Sadie Hawkins dances / FRI 7-27-18 / First night of Hannukah / Egyptian deity / Actress "That '70s Show" / Mountain nymph / Singer K.T. / Singer k.d.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: 8:39 (Friday average: 14:30; Friday best: 5:50)

THEME: Themeless — But with a minitheme if you try hard enough.

Word of the Day: ETHELRED [53A: English king nicknamed "the Unready" (ooh, that hurts!)] —
Æthelred II (Old English: Æþelræd, pronounced [æðelræːd]; c. 966 – 23 April 1016), known as the Unready, was King of the English from 978 to 1013 and again from 1014 until his death. His epithet does not derive from the modern word "unready", but rather from the Old English unræd (meaning "poorly advised"); it is a pun on his name, which means "well advised". (Wikipedia)
Note: Why the dig at Æthelred? [57A: "I dunno"]: YOU GOT ME
• • •

Sooo... CAPTAIN OBVIOUS [35A: He might say "A day without sunshine is like, you know, night"] is decently fresh. But ugh PRINCE CHARMING [30A: He might say "A day without you is like a day without sunshine"] makes me tired, and it crosses [15D: Star-crossed, say]: TRAGIC and [26D: Whose last words are "Thus with a kiss I die"]: ROMEO (Romeo and Juliet, Prologue, lines 5-6: "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/ A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life"). Yep, he was a [29A: Lost cause]: GONER, although his [spoiler alert] death did not take place in [58A: One of two in "Hamlet" or three in "Macbeth"]: SCENE V. Nor was there a [8A: Sequel]: PART II

As another minitheme, we also have two country music singers who go by their initials: [42A: Singer K. T.]: OSLIN and [45A: Singer k. d.]: LANG. The latter has earned multiple awards for her music and activism, and continues to perform, while the former hasn't had a hit in 30 years. We're supposed to remember her because why? Oslin is best known for a synth-country ballad entitled "80s Ladies," which so perfectly exemplifies its time period that I'm pretty sure everyone in it is actually an undercover KGB agent.

This grid is -- to my surprise -- not the NYT debut of [51A: Trendy male hairstyle]: MANBUN; neither that nor [29D: ___ pull]: GROIN invoke pleasant reflections. Not that I'm eating breakfast -- quite the contrary -- [2D: "Cheers!"]: DRINK UP! I feel like there's some [44D: Shower problem]: MILDEW on some entries, like the roll-your-own [59A: "Nature" or "Frontline"]: PBS SHOW and [17A: From which Sadie Hawkins dances come]: LIL ABNER. All fine when warranted, or as fill to pull a theme together, but in a themeless I want every entry to have some spark or it's all just [16A: "Blah, blah, blah"]: ETCETC.

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  • [41A: Mountain nymph]: OREAD — Not a dryad or a naiad, nay nor a maenad, but their least popular sister, the oread. O, read about the oread.
  • [10D: Memorable demonstrator at the 1939 World's Fair]: RCA — of the first black-and-white television.
  • [21D: BuzzFeed competitor]: MASHABLE —Doesn't run as many listicles as BuzzFeed, nor does it have a crossword, like other competitor Vice.
Signed, Laura, Sorceress of CrossWorld

[Follow Laura on Twitter]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:03 AM  

Easy. A bit ho-hum for me too. My only iffy spot was the MASHABLE/AMON cross. AMEN (Ra) is more familiar and MASHABLE was a WOE. I’m with Jeff at Xwordinfo on this one.

Back in 2012 Mila KUNIS went on a road trip to Scotland with Craig Ferguson. Those shows were quite a bit more fun than this puzzle.

puzzlehoarder 12:44 AM  

In general this was a rather user friendly puzzle. However I ran into some roablocks at the choke points.

Not knowing the Egyptian good was a major brain fart on my part. Once I'd finished it was embarrassingly obvious. I think it's the AMUN of Tutankhamun that threw me off. With # on my brain from yesterday I thought HASHABLE was a perfectly reasonable answer.

Changing SCENES to SCENEV was another ordeal. Shamelessly running the alphabet until the O of the totally unknown FOER allowed me to recognize IONTV. Could I have done this on paper? Very likely not. Once I was sure of the SE finished by changing that AHON eyesore in the north.

Getting PBS in the SE was hard for me. NAM being in the same section put HUE on the brain. I doubt it even has an airport but for a long time I fell for the "city' misdirect in the clue. My literal thinking often extends to credulity.

Thank you to all the people who responded to my surgery news. As you can tell by all the verbiage I'm doing great. I'm pain med free at the moment and have been since the total left knee replacement. They're going to give me a toradol injection at midnight Chicago time. In the wee hours the nerve block in my left leg is going to wear off and I'll really know how I'm doing.

