Shakespearean fencer / SAT 1-13-18 / Neighbor of Allemagne / Pertaining to colored rings / Measure of data transfer speed for short / Like eisteddfod festival / 1940 Fonda role

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Constructor: Alan Derkazarian

Relative difficulty: Easy



THEME: none

Word of the Day: Charles HAID (31A: Charles of "Hill Street Blues") —
Charles Maurice Haid III (born June 2, 1943) is an American actor and director, with notable work in both movies and television. He is best known for his portrayal of Officer Andy Renko in Hill Street Blues. [...] Haid is a cousin of television talk show host and Jeopardy! creator Merv Griffin. (wikpedia)

• • •

Hello, solvers. It's early January, which means it's time for my once-a-year, week-long pitch for financial contributions to the blog. The idea is very simple: if you read the blog regularly (or even semi-regularly), please consider what it's worth to you on an annual basis and give accordingly. To be clear—there are no major expenses involved in writing a blog. There's just my time. A lot of it. Every day (well, usually night), solving, writing, hunting down pictures and videos of various degrees of relevance and usefulness, chatting with folks and answering puzzle questions via email and social media, gathering and disseminating crossword-related information of various kinds, etc. It's a second job. My making this pitch means I'm all in for another calendar year of puzzle revelry with all y'all. I'm excited about the year. I've got my own crossword construction project I want to get off the ground, and I'm hoping to take a more active role (along with some crossword friends) in recruiting and mentoring new and aspiring constructors. But the bulk of my work will be the same as ever: I'll be here with a new post every single day. Solve, write, repeat. Despite my occasional (or, OK, maybe frequent) consternation with the State of The Puzzle, the crossword community continues to give me great joy, and I'm proud to run an independent, ad-free blog where people can find someone to commiserate with, someone to yell at, or, you know, someone who'll just give them the damn answers. Some people refuse to pay for what they can get for free. Others just don't have money to spare. All are welcome to read the blog—the site will always be open and free. But if you are able to express your appreciation monetarily, here are two options. First, a Paypal button (which you can also find in the blog sidebar):

Second, a mailing address:

Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905

All Paypal contributions will be gratefully acknowledged by email. All snail mail contributions (I. Love. Snail mail!) will be gratefully acknowledged with hand-written postcards. This year's cards are "Women In Science"—Rachel Ignotofsky's beautiful cartoon portraits of women scientists from antiquity to the present. I've heard of a few of these women (mostly crossword names like ADA Lovelace, Marie CURIE, MAE Jemison) but most of these names are entirely new to me, so I'm excited to learn about them as I write my thank-you notes. Please note: I don't keep a "mailing list" and don't share my contributor info with anyone. And if you give by snail mail and (for some reason) don't want a thank-you card, just say NO CARD.  As ever, I'm so grateful for your readership and support.

Now on to the puzzle!

• • •

Back-to-back easy themeless puzzles. Also, back-to-back puzzles with very diverse content. Old, new, black, white, queer ... not everyone may notice this, NYT, but I do, and I appreciate it. I like to see *everyone* having a good time. Thanks for listening to those of us who have raised the breadth-of-representation issue these past few years. And, you know, please continue. You could toughen up these late-week puzzles a little, though. Blew through this one in roughly the same time it took me to do yesterday's, and yesterday's was already easy. Had a roughish time in the eastern region (where I finished) because ... well, a host of reasons, which I'll get into, but otherwise, my only hesitations / hiccups were misspelling FELIZ (FELIX!) and going with IRISH at first for 53A: Like an eisteddfod festival (WELSH). 


For the most part I'M IMPRESSED with this grid, though the heavy reliance on -ERs (REARER, MAKER, FUELERS) was a notable SORE SPOT, as was whatever the hell AREOLAR is supposed to be. That answer started out as AREOLIC and then went several other ways before finally landing where it needed to land. The ending on that word was the beginning of my troubles in the east. Also couldn't fathom 29A: London or Manchester (WRITER). I know who Jack London is, but who the hell is this alleged writer, "Manchester?" I google [writer Manchester] and I just get some biographer I've never heard of. I resent this kind of trickery. I mean, I love the trickery, but the other city (besides London) should be a recognizable writer. Heading down the grid from WRITER: no idea at all who HAID is, so needed every cross there, and BIT SEC ... I mean, it's inferrable, but not a term I've heard. I stared at --TER DOG for a bit wondering "How Do You Not Know This? Is It OTTER DOG!?!?" (29D: Newfoundland or golden retriever). And then I got it, and then that area started to cave. But this was the only drama of the solve, and it didn't last long, actually. I can see how some solvers might struggle with a few of the proper nouns (HAID for sure, and possibly SOLANGE and EL DUQUE), but I'm still guessing this played far easier than average for most of you. "A Seat at the Table" is a great album, by the way. Give it a shot.


