Global currency market with portmanteau name / SAT 10-13-18 / Nissan crossover named for Italian city / 2016 film whose climax is on planet Scarif / Cartoonist's indicator of nodding / Title for Princess Anne beginning in 1982 / Ancestor of Methuselah

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Constructor: Kevin G. Der

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (I think I was around 6 minutes (?), but I don't know, 'cause I had an error only *I* could've made (see below), so I didn't notice the clock when I put in the last letter)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ZOE KAZAN (29A: Lead actress in 2017's "The Big Sick") —
Zoe Swicord Kazan (born September 9, 1983) is an American actress and playwright. Kazan made her acting debut in Swordswallowers and Thin Men (2003) and later appeared in films such as The Savages (2007), Revolutionary Road (2008) and It's Complicated (2009). She starred in happythankyoumoreplease (2010), Meek's Cutoff (2010) and Ruby Sparks (2012), writing the screenplay for the last. In 2014, she starred in the film What If and the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, for which she received an Emmy nomination. In 2017, she portrayed Emily Gardner, based on Emily V. Gordon, in the film The Big Sick. (wikipedia)
• • •

Very nice work here from Kevin, and I did so well. So so well. Until the end, when I finished but had an error. No Happy Pencil! I knew it had to be in the answer I'd never heard of—49D: Global currency market with a portmanteau name (FOREX). LOL, I can't even guess the basis of the portmanteau, that's how little the actual answer means to me. The problem—and I acknowledge that this is a problem that only I, and possibly other teachers of poetry, had—was that I didn't even hesitate at 60A: Volleyball team, e.g. I wrote in SESTET. The End. That is to say, I ended with FORES for the "portmanteau" ("Formidable Resolution"? "Forbidden Reservations"?). So the "S" should've been an "X." I was worried for a sec that the "F" was wrong, because FATE seems like a really bad answer to 49A: Theme in some time travel fiction. FATE is the main theme in the Aeneid, a mostly non-time travel epic poem. Not sure how FATE is involved more heavily in time travel fiction than in Any Other Genre, so yeah, thought maybe "F" was wrong, but what then? HATE? I mean, it's probably true. Travel through time to kill the person you HATE? Or GATE? "Stargate" is a thing, right? MATE? First mate on a starship, or maybe ... you have to time travel to find a MATE. But the answer was FATE. And the answer was SEXTET. And now this is all that I'm going to remember about this puzzle, which is sad, because I remember enjoying it.

Felt very very easy to start with, because SHONDA was a gimme (1A: Rhimes who created "Grey's Anatomy"), and then NONOS DUDS and ATSEA went right in. Every first guess seemed to be right for me today. KNESSET KESTRELS CORELLI, all just dropping in no problem. ZOE KAZAN is a regular crossword solver, so she'll probably be pretty chuffed today. The SE was the hardest part of this thing by a wide, wide margin, starting with my having no idea what followed the NOT in NOT BAD (33A: Fair). Me: "NOT ... TAN?" And then PIMAS!? Forgot they existed. ISOPOD? Needed many crosses. APERÇU? LOL, uh, I mean, I know the word (solely from crosswords), but yeep. And of course this is where FORE(X) and SE(X)TET were all hanging out, so it was a sandstorm of confusion. So much tentative fill down here that I even second-guessed MURANO, which I *knew* was right (56A: Nissan crossover named for an Italian city), but ... I also kept wanting to call it the "Mitsubishi MURANO," so ... oy. Rough. But again, the first 75% was a rollicking good time.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joel 12:04 AM  

FOREX = FOReign EXchange market, which really seems like a gimme to me.

ghkozen 12:10 AM  

Interesting. SE was where I got my first traction, on gimmes like ForEx and Isopod. NW was by far the hardest section for me, where I basically got not traction until the end.

Anonymous 12:12 AM  

I don’t think Murano is a city. I think it’s part of Venice.

Pete 12:24 AM  

KESTRELS saddened me, as 30 years ago they were as common as Robins around here but I haven't seen one in the past few years. Just last night I had to explain to my wife who SHONDA Rhimes is. And who the Wayans are. And who Maya Rudolph is. At least she knows who Chip Gates is.

puzzlehoarder 12:28 AM  

For a puzzle that started out very easy in the NW this turned into a fairly challenging solve. ZOE was there from the crosses but even with ASHE and ZEES in place KAZAN needed more help. 44D was either STOMP or CLOMP so I started the SW from there

The solve was slow and fast by turns. YESAND was slow going in but then KNESSET went right in off the N and KESTRELS off the K.

PIMAS was a temporary road block. All I could think was PIUTES won't fit. It was SUPE and MURANO to the rescue. However the SE was once again my downfall. I had SEPTET for 60A and it stayed in. Here I was worrried about FATE. Sci-fi often uses some type of GATE for space or time travel.

I was dumbfounded when I saw the solution at xwordinfo. I didn't even think of the possibility. Foreign exchange wasn't hard to come up with once I knew it was FOREX. I read the Wiki page. Never heard of it but then why would I have? Everything else was clean but still a bad weekend.

jae 12:30 AM  

West side easy, east side tougher. FORiegn EXchange?? Some fine stuff here, liked it.

Anonymous 1:03 AM  

Here's my boring adventure of solving this puzzle... When I got to 26A, having worked in a lab before, I knew the answer was "pipette" or "pipettes" (grammatically, it could actually go either way according to the clue). However, "pipette" is 7 letters while there is only room for 6, so therefore I thought there had to be a rebus. This had me flummoxed until the end of the puzzle.
When I finished and had "pipets," even though it's obvious there are no rebuses from the crosses, I was still confused because I thought "pipette" is the correct spelling. You'd think they're alternative spellings, right? But you'd be wrong. Turns out that "pipet" and "pipette" refer to TWO different objects that are similar but NOT the same thing, and BOTH of them are "means of drawing up solutions."
"Pipette" is the kind I had in mind, the one that you use to transfer small amounts of liquid from one container to another. These have disposable plastic pipette tips that you replace every time you use it so as not to cross-contaminate two solutions. However, the actual "pipette" is not disposable and is probably not cheap.
"Pipet" is a plastic tube that is similar to turkey baster. The entire plastic pipet is disposable.
Pipette and pipet are NOT interchangeable, as they actually refer to two separate but very similar objects that serve basically the same use, which is a "means of drawing up solutions." How's that for confusing?