I did not actually retire on Tuesday. I'm on what is called layup. For the rest of the year I'll be a professional patient. I'm hoping to get the right knee done in October and then officially retire after November first, with 32 years.

JOHN X 1:11 AM  

The gal on the NY Times blog hated the PRINCECHARMING thing too, except she thought the "sunshine" quote was pickup line, and she hates pickup lines apparently. What's even up with that? It's just a pleasant thing to say, and it's good to be a Prince Charming and be nice, and even sometimes kill yourself for your forbidden girlfriend if that's what it takes to get that job done. So I don't get what the commotion is.

This is like the fifth easy puzzle in a row now.

Larry Gilstrap 1:47 AM  

I found it hard to believe that DECO followed Cubism, but facts matter. I threw in DADA, soon realizing that wouldn't work. Modern art, like modern poetry is not necessarily recent.

The PRINCE represents romanticism and the CAPTAIN represents irony. Both are pretty corny. When I pen my memoir, I might steal that title: "The Unready."

I taught 9th grade for many years and R&J was in the curriculum, which means I dragged hundreds of kids through that TRAGIC play. I enjoyed it, particularly with sharp students. No better way to learn something, than to teach it. When the play begins, he is smitten with Rosaline, "The all-seeing sun/ne'er saw her match since first the world begun." ROMEO had issues.

The 38 columns in the Lincoln Memorial represent...? Great clue.

The Marines are a huge presence in San Diego County and I often see an OSPREY or two flying over, as does, I assume, the puzzle constructor. I once was sitting with my friend, a U.S Army Aviation veteran with multiple deployments in Iraq, watching them fly by. I asked if he would like to have flown that aircraft. His response was negative. Not sure whether that was inter-service rivalry or an assessment of the dependability of the plane, but I assume the latter.

TomAz 1:56 AM  

The KUNIS/TUCCI cross by itself is enough to condemn this puzzle. The U was a guess.

The rest of the puzzle was fine, if a tad drab in spots.

Moly Shu 2:15 AM  

That FOER/IONTV/SCENEV 3way had me stuck for an EON. Couldn’t let go of SCENEs. I know Shakespeare like I know FOER, which is to say, not at all. But we did get GROIN pull. Maybe I’ll venture out and see if I can get someone to do it for me, instead of......oh wait, maybe the puzzle was referring to the athletic injury type. Never mind. I didn’t know baby ICEBERG’s had names. Always nice to learn something new.

@Z, where’s my Fireball?? I won fair and square. I need to DRINKUP !!!

chefwen 2:47 AM  

Fairly easy for a Friday. Had the most trouble in the SE corner. ETHELRED was unknown and I couldn’t figure how to fit flea treatment in at 59A, OH a different FRONTLINE, oops. YOU GOT ME. Robes before TOGAS at 24A didn’t help my situation.

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS made me laugh and MAN BUN made me say UGH!

A late week Bruce Haight puzzle usually sends me whimpering off to a corner, not this one, liked it A TON.

Anoa Bob 3:53 AM  

This puzzle flipped the bird at me. The KUNIS TUCCI MASHABLE OSLIN mashup guaranteed a dnf. Could hardly believe it when TERMINI filled in for "Ends". What? No hint of a Latin plural? YOU GOT ME!

Lewis 6:07 AM  

@laura -- Excellent writeup with wit and good catches!

I went NW, NE, SW, SE, and that last quadrant gave the most grit. I used to run marathons, and in the Marine Corps Marathon (at least when I ran it), there's a tough hill right before the finish line, and that's what the SE felt like, to make me feel like I earned my pay. It's a tribute to the constructor/editor when larger unknown words (for me, MASHABLE and ETHELRED) are still gettable due to fair crossing. The cluing wasn't wordplay-clever (with the notable exception of the clue for ICEBERG), nor was it CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. Cute cross of AMON/ATON, and as your resident alphadoppeltotter, I must report that this puzzle had fewer than five double letters (4), quite rare, in fact, the last time this happened was the middle of February. By the way, unless you are vegan, I don't think you'd like Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals".

All in all, a MASHABLE offering sprinkled with lovely ahas and some luscious resistance. Thank you, Bruce!

three of clubs 6:37 AM  

There's an initialism in the northwest that wants its Q back.

QuasiMojo 6:42 AM  

Tough for me. Never heard of Captain Obvious. And I curl my lip at answers such as ION TV or PBS SHOW. Or silly websites I've never had cause to visit. There is an entire world out there of interesting things to put into a crossword puzzle. TV and the internet are not among them. Nor is LIL ABNER for that matter. (I did like AlVIN though.)

