Darkest moon of Uranus / SAT 10-19-19 / Synthetic fiber once used in wigmaking / Port city built on crater of ancient volcano / Commercial suffix akin to -apalooza / Indian state of 90+ million bordering Bhutan / Onetime Quaker offering based on 1980s TV icon / Language whose alpahbet went from Arabic to Latin to Cyrillic / Worshipers of goddess Rhiannon

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Constructor: Byron Walden

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (untimed clipboard solve)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: PAT HAND (41A: Royal flush in draw poker, say) —

1a hand in draw poker on which one stands pat

2a dealt hand in draw poker (as a straight, flush, or full house) that usually cannot be materially improved by drawing one or two cards
• • •

Super fun, if super uneven, puzzle. By "uneven" I mean that it veered wildly between Very Easy (most of it) and "Whaaaa ... aaat is this?" Looking over it now, there were four problem areas of varying levels of severity, and the rest felt like Monday. To start, it was fast. TACO TRUCK was pretty much a gimme (1A: Common street food purveyor), TATAR and ADORE followed quickly, and the whole NW section (including the potentially tricky geographical crossing of ADEN, YEMEN and TYRE) fell without much effort. But then, even with AISLE SEAT (22A: C, as in coach?) and everything above it in place, I could Not move down the grid because NONE TOO (24A: Very far from) was inscrutable. Invisible. Impossible for me to fathom, parse, pick up, whatever—first because I had KNEEL AT (instead of ON) (9D: Use, as a prie-dieu), second because I was only half sure of EOE, third because I don't know what a CELESTA is (guessed the last letters correctly, but not Certainly) (8D: Keyboard instrument heard in "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"), fourth because I had the hyper-obscure moon of Uranus (!?!?) as UMBRI*A*L (7D: Darkest moon of Uranus, whose name is related to the Latin for "shadow"), fifth because I was only 74% certain of ORA, and finally sixth because NONE TOO is such a ****ing weird phrase on its own that even with substantial numbers of letters in place, it looked insane. Seriously, getting that one answer was pretty much all the actual effort I had to spend on this puzzle. Once I got it and followed NEMEAN LION (a gimme) into the SW, the SW was done in something like 15 seconds, no joke. I just filled in squares as fast as my hand could move.

The next rough (though far less rough) patch was actually a single letter—what ended up being the "P" in WPA (35D: New Deal agcy. that helped build La Guardia Airport). Now, again, as with the NW corner, the SE corner just went up in smoke fairly quickly. GUN BARREL to EAR WORM to MR. T CEREAL to BALDRIC, zero hesitation. But the "New Deal" clue just had me thinking "ugh, the Alphabet Soup!" (which is the actual name of all those New Deal agcys.) instead of the specific agcy. (one of the few where I actually know what the letters stand for: Work Progress Administration). Instead I had the "A" and seriously thought "Ooh, they finally decided to clue NRA in a non-terrorist org. way!" But the New Deal NRA was the "National Recovery Administration" (which had to do with workers' rights: minimum wage and maximum hours and what not), where the WPA was specifically about putting people to work on construction projects. Anyway, PAT HAND (41A: Royal flush in draw poker, say) is a phrase I guess I know, in that I know what it means to "stand pat," but a royal flush also seemed like a FAT HAND to me—the fattest, in fact (in games without wild cards). So, I dunno, it seems plausible that between poker ignorance and Alphabet Soup nonsense, someone could royally (!) mess up the WPA / PAT HAND crossing. I didn't, but that cross still seems dangerous.

Next issue was DYNEL, which ... what the hell is that? (46D: Synthetic fiber once used in wigmaking) Getting it wasn't a problem, since that corner basically filled itself in. *Accepting* it as correct, that was the problem. The word hasn't been in the NYTXW for 19 years (almost to the day—Oct. 18, 2000). So that was scary. But only in a "fingers crossed!" kind of way. All the crosses really did seem solid. Last in the thorniness parade was the front end of GONE ALONG. Not expecting the past participle. At all. Had WENT ALONG. But, again, everything else around it was so easy to get that getting from WENT to GONE wasn't tough. ATADEADEND zoomed up, IDEST went over, then ZAXIS ZAGAT etc. the end. And in the end, I really liked this puzzle, even if it was a bit of a trivia / vocabulary test. Lots of fun and original fill, and some cute and clever clues to boot. Liked 16A: Make a slight correction? for ATONE mainly because my first reaction was "How is atoning slight!?" followed immediately by "Oh ... 'slight.' I see you, question mark!"* Great clue on LOVERS LANE as well (28A: Sex drive?). Could've been tougher, and could've eased up a tad on the obscurities (I do think UMBRIEL and DYNEL count as 'obscurities,' yes), but it's such a lovely clean open grid, overall, with only O-RAMA kind of mucking up the landscape. Really nice fill overall.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*"slight correction" because if you have "slighted" someone you "correct" your behavior by "atoning"

