Stadium divertissement / SAT 5-18-19 / Classic opera set in Cyprus / Conflict that saw sieges of Ladysmith Kimberley / Like lion slain in Herclues' first labor

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Constructor: Andy Kravis and Erik Agard

Relative difficulty: Easy (5:04)

THEME: none (I hope ... I don't think I missed anything ...)

Word of the Day: Richard ADLER (4D: Richard who composed the music for "Damn Yankees" and "The Pajama Game") —
After establishing their partnership, Adler and Ross quickly became protégés of composer, lyricist and publisher Frank Loesser. Their first notable composition was the song "Rags to Riches",[5] which was recorded by Tony Bennett and reached number 1 on the charts in late 1953.
Richard Adler (August 3, 1921 – June 21, 2012) was an American lyricist, writer, composer and producer of several Broadway shows.
At the same time Bennett's recording was topping the charts, Adler and Ross began their career in Broadway theater with John Murray Anderson's Almanac, a revue for which they provided most of the songs.
Adler and Ross's second Broadway effort, The Pajama Game, opened in May 1954 and was a popular as well as a critical success, winning Tony Awards as well as the Donaldson Award and the Variety Drama Critics Award. Three songs from the show were covered by popular artists and made the upper reaches of the US Hit Parade:  Patti Page's version of "Steam Heat" reached #9; Archie Bleyer took "Hernando's Hideaway" to #2; and Rosemary Clooney's recording of "Hey There" made it to #1.
Opening almost exactly a year later, their next vehicle, Damn Yankees replicated the awards and success of the earlier show. Cross-over hits from the show were "Heart", recorded by Eddie Fisher and "Whatever Lola Wants", by Sarah Vaughan.
The duo had authored the music and lyrics for three great Broadway successes in three years, and had seen over a half-dozen of their songs reach the US top ten, two of them peaking at #1. However, their partnership was cut short when Ross died of a lung ailment[4] in November 1955, aged 29. (wikipedia)
• • •

Very nice work. Kind of reserved for these two. Only a couple showy answers, not much that's ultra-contemporary. But overall smooth and entertaining, if much easier than a Saturday normally is or should be. Predictably, my main troubles involved unknown-to-me proper nouns—ADLER and ELIAS specifically, though now that I think about it, I must have read or otherwise "known," at some point, that ELIAS was Disney's middle name. I know at least one ADLER (Irene) and at least one ELIAS (Sports Bureau), but not these ADLER/ELIASes. But no matter. I was able to move right through them anyway because of very gettable crosses. The biggest hold-up (again, predictably) was an unforced error on my part. Over and over, time and again, the biggest time loss I experience while solving involves leaving a wrong answer in place for too long. Today, it was a stupid ticky-tack coulda-gone-either-way foreign language error: UNE instead of UNO (27D: One overseas). "Overseas," :( Give me a crack at the damn country, you stupid clue. Anyway, Faced with UN-, I chose the French over the Spanish. That vowel was vital, as I could not parse TIGER-PROOFING at all until I changed it (I was coming at it entirely from the back end) (33A: Measures taken to make golf courses tougher in the early 2000s). Later, I also botched CAPOS (I was like "Ooh I know this!" ...  and wrote in COPAS). That made the SE probably the diciest section. But again, the confusion didn't take long to clear up. Had SIN for MIN (confusing trig and calc, I guess) (54D: Calculus calculation, for short). But otherwise, not much resistance to be found in this one. Just a smooth good time.

["That's OK, SEE IF I CARE!"]

I just saw another VR- answer recently (maybe it was actually in the NYT...) and so I'm super-on-the-lookout for them. Got today's (VR HEADSET) off just the "V" (30D: Modern game equipment). Saw right through 1A: Jets are found in it, though did have to work crosses to see if it was NFL or AFC. Grateful for easy crosses because both E STREET and G CHORDS would've been total guesses for me at their first letters. "SEE IF I CARE" is a nice answer, but the one answer that really made me sit up and say "dang!" was "SOME PEOPLE..." which was the perfect Saturday combination of hard and clever (53A: "What a jerk!")—brutal to parse, but then boom, a wonderful revelation.

Thanks to Rachel for subbing for me yesterday. I'll be on every write-up from now through the very end of the month, at which point I will be at the Indie 500 Crossword tournament in Washington, D.C. and yeah, you'll probably get a sub or two. I'm lucky to have so many able and willing back-ups. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Runs with Scissors 12:11 AM  

Liked it!!! Of course, I like almost every puzzle, because, well, I just like solving crosswords.

This one, though, was great. Right off the bat, 1D gave me resistance because I wanted Attain. 100% plausible answer to the clue, and I left it in way too long. Made the NW quite the tussle. Nothing other than FLASHY would fit on 2D, but still…

3D CASTOR oil. Clean out yer insides. Har.

19A Whatever STREET. It’s DC, and I’ve never been there. The crosses were required.


I had great fun with this; HERE SHOW me how it was bad. It wasn’t. A lot of random stuff that made me think for a few picoseconds. Nothing outside the realm of gettability with the acrosses, even though it took nearly half an hour.