Today I remembered that there was a prime minister named EDEN. Huge win for me. Non-Churchill, pre-Thatcher PMs are like popes to me, i.e. shrug. I did learn ATTLEE at one point, though. Had to. Look at those letters. You're definitely going to see ATTLEE, if you haven't already. EDEN usually gets a much softer clue, so you don't see the PM often, but you do sometimes, and I remembered him, so so self-high-five! Favorite clue of the day was probably the deceptively simple [Field work] for "NORMA RAE" (14D). Not an easy title to parse if you're coming at it piecemeal and don't know you're looking for a movie. OK that's all for today, bye.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

118 comments:

jae 12:12 AM  

Easy for me too.

If you are watching The Crown on Netflix EDEN should be a gimme.

I was in Palma, MAJORCA for a few days in the summer of '67 with the U. S. Navy. A very nice place. Lots of Scandinavins on vacation.

Liked it, but the difficulty level should really be higher on Sat.

Outside The Box 12:16 AM  

Some biographer you never heard of? C’mon Rex, broaden your horizons. William Manchester was an award winning historian.

Carola 12:19 AM  

From FACES and MAJORCA, the grid curtain unfurled seamlessly until it ran into a snag halfway down and turned into a patchwork quilt, with the W in WATERDOG x WRITER the last square in. Fun to solve, over too soon.

puzzlehoarder 12:24 AM  

This took five minutes more than yesterday's romp but still that's nothing for a themeless. Of the few debuts only BITSEC and SOLANGE are in anyway obscure. If the commoness of the surrounding material didn't render these entries toothless enough the crossing debut WATERDOG is also just a common term and further waters them down. I got more resistance out of my LANGUID/LANGUOR and GOLONG/GODEEP write overs. The "Field" clue did fool me for a little while but the "Hope" one, not at all. I needed the crosses to get HAID but the weird thing was that once I did I was able to recall that his character's name was Renko.

Mr. White 12:31 AM  

This constructor also did today's LAT.....

Anonymous 12:36 AM  

Sorry, BITSEC is not a thing. Not. A. Thing. Absolutely unacceptable. Just ask me, a computer professional, or ask Google.

Davis 12:48 AM  

I suspect BITSEC was supposed to mean BIT/SEC (i.e., bps). Seems really kludgy to do that, though.

jorex lodeza 12:52 AM  

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BlackCloud GM Injectors

Robin 12:53 AM  

Charles HAID played Officer Andy Renko. Jeez.

Puzzle was somewhat easy for a Saturday, but I struggled in the NW. Of course 2D was ARAMIS, but everything else up there was against me. Wanted to put in HEADS rather than FACES for 1A and was having a brain-o on the Spanish for happy.

In the end, average time for me.

Anonymous 1:00 AM  

Jeezuz..@Rex, not knowing who William Manchester was - and dismissing him as some “alleged writer” - is just ignorant.

Anonymous 1:21 AM  

GODEEP is just wrong. It is the receiver who goes deep on a long pass - not the throw.

Larry Gilstrap 1:22 AM  

It's Saturday, so we should anticipate some misdirection. OFL deems the clue "Field work" as a "deceptively simple" clue for NORMA RAE. Sure, I got it, as did you, but then, of course, I'm depending on the fact that you like me, you really like me!

I used to hang out in Palm Springs in the 80s and the locals were unanimous: everybody loved Frank Sinatra and everybody hated Bob Hope. I think genuine generosity was the issue. May they both RIP.

Songs about cars; feel free to riff.