TomAz 1:33 AM  

So, one of my (two) cats died yesterday. It was not a surprise. He was 15 and suffering from cancer and had become quite frail. Still, the loss is real, and I am in a sour mood, so take what follows with all the salt you need:

"SHONDA was a gimme" b/w "I can't even guess the basis of the portmanteau". This is all you need to know about Rex's crossword criticism. TV trivia is easy, basic economics is not. Hence Trump.

Me? Never heard of SHONDA Rhimes. FOREX didn't come immediately, cuz that's not my field, but as a portmanteau for FOReign EXchange, it was not very hard at all.

Never heard of ZOE KAZAN, either, but I'm willing to bet she's familiar to many. Jennifer EGAN also a stranger to me. But at least I knew KATY PERRY and MAGRITTE. Now that's a pairing.

I also eventually realized I knew APERCU and MURANO. I thought PIPETS was spelled PIPETteS, so I got hung up there a bit.

But that's the thing about this puzzle... it verges on Maleska territory.. a lot of trivia and very little cleverness. PIMAS. PIMAS is trivia. I live just a few miles from the Pima-Maricopa reservation, and I have done professional work with the PIMA County government, and yet it took a while for PIMA to present itself to me. I kept wanting HOPI, another four-letter Arizona native community, but much more present in the greater public consciousness (I think).

Blech to this puzzle, blech to Rex's review.

Anonymous 1:51 AM  

Who are all these people and who invited them to the crossword? shonda, alan alda, ares, ali, zoe kazan, corelli, magritte, egan, andie, yeats, enos, katy perry, ashe,

isn't it called a "beta test?" and someone's going to point out that a "forex" is a kind of condom. just sayin'

i was surprised to see rex gush. i'm guessing there are naked pictures in a file somewhere.

Anonymous 1:54 AM  

FOREX seems to be British in origin. It’s a portmanteau of foreign exchange. When I was in Ghana 15 years ago banks were few and far between and probably used only by residents. So visitors would go to a Forex office to exchange currency. I recall giving them $100 or so and getting back over a million cedis—the local currency—thankfully in 10,000 cedi notes. You couldn’t fit that in any wallet, but fortunately they would rubber band the money and put it a small plastic bag. I never forgot that experience, so tha name came to me pretty quickly, especially since I got sextet.

I found the upper left harder, especially since I made a typo. But I agree that except for a couple of chalk on a chalkboard clues this was witty, elegant and fun.

travis 1:55 AM  

FATE I think refers to those plots where they go back in time to try to change the present, but despite whatever they try the present was fated to turn out like it did.

I confidently put in tURANO off the U. When the other four letters ended up being right, the T was never coming out.

Dolgo 2:13 AM  

Yeah. SESTEY threw me, too. SEpTET was my guess. FATE made about as much sense as hATE for me as well, so that was a DNF for me, since I never heard of FOREX and therefore coulfnco nattick.

Other problems. I couldn't have gotten PIPET without the other words. Google has it as an alternate spelling. CORELLI, MAGRITTE, ENOS, KESTRELS, APERCU all within reach for me. Oh. And I've been to MURANO. Basically not real challenging (exception noted) and not all that much fun. Oh. I never heard of KATY PERRY and I don't tweet!

Sue T. 2:35 AM  

I got really stuck on PIPETS -- I was able to finish the puzzle successfully, but I couldn't figure out what that meant. Finally Googled it and I see that it's an alternative spelling of PIPETTE. "A narrow, usually calibrated tube into which small amounts of liquid are suctioned for transfer or measurement." I guess I would have gotten that one if I'd done better at chemistry.

Anonymous 3:23 AM  

Tea taster, adepts, play test............this was a substandard Saturday.

Greg 4:58 AM  

Well, for once the proper name extravaganza favored the music and art majors, instead of the usual lit-fest. (never heard of EGAN, but easy enough crosses) Anyone know if crosswords were/are ever constructed from simply ALL vocabulary words and phrases, and NO rivers in Asia, actors from the 20's, Prussian generals, 18th century fictional butlers, etc, etc?

Wanderlust 5:09 AM  

My biggest slowdown was in the SW. i had KA-Y, and I was sure it was KANYEWEST. He was just in the news! Did not imagine it could be anything else, so that held me up. But my last slowdown was in the NE. I had PIPETT and TEATATTER. I thought maybe it had something to do with lace. Anyway, this was a great puzzle with virtually no dreck. (It helped that there were only two three-letter answers.)

Lewis 6:30 AM  

There were words I find lovely (SEETHE, APERCU, CLOMP, DOLOR) with a side of vernacular (HOLE UP, TOP OUT, WENT TO IT, NOT BAD, DISHED OUT, ALL AT ONCE), which I also like. Tricky clues, vague clues, and names I didn't know resulted in long-in-coming trickles, which led to floods. What helped me was a YES AND approach, just throwing in answers, whatever the consequences, when I'm usually much more guarded before filling squares in. Most of those stabs stuck, and eventually the puzzle's FATE was sealed. All in all, a sweet battle, Der-ess to success. Thank you Kevin G.

Anonymous 6:39 AM  

Too many unknown names for my liking but otherwise ok.The killer with those is that you either need every crossing or run the alphabet on that pesky last missing letter. Some nice clues but nod and nod off are two different things so that clue was a bit of a cheat and meant I had to do the tedious try every letter to get Kazan, typical it was the zed (or zee). Forex at least was easy, possibly due to being British where this is a well-known term.

amyyanni 7:42 AM  

So sorry about your cat, Tom. Interesting pipette distinction. SE was hard for me as well. I did appreciate the puzzle as just happened to get several names. Jennifer Egan is a wonderful novelist.

Unknown 8:07 AM  

It's an island in Venice known for its glass artisans.

Anonymous 8:08 AM  

Is redose a thing ?