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 4:10 AM  

Easy-medium. Knowing BEALE (another movie worth a look) and DARIA helped. One problem was spelling CELESTA with an E at the end so it took a while to get LOVERS LANE, plus I had a couple of the same missteps as Rex....went before GONE, hot (instead of fat) HAND and I agree that NONE TOO was a tad inscrutable. Solid with a tiny bit of zip, liked it.

QuasiMojo 7:06 AM  

There's been a lot of Mr. T in puzzles lately, including his cereal. I almost put in Mrs Beezly. Wrong decade, of course. Despite struggling with Gun Barrel (I had put in Arrow at the end) I finished this in half my usual Saturday time. Easy as a Celesta pizza pie. And perhaps as good. I've never had one so I can't say for sure. But I think it was the best puzzle of the week.

Tatar was a fun clue and answer. I think Yul Brynner had some Tatar blood, or maybe it was Buryat, related to the Mongols. He also appeared in ANASTASIA. I recently saw a movie called Port of New York. It was his film debut. He had a full head of hair and stole the picture, playing a sadistic womanizing druglord. Amazing performance.

I looked up Tatar in Wikipedia and discovered that there are over 6 million of them. 5 million in Russia. Only 150 in Switzerland. These are rough figures, of course. :)

I remembered DYNEL from doing theater. Those wigs did not breathe much and were impossible to style. Although they were indestructible. No doubt they are still around in landfills and on ocean floors.

GILL I. 7:36 AM  

Well Byron likes to throw out words like LOCI ZAXIS GENII ONED IDEST ORAMA like I'm suppose to know them because, you know, these are everyday words. Yikes...what a trivia-fest.
Took me a loooong time and a few Googs- mainly to see if my impossible answers were correct. They weren't. And oh, My alphabet soup left me with a FAT HAND for that royal flush. First thought dancing in my head was sitting on the can. Someone once told me that if I got nervous before giving a presentation in front of 300 travel agents was to think of the Queen doing her morning business. This, of course, calmed my nerves.
I've never been to a LOVERS LANE. Have I missed out?
One fatal mistake was in the SE. All of the Bacchanal's I know are WINE LOVERS. Yeah, I know...they do throw a WILD PARTY here and there, but...they're always holding a glass of vino.
Here in the progressive LEFT country, we call them a "Roach Coach." A TACO TRUCK is TOLERABLE, though and probably the best fast food you'll ever eat. If you're ever in the Sacramento area go to Northgate and try Tacos La Piedad. Chandos on Arden are even better. Heck, they're all good and you won't even need BEANO. Well...maybe if you ODED on the frijoles.
Thanks for the workout, ANASTASIA.

Suzie Q 8:22 AM  

This was just what I was hoping for today. I stalled a bit so took a break to let the dogs out. When I returned the magic of pattern recognition kicked in and it felt great.
I learned a few things today. I only know Rhiannon from Fleetwood Mac. That is a good ear worm to have. Now I know the name of that moon and was proud that a little Latin helped me.
Fun clues for lover's lane and aisle seat.
Origami again!
Thanks Mr. Walden.

puzzlehoarder 8:58 AM  

I keep losing my comments due to some glitch. No dnf today.

puzzlehoarder 9:01 AM  

Medium challenging due to some write overs. No dnf just endless problems with trying to comment.

kitshef 9:10 AM  

Gorgeous little puzzle. Lots of stuff at the very fringes of my brain, so that they needed some chipping away at before they could go in. Stuff like BALDRIC, CELESTA and BEALE. Ask me to define any of those and I’m at a loss, but given the clue I can recognize them as plausible.

I think the only complete unknown was DYNEL, but all the crosses were all solid.