I had to scratch my head a lot this morning. FOER? Who? YOU GOT ME. OSLIN? And didn't we just have that same exact clue for TUCCI the other day? Or was that another newspaper puzzle? RELOS is slang? Isn't it just an abbreviation?

I've been to SAN REMO. According to the map it's on the Ligurian Sea. Yes, it's no doubt on the Mediterranean, sort of, but most people refer to it as the Italian Riviera.

My big laugh today was putting in DUST for the "item" in a box in the basement, and SCENTS for the odd things found in "Hamlet" and "Macbeth."

FLAC 7:27 AM  

Call me a purist, but IMHO, there’s no such thing as a “mini-theme.” There’s either a theme or there’s not.

Puzzle was easy but didn’t do much for me.

Hungry Mother 7:35 AM  

So much trivia, so little patience for it. Meh.

Hungry Mother 7:48 AM  

@Lewis: I’m a marathoner and a vegan. I’ve heard that the Marine Corps have the best marathon. I’ve done 5 Disneys, 2 Detroits, Vegas, Tomoka, and NYC. Not sure I have another left in me.

Suzie Q 8:13 AM  

What a cast! Lil Abner, Prince Charming, Ethelred, and Captain Obvious! Toss in Romeo and what a party.
Thanks for the laughs Bruce.
I tried Big Toe before Big Top.
I'm with @ Larry G re: cubism and Deco. Flowing lovely Deco seems quite the opposite of jarring ugly Cubism.
@ Moly Shu, You naughty boy. Good one!
Did our guest host inherit the Haight Hate or was it part of her contract?
Anyway, nice way to start my day.

Nancy 8:22 AM  

Oh, Bruce, this was so close to being a really delicious puzzle. I learned so many interesting things from it. That a little ICEBERG is called a calf. That there are different categories of sandpaper (I thought they were all pretty COARSE). That a MAN BUN is considered "trendy", heaven help us all. It's certainly not considered trendy by me. By me, it's considered about as attractive as MILDEW. But the MAN BUN is not my problem today, Bruce. It's all the crossing PPP running down the middle.

Was it KUNIc, KUNIk, KUNIS or KUNIt?
Was it AkON, AlON, AMON, ArON, AvON, AxON or AzON?
Was it OSAiN, OSeIN, OSLIN, OSbIN or OSyIN? (OShIN, OSpIN, OSmIN, OSkIN and OStIN didn't work with the other letters.)
CAPTAIN OBVIOUS could tell you that I obviously never heard of MASHABLE (21D).

So you ruined this puzzle for me, Bruce, will all that unfairly uncrossed PPP. I couldn't complete it and I intend to do absolutely no PENANCE about it. Some DNFs may be TRAGIC, but surely not this one.

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

Found this one to be pretty easy. A single tick over six minutes, well under average but nowhere near record territory.

Got a little lucky with a Hail Mary on ETCETC on the first pass without any crosses, and everything from there was fair. The trickier ones (OREAD, FOER) were all gettable entirely from the crosses.

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

I don’t see what the relation is between HUE and the clue, outcry??

Saoirse Ronan 8:50 AM  

K.T. Oslin went right in and I don’t know why. I can’t picture her and I don’t know any of her songs. I think it must be the way she spells her last name has been etched in my memory for some reason. Funny how that works. I can’t think of a less fashionable hairstyle than a man bun. Maybe a mullet.

SJ Austin 8:56 AM  

Not sure why, but I found this puzzle impossible. Way over Friday average, even with a lot of cheating. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood to work at it—and there wasn't much in there this time to win me over.

I bet Bruce is glad for a guest reviewer! 🙂

mathgent 9:05 AM  

Bruce Haight, you devil! You triple-naticked me where OSPREY is crossed by OSLIN, FOER, and INPEN. It could have been worse but I knew ETHELRED and was able to deduce CAPTAINOBVIOUS and YOUGOTME from other crosses

I needed two lookups, IONTV (I guessed OWNTV, Oprah's channel) and OSLIN.

It's been quite a while since my last DNF, but I still thought that it was a terrific puzzle. Sharp cluing. Considerable crunch. Some neat information.

What's the point of the "(ooh, that hurts!)" in 53A?

kitshef 9:31 AM  

IONTV/FOER and RELOS/RENI each almost got me, but I eventually figured them out.

Never heard of MASHABLE – 100% from crosses.

This was a 'good Bruce' puzzle - one where he doesn't try to get too crazy.

GHarris 9:42 AM  

So much here I didn’t know which was unfairly crossed. So, after filling in as much as I could, which was quite a bit, I had to resort to check the puzzle to undo wrong entries. Then I proceeded to put in new letters which ultimately rang the congratulations tune. I feel no shame.