Anonymous 8:20 AM  

As you expected, Zoe was into it. She even made it her header pic.

mmorowitz 8:24 AM  

I'm glad there was one other person who had KANYEWEST in there. It slowed me down big time.

QuasiMojo 8:32 AM  

Maybe there are two Muranos? The only one I know is a series of small islands in Venice where they do the glass seething, I mean blowing. This puzzle did not blow me away or apart but I managed to finish it quickly and without cheating. Why is ForEx a portmanteau? Isn’t it simply an abbreviation? Is AMEX a portmanteau? Forgive my ignorance. Perhaps LMS can explain.

Never heard of most of these PPL today. Except Alan Alda, an actor who always makes me cringe. Maybe it’s his voice. And Corelli. And Magritte, who is a longtime fave. But the puzzle was fair, no naticks.

Best clue today: the one for Knesset.

Nota Bene: Best comments yesterday were from Bruce Haight and Nancy, both at the tail end of the day.

Teedmn 8:38 AM  

This is one of those half-easy/half-hard puzzles. I could only remember the ONDA part of Ms. Rhimes' name at first but that gave me a way into the grid. I left 26A half filled in also, with PIP___ staying open for a long while.

Is TEA TASTER a profession? Even with TEA TA____R in place, I couldn’t give in to TASTER till the end .

I really liked the clue “They might be made to reconcile” for AMENDS. As I do the accounting for my company, I first thought it should be “accounts”, but it didn’t fit.

Knowing KNESSET and YES AND were key to solving, for me. And having read “A Visit From The Goon Squad”. I didn’t enjoy that book because I disliked every single character and it's hard to enjoy fiction about people one despises, at least I find that to be true.

Not my favorite kind of Saturday themeless (too many names) but it did give me a workout so thanks, KGD.

TSG 8:47 AM  

with you on the confusion. stared at pipet often during the solve.

Anonymous 9:06 AM  

Here’s a charming and seemingly erudite blog post on the PIPET vs PIPETte controversy:

Artel USA

I have never appreciated Ms Perry.

GILL I. 9:11 AM  

Haven't read @Rex nor any of the comments yet because I don't want to be swayed by anyone who says how easy and wonderful this puzzle is.
I enjoy difficult on a Sat. but for goodness sake, give me a fighting chance. Sooooo many names and films I haven't seen, vague cluing and even vaguer answers. YES AND is a principle in improv comedy? Who the hell keeps tabs on Katy Perry's twitter account. I mean does knowing that little tidbit do anything for world hunger?
Where is the extra P or is it T in PIPETS. I knew that word from the OJ Simpson trial and I could swear they spelled it pipette?
How wonderful that SHONDA created Grey's Anatomy. Like I'm going to remember that for the rest of my life
About the only things I liked were YEATS, MAGRITTE and APERCU. I guess that dates the hell out of me.
I hate to Google but I did today and all I got for my effort was a bunch of names I will forget by the time I type this. I don't mind Googling but only if it's for something memorable and interesting. KATEY can take her PIPETS and her ROGUE ONE along with ZOE KAZAN to the DUDS farm. Meh.
I feel much better now. Off to read everyone else.

Hartley70 9:13 AM  

SHONDA on Thursday and CHEATDAY once a month or so made for an easy start. The rest of the puzzle took a little longer. KESTRALS popped into place without trouble but that was the end of my gimmes. Without those first three, I might still be at it. I wanted stOMP and trOMP before CLOMP. I wanted anyone before KATYPERRY, but thankfully not Kanye. PLAYatiT works better in my opinion. I spell PIPET as if I’m in Paris because I wish I were. FATE seemed obvious because everyone knows not to mess with the timeline when you’re in the Tardis. The O in FOREX was my last letter and it was a guess on something that seems obvious now that prior posters have explained. This felt like a good workout for a Saturday morning spent lying around.

Teddi and Teddy 9:30 AM  

@TomAZ. Rough, I’m sorry. And @thispuz: record time methinks. Good romp. When you start mind melding with the constructor (and it doesn’t happen that often for me) it’s magic.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Anon@1:51 - the condom is Durex, not Forex. You go to the Forex office at the airport to get some local currency coins that you then put in the Durex machine in the men’s lav.

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

Pipet is terrible. The word is properly spelled pipette. Took forever to write it in because it seemed so wrong that such an awful variant would be used.

Anonymous 9:53 AM  

I’m going to show my ignorance here I was able to put in Knesset from the crosses, but I still done understand how a legislature and a diet got together. Obviously I’m not thinking of the correct use of “diet.” Can someone explain that to me?

Nancy 9:58 AM  

I didn't have a CHEAT DAY. I put my head down and WENT TO IT. But I struggled mightily in the SE -- where I had to guess like crazy. Had WAa before WAH and SEpTET before SEXTET. And those early mistakes made a tough section even tougher, because I didn't know the falcons, the pill bug, the composer (though once he came in, I had heard of him) and the $#@$%$ car.

I was sure that the artist who produced "The Son of Man" was going to be an Old Master. Does that painting sound like a MAGRITTE to you?

Loved YES AND (41A). Nichols and May once explained in an interview why that works so well for improv.

Re: CHEAT DAY (7A) Don't do it! One CHEAT DAY and every pound you've lost over the last 12 days will re-appear ALL AT ONCE. Have no why it works that way, but that's the way it works.

All my discussions of metaphysics (47A) are indeed very DEEP. So deep that I don't understand a word of them.

SHONDA, ZOE KAZAN and KATY PERRY notwithstanding, this was a highly enjoyable puzzle.

RooMonster 10:04 AM  

Hey All !
Tough puz for me. Too many writeovers to remember. To many names. Extra usage of Check Puzzle feature today. Otherwise would've taken 3 hours to finish. :-)

Will remember I wanted BLEW A fART for BLEW APART. Har. Y'know both work as clued. :-)


Peter P 10:04 AM  

I just got absolutely slaughtered on this one. Even with cheating I couldn't get it done. I've heard of SHONDA Rhimes in retrospect, but that wasn't a gimme for me. Don't know anything about KESTRELS or KNESSETS or CORELLI or ROGUEONE or PIMAS, so this just went all to heck for me. I did get CHEATDAY, MAGRITTE, YEATS, and FOREX, as gimmes, though. Unfortunately, not enough to unplug anything else for me.

kitshef 10:04 AM  

Classic wheelhouse/outhouse review today from Rex. Many things he says went right in were WoEs for me (SHONDA, CORELLI, ZOE KAZAN, MURANO), while things he struggled with were automatic for me (ISOPOD, FOREX).