Hard to get started. I had ATONE and RES, but couldn’t get any of the crosses. My real start was AISLE SEAT confirmed by UMBRIEL - sometimes Rex's obscurity is my gimme.

davidm 9:16 AM  

This was a nice puzzle, and I knocked out most of the bottom half fairly quickly, but the top half — yikes! Where to start? LUNCH CART instead of TACO TRUCK, CARTERS instead of REAGANS, AMEND instead of ATONE (I, too, had missed the tip-off question mark), UMBRIAL instead of UMBRIEL, and, most embarrassingly, AEGEAN (!) LION instead of NEMEAN LION, thereby doubly screwing up — mixing up AEGEAN with AUGEAN, and also AUGEAN STABLE with NEMEAN LION. What a mess! It took a long time to sort. I learned something new, always pleasant: the evolution of the TATAR language. I’d no idea that any language had gone from Arabic to Latin to Cyrillic. I know some Russian and that Cyrillic alphabet is just lovely, not only in appearance, but in sounds — none of the sounds are exactly like those in the Latin alphabet, though some are similar, and Cyrillic has sounds we don’t have, and we have sounds they don’t have — they have no equivalent to the “TH” sound as in “think,” nor do they have the “W” sound. And two of the letters in their alphabet aren’t sounds at all, but are modifiers; no such equivalent letters exist in the Latin alphabet.

mathgent 9:20 AM  

Very solid piece of work with only six Terrible Threes. Liked TOLERABLE, PATHAND, UMBRIEL, learning what a TEXT box is, VANGUARDS, BALDRIC.

NONETOO seems off. The expression I've heard is "He's none too smart" meaning kind of dim, not "Very far from" smart.

Nice clue for the z-axis (10D) contrasted to one-d (4D).

Nancy 9:26 AM  

Was DARIN/BENNO or was DARIA/BEANO? Upon this momentous decision would rest whether I solved this puzzle or only *solved* it. I guessed the "N" and I guessed wrong. But, look, after working this hard and otherwise finishing a puzzle that I absolutely refused to cheat on, sorely tempted though I was, I'm awarding myself a "Solved!" Make of it what you will.

A really hard puzzle for grown-ups -- drawing on important knowledge that educated people should know, even though I didn't always. So much geography -- my worst subject -- but though I stared longingly at my World Atlas across the room, I never pulled it off the shelf. Am I a credit to the honor of the puzzle-solving world or what?

Fabulous clues for LOVER'S LANE, AISLE SEAT and EARWORM. Not so wild about "very far from" = NONE TOO. Also I've never hear the term PAT HAND to describe an unbeatable hand. But why quibble? I worked like a REAGAN'S Lucky or Rex to solve this and am very, very proud of myself.

Teedmn 9:28 AM  

It figures, my brain waited until the Saturday puzzle to wake up and perform. I've had substandard solves all week but today, 17 minutes, I'll take it. And that's after all the wrong (thinking) directions I went.

TACO TRUCK a gimme so 1D was TAmil, changed to TAmiR. But 15-, 17- and 19A all went in so nicely that TATAR soon emerged.

Scriptos (my word for handwritten typos). I seem to be prone to them. I well knew 26A was ALAN so I wrote in ALAl. 27D was definitely Neil Armstrong so I'm thinking he was one of those people who went by their middle name or nickname and his real first name was lEs_ (I pluralized 33A as GENIS). It wasn't until WEST BENGAL went in that I saw I had written in ALAN wrong. Geez, that area could have gone much faster.

And maybe the ole brain (hi @Roo) wasn't as sharp as I thought - my final entry, I'm looking at MR. T_EREA_ at 56A. I don't think I read the whole clue because I stuck at Quaker. While staring at all those blanks, looking for word patterns, I was busily wondering if the Quakers had sponsored a TV show using a character based on ThoREAu. If the French door clue at 49D needed a French word, would PANo work? Could 46D be DYNEu? But I was very sure 39D should be BALDRIC and that finally got me out of a DEAD END. So this could have gone faster but...

The long arm of the law - I spent a few nanoseconds wondering if that phrase arose from early law enforcement having longarm weapons. Post-Google look up reassures me that no, it just refers to the long reach of authority.

Thanks, Byron Walden, for food for thought today.

RooMonster 9:34 AM  

Hey All !
Toughie for me today. YesterPuz also was a toughie. I'm glad some of y'all thought it was easy. I'm not a huge fan of puzs that I can't get a good flow going because of obscurities. Maybe because it hurts the ego? Did online today, had to Reveal ORA and WPA, and had to use Check Puz copiously. Ah, well, SatPuzs are supposed to be tough.