Not FLASHY. TONNE of fun. Particularly liked the HANGMAN clue.

Mark, in Mickey’s North 40

Anonymous 12:14 AM  

It's "Texas BBQ" or "Carolina BBQ" or "Memphis BBQ"
It is not "Texan".

jae 12:22 AM  

Easy-medium. Got off to a rough start with Attain before ACCESS and CAnola before CASTOR, but it was pretty easy after I fixed those.

Tough clue for ESTREET, where’s Bruce when you could use him?

Solid with a little bit of zip, liked it.

puzzlehoarder 12:39 AM  

This was around two and a half minutes faster than yesterday's solve. Very easy for for a Saturday but still very enjoyable and always entertaining. It was non-stop lively solving right from the get go starting in the NW ALLALONG until I finished up in the NE.

1A had to be NFC or AFC. I came up with FLASHY for 2D and CANOLA for 3D. This meant 13A had to be CLAM. Now I know 1A is AFC. I couldn't
come up with an AC- word for 1D so next step I check out that Y down there in 25A. SYRIA cancels out CANOLA. No problem just change it to CASTOR. SYRIA also reveals ACCESS for 1D. Next I put in SHOULDER for 22A. A quick look at 13D's clue gives me MARRIAGE and just like that 22A becomes SHORTRIB.

What I'm trying to say with all this detail is how user friendly this puzzle was. Not in a boring way but as if the clues we're on your side and if you made a good mistake the next clue would clear things up in a way that gave you a new and surprising direction.

How the solve went in the NW was a microcosm of the entire puzzle. It never stalled and it was always fun.

Graham 12:52 AM  

Nice, easy solve, but... UNO overseas? Really? With 40+ million native Spanish speakers in the U.S. and somewhere north of 150 million in the rest of North America? Plus, South America is technically not “over a sea,” although I’d allow that, as it is a different continent. But... UNO is one right here, with no sea to cross.

Harryp 1:46 AM  

It wasn't as easy for me, mainly due to my mistakes. I had 59 across as pouNd, and then StoNE before settling on TONNE. Altogether it was a fun Saturday. Liked TIGERPROOFING, had no problem with BOER WAR, dropped in ADLER without much thought, an found out that NEPAL is in South Asia. My thinking was Southeast Asia? I was trying for Bengali. Keep it coming Andy and Erik, Thanks

Anonymous 1:50 AM  

Great puzzle. I took 3 Rexes (15 minutes) which is about my average. Started off with NHL for 1 across, which caused a bit of delay. Damned American football!

I was a bit taken aback by the clue for 23D "..the sieges of Ladysmith and Kimberley", because my home province of British Columbia has both those towns! But half a world away from the BOER WAR. British heritage at work in both the namings, I guess.


Larry Gilstrap 2:32 AM  

Saturday enough for this solver featuring stuff from all over the place, but that's where the fun is. Lots of cluing for fill skewed off the anticipated: E STREET with no mention of Springsteen, for example. Or, MOCCASIN with no mention of Minnetonka. Or, CASTOR with no mention of Pollux. Ok, I'm playin' with you.

Disney is big in this part of the world and I've seen ELIAS in the puzzle before, so no problem. OTELLO and Othello both follow fate to Cyprus. Desdemona is daring and honest, and as a result vulnerable. Great story.


Speaking of tragedy, after I retired, I sought ways to enrich my life. I bought a beautiful guitar, hired a teacher. and threw myself into learning to play the instrument. I learned G CHORDS and others, but soon hit the rock-bound coast of the F Chord, realized that arthritis trumped my innate musicality, and eventually my nephew inherited a Seagull guitar. It was sad. I could play music in my head, but my hands wouldn't work. Before I quit, I learned the folk classic "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" and played it to my dear friend as he lay dying of lung cancer. I hope he heard me.

From this week, how about UCLA as the alma mater of Jackie Robinson?

Lewis 5:55 AM  

Very entertaining, this puzzle, with plenty of bite for me, but no stretches of testy frustration, and with lovely cluing. My favorite clue was that for HANGMAN, followed closely by the one for PEN PAL, with the clues for NESTEA and CITATION not far behind. Early on it seemed like the puzzle was going to require a lot of knowledge out of my ken, but now as I look at the completed grid, I've heard of every darn thing in it. Even NEMEAN, which I don't know how I know, because I know nothing about it (I'm weak on history), but I confidently threw it in off of the NE. Same with BOER WAR, which I entered with a "Hah!" off the OE.

So, all in all, for me, a high quality solving experience, making me reach and smile at the same time. Great stuff, A&E!

webwinger 7:25 AM  

Second excellent themeless in a row, both slightly longer than average solving times but very satisfying for me. I got tripped up because of confidently entering Ellipse for 19-Across, which made the NW very troublesome; guessing SAC (Strategic Air Command) for 1-Across (jets are found it it!) made matters even worse up there. Fortunately CASABLANCA couldn’t have been anything else, so eventually found my way out.