The big exception is PIMAS. 70% of my solve time was spent on one square – that PI_AS/_URANO cross. Finally, after mentally running the alphabet a few times, I plunked in an M and hoped for the best.

Most of the rest of the puzzle was Wednesday-level, the exception being the top central, where I slowed for a while until PIPETS broke it open.

The TEAT ASTERs are in bloom all over the hills this time of year.

pabloinnh 10:08 AM  

Cat lovers here so much sympathy to @TomAz. Knowing it's coming never makes it any easier.

Hand up for the pipet rant. Wouldn't pass the spelling bee test.

Started with SAND across and STOMP down which was only partially helpful.Worst was taking forever to come up with SHONDA, who is one of the more famous alumna of the college just down the road. That's what I get for watching news and sports almost exclusively.

My kind of Saturday with aha moments, some arcane trivia and inspired guesswork leading to a no-cheat solve which always inspires one of those man I'm good feelings. Nice one.

burtonkd 10:09 AM  

Sarah Connor carves "no fate" into a table in Terminator. "No fate other than what you make" becomes her motivating mantra. That and the Back to the Future franchise pretty much cemented the idea of changing timelines and fate into the time travel genre. I guess this would be the opposite of the classic Greek idea that fate comes for you no matter what lengths you take to avoid it. Discuss...

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

@anon 9:41 Sorry to rain on your orgy, but according to

What is the history of lambskin condoms?

Lambskin condoms are one of the older methods of pregnancy prevention. They have been used for many hundreds of years, and possibly as far back as the early days of the Roman Empire.

What lambskin condom brands are available?

Surprisingly, we only know of one manufacturer of lambskin condoms. Trojan Naturalamb Condoms, with their "Kling-Tite" band, are the only currently available condom made of lambskin. Previous brands of lambskins, such as Forex Condoms, are no longer for sale.

Is the Lifestyles Skyn a lambskin condom?

No, despite its name, the Skyn condom is not made from lambskin. Lifestyles Skyn is made from polyisoprene, a synthetic version of latex rubber. Like lambskin, these may be more suitable than standard latex for people with allergies, but the Skyn does not have the feel or other qualities of a true natural lambskin condom.

Stanley Hudson 10:27 AM  

@puzzlehoarder, I believe it’s usually spelled PAiutes but there are probably variations.

An enjoyable puzzle but too easy for a Saturday.

Nancy 10:30 AM  

@TomAz, @GILL, @Hartley, @Sue T: Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Since I've never heard of either a PIPET or a PIPETTE, its spelling did not perplex me or throw me off. Love your "because I'd rather be in Paris" comment on the subject, @Hartley.

@GILL (9:11)-- I tried to find the "YES, AND" explanation directly from Nichols or May or both, but couldn't. Here's what I remember of what they said: You have to keep the improv skit moving along, even if you have no idea where it's going, even if what your improv partner just said seems absolutely ridiculous. If you say something like: "Well that's something I would never do" or "That will never work" you've closed the door to what comes next. So, if you can build on what your partner just said and take it to the next level, that's what you do. But if you can't, you just say: "Yes, and?" You're 1) accepting the premise, no matter how ludicrous and 2) inviting your partner to take the skit to the next level. He/she knows where it's going, even if you don't have a clue.

iheartpoco 10:32 AM  

Hahahaha - English teacher here! Could not get past SESTET, either.

Tom R 10:36 AM  

Is FOREX really a currency? Never heard of it, looked it up, and it seems more like a specialized NYSE. The NYSE isn't a currency, so why is FOREX? I call foul on this one.

mmorgan 10:48 AM  

Lots of great stuff in this puzzle but I had SEpTET and PuMAS and never heard of a PIPET and had no idea why 23D might be CPAS so I had all kinds of problems.

Z 10:50 AM  

In case the comments haven’t already made it obvious, the PPP is a (lower than I thought it would be) high 22 of 66, right at the NONOS line of 33%. The reason I thought it was going to be closer to 40% is that there are so many full names and long names taking up great swaths of grid space. As a result, this will be easy if the PPP is in your wheelhouse and challenging if they are in your outhouse. Just my opinion, but my DNF at PItAS/tURANO looks like a classic natick. Do more than 25% of solvers actually know either of these answers?

@anon1:93 - I had much the same thoughts with far less experience. Thanks for the info.

@travis - I think the trope is more along the lines of the time traveler goes back in time to change some catastrophic event and actually ends up being the cause of the catastrophe. Twelve Monkeys comes to mind, and maybe Looper. My personal favorite is Heinlein’s character Lazarus Long, who goes back in time to become his own father. Boy Howdy, can we talk time travel paradoxes?

@TomAz - Sorry for your loss.

@Anon9:53 - “Diet” is another word for legislature or assembly. My personal favorite was the Diet of Worms.

Let me echo that Haight’s late comment yesterday was great.

@Friday anon7:02pm - Sure, but it is not sufficient. For example, I noticed on Facebook that my high school classmates, all having grown up in the same conservative, primarily Dutch Reform, mostly white with a little Hispanic mixed in community, that I could predict my classmates’ politics by a single factor - whether or not they had lived their entire lives in the Holland area. There were exceptions, but that factor was highly predictive. So, is that because of the experiences we had by leaving the nest? Or is that because the type of person who stays in their home town is more naturally inclined to be politically conservative? Is it the environment or people’s intrinsic nature? I note the same phenomenon where I live now. The life long resident is far more likely to be politically conservatives than us carpetbaggers. In short, sure, where you grow up and live influences your world view, but it is one factor of many.

Odd Sock 10:51 AM  

There were some great Saturday clues today but the experience was marred by some awful proper names.
I know I will be setting myself up for character assassination but I am convinced that knowing Yeats, Magritte, and Corelli is a better indication of an intelligent mind than having Shonda, Zoe, and Katy easily come to mind. Turn off your TV and phone, pick up a book!