Who had Igor before INGA? *Raises hand* Got NONETOO off of NO___OO. Didn't know BENGAL had a WEST. Don't remember MR T CEREAL, and I was the prime cereal age in the 80's. My favorite was Kaboom! Anyone remember that? My blood sugar spikes just thinking about it. GENII? Holy smokes. (Har) Are ZAXIS taxis in Zimbabwe?

NW a cluster of PPP. Yikes. Was trying to figure out where ADENY EMEN was.

Give puz a YESNO rating.


MarineO6 9:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 10:00 AM  

can someone explain "idest" to me?

Z 10:08 AM  

Still waiting on the utopian ideal of a TACO TRUCK on every corner. Does ZAGAT rate TACO TRUCKs? As a lover of TACO TRUCK fare I take some offense to the shade implied by CUD and BEANO appearing in the same puzzle.

I guess this WPA didn’t sell enough records to be clue worthy. Quite the change from Toad the Wet Sprocket for Glen Phillips.

@mathgent - NONE TOO was my last entry, but it is multi-purpose. NONE TOO smart, NONE TOO agile, NONE TOO perceptive, NONE TOO polite, NONE TOO warm. So it does work, but it took me many many many precious nanoseconds to figure out why it works.

Anyone else want GENIopodes? Djinns had too many letters so few precious nanoseconds were lost.

MR T CEREAL? Somehow missed that. No regrets.

Z 10:13 AM  

@wino - ID EST is Latin for “that is,” You are probably more familiar with “i.e.” as in “I love a good TACO TRUCK, i.e. the ones you find in SW Detroit.”

kitshef 10:15 AM  

Sometimes it is hard to tell if folks are being wry, but a couple of posts have mentioned ZAXIS. In case there is doubt, it is actually Z-AXIS. In plane geometry you have an x-axis and a y-axis. Go to the third dimension, and you add a z-axis.

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

since when is ORAMA synonymous with apalooza??? panapalooza? name one word where the suffixes interchange with any meaning with both. I dare you.

Dorothy Biggs 10:28 AM  

I had ----TRUCK to start...couldn't decide if it was food or TACO. I also debated for a time on mfa or bfa DEGREE...so I was playing about 15D chess up there in the NW trying to decide which of my [wrong] guesses were right. Spoiler alert: none of them were.

I kinda take issue with XANAX. I have suffered from panic attacks in the past. (I may be the only person on the planet that suffers panic attacks from XANAX). The drug has become, unfortunately, very common. It's also addictive. But in my travails with panic, my doctor only prescribed Xanax as a last resort (spoiler alert: it didn't work). So while it's "common," it's really not common to prescribe it right away. We've come a long way in anti-anxiety meds...gone are the Valium/Martini treatments for stress. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the clue was rather cavalier and that Xanax should NOT be common. That is all.

Back to the puzzle...I also hat fATHAND, and couldn't for the life of me see BDAY...I don't know BEALE or DARIA.

Speaking of common, NEMEA seems to have become common in puzzles as of late.

albatross shell 10:28 AM  

What a weird plural is genii. Not because of how it's formed, but because its the plural of genie and genius. Ought to be some good cw clue in there.

@David, Nancy
I too thought NONETO might be off and resisted putting it in. But @davidm`s example completely convinced me otherwise:
Dim is very far from smart. Or am I missing something? I certainly did on ATONE, where I did not get the slight misdirection until Rex pointed it out, although I did not need his second longer explanation.

Yesterday I thought was a vocabulary test. Today after filling in TACOTRUCK, yikes A geography test. No no no. But muddled through. And then much like Rex except his knowing every word is me knowing every 3rd word and working it out. DYNEL a pain and that NE corner. Remembering those damned XANAX commercials finally bailed me out.

JC66 10:31 AM  

Interesting that @Rex writes a positive review and the Anon trolls disappear.

SouthsideJohnny 10:33 AM  

Kind of fun for a Saturday as a lot of the clues were straightforward and reasonably discernible (with the rest being unsolvable trivia and esoterica to me). Whenever someone at my level can complete about 75% on a Saturday, you know it is skewing to the easy side.

