I don't know, and that corner was a mess. Enough already.

Masked and Anonymous 11:24 AM  

@RP: Sooo … U R sayin: What we got here is "A" failure? Or somesuch?

Didn't know MITA. Otherwise the puz was fine and the quote as A-ok, by m&e.

Interestin grid layout, where the Down long-balls are shorties like SKETCH and RECOIL. Then the Acrosses go nuts and try to compensate, with longer stuff like OLDFLAMES, ICALLEDIT, REFASHION [har], and LETSSLIDE, splatzed right up against the themers. Different. Neat. But looks like an OSO to construct, that way.

staff weeject pick: SLR. But … Better clue, maybe: {"Deppandik" monogram??}.

Thanx, Collins dude.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Anonymous 11:27 AM  

@Anon 11:15 - read the posts before mine and after yours, then get back to me.

The Hermit Philosopher 11:27 AM  

Good ol’ Rex! He never disappoints. Always gotta find something to complain about.
I pray you’ll get over yourself someday, Rex.

Carola 11:28 AM  

A tough Monday for me, as I haven't seen the movie and apparently have spent too much time on the MOON or Mars, as I hadn't heard the quote either. Had to look elsewhere for my pleasures: OLD FLAMES, LETS SLIDE, PARTS next to STREEP.

pabloinnh 11:34 AM  

Anyone else ever wonder why we always say "The Naked Maja"? Do we also say "The Clothed Maja" for the other version of this painting? Is Goya's "Naked Pretty Lady" unrecognizable? Maybe "maja" is a word that has entered our language so thoroughly that everyone uses it, but that's not true in this part of New England.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

Rex's complaint is that the often-misquoted line shouldn't be in a Monday puzzle, not that it was quoted accurately. But don't let things like what someone actually said get in the way of a not-very-witty rejoinder, amirite?

I personally didn't mind the quote. Figured that out without much trouble because I was aware of the misquotation. But I've always enjoyed Mondays because they don't normally turn into pointless trivia about fifth string actors from the 50s and other American themed minutiae. This one disappointed on that front.

F. 11:41 AM  

I liked it too! I enjoyed having a little meatier of a Monday.

jb129 11:48 AM  

Not your "typical" Monday puzzle.

Coniuratos 11:51 AM  

This might be a little pedantic, but 25D bugs me. One of Peter the Great's claims to fame is that he changed the title of the ruler of the Russian state from TSAR to "emperor" (or, well, "imperator" in the Russian) as part of his efforts to westernize the country. If you're going to refer to a TSAR and want it to be recognizable, make it Ivan the Terrible.

Hartley70 11:51 AM  

I saw the movie umpteen million years ago and while I remember Paul Newman as the dreamiest, I have absolutely no recollection of the quotation. That made this puzzle a bit more challenging which is always welcome on a Monday. The only pause was MAJA, until the crosses confirmed my guess, and MITA which I'm sure could win an "obscurity of the week" prize. All in all a much better than average Monday experience from Mr. Collins.

GILL I. 12:07 PM  

@pabloinnh....Goya was quite the rascal and way ahead of his time when it came to painting nudes. During his "prime" it wasn't socially acceptable to paint anyone of social standing in the buff. In this case, it was supposedly the Duchess of Alba. Story goes that when her husband, the Duke, discovered Goya's indiscretions, he stated he was going to kill him. Goya quickly presented the Maja (meaning beautiful) Vestida. Stories abound on who actually was the desnuda. Some say it was Pepita Tudo but with a name like that, I doubt it. The Duchess, was quite the court paramour....Paul Newman could have played the part.

Masked and Anonymous 12:18 PM  

Oughta-correct from first msg:
Shoulda been: "… the quote Was A-ok, by m&e." [Had failed to communicate the "DUBY9".]

Hey …
Nice quotation letter controversy today, from Mr. Peter **A.** Collins.
[Appears he was born to build this here puz.]


Lewis 12:39 PM  

@nancy -- Right on target with but two nits:
1. I'm gonna make HIM and offer HE can't refuse.
2. Toto, I'VE A FEELING we're not in Kansas anymore.