Speaking of cars and years ago, I found myself driving, on the wrong side of the road, all over Wales and I noticed that all the road signs were bilingual: English and WELSH and that all the English names had been spray painted out. Is this still a thing? Fond memories of the Tilstone House in Llandudno.

I'm not dating, but what data would be appropriate to find a mate? I just met women in the vicinity, and that worked out fine, or not. But, in the modern data driven world, what is the new norm? IQ TESTS, or DNA tests, or hot SELFIE photos? How about lab tests or tax returns. I think I'm on to something.

Perhaps, KFC dropped COLONEL Sanders when his face started to look more and more like the food product. Ageism rears its ugly head.

As a young man, I was conflicted with the injustice I saw playing out on the TV news. Vietnam and the civil rights movement were glaring examples of a painful reality. We were not a great country in all respects. One night, my parents had gone to bed and I sat up and watched The Grapes of Wrath and it moved me. Tom JOAD's impassioned speech at the end spoke to me. Henry Fonda, indeed.

Is there really such a thing as a STATUTE of Limitations? Asking for a friend.





Charles Flaster 1:25 AM  

Medium with a DNF.
Never changed LANGUid to LANGUOR although the former is a better definition of
“sluggishness” than the latter.
Also could not recall Sally Field. Was looking for a writer named Field.
Liked a lot of the cluing.
Thanks AD

Dolgo 1:55 AM  

I'm embarrassed. Got hung up on NORMA RAE (doh!). Kept trying to make it a Latin one-word description of some profession in Roman Britain. I thought I was becoming adept at sniffing out NYT pazxle pins. Guess again, Dolgoruky!

Dolgo 1:56 AM  

"puzzle," of course?

mathgent 1:57 AM  

Not at all easy for me. It made me work hard.

Very sparkly, too. Nineteen red plus signs in the margins, compared to 16.5 for the average Saturday.

Shouldn't "Field work" for NORMARAE have a question mark? If not, when are question marks to be used?

I never thought that prissy persons were stuck up. I thought that they were simply ultra fastidious.

Great puzzle! My hat's off to those who thought that it was easy.

JOHN X 2:12 AM  

Pretty good Saturday puzzle! I had to work for this one, so I'm not sure if I'd call it easy, but I liked it. That NORMARAE answer was a doozy, and I went through so many "Field" possibilities, icluding the museum and various research disciplines and so forth. Also I had BIGPAPI before ELDUQUE so that messed things up a bit until I saw EDEN who I always get. Just a lot of AHA moments throughout. And Rex I've got to agree with the others that William Manchester is not obscure.

Trombone Tom 2:34 AM  

This was a pretty good workout for me. MinORCA->MAJORCA and PRude->PRISS slowed me down.

The bit/sec vs. BITSEC seems kind of loose.

I agree that GO DEEP might be off technically, but this is Saturday.

I put two checks by the NORMA RAE clue. Great misdirection.

I liked this one a lot. But it seemed like it went by too fast.

Loren Muse Smith 5:01 AM  

Rex – now *there’s* a write up! Good stuff. I totally agree on the complaint about Manchester.

I had a dnf; put in “Eton” for the Churchill successor, so I had “Eton/El Toque/Laortes.” So Orlando Hernandez was The Hat.

Liked MAKERS/REARERS. Uh. Yeah. Ya make’em, ya rear’em. But REARER is a weird word. I’m a single rearer, so it’s hard for me to make all the class parties.

For the Hope-led deal, I immediately went soccer goalie. But that all got sorted out soon enough.

@Dolgo – your “pazxle” typo was terrific. Made me think you hadn’t had your morning covfefe.

I can’t be the only one who put in “Beyonce” before SOLANGE? And I crossed it with “tincts” for TINGES.

The Newfoundland dog is a miracle. Walking happiness. A big black, understanding, kind, therapeutic bundle of comfort. RIP, Beverly Ann.

I don’t have a SELFIE STICK, but had a bit of fun with my 7th period earlier this week…

…somehow the subject of women shaving came up. I told them I had read somewhere that some women shave their whole arms. (I have read this.) So after they expressed surprise, I deadpanned,

I know, right? I mean, I shave my back every other day, but I would never think to shave my arms. They’re not that hairy anyway, see? I displayed my arms.

You shave your back? Really?

Furrowed brows in the What’s-The-Big-Beal-Here way. Sure. Of course I do.