Pete 11:09 AM  

Skip Gates, not Chip Gates. Damned midnight.

TEA TASTER is (or was) most definitely a profession. I live 2 miles from what was once a huge Lipton Tea plant, and my house is built on the lot that was once the home of their head TEA TASTER. He apparently was a nut-job and as close to a hermit as one can be and still hold down a job, the "home" was a 2 room shack, and he died a multi-millionaire with no heirs.

Banana Diaquiri 11:15 AM  

@Odd Sock:
I am convinced that knowing Yeats, Magritte, and Corelli is a better indication of an intelligent mind than having Shonda, Zoe, and Katy easily come to mind.

dreadful partisanship there. better to say "educated mind", since that is what motivates the difference you point to. although being an Effete Eastern Intellectual myself, I tend to agree that intelligence does derive from education. :)

one might argue that "intelligence" has nothing to do with knowing facts or other form of education. but if so, what does it constitute??? remember that the Deep South has tried to remove "higher order thinking" from the classroom, and return to rote recitation of "facts". like the earth is flat.

Boaz Weinstein 11:17 AM  

The FX, FOREX, or Foreign Exchange is a market that trades global currencies, hence the name. The clue is accurate.

JC66 11:22 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bax'N'Nex 11:24 AM  

Is limeade really a thing? Lemonade, of course, but is limeade popular in real life or just crossworld?

JC66 11:25 AM  

@ TomAz.


@Tom Rowe

The clue for FOREX is Global Currency Market...

The FOREX is a market for currencies as the NYSE is a market for stocks, i.e. Stock Market.

JC66 11:28 AM  

@ Boaz Weinstein

I was typing while you were posting; sorry.

Banana Diaquiri 11:28 AM  

The FOREX is a market for currencies as the NYSE is a market for stocks, i.e. Stock Market.

close, but not quite. NYSE is single, although rather large, institution for trading various forms of share assets. FOREX refers to a de-centralized trading of currencies, or, at times, the pool of currencies themselves. the wiki has a long explanation.

Z 11:37 AM  

@Tom Rowe - The clue is not “Global currency,” it is “Global currency market.

@Odd Sock - You do realize that something similar was said about YEATS, MAGRITTE, and CORELLI when they were alive, don’t you?

@David Schinnerer - I’ve only ever seen it in CrossWorld.

@Banana Diaquiri- Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner is baseline work on the topic, in my opinion. Valuing knowing why Magritte is important over, say, knowing how a toilet works, ... well, both are important. There’s a reason the wise janitor is a trope in popular teen fiction.

Nancy 11:38 AM  

I just now read about your loss, @Tom Az. I'm so terribly sorry.

@Odd Sock (10:51) -- Even if @Banana doesn't seem to agree, I say Amen.

'merican in Paris 11:41 AM  

Thanks, @Anon for the explanation of the two PIPET(S) variations. I never knew I just assumed they were different spellings. In any case, I nominate that clue-and-answer combination as the best of this puzzle.

I thought the puzzle was NOT BAD, but living abroad and not watching U.S. T.V. except for the occasional series, and then years later, clues like 1A just kill me. So I had to Google SHONDA, which means a DNF. Also am not a Twitter user, so ended up Googling KATY PERRY. Perhaps a household name, but not to me.

And I had to Google ROGUE ONE before I could gain a foothold (other than HOLE UP) in the N.E.

Once I got those in, it was smooth sailing, except that I entered "hopiS" before PIMAS. Learned something new there. However, that gave me pisANO for the longest time. I agree with the commentator that MURANO is one of the constituent islands of Venice, but not a city itself.

As somebody who works on international trade, FOREX was a gimme.

HOME ALONE this weekend; Mrs. 'mericans is back in the 'States. Have finished a bit more than half of Sunday's x-word. That half was relatively easy, but now I'm stuck, with lots of GAPS. So I'm hoping when I go back to it something will jump out at me. Otherwise I guess I'll just CRAWL INto bed and HOLE UP.

jberg 11:42 AM  

At first I thought this was a National Coming Out Day puzzle, running a few days late. I think OUT was only in the puzzle twice, (TOP and DISHED, but it was looking like there might be a couple more.

Anyway, I had an error I couldn't find -- ARmS as the similar of militarism (possibly because I was just reading an article about Vergil, and it's the first word of the Aeneid), giving me ANDIm for the unknown actress -- oh, those crazy show-biz people, i told myself, always taking on weird names.

SHONDA Rimes is pretty famous, but I knew her only because I once heard her interviewed on NPR (she was plugging her book, "My Year of Yes"). I remembered two things: first, she made the decision that led to the book when she noticed that she was continually turning down her daughter's requests to play with her, and second that she gets 250,000 emails a day. I still had to resist my impulse to try to fit Shondra in there.

Yeah, the MURANO clue was weird. My first thought was "Sienna," which you could argue was named after Siena (and the clue asked for the car, not the city); I couldn't bring myself to write that in, and wondered if there was a car named "Verona," but that seemed so unlikely. Sedona fit, but it's in Arizona, I think. I had to get SUPE, which I was resisting as well (don't they usually live in the basement?) before MURANO even entered my mind. But it's only a clue, the answer is fine!

@Nancy, it's the painting of the man with a green apple in front of his face. I had to look it up; no idea why Magritte gave it that title.

The hardest part for me was Princess Anne's title. I thought that maybe after Fergie got divorced she became Duchess of YORK, which gave me "Worked IT at 20A. That held me up a long time.

@TomAz, my condolences about your cat. We went through that about 5 years ago. She went quietly, lying on our bed. I was glad to see her suffering end, but it was sad. We didn't consider euthanization, because she found trips to the vet very traumatic, and really she wasn't much trouble to take care of.

Carola 11:44 AM  

Tough for me and satisfying to finish. I especially liked CRAWL IN next to HOLE UP, KESTREL x KNESSET, MAGRITTE next to APERCU, the clues for AMENDS and OVERLAPS.