Many very good clues, particularly for HANGMAN. I’m in Boston now for my daughter’s college graduation, and seeing “an arm and a leg” in the puzzle recalled for me a long-ago conversation with someone whose heavy Boston accent turned that phrase into “a nominal egg”, which I had to question several times before I figured out my error.

Somehow remembered ELIAS was Walt’s middle name, but had to google for this ADLER. BTW, now playing on F/X cable is a wonderful miniseries called Fosse/Verdon, about the lives of and relationship between Bob and Gwen, beginning with their collaboration on Damn Yankees. Terrific lead performances by Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams. Very insightful consideration of gender issues that resonate strongly in the present day. Lots of reminders of the terrific Fosse/Verdon oeuvre--All That Jazz has long been one of my most favorite films, and it’s fascinating to compare the movie’s thinly fictionalized account with the underlying real-life events as they are portrayed in the series.

Paulus Johannes 7:41 AM  

@anonymous 1:50am (Okanaganer) *Canadian content* Same with 1A…brought back painful memories of another Leafs fall. Wait `til next year! And take heart, CFL training camps start this weekend. I’m off to my hometown of sunny Kelowna soon. Happy Victoria Day!

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

Agreed. But isn't Texas BBQ TEXAN?

Z 8:28 AM  

What @anon12:14 said. I mean, that answer ain't technically wrong, but it sure ain't right. I left the last letter blank because experience. But I still cringed as I wrote in NEMEAN.

@Graham - Spain. Remember, clues don't have to be correct in all cases.

@Larry Gilstrap - And the plural of NOUSE would be nice.

Clean, with very little struggle anywhere. I held off at 1A seeing through the clue but realizing it could be NFL or NHL. CASTOR oil showed me it was the AFC. The other thing that slowed me down a little in the north was "Divertissement." Just a "huh-what does that word actually mean?" moment wasting many precious nanoseconds. Even with the initial K in place nothing was coming as I pondered what sort of things one might find in stadium. It doesn't help that I think of KISS CAMs as primarily an arena phenomenon. They're not, but that's where I have them filed away.

The -CHORDS after the E STREET got the arched eyebrow here. I would have gone with NJ over DC yielding a cross-referencing opportunity. Otherwise, two single letter-word answers is at least one too many.

Finished needing to fill the four letters in TRAIN S-O-, EN-I-ING, -I-, -I-ATION. I started to run the alphabet when STOP finally clicked in, giving me PIT and finally the C in CITATION/ENTICING. It went from a major WOE to solved in seconds once a single letter fell.

A fun, if a little on the easy for s Saturday, solve.

FearlessKim 8:34 AM  

Yes, but if I hadn’t been giving sEMEAN the side-eye, it would have stayed TEXAs. Not a great cross/clue in an otherwise terrific puzzle.

oopsydeb 8:51 AM  

It's definitely TEXAS not TEXAN BBQ. That's a surprising error to see in the puzzle. Otherwise a good puzzle. Tougher for me than an easy, but enjoyable.

GILL I. 8:56 AM  

Knowing CASA BLANCA kept me from penning in the attain and canola that I wanted. It opened the door for me in that whole northern area. Getting KISSCAM off the NECK, MOCCASIN off the C, and so it went.
I had one Google: ADLER. The Israeli clue left me high and dry.
I wish I could say I enjoyed or I loved or this was such fun, but in reality the puzzle BOERed me. The cluing was a bit on the meh side. As answers go, I liked TIGER PROOFING but that's about it. You need seven words in your clue for EIN? You need 13 words for MARRIAGE - and all inducing a "so what?" It's going to rain AGAIN today, so maybe that's why I'm grumpy.

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

Tripped up on TEXAN crossing NEMEAN. Didn't know the word NEMEAN and had TEXAS. I guess TEXAN technically works, but there's probably a better way to construct that area..

pabloinnh 9:08 AM  

Hey, LADYSMITH! And just as my little choral group is doing our spring concert with a song by LADYSMITH Black Mambazo (Rain, Rain, Beuatiful Rain), which is way fun to sing. Some good seats still available for tonight's performance. I won't be playing my guitar, so no CAPOS or GCHORDS needed.

Also wrote in UN_ and awaited developments. Not my first puzzle.

Had the end of ____SHOW so of course was looking for some kind of show-and-tell answer. Oops.

Finally remember how to spell NEMEAN and will someday see "Lion King" and be introduced to NALA and that whole cast of characters. (c.f. "Frozen"). Seems like I've missed out on some really good crosswordese.

Great fun Saturday with just enough crunch. Thanks guys.

QuasiMojo 9:11 AM  

CAPOS and HANGMAN, that old favorite NEMEAN (lions and TIGERs and CLAMs, oh my!), not to mention a non-Howe clue for ELIAS. Lots of great stuff here. The full MOCCASIN rather than the usual MOC. Terrific Friday. I always enjoy Erik’s puzzles even when TEAMING up. Although on the Easy STREET side this UNO had gumption. Mini musical theme. ADLER, COLE Porter. “Some People” contains sone of my favorite Sondheim lyrics. From Gypsy. Throw in OTELLO, too. GRATIN in France is used to refer to the upper crust of society back when there was one. A lot of them lost more than arms and legs, however.