Your back?

More confusion on my part. Well, yeh- uh. I’m not understanding the reaction here. Have you never seen the Gillette selfie sticks that attach to razors? They sell them at Walmart. I’ve figured out how to get them to attach to the cheaper razors, though. Are you seriously telling me you’ve never heard of this? Wow.

I came clean before class was over.

I’m with @mathgent; I found this puzzle much, much harder than most of you are reporting. (And I wanted a question mark for the NORMA RAE clue, too.) Still - nice work here with the EGG MCMUFFIN, PRIDE PARADE presenting their UNITED FRONT, I’M IMPRESSED. And in about four hours, I’ll be ICEd IN again.

Lewis 6:27 AM  

@lms -- Hilarious prank!

ROUGH IT was for me.
It felt like an IQ TEST.
For a while I was grinding my CANINES.
But there were some magnificent YES I SEEs (i.e., NORMA RAE, IQ TEST).
Now ALIS well, I MUSSED say, and I'M IMPRESSED with Mr. Derkazarian.

JJ 6:41 AM  

@LarryGilstrap-loved how you put the "You really like me" in your post. Woke up with a smile.
@LMS-you are just too funny. Who comes up with I shave my back stories?

Anonymous 6:42 AM  

There's nothing wrong with "go deep." Quarterbacks are the ones who "throw a bomb," and I've heard announcers a million times say something like "he's going deep" (referring to the q-back). Yes, the receiver is the one running, but the q-back is the one who throws the ball . . . one cannot "go deep" without both parts of the equation...

Small Town Blogger 8:14 AM  

You never heard of William Manchester????? The Death of a President? The Glory and the Dream?

Interesting side note - my daughter dated William Mancester’s grandson for several years, it didn’t work out but she wound up with one of his family’s collection of antique typewriters.

kitshef 8:28 AM  

Loved it, but took a long time thanks to the NE. So desperate was I that at one point I tried EDMonton for my NHL “Eastern” team. I mean, if Dallas can be in East in football, why not?

But what I really want to talk about is CUT TIME. No idea what that is, so I started browsing. Loved the hilariously inaccurately titled site called “demystifying cut time”. From that site and others, I ‘learned’ these things:
“However, we are well aware that the stresses in 4/4 are highly diverse. Most of the time you have a strong stress on 1 and a lesser stress on 3, but there are dozens of other stresses which are associated with 4/4”.

“You can also specify a swing on semiquavers, and why not also on crotchets? It's not commonly done, but everybody would immediately understand it”.

“A guitar player hits a bass note on one, a chord on two, an alternate bass note on three and a chord on four. These are all down strokes and produce the characteristic “Boom – Chuck’ sound”.

“In 4/4, each PAIR of quavers gets a beat. In 2/2, each set of FOUR quavers get a beat. When properly notated this is indicated by “beaming” four quavers together in 2/2”.

I am somewhat intimidated by the likelihood that some, possibly many, of you have some idea what any of that means.

Good ol'l Joe 8:30 AM  

I agree, not a thing. BPS yes, but that’s bitS per second. Never ever ever heard anyone say or write bitsec. 35 year IT guy.

Teedmn 8:33 AM  

This was a really nice puzzle though too easy for Saturday. It took me a third less than my average so a bit of a let down that way.

Lots of black ink left on the grid though, mostly in the NW. My wrong answer at 5D ramped up the difficulty until the SOUP was on. LANGUOR, such a great word. It makes me want to throw myself onto a deck chair, put my arm to my forehead and ask for a mai tai. Or maybe I'm just having warm weather fantasies on this 14 below morning.

Great clues for NORMA RAE and USO TOUR. Thanks, Alan Derkazarian.

kitshef 8:36 AM  

@LMS - I believe that is your best icon ever.

jberg 8:37 AM  

Easy for me, too, and I didn't know most of theproper names -- or else I knew something was a name, but had no idea it was related to the clue -- i.e., knew there was something called ERAGON, but not who wrote it, and that there was someone named SOLANGE but not what she sang. But the crosses made it work, as they did for EL DUQUE (never heard of him because sports).

A lot of the easiness came from basic crossword habits. I had not idea which element was #30, but 4 letters starting with Z = ZINC. Had no idea EULER was blind, but mathematician starting with E...