Also - the clue for 4D needs an abbreviation (notice that the clue for 47D has the familiar “familiarly” appendage). One would think that the editors would be a little more diligent, or perhaps there is some convention/rule of thumb with which I am not familiar ?

Joaquin 10:37 AM  

A few rather "iffy" clues today but the inclusion of "C, as in coach" made the entire experience worthwhile. A great clue!

Note to Rex: The "W" in WPA stands for "Works" (plural).

CDilly52 10:56 AM  

This was anSaturday gem, in my oh-so-non-“professional” opinion. I don’t create, edit or review puzzles, but as a 59 year daily puzzler, I certainly know what I expect say by day and this filled the bill. The easy balanced the difficult, trivia-laden tough areas so that with crosses and some good guesses (mostly based on spelling and grammar knowledge), it was solvable. After TACO TRUCK, I needed to scoot over to the NE and from there, it was a jerky solve essentially in clockwise trip around the grid. Love the word play for ATONE, LOVERS LANE, and AISLE SEAT, especially the “slight” play on words for which I might need to ATONE for my groan!

Happy Saturday everyone. Glad my favorite Buckeyes crushed Northwestern last night, now BOOMER SOONER for my native OK friends and dear husband.

CDilly52 10:57 AM  

Sorry for the typos in earlier post but my screen froze and wouldn’t let me edit!

Bax'N'Nex 11:31 AM  

Jc66...the reason the “anons” troll Mike is because he is such a pompous ass that only writes so few positive reviews and only for constructors who are most likely his friends. Ever read a negative review of an Eric Agard puzzle? Or that Quigley guy? (Sorry Quigley guy, too lazy to look your name...Brenden???). His diatribes against Will Shortz (and Bruce Haight, among others), his constant anti-gun and other suddenly politically incorrect subjects ranting, his obsession with not using names of actual people that may not have the most stellar reputation but do (did) exist as part of history...even unpleasant history, the “there are so many examples of this theme...why use these? Mine are so much better” is why he gets “trolled”. He is the kid in school no one liked and now he’s lashing out at the “doers”.

These X-word constructors are presenting something strictly for a few minutes (or many minutes, in my case) of frivolous entertainment and he then rips them apart. So the “trolls” do the same to Mike and that hurts your feelings? If the rules of engagement are that it’s ok for him to dish his vitriol, he needs to be able to take it as well. I’m pretty sure someone with his personality loves stirring it up to get the trolls going. Just to get the attention he sorely craves.

I’ll be honest, I read him every morning for some strange reason even though I know it will start my day with intense negativity. Wish I could explain that...

albatross shell 11:43 AM  

Clue is akin to -orama.
Sales, deal, fun, car, -orama or -o-rama.
Call your celebration of the previous president Obama-O-Rama.

nyc_lo 11:45 AM  

Found the NW corner unbearably Natick-y. Crossing TYRE with ADENYEMEN (really? Since when do we clue cities with the countries they’re in?) next to a bizarrely clued CELTS and an obscure moon of Uranus?? Everything else was serviceable, but that section really spit in my MRTCEREAL.

Geezer 11:55 AM  

And the trolling resumes.

SSB 12:08 PM  

Did anyone else have NUTHAND? I pretty confidently typed that in before working on the downs because an unbeatable hand is referred to as the nuts.

Joe Dipinto 12:15 PM  

Looks like a No Drama-orama Day. I was curious if GUN BARREL would get a pass from Rex seeing as he's mentioned that he's friends with Byron Walden, and sure enough it did.

CELESTA and BEALE were immediate gimmes, so in they went first. All went pretty smoothly thereafter. Liked it. An exemplary Saturday.

For todays's earworms, I bet you knew I'd play this – but let's kill two more answers with some hard bop live from 1957.

Newboy 12:20 PM  

Jeff Chen said “ an incredible challenge..., one with virtually no toeholds anywhere” on the other blog. My experience exactly today: my anxiety over zANiX wasn’t solving either the puzzle or my angst for example. Igor before INGA of course, sigh! And to have that sewing machine term cross an archaic fencing accessory at 39d—NONE TOO TOLERABLE.

MusicCrank 12:21 PM  

Not to pick a nit, but.....

One-D is a point.
Two-D is a line.

For something to be linear, it needs two dimensions, not one.