SouthsideJohnny 9:13 AM  

Tough, but straightforward. I also enjoyed the clue for CITATION. It seems like there is far less “nonsensical” stuff or out-and-out garbage on Fridays and Saturdays. I’ll take a swag and posit that it is due to not having to manufacture things to fit in around theme answers. I’ll have to defer to OFL or someone else here who has experience actually constructing, but it would seem to make sense.

Nancy 9:15 AM  

Very, very enjoyable. Most of my time was consumed in the SW, where the brilliantly, fiendishly clued HANGMAN (36D) baffled me for, like, forever.

First, I parsed it wrong. I read it: "Bad choices in: it will cost you an arm and a leg." "It will cost you an arm and a leg" sounded like a game in which bad choices are likely. Since, having no idea that Arizona is a tea brand, I had tESTEA at 45A, I now had HAtE--- at 36D. Go in for something HATEful and someone will cut off your arm and leg, right? And, not remembering anything about the guitar, which I "played", sort of, back in the day, E CHORDS sounded just as basic as G CHORDS. (I did remember CAPOS, but that was on the other side of the puzzle.)

Finally realized that the sentence should be parsed: "Bad choices in IT/will cost you an arm and a leg." Oh, what's that stick figure drawing game I used to play? I wondered. Right!!! HANGMAN!!! Oh it's NESTEA!!! And I finished.

Lively, engrossing and fair. Much fun. Loved it.

Suzie Q 9:23 AM  

Just like my instincts yesterday re: felt in the clues, today I knew right away that pen pal was the correspondent.
I wouldn't call this one easy. I worked hard enough to feel proud of myself.
Loved Tiger proofing.
I don't get divertissement in the clue for kiss cam.
Lots of names I didn't know but obviously the crosses were fair but I still prefer vocabulary above a game of who's who.

Jay 9:25 AM  

Unlike the speed solvers on this blog, I measure the personal level of difficulty for a Friday or a Saturday this way. I estimate the approximate amount of real estate filled before I get stuck and need to look up an answer to proceed. I consider a puzzle easy if I can fill more than 80%. Average means I filled 50-60 % and challenging is if I can only solve 30-40%. A puzzle earns a rating of evil if I can only get 10%.
This one is according to my standards was easy. Friday's puzzle was challenging.

I am always amazed when bloggers complain about a puzzle being too easy.

WayneS 9:28 AM  

CASABLANCA paired with the White House clue is clever.

QuasiMojo 9:29 AM  

Before anyone pounces on me, I actually did think it was Friday. This happens when you get old and LOLL around in PJs all the time.

orangeblossomspecial 9:39 AM  

Pajama Games' "Hey There" was creative at the time. Unaware that his Dictaphone was on, the boss sang about being in love with an employee. Then he discovered the Dictaphone and played it back. As it did, he sang along with himself. Very imaginative! John Raitt had a tremendous voice.

Nancy 9:41 AM  

I wondered how many people other than me would know ADLER. I knew @Quasi would and he did. So did @HarryP. Joe Dipinto will know when he gets here, I'm sure. Probably OISK too. @GILL and @webwinger had to Google. Ah, how fleeting is fame.

"We were on our way to being the next Rodgers and Hammerstein," ADLER said after his collaborator Jerry Ross died young. Something like that; I'm paraphrasing. But Pajama Game was a solid musical and Damn Yankees was a brilliant one. It was a loss to musical theater when Ross died and a real shame that ADLER was never able to establish a successful collaboration with anyone else.

And, yes -- like Quasi I noticed the musical theater theme: ADLER; COLE; SOME PEOPLE. Quasi's right: the lyrics of SOME PEOPLE are dazzling:

That's living for some people,

You can YouTube it.

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

‘Texan’ is seldom - if ever - used as an Texas. I was born there so I am a Texan. I have a Texas accent. My Brit pals say ‘Texan this’ and ‘Texan that’ and it always sounds...foreign.

Tom R 10:01 AM  

Got hung up in the south - took me forever and finally a google to find NEMEAN, then it all fell together easily. But I have two main carps with this puzzle (which apparently did not bother other people). One is "TIGERPROOFING" which is just stupid at every level. They lengthened the par 4 holes, in essence, and sped up the greens. Since Tiger Woods was dominating golf, was a long hitter and great putter, this actually gave him an advantage. How can you proof a course against the best player without disadvantaging everyone else? How is that proofing?

The other was GCHORDS. Is there more than one G chord? More to the point, why is that chord singled out? Isn't a D chord just as basic? The clue makes sense if the answer is just CHORDS.

Chris 10:23 AM  

Can someone clarify 36A? I’m unfamiliar with the phrase HERE SHOW

JC66 10:26 AM  


HERES HOW to read it.

Lorelei 10:29 AM  

I do love a puzzle that isn't stretched and perverted to fit the need of some tortured theme (the other six days of the week). Even though I crashed on the rocks in the south, thank you!