So my only real problem was outwitting myself with the location of Palma. Iknew it was one of those islands, and Mallorca was too long, so I put in MinORCA. (To be consistent, it should have been Menorca, anyway). The only role I could think of for old Henry was Mr. Roberts, so I didn't see JOAD until I'd figured out the MAJORCA error.

But ... ENTRE-deux? A web search says it's a commune in Reunion -- in keeping with the small-island mini-theme, I guess, but perhaps a tad obscure? "Entre nous" I would have got right away, or Entre-Deux-Mers, but this? I just had to be, but I still don't like it.

On the Manchester thing -- William was famous enough, but I looked at the clue, had the W already, and thought, "Well that's Jack London and who? Ah yes, Elsa Manchester!" Stupid, but it worked.

God in a clue and the GOD EEP in an answer. Is that legit?

Outside The Box 8:48 AM  

Exactly my reaction.

QuasiMojo 8:58 AM  

I'm sick of seeing odes to filthy SUCRE in the NYT puzzle!

JK, this was a pretty good Saturday although the hard parts were difficult for me because I did not know the PPP or whatever that is called. ERAGON?? HAID?? These held me up. Somehow I pulled EULER out of my SORESPOT, same with SOLANGE. (Thank MAKER I knew who Louis PRIMA was!) Ha ha. Even GO DEEP was an educated guess. Which reminds me, I don't think IQ TESTS test "sharpness" but that's an easy one to let pass.

My favorite YES I SEE moment was finally getting NORMA RAE. That held me up a long time. It is quite literally work done by Sally Field, but I wouldn't call a film she was in one of her "works" in the "oeuvre" sense. Maybe the director.

ARAMIS was a gimme because I used to drown myself in that cologne back when I went to Studio 54 every night.

Finally, I could not grok WRITER either. And had BRIT TEC for the longest time since I assumed those cities were some kind of new-fangled UNITED FRONT of high tech surveillance or something out of a spy novel. And as I am not a pet person, I had no idea about types of dogs (except CURS); BATER DOG sounded good to me. Especially with the mini -ER theme Rex pointed out.

Anyone else notice how nice Rex is during the month he seeks donations (which he richly deserves, btw.) Call it a January Thaw.

Lise 9:10 AM  

William Manchester wrote a book about medieval times called "A World Lit Only By Fire". It's an excellent description of the era.

I found this puzzle harder than Rex (and most of you) but enjoyed it all the way through. I was inordinately proud of myself for remembering EDEN for the first time ever.

I have heard only Bits/second but I suppose one could use BIT/SEC as an adjective.

Mr. Cheese 9:33 AM  

Finished with only writeover being godeep/golong.
I could not understand n.o.r.m.a.r.a.e until I came here ....duh

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

I resisted allowing vulpines into the canine clan, but reluctantly gave in.

relicofthe60s 9:37 AM  

Seems to me a William Manchester, Sir Anthony Eden, and Charles Haid are no more obscure than some of the rappers and tv actors that Rex likes to see in puzzles. This puzzle was indeed very easy.

Yay Me 9:42 AM  

I am buying myself a beer later for getting USOTOUR completely cold. No crosses, right out of the box.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

I also thought it was too easy for a Saturday, though I hit some snags in the HAID (never heard of him), WRITER (29A, which was wonderfully and deceptively clued), BITSEC (35A) and, gasp, WATERDOG (29D) section. I'm looking at ---ER DOG for, like, forever, and all I can think of is they're Sporting Dogs, which doesn't fit. HuntER DOG doesn't fit. And the wonderfully indiscriminately affectionate Golden Retriever will never be a bitER DOG, heaven forfend. So until I finally got WRITER, I was flummoxed. Until then, I was thinking: Make the puzzle harder, it's Saturday for heaven's sake. Nevertheless, I did like the way WRITER, FEAR (30A), USO TOUR (15A) and especially NORMA RAE (14D) were clued.

usaffrank 9:46 AM  

"I like to see *everyone* having a good time."

Unless they're conservatives. Then it's total meltdown time and insults any time there's a clue pertaining to the President, someone else in the current administration, or anything else conservatives might appreciate.