Haighters gonna Haight. 9:46 AM  

BH dodged a bullet this time. Rex would have torn this one apart as he does with all the other BH drivel. Laura was, at the very least, civil about it, to be sure.

But WS needs to set those BH puzzles aside. Give him a book deal if the blue-haired crowd loves him so much.

GILL I. 9:49 AM  

Lots of names all in the wrong places. KUNIS/TUCCI FOER/IONTV OSLIN/ALVIN. @Quasi...don't feel alone...I had DUST/SCENES as well.
There were some nice things in today's puzzle. PRINCE CHARMING was fun to suss out and he does cross ROMEO. ARAMAIC is NICEST. I did wonder why ETHELRED was rated an "ooh, that hurts." Kinda cute that he sits atop YOU GOT ME.
I remember when I was first introduced to a Sadie Hawkins dance. It was at "Circle F Dude Ranch Camp for Boys and Girls" in the middle of a swamp in Florida. We had dances every Friday and our counselor told us it was our big opportunity to nab a handsome dude because he couldn't say no. The only handsome PRINCE at our camp was the diving instructor. All the counselors were college students and I was 12 and thought nothing of asking a 21 year old to dance. He said yes and I fell in love. It was years later when LIL ABNER and Sadie Hawkins came up in a conversation that I learned all about Al Capp. Evidently he was known as a womanizer and a misogynist. He also was accused of rape. Seems he targeted Goldie Hawn and Grace Kelly. Anyway, I was intrigued because I never read any of his cartoons. Man alive,,,,He could sure draw some femme fatals! If you look at his work today, you'll be amused as hell or if you're really sensitive, you'll blow a gasket.
Cute that ICE BERG is called a little calf. Why?
To all of my elderly gentlemen friends. When you reach a certain age...say 70 and above, do me a favor? Don't put your gray hair in a MAN BUN, don't pierce your ears and wear 2 or 3 earrings in each and don't get a tattoo on your thinning hair chest and show me. Please?

Deb Amlen 9:50 AM  

Hi John X,

I think you misread my comments and then read a whole lot more into them than was actually there. What I said was, "Let me preface this by saying that I realize — or at least I hope — that this is a joke. A hokey line like that might be used by someone facetiously called a “PRINCE CHARMING” as a pickup line. I think. Even if it wasn’t a pickup attempt, why would that person be seen as a PRINCE CHARMING? I don’t get it."

Nancy 9:54 AM  

I got PECOS pretty easily because of the song. You know: "Down by the PECOS, she left me alone." Such an infectious, engaging, irresistible cowboy song. So I decided to listen to it on YouTube. Except I had the wrong river. It's "Down by the BRAZOS she left me alone."

Well, what's a wrong river among friends? Plus the fact that the PECOS is mentioned in the first line. Along with many other rivers. And it's just as infectious and irresistible as I remembered it. You'll love it. Here it is.

Pete 10:01 AM  

I just spent the 10 minutes of my life hoping to prove that small ICEBERGS are not called calves and found nothing in the intertubes to disprove my contention. There is support for calling them "bergy bits" or "growlers" but no mention of calves. It's well know that ICEBERGS are produced by the process called calving, but there's no such thing an ICEBURG calf, or so says one of the Wikis.

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Whoa there @ Haighters. Insulting your elders is no way to make friends.

TJS 10:05 AM  

I finished this thing with no look-ups, but have no idea what "scenev" is getting at. Can anyone help?

floatingboy 10:08 AM  

Introduce = BRING OUT? Elicit, educe, but not introduce.

TubaDon 10:16 AM  

Thankks to "1066 and all That" I knew ETHELRED, but no clue as to why that "hurts". 21D and 46D were totall guesses for me Guessed right for KUNIS, wrong for FOER, so the puzzle beat me, but it was nice, I didn't HAIGHT it.

Moly Shu 10:30 AM  

@Floatingboy, imagine Chuck Barris in front of the curtain during a segment of The Gong Show, and Gene Gene the Dancing Machine music is playing in the background. The audience is howling and stomping. Then Chuck says something like “ I’d like to INTRODUCE Gene Gene the Dancing Machine” or maybe he says “ I’d like to bring out Gene Gene the Dancing Machine”.
Or, maybe you’re correct.

jb129 10:36 AM  

When will Rex be back???

Z 10:36 AM  

ABLUSH? PART II? ANAIS Nin? ETC ETC? Let's just say I was less than charmed. And then... And Then! PRINCE CHARMING? More like PRINCE Creepy old man. That's pure corn if said by a 19 year old. Otherwise, he's a creep. Easy puzzle, but not worth the price of admission.