@Larry, Everything you did with that guitar may have been for that final moment. Heading into those same years, the pieces are starting to fall together. Some things I thought mattered, so far haven't, while things I thought didn't have shown their reason. Such an interesting time.

Will 10:46 AM  

I don't always check in on the comments here, but whenever I find a puzzle really easy or if a puzzle kicks my butt, I like getting into the comments to see how others felt about it. It's always interesting how differently people feel about a puzzles difficulty. This puzzle was a saturday PR for me, and that was despite throwing in attain instead of ACCESS, Canola instead of CASTOR, and north sea instead of IRISH SEA. I really ought to study the geography of the UK, and honestly, Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, too... so, I guess the whole Eastern Hemisphere. It's a consistent weak spot for me in these puzzles.

amyyanni 10:51 AM  

Fun! Got the SW and NE right away. The middle and the other edges took more pondering power. One of my running friends is nicknamed Spareribs, so I thoughtlessly had that for a while instead of shortrib. Lovely to see Casablanca in the puzzle. Used to go see it at the Brattle Street Theater, with most of the audience reciting the lines with the actors.

Will 10:53 AM  

@JC66 Thanks, I was reading it like @Chris. I got SHOW before I really got into that corner and was really stuck on the idea of "Let me show you", so I was never able to get out of that line of thinking.

pmdm 10:56 AM  

Like seeming most of Eric's puzzles, I absolutely hate the amount of PPP that I don't care about that is crammed into the puzzle. Those that know and/or are interested in that type of stuff will like the puzzle, and that seems to be most who comment here. But I am truly surprised I continued and completed the puzzle after the first pass.

Did anyone notice the coincidence that FRIGGA was an entry in yesterday's puzzle AND included in yesterday's "Jeopardy!"?

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

Troll alert: 10:12.

Molasses 11:02 AM  

This was fun! I resisted the urge to Google a couple of things and am probably way too proud of myself for finishing the whole thing without a single lookup. In under 20 minutes, too! Not a record but way better than my average. It helped that ADLER is a common name, easy to guess once I had ADL.

It took me longer than it should have to come up with CASABLANCA, my favorite movie and an obvious candidate for banning in Germany during the war. I also got hung up on Arizona rival; I live in Arizona and thought it should be something obvious like maybe the UofA's football rival, whoever that is.

Like @Nancy I was flummoxed by HANGMAN for a while; I was trying to think of classic jackass stunts - is there such a thing?

Joaquin 11:03 AM  

TEXAN BBQ is just plain wrong. The correct answer is always KC BBQ.

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

I concur: “tigerproofing” is not a word nor real.

RooMonster 11:09 AM  

Hey All !
The SE kicked my patootie today. That section took as long as the rest of the puz. Unfamiliar with CAPOS in guitars, PENPAL fiendishly clued, NALA a WOE (was looking for an actual singer, no the cartoon representation), and both RELATE TO and MARINER not forming in the ole brain. Plus, the clue for SOME PEOPLE sounded like it wanted a singular answer. But, sussed it all out. Alas, whaddya know, one-letter DNF; TEXAs/sEMEAN. Argh!

Rest of puz was quicker than normal SatPuz time for me. Si must've been easy.

Should've changed the TEXAN clue, agree with others there's no such thing as TEXAN barbecue. CITATION held me up also in the dagnabbit SE corner. Wanted CITysomething.

Liked the clue on PIT. That was a "Ha! Didn't fool me!" moment here.
Isn't MAT supposed to be MATTE?

Writeovers, nFl-AFC, VRglAsSEs-VRHEADSET, TELECOnS-TELECOMS. Seesawing twixt ELIAS and ELIAn for Disney's name.


Teedmn 11:11 AM  

"It's NOUSE", I cried!"I'm never going to get that SW". Such great mis-directions in that I was certain the Arizona rival was going to be some obscure college. And with PO_ in place, I was wondering if there was such a thing as a Cow POt pie. Fun stuff.

I love this puzzle, and all 28 1/2 minutes it took me to do it. Thank you AK and EA.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

Shocking. If you take the diagonal
N from 16a
R from 14a
A from 4a

Birchbark 11:19 AM  

@SuzieQ (9:23) re KISS CAM -- it's a diversion between innings at baseball games with big screens in the outfield. They zoom in on couples in the stands, who then kiss when they realize they're on the big screen. Wackiness ensues.

David in Brevard 11:51 AM  

What a lot of fun this morning. Loved Tiger Proofing and Some People. Irish Sea was a gimme as I sailed “Lady Lily” there a number of times and Tonne fell in, from the T. It helps being a Brit.
Somehow I knew Elias as Disney’s middle name. I swear its from doing the NYT crossword, cannot imagine any other source.
Agree with many that its Texas BBQ.
Put in NFL instead of AFC, Une instead of Uno and I deleted Here Show and actually typed back in Here’s How!!

Great fun.
In the land of Carolina BBQ

Tim Aurthur 11:53 AM  

Interesting clue for CASABLANCA. What, the most famous movie about anti-Nazi resistance was banned in Germany during WWII? That's one reason I do the puzzle, to learn things I never would have guessed in a million years.