Masked and Anonymous 12:24 PM  

Pretty close to what Mr. RP said:

* Untimed.
* Clipboard. [Well, actually a binder semi-full of runtpuzs, in my case.]
* Couldn't find the theme, either.
* Not too overly tough, for a SatPuz. Just yer usual harder than snotiness.
* Lotsa cool fillins. fave: NONETOO.
* Sprinkled liberally with stuff I didn't know. faves: WESTBENGAL/BALDRIC.
* Many primo/sadistic clues. fave: {Make a slight correction?} = ATONE.
* ORAMA. har
* Well-made, other than no Jaws of Themelessness.

Big difference was I wanted TACOWAGON in the NW, for way too long. M&A is relatively uneducated, in nomadic restaurant fare. Lost precious untimed nanoseconds.

staff weeject pick: MRT (cereal). The "true" six weejects were alas kinda unexcitin. Maybe M&A is just in a mood, or somesuch.

Thanx for the 64-word DOSE, Mr. Walden. Nice job.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Ethan Taliesin 12:47 PM  

Like others here I spelled CELESTE with an E. I think it's pronounced chuh-LEST so I still don't understand spelling it with an A. Anyway, that frustrated LOVERS LANE for a while.

Had EOC but wanted EEOC. Don't know what EOE is. I guess it's Equal Opportunity Employer.

Found the top half more difficult than the lower half

ccredux 12:48 PM  

i.e. (“that is’)

jberg 12:49 PM  

So many writeovers! fArsi/food TRUCK, then TAmil, even though a) I know perfectly well they don't fit the clue, and b) I had to take out RES to get them. Not until I got TOLERABLE did TATAR occur to me. Then, of course, Igor before INGA -- I have never seen the movie, and didn't know about her. Before that, data before FOCI. And I almost took out ZAGAT before I finally saw Z AXIS. Once if all fell in, it was extremely satisfying, though. I'd gladly do this puzzle OVER AGAIN.

A PAT HAND doesn't have to be unbeatable -- just not to be improved upon by drawing. You probably wouldn't draw to 4 deuces and an ace, or to any straight, even though the latter could be improved a bit, but at bad odds.

I mEan before ID EST was particularly hard to correct, for me; I needed all the other crosses to see AT A DEAD END.

More like this!

Z 12:56 PM  

@MusicCrank - Uh, no. A line has one dimension, length. A plane has two dimensions, length and width. Add a Z AXIS and you get a third dimension. A point has no dimension. More here and with better elaboration here.

@JC66 - Even if you were correct, (I count two already) correlation does not mean causation.

TJS 1:00 PM  

I would just like to comment that draw poker is a far superior game than the made-for-tv idiocy of Texas Holdem.
Love puzzles like this that announce themselves as a near impossibility at the beginning, and then slowly and grudgingly yield one word at a time. This was my experience this morning, and I really enjoyed it.
Where's @Lewis ? Did I miss an explanation

Molasses 1:06 PM  

It's official, I live in a different world. This puzzle was hard, hard, hard. I got TACOTRUCK right away and thought I was off to the races, but then...didn't know ADEN YEMEN, WEST BENGAL, PAT HAND, GUN BARREL, DARIA, or, good grief, was there such a thing as MR T CEREAL? Even the stuff I knew, like Z AXIS, was clued so I didn't get it for a long time. And then there was tripping over mfaDEGREE, and winePARTY.

I thought it was Work Projects Administration - oh, wait, I'm not wrong, it had both names at different times, says Wikipedia. What did we ever do without Wikipedia? Just went around not knowing things, I guess.

Nancy from Chicago 1:13 PM  

I had no idea what the New Deal agency was so I spent way too long staring at fATHAND before the light bulb went on and I filled in the P. Fun puzzle overall but I struggled in the NW too.

davidm 1:24 PM  

Revisiting that gruesome (for me) Northewest, not only did I initially have LUNCH CART for one across, CARTERS for six down, but I also had SIGNATURE for 19 across (design credential) — I was thinking that a signature on a painting was a “design credential.” The thing that cracks me up is that all of these seemed not only to be plausible answers to the clues, the number of letters matching the number of squares, but they all intersected perfectly: The second “c” in LUNCH CART enabling CARTER, and the “t” in Carter enabling SIGNATURE. And they all turned out to be wrong, lol! How often does it happen that three plausible answers for clues, all with proper intersections, are all wrong??