@Pete - Did you try a dictionary?

@Anon8:33 - I don't know what all the HUE and cry is about, seems perfectly okay to me. I admit that usually HUE is only found with "cry" in this sense but, you know, English.

@Moly Shu - Yeah Yeah, the Putin's tool is still in office. I need an address. You know how to find my email.

gfrpeace 10:37 AM  

Apparently Macbeth has a scene 5 in 3 of its acts, Hamlet has one in only two. I know both plays passing well but had no idea. Regicides?

I am actually going to see hamlet this weekend in a 'gender-neutral' production. Hamlet, Guildenstern, Horatio, and Laertes are all female, and they left out enough scenes to bring it in under 2 1/2 hours with intermission. We shall see.

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

When you bring out a new product you introduce it.

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

Man you are something. Why bash other? And enough with the politics. It's tired. Tump won. gt over it. Besides, Trump has been tougher on Russia then Obama ever was, Mr.Obama sold out our Eastern European allies on missile defense. He slow-walked aid to Ukraine and did little more than shrug when Crimea was annexed. He said “never mind” on his own “red line” in Syria and turned a blind eye to Putin’s intervention there, in large part because of his obsessions with getting the Iran deal. The Russian meddling in our elections started on Obama’s watch — and not just our elections but those of many of our allies. When Mitt Romney famously said Russia was our No. 1 geopolitical foe, Obama mocked him for it as did countless liberal journalists who are now converts to anti-Russia hawkery.

Your TDS has impaired your ability to think critically. Or maybe you never possessed the ability.

peacelovewoodstock 11:00 AM  

@ TJS ... in Hamlet and Macbeth, there are a number of acts, and each act has a number of scenes ...

Not every act has five scenes

Warren Howie Hughes 11:00 AM  

A Serenade to Laura, Sorceress of CrossWorld..."Laura, is the face in the misty light, footsteps that you hear down the hall, a laugh that floats on a summer's night that you can never quite recall, and you see Laura on a train that is passing by, her eyes, how familiar they seem, she gave her very first kiss to you, that was Laura, but she's only a dream"...

JC66 11:14 AM  


I think that's why cry (outcry) is part of the clue for HUE.

jberg 11:17 AM  

Hoohah, today is my lucky day! Total guesses, which turned out to be correct, on the U in TUCCI/KUNIS and the O in FOER/IONTV. I've heard of the book, but would have gone with FaER except that a network named for atomic particles seems more likely than some guy naming it for himself (unless it's Ted Turner or Oprah). OK, some logic in the latter case, so it's only a semi-lucky guess. Still luckier than I usually am.

Most of the clues were either proper names or could have been anything -- so without LIL ABNER and ETHELRED, I'd never have got started.

@Z, I'm with @Pete here -- my dictionary, at least, says a calf is a mass of ice detached from a glacier, iceberg or floe. Nothing about size -- and ALL icebergs are detached from glaciers. Close enough for crosswords, since we all got it, but a little off.

For those who had SCENEs -- not too get too pedantic, but the numbers won't work. Every WS play has 5 acts, each has at least 2 scenes, so that's out; each has 5 SCENE Is, so that's no good either -- and neither play has that many (if any) SCENE Xs. So you're left with V. Took me a minute or 2

What I learned: a) DECO is stylistically descended from cubism. Obvious, Cap'n, once you think of it -- but only visually. The spirits behind each are very different. But then, designers think visually, as you learn when you try to work with one.

b) That ETHELRED's epithet is just based on the pun; I always thought it must have been because Sweyn Forkbeard caught him off guard, but not if Wikipedia is to be believed. Another cherished idea defunct.

'merican in Paris 11:36 AM  

Yuck: my least favorite puzzle this week. After a first sweep through of the acrosses and downs, I knew there were too many pop culture names that I would never, ever get, even with several crosses. So I just Googled FOER, OSLIN, TUCCI, and UMA. (So SUE me.) It still took me 75 minutes, and I ended with 5 errors.

The more historical and geographical names were less of a problem. ETHELRED, LANG, NAM, PECOS and ROMEO (nice that he crosses PRINCE CHARMING) I slotted in straight away, and ALVIN, AMON, KUNIS, LIL ABNER and SAN REMO with a few crosses.

Like several others, I had Dada before DECO.

I did, at least, learn a few things. For example, that SAN REMO is on the water (I thought it was a mountainous enclave, populated by OREADs), and that the ALOE plant is a member of the lily family.

And I liked the cluing for ICEBERG, PENANCE, and IN PEN.

ONE ON ONE was timely in light of the Helsinki Summit.

Looking forward to what I hope will be a less PPP-infested Saturday puzzle.