I have a DOLOR story. Visiting the convent of San Marco in Florence as a wheelchair user, I was escorted to the upper museum level by an attendant who took me through winding back passageways to a freight elevator. The elevator moved so slowly that he had time to relate to me in detail that he was suffering "molto dolore" (a phrase repeated quite a few times for emphasis) because the family's new tiny kitten had somehow escaped the household - all accompanied by gestures indicating sadness (hand over heart), the tiny-ness of the kitten, the frantic but fruitless searching, etc. At the end of my visit, I sought out the attendant for my return trip down the elevator, prepared to sympathize once more with his loss. But he was all smiles and "molto felice" because in the meantime the kitten had been discovered behind the refrigerator.

Unknown 11:44 AM  

Pop culture is my weak point will all puzzles/trivia, so this was harder than usual having to suss out all the actresses and movies and show creators on crosses. Not pretty. Had ALAN—DA and still couldn’t plug it in because only know him from MASH. Agree with OFL that APERCU is a word only found in the crossword, not real life. Needed all the crosses for that but luckily I’ve traded FOREX.
Do people know the CFTC? I’m constructing a puzzle and want to use it but don’t want to irritate people like FOREX!

Anonymous 11:46 AM  

Fascinating discussions. The PIPET/PIPETte distinction has about as much chance of surviving in evolving English as the who /whom distinction. That is, don’t become too attached to it, or it will end up breaking your heart.

Adam 11:51 AM  

I agree with @Rex - I generally loved this puzzle and found it easy-medium, but the SE killed me. Had BLEW A FUSE before BLEW APART - APERCU? PIMAS? (Still never heard of them.) ISOPOD? Tough corner.

That said, I sussed out that the crossover had to be MURANO (could it be MILANO? No, that's a cookie), got BLEW APART, and figured out the rest. FOREX - foreign exchange - was arguably the easiest of that corner for me, that and SEXTET. So YMMV. :)

TubaDon 11:56 AM  

     West through the entire puzzle looking for an easy place to start until I finally came to SEXTET. Had to work the rest from the bottom up. I too questioned PIPETS but it was the only thing that fit. Came to a screeching halt on the West coast, with two ladies I've never heard of. Not helped by guessing TOOTLE at 39A and thinking ARCS to indicate a nodding head. Finally had to cheat by using the check button to verify SHONDA and ZOE. I sympathize with @OddSock, but did somehow pull KATYs name out of nowhere to exhaust my feeble grasp of social icons.

oldactor 12:20 PM  

@Z and @David S.
What would you call a glass of lime juice, sugar and water?

Suzie Q 12:22 PM  

I've done enough Kevin Der puzzles to know that I was in for a workout and I sure was. How in the world I managed to finish can only be due to the hundreds of puzzles that came before this one.
Somehow connecting the word Diet to some government thing from a distant land could only have bubbled up from the depths of my crossword experience and not from my own day-to-day life.
Knowing my birds gave me a peek into the SE region as did isopod. I'm always glad to see animal clues because I usually ace those.
I guess the clever clues were fun enough to make me happy so thumbs up to Mr. Der.

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

Your effete too? Do you have any worthwhile qualities?
Also, education has nothing to do with intelligence. Nothing.

CaliMarie 12:56 PM  

@Devin, I can’t recall ever seeing “apercu” in a crossword before but I definitely hear it in “real life” often. Just saying.

Anonymous 1:00 PM  

Disagree with your assessment of the puzzle, agree with your assessment of Rex and the "hence Trump" reckoning. Rex often reminds me of Trump - they share a "this sucks, not my fault, what I like is right, what makes me feel superior is right, all else wrong because I'm the best" approach to public life.

Anonymous 1:05 PM  

Well what a mess:
Clomp? Redose? He went AT it -rarely does he go to it: seems very London, 1887! Nowadays we get or got to it..
Apercu? Isopod? Knesset?
Liked Kestrels and intuited Rogue One but At Sea is SOOOO crossword puzzle, auld-yuck, he went to it while others seemed at sea... who says “at sea” for lost? Its just filler
I hated this puzzle , had a few blanks left and quit, but I guess it behooves one to have your yesand Forex kicked now and again, pip pip.
Looking back at the corrected grid, it does seem “nicer”, but still, really makes me wish next Saturday were here

Saturday Solver 1:39 PM  

If you could stand the celebrity roll call there were some wonderful clues to test your skills.
Ares was the answer but only after considering things like a fist or sword.
Adepts as a noun. Didn't we see that recently?
Drawing up solutions could mean finding an answer or extracting a liquid.
Wraps up a present? No, ends an activity.
Take off an edge? Dull a knife? No, crop a photo.
These are the kind of tricks that make my day.

Banana Diaquiri 1:41 PM  

Also, education has nothing to do with intelligence. Nothing.

well... there've been many attempts to devise tests of 'intelligence' independent of language, math, history, etc. none have proved successful. if your assertion were true, Cro Magnon would have put the first person on the moon, written Shakespeare's plays, devised general relativity, and so forth. the fact remains that 'intelligence' at a point in time is as much the result of accumulated human wisdom (imparted through education), as it is the native capability of the individual's brain. asserting that it's only the latter is what has driven racism from the beginning. denying education to certain groups because they 'obviously' haven't good enough native 'intelligence' to warrant the expense. eugenics and phrenology being particular examples. YMMV


emily 1:47 PM  

Sorry for your loss. Didn’t enjoy the puzzle at all. Could never get the rhythm. Lots of rainfall here in SoCal...

Nancy 2:05 PM  

@Quasi -- How did I miss your lovely and much-appreciated comment early today about my post late yesterday? A very belated thank you.

@jberg -- Oh, that MAGRITTE painting. Who woulda thunk it?

Masked and Anonymous 2:26 PM  

If I had a DOLOR for each thing in this puz that I didn't know …

This puz required significant research during the solvequest, at our house. This is only fair, since M&A assumes that the constructioneer and editor surely also did some of that, to build this puppy.
M&A knowledge holes: SHONDA. All ROGUEONE content [Didn't see it]. ZOEKAZAN. CORELLI. KESTRELS. MURANO. APERCU [has a faint ring to it, tho]. PIMAS. FOREX. ALI [Krieger]. [Jennifer] EGAN. Have heard tell of KATYPERRY, but U could have told me that almost any name except m&ine was most Twitter-followed, and fooled M&A.

staff weeject pick: WAH. There were more U's (5) than weejects (2) today; weird. Kinda like.