Odd Sock 2:08 PM  

The review of this Saturday-worthy puzzle was zooming along just fine until the slanderous use of terrorist came into play. Does he have a single piece of evidence for this claim? He says this quite frequently.

Joe Bleaux 2:26 PM  

Just checking in to see if it’s one of my rare opportunities to comment.

JC66 3:03 PM  


It may or not be a coincidence, but it's still a fact.

Maddiegail 3:26 PM  

Being old, I of course had BROMO fo 43-D. Don't know why I even bother with Saturdays.

Anonymous 4:06 PM  

Bet 90% of women who remember the '60's will never forget "It's not fake anything; it's real Dynel." That ad was everywhere. Boy, those wigs certainly were SHINY.

Fred Romagnolo 4:30 PM  

Celesta is Italian; celeste is French; Tschaikovsky's score is in Italian. @Old Sock: the Politically Correct don't need to justify themselves, they KNOW what's right: compare to the Taliban and Isis (also Nazis, but the PC's have rendered that term meaningless).

pabloinnh 4:50 PM  

Tough stuff, finished without looking anything up yay for me.

My fun takeaway from this one was that if there's a celestina, there's probably a celesta, which turned out to be true.

Up past my bedtime here in the UK, where tomorrow should be an interesting day.

Nampa bob 5:20 PM  

Fat fingers on an iPhone keyboard...
Seemed harder than it was, time-wise. Slightly under average time. Nothing really in my wheelhouse.
Enjoyable, though.

Anonymoose 5:23 PM  

PC is just another name to call people with whom you disagree.

David 5:32 PM  

The darkest moon of Jupiter may be obscure, but the clue made the "umbri" glaringly obvious, leaving only two letters to fill.

As for Dynel, yes I remember those ads and what merriment they caused us as kids, it was such a ludicrous tag line.

Most scores still use Italian for much of their language, so "celesta," pronounced "ce-le-stah" by most.

Many write-overs for me, agreeable before tolerable, MFA degree before Art degree, the barrel before gun barrel, orangeina before orangeade. Yeah, this last one is mis-spelled as well.

Hand up for taco truck as a gimme, but for some reason my brain just would not dredge up Zagat, especially since I also had Went along until id est popped up.

WPA was also obvious, I guess Rex is so obsessed with the NRA it affects his solves sometimes. This old PC Leftie was a long-time member, even after the nuts at the ILA took over and they stopped representing American sportsmen, becoming shills for American gun manufacturers. Yes, we over here own and use guns too; imagine that. I certainly no longer belong, or support the NRA's abandonment of American citizens and law enforcement officers, but calling them a terror organization is just plain silly. The reality is they're another branch of Putin's takeover of the USA.

24A was the very last fill for me, even though I had non_to_. EOE I could believe, "none too" was just too far a stretch and, after coming here, for me it still is.

Anonymous 5:43 PM  

There was something I was going to post on yesterday’s puzzle, but by the time I got to it, after midnight, i.e. early Saturday, I feared no one would read it, and the question was a little complicated. I am posting it now, and I hope that the site monitors let it pass, even if it refers to yesterday’s puzzle. If you are uninterested, just scroll past this.

The question was over the clue “The same, in legal citations,” where the answer was “idem.” “Judge and former attorney” stated that it was “absolutely wrong” that idem was used in legal writing; instead one would use the abbreviated “id.” (12:27 p.m.). Old timer (1:41 p.m.) said too that the abbreviation “id.” was standard.

The problem is that “idem,” written out in full, has been perhaps the most formulaic expression in legal opinion from late antiquity (I think), through the middle ages (I am sure), and in the Early Modern era (I am also sure). I’ll try to explain how the term worked. “Idem” in Latin was always a pronoun, meaning “the same” (“the same man, the same thing, or the same men,” with eadem meaning “the same woman” or the same word that was feminine). Let’s assume that I am describing the virtues of ice cream and cake. Ice cream and cake cheer me up when I am depressed. Then I say that ice cream and are excellent accompaniments to a child’s birthday party. Here, if I am listing things, instead of saying “ice cream and cake” I say “the same” (idem in Latin). Then I say that the same are nice things to serve at an office retirement party, etc. I can say “the same,” or I can say “likewise,” a little less tedious. In medieval and early modern legal writing these “idems” kept showing up, as one moved from one element that had common characteristics (ice cream and cake) to another that was different (an office party as opposed to a child’s birthday party). “Idem” in fact was a common way to mark transitions.