Malsdemare 11:39 AM  

Sheesh! All these folks saying it’s easy and i dnf'd on IONTV. I really didn't believe that there were only two SCENEs in Hamlet, but since the number of scenes in any Shakespeare play is not something I chose to store 50 years ago when I studied the Bard, I shrugged and moved on. And I'm lucky if I know the major TV broadcasters. I could NOT remember AMON until suddenly I did. As usual, the NW was my huge challenge; I had to wait until the muse of crosswords woke up and started feeding me answers. The mini theme of TRAGIC ROMEO, and Caesar's assassins in their TOGAS amused me. GROIN pull, less so.

I'm an evaluator for a major pet therapy registry and yesterday I got to test mini horses! Yes, there are places that invite minis to come in and provide solace/education/amusement to clients. They are especially popular and therapeutic in pediatric oncology centers. So even though it was a five hour round trip and five hours on my feet, it was a most satisfying way to spend a day. Sorry for being off-topic but I'm still smiling at my memories.

I just checked to see who the constructor was so I could thank him/her. I should have known it was Bruce; I always struggle with his creations. But thanks anyway, Bruce. You got me good.

OISK 11:40 AM  

Spoiled by mashable. DNF, did not like, just like @Nancy.

Pete 11:51 AM  

@Z - Yeah, only I limit myself to good, American dictionaries. You know the Oxfords have 37 different versions, one for every segment of the population? I think your citation was from the Oxford Appalachian Unabridged Version. THe only citations I found on the web were from modern, faux Scandinavian Bodice Rippers.

Avalon, Anya Seton:

"But I as much as told you to", said Merwinna. "Who would want Rumon when there is Sigurd?" Merewyn answered. "But he's a heathen," said the Elfled Merwinna - and Merewynn woke up as a calf iceberg grated along the Bylgja and the whole longship shuddered, much as she herself ahd shuddered when Sigurd had grated himself along her last night"

If that's your source for "calf iceberg", you'll permit me to decline acceptance, no? Merewynn just woke up, even though she answered Merwinna just one sentence ago.

The Clerk 11:52 AM  

South Central was basically ‘guess what word I’m thinking of’. Rest of the puzzle was good, but it’s got to be all good else the headline is the hair in the salad. Should have been fixed. Hoping Saturday is better.

Bob Mills 12:05 PM  

A better clue for "MASHABLE" would have been "Like some potatoes." Tough puzzle, typical for a Friday. But why oh why do we have to put up with clues like "Big ______," not once but twice? There are dozens of possible answers that fit the clue, so it becomes pure guesswork. Is that what we're expected to do, Will?


RooMonster 12:23 PM  

Hey All !
My IN PEN puz had quite a few globs of ink today. Wanted 12D to be whoisit, making me put ___Two in 8A. 9D was lots-AlOt-ATON. Eventually saw PARTII, ITSOPENOSLIN went from Olson-Olsen-OSLeN-OSLIN. And finally, 59A was montHly-tvSSHOW (Har on that one)-PBSSHOWS. And after fixing all that, still had a DNF with the H for M in hASABLE/AhON. Yipes.

But it was a good-type struggle today, as opposed to an impossible, throw-puz-out-the-window struggle. In NW, had LILA____ and couldn't see it would be two words. Clue didn't help me either.

Did have other writeovers - same as everyone, it seems, SCENEs-SCENEV, AfLUSH-ABLUSH (tough to get rid of that F, they are so few!).

Joseph Michael 12:27 PM  

I liked this except for the cluster of proper nouns in the middle. kt LANG? Yes. KT OSLIN? No. ALVIN? Maybe. JS FOER? No. ETHELRED? No. MASHABLE? No, no, no.

Best entry is CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. Worst visual image evoked by the puzzle is MAN BUN. Best riddle is SCENE V. Worst didn’t-wanna-go-there is GROIN pull. Best learning moment is ICEBERG. Worst match to a clue is PRINCE CHARMING. No, Prince Charming, you didn’t really say that.

Overall an entertaining puzzle. Thanks, Bruce. Glad Rex wasn’t here to haight it.

But I thought that DRINK UP is what you say after a sneeze.

Wanderlust 12:40 PM  

Doubt it. Not a kind review. Even Rex’s guest bloggers don’t like his work.

Wanderlust 12:42 PM  

Scene V (as in 5)

RooMonster 12:50 PM  

Har, had to cut my comment short. At work, so something came up, and if my phone is off for a prolonged time, I lose everything I wrote! So hit Publish so y'all aren't deprived of my wit. ;-)


Banana Diaquiri 12:54 PM  

CAPTAINOBVIOUS has been around forever, but is likely trademarked by whatever hotel/travel/booking/etc. company is now using him/it as its spokescritter on the TeeVee. nothing left free and clear in the language.