FOREX as FOReign Exchange makes some sense, but have never heard anyone anywhere ever utter it.
Really wide-open grid. Yet, lotsa primo fillins, with a dabba primo desperation.

fave fill: STARGAZERS, which also has a clever clue. BLEWAPART. KNESSET. WENTTOIT. CLOMP.
fave Ow de Speration: REDOSE. Maybe CRAWLIN & TOPOUT, just lightly around the edges. Fill was pretty solid, except for all the furshlugginer names.
fave clue: {Theme in some time travel fiction} = FATE. Nice & schlocky.

Thanx for the challenge, Mr. Der. Seed entries? Don't say it was FOREX. Don't make me come down there.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

QuasiMojo 3:38 PM  

You’re welcome @Nancy! The comment was so “adept”!

Anonymous 4:15 PM  

currency MARKET, not currency

Z 4:22 PM  

@OldActor - But have you ever had a glass of lime juice, sugar, and water? The closest I’ve ever seen is lime juice and gin on ice. I’m confident LIMEADE is a thing. It’s just not a thing I’ve ever seen in the wild. I’ve also never been to MURANO nor ever noticed a Nissan MURANO. For me they all reside in the semi-mythical land of CrossWorld, a place where every river is four letters long, every fish is a gar or an eel, and Yoko Ono plays Brian Eno tunes all day long as the people eat Oreos and LIMEADE on the NNW slopes of Mt. Etna. Oh look, Yma Sumac is watching Mel Ott on the TV - oh sorry, the radio.

@Banana Diaquiri- Knowledge is not the same as intelligence. Euclid was probably as intelligent as Einstein, but there wasn’t enough accumulated knowledge for Euclid to come with the theories of relativity. Bloom’s Taxonomy categorizes “knowledge” as the lowest critical thinking skill. I’d go further - “Google” knows every fact the human race knows (and every non-fact the human race knows). Google is not intelligent. This distinction is precisely why a puzzle that relies too much on the knowledge of the solver is sub-optimal.

Anonymous 4:38 PM  

You meant YOU'RE

Hungry Mother 4:45 PM  

Bigtime slogfest here. The SE corner was the last to go. Very happy that I got it done, even though very slowly. Ready for a fun Sunday.

Banana Diaquiri 4:56 PM  

But @Z, then what is intelligence modulo knowledge??? answer that question accurately and you'll get a McArthur grant. again, tests to measure 'innate' intelligence have largely failed. again, why didn't Cro Magnon send a man to the moon?? why wasn't there an Einstein among them?? were they stupid?? or was there insufficient accumulated knowledge?? of course, the latter. 'intelligence' has to be modulo knowledge, if one asserts that 'intelligence' has nothing to do with education; the assimilation of knowledge. no one, so far as I know, has been able to measure that accurately.

"Euclid was probably as intelligent as Einstein, but there wasn’t enough accumulated knowledge for Euclid to come with the theories of relativity. "

but that's simply not true. Einstein intuited the special theory while sitting on a tram looking back at a clock tower. Euclid could have done the same in an ox cart and looking at a temple. Einstein didn't depend on Newton's physics or any thing else, which helps. for that matter, Euclid had enough accumulated knowledge to have written Newton's physics.

the point: most folks intuit intelligence to be unique intuition. may be it is. may be not.

'merican in Paris 5:09 PM  

"FOREX as FOReign Exchange makes some sense, but have never heard anyone anywhere ever utter it."

Referred to at least once per episode on television, radio and podcast programs that discuss the business news.

pmdm 5:13 PM  

Z: I really like your 4:22 PM comments.

The constructor says elsewhere that one of the version of this puzzle he rejected because it had too many proper names. (Sorry for the awkwardly latinate syntax.) Wow, can you imagine that, Z.

Having lots of PPP helps me solve a hard Saturday puzzle because I research omst of the PP, and usually I learn a few things. If the doesn't make the puzzle 100% enjoyable, it does make it fruitful. I'm in favor of increasing knowledge, if not presuming it when constructing puzzles.

When I was young, my grandfather and father ran a mom-and=pop grocery store. We had a cat to keep vermin away. Seemed like they each lasted only a few years there were so many of them. Today, my neighbor feeds the feral cats. (They are very picky. My neightbor has to put out 10 different bowls of food every day.) For various reasons, especially fighting amongst themselves for the right to pass on their genes, they tend also to last only a few years. (Of course, some probably move away.) Each has their own personality that you can become attached to. About a year ago one cat mothered four cute kittens. Two were killed, one captured and adopted, and one hung around my yard until its mother returned and kicked it out of the yard. Today my wife discovered the mother had five more cute kittens romping in the back yard. So, TomAz, if you lived near Yonkers I would try to catch one or two for you. Hopefully you will be able to fill the void.

Banana Diaquiri 5:20 PM  

This distinction is precisely why a puzzle that relies too much on the knowledge of the solver is sub-optimal.

Now, that's a very, very loaded assertion. one might assert (I don't know) that solving a Rubik in record time is independent of knowledge; merely the application of higher visual acuity. is that intelligence, or just freakishness? but solving a crossword without too much knowledge??? what would such a puzzle look like?? in particular, what would the clue/answer combos that *didn't* rely on knowledge look like?? a Sudoku?? but that requires knowing the laws of (conventional) arithmetic, which is also assimilated knowledge. and so on.

as a case in point: the Great Recession was caused, at base, by one woman who figured out how to subvert existing laws/regulation in finance to create credit default swaps from home mortgages en masse. no one had done that before. was that an example of intelligence?? or just leveraging existing knowledge in a way without considering the side effects?? it was the side effect (anyone could make a bet on an asset not owned) that sent the economy into collapse. was that an intelligent thing to do?

as to Google, AI is based on the notion of relational databases and statistical correlation. it is called *artificial intelligence*, which obviously implies that intelligence can be manufactured. IBM Watson is being used, with mixed conviction, to diagnosis without human intervention. is that usurping human intelligence??