Malsdemare 11:54 AM  

I finished it!
No googles!
No complaints!
I'm a happy chickie!

old timer 12:19 PM  

I have heard people from Texas say "Texian". I figure they want to make it perfectly clear they are not of Mexican descent, for TEXAN comes from the Spanish "texano" (now "tejano"). TEXAN is the only choice given in my dictionary.

Kinda weird to see CASABLANCA as a film banned in Germany in 1942. Presumably all American products were banned, for we were at war with Germany then. Still a better clue would have been "Oddly enough, a place that was very much in the news at the very time the film bearing its name was released."

Tom 12:33 PM  

Italian...UNO, due, et cetera.

Carola 12:34 PM  

I'd have said "Easy," until I read @puzzlehoarder's "user-friendly," which is much better. With FLASHY and CLAM confirming each other and leading to MARRIAGE, the crosses were set for each entry providing just enough for the next and a seamless solve. Lots to like!

KISS is nice under CASABLANCA: "You must remember this, a KISS is just a KISS...." "Play it, Sam".

Masked and Anonymous 12:41 PM  

ESTREET. GCHORD. VRHEADSET. yep. mini-theme.

Some fave fillins in this fairly friendly SatPuz: CASABLANCA. SEEIFICARE. KISSCAM. HERESHOW. CUSP. NOUSE.
Primo clue, on HANGMAN.
staff weeject pick: MIN. From the calculus class of answers, of which we initially went for LIM, off the ?I?.

AGENT/NECK/CASABLANCA got m&e goin, on the upper puzgridhalf. Lost fewer than average precious nanoseconds, solvin the upper half. Turned er over to the PuzEatinSpouse, who quickly dispatched the lower half. Coulda maybe beat @RP's awesome time, but the budgie interfered significantly with our puzpaper handoff -- by suggestin LIM. Bad budgie.

They musta TIGER-PROOFed that course for the PGA Championship tourney … he didn't make the cut to play in the upcomin Sat/Sun rounds. Gonna guess without lookin, that TIGERPROOFING is a debut answer; just sayin.

Thanx a tonne for gangin up on us, Andy & Erik.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


Fred Romagnolo 1:01 PM  

Lewis: you're particularly good at crossword statistics, check it out and you'll find the Nemean Lion occurs a lot. @Pallus Johannes My best friend was from Kelowna, but, never having seen it spelled out, every time he mentioned it, I mentally saw "Colonna" (as in Jerry). I dnf'd 'cause I didn't know what a quad bike was. What I learned from crosswords:Arizona as a rival to Nestea.

Anonymous 1:03 PM  

TIGERPROOFING may not be your standard dictionary, but it is a real term of art. After he blitzed Augusta, much like Sherman, the course was changed to make his particular style of play much more difficult. There's a lengthy wiki section: This was mostly added length, strategic new tree plantings.

nyc_lo 1:21 PM  

Well, that was a fun little puzzle. Guess I’ll head out to the patio to whip up some TEXAN BBQ. Oh wait, no I won’t, BECAUSE THAT’S NOT A THING.

Alma Pater 1:43 PM  

Unless Russell Westbrook went back and finished his degree, I don't think he can claim UCLA as his Alma Mater -- he left after two years.

albatross shell 2:00 PM  

Took me 4.5 anonymouses who took 3 rexes, but always happy to finish a Saturday. CASABLANCA MARRIAGE TELECOMS were instant fills.

KISSCAMs show couples in the crowd with the expectation they will kiss as they are shown on the big screens at sports events. Entertaining diversion, no technical skill required.

Some time around kindergarten, they told us to draw in school. THE day before I had been watching my brothers play hangman, so I drew the hangman set up with a hanging stick figure. They called my Mom telling her they thought I might need counseling. Pretty progressive for a school that still allowed corporal punishment.

ASIFICARE SOMEPEOPLE HERESHOW make an appealing trio of answers. A couple more like that might even make a theme. Can a theme be ineffable?

The T and then G gave me TIGER. I came up with TIGERgROOmING before yielding to PROOFING which did ring a bell, so yes I think it was a real thing. They did not want TIGER breaking par by too much on their courses.

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

Very nice puzzle. My problems came with not going for the obvious in the NW and bottom center. I somehow thought CAST- for oil must be Castro, which I think is a brand of oil and filling station. This was particularly stupid since I knew, or thought I knew, that Palmyra was in Syria. I was sure that the British weight was STONE, which is a good British weight. Even with some crosses, I thought only of "tunne," as in tunnage and poundage, although I see now that a British tun is a unit of capacity, not weight. The simple English spelling of ton came late, when I finally decided that the obvious "SOLO" was an option.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Z 2:28 PM  

To be clear, TEXAN/NEMEAN is perfectly fine for a Saturday, it's the clue for TEXAN that is so wrong. So very very wrong. Besides, Oklahoma BBQ is better than TEXAs BBQ every day of the week.

@Alma Pater - If you matriculate the school is your alma mater, regardless of degrees earned or not earned.

@JC66 - Weird how simple things niggle, but my "you forgot the apostrophe" alarms are clanging annoyingly. HERE'S HOW to make them stop. I write this with the full knowledge that my first post has at least two typos, so don't @ me Bro.