Captain Obvious 12:58 PM  

If you Google, its a DNF and the clock is turned off. I didnt Google, had one error but can hold my head up in pride

Teedmn 1:01 PM  

I really don't have a handle on what my Friday average is. These days, the difficulty of Fridays is all over the map and I solve on paper and don't record my times. But I did this in a bit over 16 minutes and that seemed like a long time for a Friday, so tough one for me today.

That lower middle section that so many other people tripped up on nearly caused my downfall. I didn't know MASHABLE or OSLIN or ION TV and with just O__R__ in at 38D, I couldn't come up with OSPREY until I filled in the SE but that helped me fill in the rest of what I didn't know.

Luckily I did know FOER, my first entry into the puzzle. I liked both the book and movie, "Everything Is Illuminated". I loved that the Ukrainian dog in that book is named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. and I'm convinced that the band (formerly known as) "Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr." got its name from the FOER oeuvre, though the Wikipedia entry on the band doesn't really bear that out.

This puzzle had some unusual usages, such as RIPE for "Opportune", PENANCE for "Amends" and PEGS for "Classifies". I actually saw a guy this past weekend on whom a MAN BUN looked pretty good - I was shocked. I liked finally seeing Li'L Abner appear when I was first seeing LILA B____.

Thanks, Bruce Haight, for not being CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.

Anonymous 1:02 PM  


If you have a newsletter, I'd like to subscribe.

Blue Stater 1:07 PM  

Like fingernails on a blackboard. Hated it, hated it, hated it (no pun intended). Loads of unfair crosses, naticks galore, and yet another non-word (ABLUSH). We deserve better, and better-edited, puzzles than this.

Georgia 1:49 PM  

A hue and cry ...

Romeomeo 2:07 PM  

Molly you're hilarious

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

Love your write-ups, Laura!

DrBB 2:21 PM  

AEthelred un-rede was a gimme for me, but WAYYY too many proper name crosses, KUNIS/TUCCI the worst. I was reduced to running the alphabet and I HATE that because when you get the answer it's not an aha, it's a meh. Speaking of "meh": IONTV/FOER? I mean SCENE had to end with a Roman numeral (obviously there are fare more than two/three scenes in those plays) but V seemed too small until I realized that whatever that 46D station was, it had to end in TV. A vague memory of a cable station I never watched saved me from another alphabet running exercise for FOER, but two such "meh" answers in one Friday puzzle is two too many.

Warren Howie Hughes 3:09 PM  

Bob Mills, We all gotta admit, you really came-up BIG this day, in fact, you took the trouble of going the extra Mills! LOL

RooMonster 3:10 PM  

To whomever tracks the AMEN RA thing, has there been one this year? So close today, AMON.


Gotta go to the ATM machine. ;-P


roscoe88 3:26 PM  

easy peazy.


Warren Howie Hughes 4:59 PM  

I almost Haight to say it, but the NICEST thing I can muster about this Friday offering is just GROIN and bear it!

Jofried 5:08 PM  

Ahhh...I can’t believe so many people found that easy! Those proper names just killed me, not to mention all that literature stuff. What’s a Chemistry teacher to do in a puzzle wi5h not one math or science clue? I finished without cheating but it took a LONG time and some very lucky guesses.

Joe Bleaux 6:42 PM  

Amen! The whole thing was obnoxiously PPP-reliant, I thought, but that's not the reason I wish Rex had critiqued it. Laura's review was fine, but Rex would've been hard on Haight for being Haight, and I would've loved it 'cause I hated that TUCCI/KUNIS cross. Happy weekend, all.

Doc John 6:46 PM  

Hamlet 2. Just sayin'.

Jim in Georgia 7:57 PM  

One point of fact about RCA’s TV demonstration in 1939. It wasn’t the first black and white television, although David Sarnoff, the RCA boss, had everybody believing that for years. A boy genius named Philo Farnsworth actually demonstrated an electronic TV system earlier in the 30s. Sarnoff went to war with him and erased Farnsworth from history until fairly recently.

Monty Boy 7:58 PM  

To @ puzzle hoarder: I had knee surgery a couple of years ago and it is great to have a non-aching knee. A friend has had 3 of them (one twice) and told me to pay attention to the physical therapy. I did and I think that is a really important part of the healing. The surgery is important, but PT really makes it work.

Anonymous 8:32 PM  

Jim in Georgia,
Amen!!!! And thank you.

Adam 9:09 PM  

IN INK before IN PEN made the center section fairly difficult. But overall I enjoyed this. It took me a minute to figure out who LILA B’NER was (d’oh!). Never heard of KT OSLIN, but once the INK/PEN confusion cleared up I got it from the crosses.