Lewis 12:41 PM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

“This and that” (4)
“Mariner’s org.” (4)
“Standard position” (8)
“Like home, on rare occasions” (6)
“Not related” (6)


Anon 12:43 PM  

nobody else has a problem with the cross of OSO and USENO?

Dick Swart 12:45 PM  

A nice start to the week with a familiar quotation in an enjoyable grid. Filled in the quote right away, awaiting the reward of the CHL fill at the end.

If Rex starts this dyspeptic on a Monday, what will the rest of the week be like?

Mohair Sam 1:11 PM  

@Lewis - Not "Trouble maker": HASBRO? C'mon.

Fred Romagnolo 1:23 PM  

"My OLD FLAME, can't even remember his name:" Mae West. Yes, MAJA Vestida is MAYA clothed. Refreshing to have a Monday's puzzle that's not a walk-through.

pabloinnh 1:25 PM  

Thanks for responding I've read the backstory of the two versions of the painting, and some guesses about who she may have been. My question is more about how we refer to these paintings in a bilingual manner. We don't say "Le dejeuner on the grass", for instance. Of course a perfectly acceptable answer, and one I used to use in class, is always "tradition".

Ando 1:33 PM  

I thought the quote was going to be "I can eat fifty eggs." But it didn't fit.

oldactor 1:35 PM  

I once had dinner with Paul Newman at Jim Downey's restaurant in NY, an actor's hangout on 8th Ave back in the day. He was starring in "Sweet Bird of Youth" at the time. With his steak he ordered a baked potato with apple sauce. I commented that it was a strange combination. He then extended a forkful for me to try and asked what I thought. I said it tasted just like baked potato and apple sauce. He was one of the nicest people I've ever met and I'll never forget those EYES.

GILL I. 1:56 PM  

Hey @pabloinnh...Good question. "Maja" means beautiful in Spanish so if you want to be literal I guess you'd say the beautiful nude or the beautiful clothed?
Would you say eggs rancheros?

Missy 2:24 PM  

"You can't handle the truth" is from A Few Good Men.

Missy 2:34 PM  

"You can't handle the truth" is from A Few Good Men.

BillT 2:41 PM  

"That's one small step for man . . .."

Anonymous 3:32 PM  

REX: Putting that YouTube clip of the climactic scene from Cool Hand Luke was over the line, man. That's a spoiler of a great movie which you just acknowledged that many people have not seen.

I read this blog daily and although I disagree with a lot of what you say and how you say it, it's your blog and there's no fee and no ads and you can say what you want.

But posting THAT particular clip was a violation of basic decency because of what it gives away. You could have made your (incorrect) point without the video clip.

No one quotes the second version, it's always the Strother Martin version, as others have noted here.

tea73 3:33 PM  

I'm not normally a fan of quote puzzles, but I liked this one a lot. I thought it was a feature not a bug that we know the wrong version of the quote best. I've certainly heard the wrong version a million times and I have not seen the movie. I thought it was very fair.

I'm not particularly a Paul Newman fan, but love The Sting. Maybe it's time to watch it again!

TCProf 3:43 PM  

Re: Rex's review--WTF?!?!?

Nice to have a bit of resistance on a Monday. I do Mondays and Tuesdays more out of habit than any expectation of enjoyment.

Churlish Nabob 4:26 PM  

Haters gonna hate
Whiners gonna whine
Sharp's gonna carp

Joe Dipinto 4:37 PM  

I always think of the line with the "a" in it.

The puzzle was okay, but the theme seemed odd for a Monday. Then I remembered that "Cool Hand Luke" is from 1967, so I thought maybe today is the 50th anniversary of it's release. But according to IMDB it was released on November 1st. That fell on a Wednesday this year. This could have worked as a Wednesday puzzle, so why not run it on the anniversary, to add a layer of relevance to it? Strange, very strange.

Joe Dipinto 4:39 PM  

ITS release. Damned autocorrect.

jae 5:06 PM  

Tough Mon. Not bad for a quote puz.

jberg 5:18 PM  

I didn't agree with @Rex's point, but we should be fair about what that point was: not that one version or another of the quotation was correct, but that using a version different from what most people remembered was too hard FOR A MONDAY. It certainly held me up, until i got OF IT and then I had no choice. I actually came here earlier today, on my phone, just to check if the quotation was wrong.