Aketi 2:46 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 2:48 PM  

Alma mater has been corrupted to include folk who didnt graduate.
But it should really be reserved for ulumni. Wait alumus is closely related etymoogically? Really? Wow, who knew alma mater-nourishing mother- would be rezerved or an alumus-nursling?
Dont sweat it alma pater, z never admits error.

Hungry Mother 3:29 PM  

My wife came through for me again by filling in HAN_MAN for me. I would have run the alphabet, but she just blurted it out. I try to get her to solve with me, but she won’t. Years ago when her Macular Degeneration wasn’t as bad, she and I would do crosswords together as we drove in our RV. She would read the clues and then tell me answer length and letters known, if needed. Otherwise, it was a slog, but faster than usual.

Texan 3:42 PM  

I like Texan BBQ. I play Texan Hold'em and do the Texan two-step. But then, I'm a Texan Ranger who rides a Texan longhorn.

mmorgan 3:54 PM  

I usually expect Saturday to be more difficult. This was relatively easy but lovely and fun throughout. I knew that “One overseas” could have been either UNO or UNe, so I left out the third letter until it was clear what the answer would be. Also ended up with TEXAs/sEMEAN because I forgot the Hercules and the lion thing and Texan never entered my head. Regardless of what SOME PEOPLE say, this was an extremely clever and pleasant puzzle.

Joe Bleaux 4:35 PM  

You are very nearly 100 percent correct, madam or sir. When one is either Californian dreamin’ or in a New Yorker state of mind, however, it IS considered socially acceptable to eat Texan BBQ during the Kentuckian Derby.

Anonymous 4:35 PM  

Glad to see new controversies here today (TEXAS/TEXAN, and Alma Mater meaning). That key, button, stroke, push, down thing went on for like four days.

Joe Dipinto 4:47 PM  

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief

@Nancy -- yep, ADLER was my first entry into the grid. I was just reading something about Adler & Ross this week (maybe because of Doris Day?) and I hadn't been aware Ross died so young.

I mostly liked this puzzle. It could have had a little more zip, but there were some good entries: ALL ALONG, HERE'S HOW, BOER WAR, TIGER-PROOFING, non-Bruce Springsteen E STREET. I like the French divertissement in the 20a clue -- clearly the KISSCAM is picking up a lot of tongue action (and crossing NECK to boot!).

My choir director handed out music for "Shadowland" on Thursday so I guess we'll be singing it soon.

Lastly, I greatly appreciate the 50d clue for what it could have been but isn't.

OISK 4:49 PM  

Enjoyed it, and finished correctly, but with one quibble. Acronyms should not be crossed with other acronyms. I don't know what a VR headset, but ATV made sense, so I got it. Nice puzzle!

Crimson Devil 4:54 PM  

Re “Q”: completely/shamelessly biased opinion: none better than Bama or Carolina “Q”.

Chris 6:14 PM  

Agree that TEXAS is better as a BBQ descriptor, although NC BBQ is the far superior product.

Played super easy for me--Sat. record. Almost all the longs were gimmes, including TIGERPROOFING which is most definitely a thing.

RooMonster 6:57 PM  

Barbecue of any type is yummy.

That is all.


Pete 7:01 PM  

I had lunch at my local BBQ place today, run by a native Texan. Limited menu - Pit Beef, Brisket, Pulled Pork served with sides consisting of filler int a cheese/cream sauce, topped with bacon. Tots & Cheese, Mac & Cheese, Corn & Cheese, Everything & Cheese. After I finished my Pulled Pork slider, I asked him if it was Texas BBQ or Texan BBQ. His was response was that there is no such thing as Texas BBQ as there are nine distinct varieties of BBQ in Texas. It's BBQ made by a Texan, so Texan BBQ is the appropriate term. His distinction between the two was based on an understanding of BBQ in Texas far greater than mine, and reflective of grammar, so I'm going with Texan BBQ.

Dropout 7:35 PM  

I’ve always thought of f my alma mater as my former school whether I’ve graduated or not. I think to consider oneself an alumnus or an alumnae one should’ve graduated.

Phil 9:01 PM  

34 entries for TEXAN but i have to put in my 2 PESOS worth.
So the idea is if it is LIKE texas bbq then its TEXAN. But that is incorrect in any part of the world. It can not be bastardized in any way to have that condition exist on this planet.

Here's the supposed example of the word. Bubba’s cooking ribs, texas style. Bubba’s Martian friend arrives in his personal-ufo vehicle and comments. “Wow Bubba nice looking bbq you got going. I see you’re doing them Texan.

Bubba would immediately draw his S&W and poof!...there goes any proof of that word being correct.

Northwest Runner 9:28 PM  

VR Goggles was in last Saturday's LAT. Stumbled all over that one, but it helped me get today's clue right away.

Northwest Runner 9:35 PM  

Add me to the "this was easy for an Erik puzzle" list. As Alex Trebek noted when Erik was on Jeopardy, his puzzles are often fiendishly difficult. Today I finished much faster than average, but well above PR, for a Saturday.