Warren Howie Hughes 11:21 AM  

Gotta wonder why the Blogger comments came to a screeching halt at 73 when this Xword Puzzle outing definitely deserved a whole lot more?

thefogman 10:50 AM  
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thefogman 10:57 AM  
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thefogman 11:03 AM  

Too tough for me. DNF at the TUCCI/KUNIS, IONTV/FOER and ETHELRED/RELOS crossings. I'm afraid nothing was obvious there Captain. I don't enjoy puzzles that are constructed with the sole purpose of defeating solvers like this. Sure, YOUGOTME Bruce Haight. But it wasn't a fair fight.

spacecraft 11:44 AM  

Challenging, and almost fatally so when I insisted on Dada for the style influenced by cubism. Wow, if THAT wasn't a misdirect, nothing is, especially with gimme IDTAG providing the D.

The other writeover, the result of solving INPEN, was my last letter in: I had no clue for 21 down and had written in T for ATON--when during the double-check I saw ATON already in the grid! So I took a wild stab at M. Success!

Desperation special: FOER. Who knows this guy? YOUGOTME.

Tough throughout, but just barely enough gimmes to get the job done. LILABNER helped conquer the usually vicious NW, PECOS/COARSE in the NE and ETHELRED in the SE. The SW was hardest; the use of "speech" to mean "language" threw me off for a while. Of course, SERMONONTHEMOUNT was way too many letters...

DOD candidates aplenty this time; gotta pick one. I'll go with Mila KUNIS, not to cast aspersions on any of the others. Glad I was able to UNEARTH all of it, but a few too many PPPs and letter add-ons to suit me. Par, largely for the triumph factor.

Burma Shave 11:47 AM  


IT’SOPEN as to which ROMEO is NICEST or most disarming,
each can BRINGOUT a real COARSE PEARL FOER hoochie-coochie:
while CAPTAINOBVIOUS merely cries, “I KNEAD some TUCCI!”


rainforest 2:18 PM  

I think my crossword solving mojo must be improving. I had two letters to guess at 28A, and was right in both cases. The FOER/IONTV cross was almost as challenging except I had heard of the latter.

This is a typical Bruce Haight offering as he loves to jerk you around. I almost had a spit-take at CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.

Sadie Hawkins! I was a new student in Grade 11 and the girl who had a locker next to mine asked me to the Sadie Hawkins dance. I didn't even know her name. I'm sure I was all ABLUSH and was such a loser that I told her I was "busy" that night. She never talked to me again. Just one of my many regrets. Yer welcome.

El Dingo 3:14 PM  

Guido RENI? I somehow could not click to -ELOS as “Moves, in slang,” until I brilliantly thought of VELOS, as in “goes by velocipede,” which at least produced the famous artist Guido VENI. You know, cousin of Vidi and Vinci.

rondo 3:45 PM  

I was down to guessing M or H to finish _ASHABLE, with yesterday’s HASH TAG in mind, but went with M because it seemed more Egyptian? Success. Yeah baby Mila KUNIS and Stanley TUCCI cross a gimme in my play book.

IONTV is channel 41 here, one (actually 4 or 5) of the +/- 30 broadcast channels available. They mostly have reruns of CSI, Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, etc.

I too was asked to a Sadie Hawkins dance in eleventh grade, asked by a sophomore girl. Picked her up a bit later than planned due to bad weather. Had a nice time and an incredible liplock at the end. She ended up marrying an amiable dork a coupla years older than me. We still have certain regrets . . .


leftcoastTAM 4:44 PM  

Bruce Haight is not solver-friendly, if he ever is, it seems. Obscure PPPs and vague cluing provided the background for a painful DNF.

Front and center were unknown killers: AMON, OSLIN and MASHABLE. Add the unknown FOER and RENI, and the known but unrecalled ETHELRED and IONTV, and YOUGOTME

Something of a punch in the GROIN. Have I said this was no fun?

Diana,LIW 5:09 PM  

DNF due to the usual suspects (see @Lefty). Did manage to suss the king - dunno y. Yeah - I rarely am on Haight's wavelength. Well, I'm on his wavelength, just not his wheelhouse. That's better said.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords
Still happy with what I did get in this puzzle.

Anonymous 2:58 PM  

A bit late to the party but here goes:

Earth to Mr Haight:

Definition of calf: A large floating chunk of ice split off from a glacier, iceberg, or floe. Large as in not little. It may be "little" in the sense of being "born" from a larger chunk of ice, but not little in common sense terms. Need more accurate cluing.

10+ proper nouns make a crossword a downer. Not a fun Friday by any means.

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