GPO 10:01 AM  

Are you guys kidding me with this “easy” stuff?

By the time it was over, my time (which I’m embarrassed to disclose to this group) was medium-ish, but man was I stumped for quite a while at the beginning.

“Morning cofveve” — ha ha! I’m stealing it.

Note to above commenter: “languor” and “sluggishness” are both nouns. “Languid” an adjective. So the quote for your word would’ve been “sluggish,” right?

Two Ponies 10:01 AM  

January Thaw.
Very good observation @ QuasiMojo.

@ kitshef, Thanks for researching and yes, it is all a mystery to me too.

@ Larry Gilstrap, I also watched Grapes as a naïve young adult and again later in life. The years certainly have changed my perspective.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

@usafrank

Man, you're still sticking with trump! Hahaha

ColoradoCog 10:06 AM  

This was strange. After my first pass through all I had was JOAD and a hunch that ALIS might be the boxing family. That was it. But bit by bit I was able to build from there. As I played, it didn’t *feel* easy. It wasn’t a breeze. And then I was done with no errors, and my time was only a little more than half my normal Saturday. It sure felt harder than it turned out to be.

And count me among the long time IT folk who never heard of BITSEC.

GILL I. 10:15 AM  

Hand up for MenORCA. I forget how the Brits just will nilly change the spellings of cities to suit their needs. Hell, there is no LL in MY dictionary and J sounds about right. Let's just make it sound like MAJORCA instead of the silly way the Spaniards spell MALLORCA. Just to make things perfectly clear, let me come up with the word disambiguation. That should make everybody happy. And we're keeping Gibraltar...so there!.
Nice Sat puzzle. Yes, it was on the easy side but it had some nice things. NORMA RAE got me good - and for a long time. USO TOUR was my AHA so that's the dirty trick we're playing. Made me go back to the you really like me Field work and settle the final score.
I was having trouble with the SW. After getting out of my chair a dozen times and staring at the grid, I got SELFIE and PLAIN. So I now think Orlando's nickname is EL something or other. I was pretty sure of IQ test so DUQUE it was and it made me FELIZ.
My sister-in-law, whom I love to death, was given a SELFIE STICK by her daughter. She posts about a thousand pictures of herself in front of anything. Same smile, always looking up and in the pictures you see all the people in the background doing the same thing. Such a gig.
Poor Ecuador. They go and change their SUCRES for the almighty US dollar and then they go and get trumped or is it WELSHed?
Thanks AD for a nice little morning puzzle romp.

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

Check out this 2002 Computerworld article to see examples of bit/sec: https://www.computerworld.com/article/2576366/data-center/sun-to-offer-2g-bit-sec--san-support.html.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

@kitshef (8:28) -- Beset by LANGUOR as I often am, I'm not sure I was actually on my way to research CUT TIME, but, having absolutely no idea what the heck it was, the idea did occur to me. I decided to read the blog first and there you were -- embedding definitions of CUT TIME from all over the place. I laughed when I saw that the gobbledy-gook explanations were titled "demystifying cut time" and laughed a second time when I saw that they didn't demystify them for you, either. But there was one other mystery: how do you manage to embed passages from so many different places? I can't even embed a passage from one place. Yes, someone told me how to do it a while back -- it might even have been you, @kitshef -- but it didn't work for me, and I've since forgotten the instructions anyway.

Also loved "January thaw".

Alex Wright 10:21 AM  

BITSEC is not real, I don't buy SOLANGE (Knowles, I.e. why she is famous) as a single named singer, and "field work" deserved a ?, but other than that a pretty good Saturday

TubaDon 10:22 AM  

Manchester was a mystery to me. Thought he might be an ORATOR, but OATER dog didn't make sense...finally got the W. Minor objection to GoDeep as others have said. Confused HAID with HAID for awhile. I taught computer engineering for many years and never saw the slash slashed from bits/sec like that.

Birchbark 10:25 AM  

pas dE --> ENTRE
ph TESTS --> IQ TESTS
italiE, francE --> SUISSE

NORMA RAE, where I finished, was a great surprise. Even after inferring the letters, I was still in the @Dolgo/@JohnX camp of looking for an esoteric-Latin-ae-ending term of art, some rarified dinosaur work in the desert, etc. Then actually saw the name buried there and thought "kind of cool that it also spells NORMA RAE" -- then went back to trying to figure out what the answer could be.