Now @Loren's going to criticize me for refusing to use 'quote' as a noun. Sorry, I can't help myself.

@Katapult, great post, keep 'em coming!

Two Ponies 5:29 PM  

@ kitshef, A very memorable moment in a good movie with the silly title, Captain Fantastic, features a version of Sweet Child. You might enjoy it.

Anonymous 5:46 PM  

Maja is a noun in the title of the Goya painting, not an adjective. As a noun, it carries a completely different meaning from the simple adjective, which is why it isn't translated when the painting is named in English. Check out the wiki article "majo."

Anonymous 5:49 PM  

(adding to 5:46 post) - Geisha "means" art person, but we wouldn't expect the title of a portrait of a geisha to call her anything but geisha. Exact parallel.

John 6:09 PM  

Me three. Thought this was a great Monday.

RAD2626 8:05 PM  

As a regular reader of this blog, and occasional commenter, I hope Professor Barany is busy with school or mentoring other constructors and not boycotting the blog because of the unfair reception he got on Saturday. Three points:

1. As a Vietnam veteran I was truly touched that two naturalized citizens would spend seven years perfecting a Veterans Day puzzle in part to honor America's veterans. Current politics aside, that is a wonderful tribute and I for one appreciate it. I have told countless friends about how pleasant a surprise that was.

2. The puzzle was an extraordinary feat of construction. Eleven eleven letter entries plus the word ELEVEN. And with minimal impact on the fill imo. Just really impressive.

3. I truly enjoy his comments as a constructor...and a baseball fan. He is invariably positive and I always learn something from his posts. Like many others here too numerous to mention his love of puzzles and wordplay comes through in every comment. The loss of his voice would be significant.

Mohair Sam 8:19 PM  

@Rad2626 - Well said

Two Ponies 8:37 PM  

I have wondered since that day whether we would lose him as well. I sincerely hope not.

Anonymous 8:44 PM  

I'm getting to the point where I might end my subscription. This number of cross references isn't right for a Monday, nor were some of the words. This has become a pattern - the inability to calibrate the puzzle to the day.

Z 10:15 PM  

@Mohair Sam - “I know a good deal more about you than you suspect. I know, for instance, that you're in love with a woman. It is perhaps a strange circumstance that we both should be in love with the same woman.” Escaped from a concentration camp. Leads the singing of La Marseillaise in one of the greatest “F U Nazis” moments in WWII cinema. I think the character suffers from most of his greatest exploits being off-screen, but there’s some serious cool in ol’ Victor.

Teedmn 10:55 PM  

Late posting here - this is one of the few "quote" puzzles I've really enjoyed. Nearly DNF'd with my assumed "A" article in the misquoted version - having _____AILURE TO in place, I rushed to finish the quote with "HERE IS a" and then bounced down to 52A to fill in COMMUNICATE. I then finished solving from the bottom up and the middle section with my error was my last to fill. I just barely noticed that I had an "A" where the F belonged so I replaced it to get OF IT, thinking I had made a typo. I never reread the quote to realize it was missing the expected yet incorrect article so I had to read the blog to realize why I had the near miss.

Off _ILOS, I considered the drug bust units might be sILOS and I thought that was a mighty big drug bust. Growing up in farm country hasn't rubbed off yet, apparently.

Anonymous 11:14 PM  

I suspect that if the author had misquoted the quote, our host would be up in arms about that anyway..

G. Weissman 12:05 AM  


nick strauss 7:40 AM  

Atad suprised that I solved it fairly easily -- difficult for a Monday. bill to law, I kept thinking lips.

thefogman 9:09 AM  

I found this one very easy even for a Monday. I love Cool Hand Luke. One of the best movies ever. I got the quote right away and after that it was a snap.

Still shakin' it over here boss!

rondo 10:07 AM  

Let’s see. Complaining because the quote is accurate and issues with his solving software? If that’s what qualifies a puz to be less than BOFFO, then OFL needs a new paradigm. I liked it. And anyone who hasn’t managed to see COOL HAND LUKE after 50 years must live under a rock. Seminal. I can rewatch it anytime. George Kennedy was fantastic.

ANDIE MacDowell hands down yeah baby.

Gotta run. Apparently to please OFL, constructors can’t CITE things correctly. Some men cannot be reached by normal means. I did this puz with EASE.