“Idem,” a pronoun, can thus be rendered with an adverb, “likewise.” In the best one-volume (2000+ pages!) Latin dictionary, Lewis and Short, they say (p. 877) that re idem, “when the predicates are of the same kind, it may be rendered *at the same time, likewise, also*.” Also, the wonderfully old-fashioned Allen and Greenough *New Latin Grammar” tells us (p. 179, section 298b) that “Idem, the same [a pronoun], is often used where the English requires an adverb or adverbial phrase (“also, too, yet, at the same time”). In fact, this is the way “idem” was used in medieval and early-modern legal language, as a sort of sign or signal that one was moving from one point to another.

I suspect very much that as one began to move from the Latin to the vernacular, in legal opinions, that the Latin *idem* was carried over into English in the 18th, 19th, and perhaps the early 20th centuries. I suspect it disappeared as one began to use good English words such as “likewise.”

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Anonymous 9:37 PM  

JC66 is correct.

Unknown 10:23 PM  

Rex, if you're going to say a puzzle is on the easy side of things, then time yourself. Otherwise we won't believe you.

Onan 10:01 AM  

The only pastime involving multiple body parts I am aware of is totally encapsulated in 10D.

pvn 11:34 AM  

Isn't EOE an acronym and not an abbreviation?

Eric Weber 10:10 AM  

adore is hardly a synonym of crave. Aden Yemen is a city and a country, not a city alone, and pat hand for royal flush is more than a stretch....bad cluing made the puzzle a DNF for me.

Anonymous 1:03 PM  

Everything below NONETOO came easy. I had TACO TRUCK, REAGANS, KNEEL ON and some partial fills (ABLE, DEGREE) in NW but got stuck there, and had absolutely nothing in NE. It took me two runs of the alphabet on both sides of Book and Box to finally come up with TEXT and that gave me enough to finish this one off. The E in NONETOO was my final entry.

Burma Shave 2:56 PM  


there's no DEADEND at LOVER'SLANE.


leftcoaster 4:03 PM  

Found this tough enough and tricky, but also easier than many Saturdays -- but not "easy" enough.

NW was last to go after cheating to replace the TACO stand with a TACO TRUCK. In the NE, another cheat was the Z in ZAGAT/ZAXIS cross instead of mAGAT(!)/MAXIS ("depth" of a skirt maybe? nah).

Other elusive ones: NONE TOO, DARIA, DYNEL, but they came with crosses.

Cluing of AISLE SEAT and LOVERS LANE stood out, and was glad to see INGA for a change instead of Igor as lab assistant.

Good puzzle; will need to ATONE for my cheats.

rainforest 4:07 PM  

Aagh! DNF. Stupidity.

I liked the puzzle and had a great time solving, until I, er, didn't. Due to extreme obtuseness I was done in by that whole NONE TOO section by misreading the clue for 'prie-dieu" and put in KNEELer, an entry which I "knew" was right. NONE TOO never entered my tiny brain. Ever heard of a LOVERS dART? Didn't think so. Guess I'm NONE TOO smart.

Great puzzle, though.

spacecraft 4:32 PM  

DNF. Still don't understand "C, as in coach." How you get AISLESEAT out of that is a mystery. Also ungettable: NONETOO. The NE had me down, anyway. ZAGAT, really? And I kept shuttling between cameALONG and wentALONG; GONE never occurred. As for the NW, well, you know NWs. Got none of it. I hate Mexican food.

I will say, I'd go all in betting that not one of the originators of Texas Holdem gave a single thought to television.

leftcoaster 5:49 PM  

@spacecraft -- C is the seat on the aisle. A is window, B is middle.

California Girl 9:26 PM  

I had "top hand" for the royal flush clue since it us unbeatable. The crosses eventually straightened me out. This was medium hard for me. I am not great at geography outside of the U.S. and I studied Spanish from Elementary school through college so I am always stumped by clues based on other languages. Still finished with no errors. Thoroughly enjoyed the mental workout. More puzzles like this please!

NEWK 4:30 AM  

@Joe Dipinto —great Sonny Rollins. I hear the changes of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation." Has anyone mentioned Bela Bartók's “Music for Strings, Percussion and CELESTA”—listen, it's worth it.

tonyd 10:07 AM  

I'm surprised that nobody complained about GENII which is the plural of genius. It's two GENIES !

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