So I don't know what the solve time is. I had all the letters in place but the lightbulb/laughter hit me long after the rest of the room had moved on to other things.

jugcap100 10:35 AM  

Seconding (thirding?) the comments that William Manchester is hardly obscure.

Z 10:39 AM  

Hand up for “hard” and also not particularly happy about it. This played more like a Newsday Saturday Stumper for me. Even when we get word play it is sullied by an obscure historian (I know, I know. “obscure historian” is redundant). 22/64 is a high PPP count, but really doesn’t convey how trivia laden this puzzle is. Physiognomy, the periodic table, whatever the heck AREOLAR is, this isn’t an IQ TEST as much as a trivia test. As a result, if the trivia mostly hits your wheelhouse this will be easy, but if a pitcher with 35 fewer games played than Jack Morris has wins doesn’t ring a bell, if post Churchill PMs is not your forte, if the oeuvre of Frankish saints is not in your music collection, this puzzle just might feel more Outhouse than Wheelhouse to you.*

Rex is right in as much as the trivia is somewhat wide-ranging, which makes this fair. Music, science, baseball, golf, fantasy, comp sci (no problem here with BIT SEC - shortening rates by dropping “per” is not all that uncommon), French, Spanish, Movies, TV, and an EGG MCMUFFIN before marching in a PRIDE PARADE with COLONEL Sanders. So this perfectly acceptable Saturday fare. For me, though, a little less trivia and a little more word play would have improved it.

@jberg - Good question.

@mathgent - I think “stuck up” is more connotation than denotation. For instance, the definition for Prissy for English Language learners at M-W is “having or showing the annoying attitude of people who care too much about dressing and behaving properly and who are easily upset by other people's behavior, language, etc,” all of which could also fit within a definition of “stuck-up”. I balked at first as well, but decided it was close enough for a crossword clue.





*If you are the sort of person who took offense at “alleged writer” let me reassure you that what likely bothered you in this paragraph was supposed to be a joke, or at least mildly amusing.

Betsy DeVos 10:57 AM  

I like to see everyone having a good time as long as they share my politics. FIFY.

Eleanor R. Smith 10:57 AM  

Everyone missed the theme of this puzzle, which was Winston Churchill. On this day in 1915 he authorized the assault in the Dardanelles. On this day in 1943 he arrived in Casablanca for the conference with Roosevelt. He was the British Vice Consul in MAJORCA. He wa succeeded by Anthony EDEN. The rather definitive biography of him, "The Last Lion," was written by William MANCHESTER. He lived in LONDON. He urged the UNITED FRONT against Hitler.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

Willam Manchester was a big deal in his day. Sic transit gloria, and all that.

Alysia 11:02 AM  

I actually THOUGHT the answer was BITSEC (based on the letters I had filled in at the time), but when I googled, nothing came up. Spent the rest of the morning trying to figure out if a Newfoundland could possibly be a WAfERDOG

Which is all just to say that I agree with the above.

Joseph Michael 11:05 AM  

Thank GOD physiognomists don't study feces.

burtonkd 11:05 AM  

@kitshef - very funny to read your CUTTIME demystification! Music is very hard to write about - I am a pianist/conductor and had to read those selections closely to suss out what I already know. Looks like you stumbled onto a British site with crotchets and quavers rather than quarter and eighth notes, as we say here. The difference can be subtle - simplest explanation I found on a quick search was this:
2/2 means there are 2 half notes or 2 beats per measure, while 4/4 means there are 4 quarter notes or 4 beats per measure. The main difference is that in 2/2 the rhythm pattern would have a "strong-weak" pattern, and in 4/4 the rhythm would have a "strong-weak-medium-weak" pattern, so the resulting sounds and accent patterns would be quite different.

Anyone else put in DEFENSEPACT before UNITEDFRONT?

Trying hard in #metoo era not to think of nipples on AUREOLAR clue...

EXECUTE for ACT before STATUTE came into view sent me looking for flowers with X in the middle PHLOX just couldn’t jam into there




Alysia 11:06 AM  

I’m going to try to get “single rearer” into the vernacular.

pabloinnh 11:14 AM  

Mostly easy here. Using ONT for OTT makes a proper hash of a USO tour.