Shocked 12:13 AM  

@Anonymous 2:17
Shame on you, and shame on Rex for allowing that comment to be printed.

Z 12:31 AM  

@Shocked - You do realize that @anon2:17 was being sarcastic, don’t you?

@anon2:48 - I take Merriam -Webster is wrong too... and Collins and Cambridge and the Oxford English Dictionary. Seriously, how hard is it to look something up before looking a fool?

Anonymous 1:50 PM  

Texas BBQ is Texan. I had Texas in as well but I don’t see why people don’t get that Texan is actually the correct answer for the clue. Texas BBQ can’t be described as “Texas” as it’s type. It’s “Texan”.

Sense make no?

kitshef 8:46 AM  

Just awful. A horrible combination of trivia and idiotic "in quotes" clues, and an awful clue for citation, to boot.

Took less than half as long as yesterday's and with none of the fun.

Beagle Girl 11:03 AM  

Damn I'm in too late to catch anon 2:17, guess it was removed. Missed all the fun. Tigerproofing widely used, I think first by Nicklaus.

spacecraft 12:44 PM  

There you go again. I struggle with this for upwards of an hour, toiling away after finding my only gimme: EIN, which led to nothing--and OFC comes along and says "Easy." Easy my left foot! Although there may have been a printing error in my paper that added to the confusion. Here's the clue for HANGMAN as it appeared:

36 Bad choices in
it might cost
you an arm
and a

Oh, okay...only just now I see: the "it" belongs with "Bad choices in" and not with "might cost." A much kinder clue would be

36 Bad choices in it
might cost you an
arm and a leg

Yeesh. Anyway, it wasn't fun guessing at the letters for the STREET and the CHORDS. Hand up for stoNE before TONNE, and prime RIB before SHORT--though I should have realized that prime rib don't need no damn braising. Another hand up for UNe. I too went for the "overseas" bit; there's no sea between US and Mexico. And I too went at TIGERPROOFING from the back end: had "-PReeFING", including some kind of STeP for the 8-down station. NOUSE. Finally changed the E's to O's but still was left wondering...wha? What -PROOFING? (This from a golf enthusiast.) When I at last got a couple more letters--who besides a law student will know those cases?--the lamp lit, and it was one of the biggest aha! moments in recent memory.

Cluing Arizona as a tea brand instead of a university is just one example of how mean a Saturday can be. No sir, there was nothing easy about this. I had trouble ALLALONG. The fact that in the end I finished correctly scores a TONNE of triumph points, and with DOD Kate MOSS to top it off, I award this one an eagle.

rondo 12:52 PM  

Yeah, it was easy, but I don't do any puzzle in 5 MIN, especially a Sat-puz. The Jets can be found in either the NFL (NY) or NHL (Winnipeg) So N_L sat at 1a for too long just waiting for AFC to come ALONG. And that was it for write-overs.

TIGERPROOFING a gimme with no crosses needed. Most helpful.

NOUSE is a DOOK. The _CHORDS and _STREET (shouldn't that be The Boss' band) had to wait for their leading letter.

No yeah baby in sight, so the Swede from CASABLANCA.

This puz is what I needed today.

Burma Shave 2:08 PM  


GCHORDS with no G string, on LAPSE of SOMEPEOPLE done.


Anonymous 2:09 PM  

Numerous pissers but forgivable because of the fun in reading the answers to the clues. More fun cheating than solving on this one.

rainforest 3:43 PM  

This was *not* easy, despite a decent start with ATV, VR---,TIGERPROOFING, and TELECOMS. After that it was slow going and getting just plain stuck in several places.

That NESTEA clue was impossible for me until I got the crosses, and I still doubted the answer. I liked the homespun aura of SOME PEOPLE and HERE'S HOW. That latter answer had me write over Pie with POX, to get TEXA_ (I think TEXAS works better there, but....)

The NW came last and a bit of a struggle with FLASHY and E STREET ensued, and eventually success. Tough but fair puzzle.

leftcoast 3:45 PM  

Good and ACCESSible, but only RELATIVELY easy for Saturday.

TIGER PROOFING is good, but really thought TIGER gROOmING would be slyer way of joshing him. (I assume he has a sense of humor, but not sure.) Also liked HANGMAN and SOME PEOPLE!

Is an ATV a "bike"? Never thought of it as that.

Wanted TAN before MIN as calculus calculation, and pOuNd before TONNE.

Would have like to have finished cleanly, but alas....

Diana,LIW 5:23 PM  

I guess it was easy for SOME PEOPLE. I'm with Anon - more fun cheating than solving. Well...maybe 50/50 fun/fun.

Now - to go listen to the E STREET band - he's out with a new album.

Diana, LIW

Diana,LIW 10:05 PM  

@Spacey - I knew the LOVING name 'cause it is so ironic. 'Twas a state litigation against a bi-racial marriage - their last name was Loving.

The Syndiecat Lady Di

Diana,LIW 10:10 PM  

Also, "Loving" was a 2016 movie about the 1958 story.

DLIW again

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