Burma Shave 10:29 AM  


WHATWE’VEGOT HEREIS a TRU flick, where Newman’s FAILURETO puke
the eggs he LETSSLIDE down is the TRICK to be CALLED COOL HAND LUKE.


thefogman 12:56 PM  

I thought Strother Martin (who played the warden or "boss" on Cool Hand Luke) gave an amazing performance.

spacecraft 1:14 PM  

The best part of "LUKE" was without a doubt the car washing scene. Were it not for the enchanting ANDIE McDowell, that chick would've made DOD. Second best, of course, is the poker scene which earned him the nickname. My own favorite quote: "Kick a buck."

I was sure the line was "What we HAVE here..." not "we've got." But replaying the scene, the puzzle has it right. I personally believe "have" would have sounded better. The movie is ALSO noteworthy for Jo Van Fleet's appearance as the mother, recalling her iconic mother role in "East of Eden."

Quote puzzles are Not my Favorite Thing, but this reporter LETSSLIDE today's. It's pretty solid fill-wise, with only MITA as a really strange outlier for a Monday. One might quibble with the word "flown" in the MOON clue: a flag "flying" implies wind to fly in. As we know, the MOON has no atmosphere, hence no wind. Old Glory just hangs there, limp as a dishrag. But no matter; I loved the movie, and I liked this puzzle. Birdie.

spacecraft 1:16 PM  

P.S. It appears--dare I say?--that the server problem has been fixed: hooray! Now if we can just wake up that lazy old syndilinker...

Anonymous 1:22 PM  

West coast syndicated puzzle solver here, so a bit late to be adding a comment, but the relevant quote comes from an earlier part of the movie where the prison warden is talking to Luke (Paul Newman)
:"What we've got here is failure to communicate". Excuse me if someone has previously mentioned this, I scanned through earlier comments and did not see this mentioned.

leftcoastTAM 2:46 PM  

COOL HAND LUKE--unforgettable movIe. "WHAT WE'VE GOT HERE..."--somewhat forgettable quote in its precise form, but comes back loud and clear once correctly spelled out. So a bit slow-going through the middle.

Wanted Susan Sontag before ISAACS. Probably not alone on that.

Challenging for a Monday, and a good one.

leftcoastTAM 4:07 PM  

Along with today's, some favorite movie quotes (or slight misquotes, maybe):
--Faye Dunaway, to the Pepsi Co. board of directors: "Don't f--k with me, fellas!"
--Bette Davis spitting out "What a dump!" as she views a seedy apartment to rent.
--Marlon Brando's plaint to his boxing match-fixing brother: "I coulda been a contenda."
--MB as the Godfather: "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."
--Al Pacino in Godfather II, in answer to a Senator asking how much Michael would
pay to avoid political trouble with Nevada gaming authorities: "Nothing."
There are many, but these especially have stuck in mind.

rainforest 4:09 PM  

After reading @Rondo's comment I decided to read @Rex's post (damn you, @Rondo). He actually criticized the puzzle for accurately citing the quote in question. Amazing!

Anyway, a pretty good puzzle. Ambivalent as I am about quotes, unless they are funny, this was a perfect one since it belies what @Rex had to say, har!

In the second school where I worked, we had a MITA photocopier, known primarily for its jamming ability.

I liked it, I liked the movie, and I like Andie McDowell.That is all.

William Heyman 5:17 PM  

Lurking for four years, only posted thrice.

One should not be using third-party software and then complaining that it doesn't work right. Use the NT Times stuff. Then complain.

rondo 7:46 PM  

@Wm. Heyman - keep up with the posting, I'll bet you'll have as much or more interesting stuff to say as the rest of us. The more the merrier!

thefogman 7:54 PM  

That Puzzle Mania insert in last Sunday's NYT is like a gift from Santa Claus to all xword fanatics.

rondo 8:05 PM  

@foggy - I miss out on all the good stuff. But I get the Saint Paul Pioneer Press delivered Wed, Thurs, and Sun for 2 bucks a year. So they can inflate their ad rates. If/when the rate goes "normal" I might quit doing the Sunday puz.

arsene 2:18 AM  

2011 song hits list pop danthology

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