Anonymous 5:22 PM  

Youre politics and sense of moralify are awful. Youre gas-baggery worse.
But when youre right, youre right. Onbviously knowlede and education are independent of intelligence. Bravo.
Fight your fight;I'll fignt mine. We'll see who was right in the fullness of time.
Meanwhile, I'll always back you when youre right.

The guy you often disparage as an anonymice

GILL I. 5:23 PM  

@Nancy..Aha! Thanks. I was not going in that directions AT ALL. No room for the comma nor
question mark. YES, AND? Well, let me tell you a story?
@Z and @Banana. I've met some loud mouth Mensa's (so I've been told) and some loud mouth "I have an IQ of 160" who could not fold a bottom sheet even if Martha Stewart had shown a video on "how to" a hundred times. Throwing out fancy words like effete and aperçus and knowing how to pronounce them, doesn't mean a damn thing. Making a six layer chocolate cake without it crumbling into pieces is intelligence.

kitshef 5:29 PM  

@TomAz - condolences. Cats are the best.

William Blake 5:36 PM  

What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the wither'd field where the farmer ploughs for bread in vain

It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer's sun
And in the vintage and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the homeless wanderer
To listen to the hungry raven's cry in wintry season
When the red blood is fill'd with wine and with the marrow of lambs

It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughterhouse moan;
To see a god on every wind and a blessing on every blast
To hear sounds of love in the thunderstorm that destroys our enemies' house;
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field and the sickness that cuts off his children
While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door and our children bring fruits and flowers

Then the groan and the dolour are quite forgotten and the slave grinding at the mill
And the captive in chains and the poor in the prison and the soldier in the field
When the shatter'd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity:
Thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me

Anonymous 5:36 PM  

I’m calling foul on that clue for MURANO. Definitely NOT a city! Just a piece of Venice. I wrote in TURANO, which I guess is a mash-up of Turin and its Italian name Torino. The cross, an obscure Arizona tribe, was no help. So I finished with an error.
Not happy.

Masked and Anonymous 5:53 PM  

Always a real bummer, to lose a good pet. Sorry about your cat friend, @TomAz. May all of its heavenly wishes come true.

Have lost several sweet lil pet budgies over the years, and it's always been painful for us. Even for the one that was half shark. If we ever get another one, am thinkin of namin it Fore-X.

APERCU is evidently French-derived, and is shown in the Official M&A Help Desk Dictionary as havin this cool, sorta comma-like accent mark under the C. Not sure what that particular mark is called … all I came up with in my semi-extensive research was "French beard".


Charles 6:26 PM  

I did not like the clue for TEA TASTER. The work/profession described by the clue should be TEA TASTING; the job title is TEA TASTER.

PIPETS had a great clue.

michiganman 6:28 PM  

Not that big a foul. It was close enough. I knew the car so no problem for me on this clue. Coincidentally, another Nissan crossover is the ROGUE (see 16A). I drive a Nissan Altima. Love the car, hate the name. Altima, WTF is that?

QuasiMojo 7:14 PM  

@Masked, it’s called a cedilla. Or cédille in French. De rien.:)

Eddie Moscone 7:48 PM  

Hey, we know what we know. I know FOREX and that there are six players on a volleyball side. My troubles were elsewhere. I’d never heard of Zoe Kazan. It’s all good.

RooMonster 8:24 PM  

To the LIMEADE non-knowrers. It's definitely a thing. Minute Maid makes it (straight), and often times it's paired with Cherry. And it's delicious! ☺️

Intelligent knowledge.


Fashionista 10:51 PM  

It’s called a cedilla. It indicates a soft c sound. More s than k.

TomAz 11:52 PM  

Thanks to everyone for their kind wishes. Very much appreciated.

TomAz 1:09 AM  

@Masked (very late)...

Others have noted, but I'd like to expand a bit. In French the 'C' is pronounced soft (s) if it is followed by an E or an I, and is otherwise hard (k)... unless the C has a cédille attached, in which case the C is soft. In the case of our word today, APERÇU, the C is meant to be soft but is followed by a U, hence the diacritic. ('aperÇu itself is the past participle of the irregular verb apercevoir, meaning to perceive or understand).

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

I am apparently the only person in the world who thought "Dieter's day of indulgence" must refer to some German Mardi Gras-like holiday. I am an idiot.

rondo 11:01 AM  

Not a word CHEATDAY, but almost, since maxOUT remained for so long that it had to be wrong. Didn't recall SHONDA for the longest time (don't watch Grey's for the credits) but apparently it pays off to check ESPN's Body ISSUE to recall yeah baby ALI Krieger.

I think Arcangelo CORELLI designed some everyday plates I used to have.

Can we retire tiresome ALANALDA sometime?

LOTSA lotsa names here today, from ANDIE to ZOE. I suggest you check out the current cover of Rolling Stone for another ZOE K, as in Kravitz.

Nice puz they DISHEDOUT today, if you know of at least some of the PPP.

spacecraft 11:37 AM  

DNF by far, and from those clues, I was never going to finish even if I did know some of the stuff. I knew DOD ANDIE MacDowell and that was about it. But those clues! "Leaves work" = TEATASTER??? Not, at least, "worker?" Too many more like that. This thing was impossible. KATYPERRY has more followers than...oh, never mind.

Burma Shave 12:05 PM  


and knew IT was NOTBAD FATE,
they'd CRAWLIN to bed HOMEALONE and randy,
and WENTTOIT after their DATE.


Diana, LIW 1:37 PM  

Gosh oh gee, I wish they'd put more PPP into these puzzles.


Lady Di

Diana, LIW 1:39 PM  

Yeah, @Spacey - I wanted TEAreadER. Puh leeeeeeze.

Diana, Waiting and Wailing

thefogman 3:59 PM  

Hard and not much fun. Too many unknown proper names. Next!

leftcoastTAM 5:21 PM  

To be brief: Miserable DNF.

Oldpaint 7:15 PM  

Anonymous -- Diet :
1 : a formal deliberative assembly of princes or estates
2 : any of various national or provincial legislatures

Remember the Diet of Worms, from Reformation history, and you'll never forget this.

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