Agree with LMS that students will accept almost anything you tell them with a straight face. I was telling a class all about the Putnam County mince, a small furry creature and the source of mincemeat, alas now extinct. The next day a student came in and told me he had seen one so they were still around, and I had to explain what I had been up to, and then he told me Just kidding! All I could say was, touche.

struggler 11:20 AM  

This was very difficult for me. A full on DNF, even with lots of google help. Even running the alphabet on 29D, I couldn't grok -ATERDOG, I'm embarrassed to say--maybe because i kept expecting 29A to be about futbol. And because I had AREOLAs for 12D. What an idiot.

Peamut 11:22 AM  

Yes. Knew EDEN from the crown. Brilliant downfall as a result of the Suez crisis

Pet Monkey 11:22 AM  

@ Joseph Michael 11:05, That line of thought probably was a subliminal nudge from Pride Parade.

Peamut 11:25 AM  

I disagree. The quarterback and receiver combine on a play to go deep.

ColoradoCog 11:33 AM  

@anon 10:17 “bit/sec” is absolutely a thing, but in over 20 years in IT I have never heard it called “bit sec”. The per is always spoken, or more commonly abbreviated in “bps”. BITSEC simply isn’t a real thing, in my professional experience. It would be as if “2:1 odds” became “TWOONE”. Imagine the outrage if that appeared in the puzzle. ;-)

Wm. C. 11:35 AM  


@Peamut--

I disagree with you.

The QB drops back to pass while his left end runs a cross just ahead of the opposing center linebacker, and his right end "goes deep," getting behind the opposing safety. Seeing this, the QB "goes deep" to his right end. And scores!

;-)

Bob Mills 11:37 AM  

I'm not Hispanic, but "FELIX" is the name that means "HAPPY." Or, "FELICIA" for a female. A better clue for "go deep" would have been "TRYAHAILMARY." The clue as written seems to apply only to the receiver of the pass.

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

@LMS you seem quite old to only be having your 7th period...

Jamie C 11:41 AM  

Very quickly and confidently entered GOALIE for "Parent, e.g." Famous flyers goalie for a long time, Bernie Parent. Wouldn't give it up for a long time. Still proud of it.

Wm. C. 11:46 AM  


@Peamut --

Oops, re-reading now, I see that I misread you the first time. My explanation differs a bit from your (also correct) one. You're describing the two players in aggregate, while I did them individually.

FWIW. Not much, I guess. ;-)

Another subject. I was trying to remember a book I read many years ago (perhaps the 70s), in which a young Scandinavian woman travels to Minorca or Majorca to escape the cold northern weather. Probably done by a well-known author. Can anyone help?

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

@CHARLES Flaster: nope. One's a noun, one's an adjective.

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

El Guapo is one of the all-time great baseball nicknames, so I threw it in, knowing it was probably wrong. Turns out that was Rich Garces.

David 11:53 AM  

Perhaps if you read William Manchester's books on Churchill, you'd know more about pre-Thatcher PMs. "Some biographer"? Guess it's an age thing, I never heard of Solange...

Gwinns 11:57 AM  

I agree with the anti-GODEEP crowd.
The argument that you're defining the QB and WR in aggregate doesn't work for me, because the clue is "Throw a bomb." The WR doesn't throw. So the clue is referring to the QB only.

Think about playing football in the park. What do you say to the guy you want to throw the long ball to?
Not "I'm going deep."
Not "Let's go deep."
You say "Go deep."

QED The receiver goes deep. The clue is wrong.

Mohair Sam 12:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
dennis ladnier 12:04 PM  

Easy!?!?!? Wtf!!! We ‘puzzle’ every day and, so far, 2018 has sucked. Is our mental capacity sliding or what.

GHarris 12:06 PM  

Not at all easy if you never heard of Paolini or any of his works, thought physiologists studied bumps on heads, first had Arthos for musketeer and females for foxes and for some stupid reason could not remember my Spanish for happy. Have to say the balance was tricky but gettable and quite satisfying. Go deep absolutely applies to both receiver and thrower and poor William Manschester deserves better. His books were great reads.

Nancy 12:12 PM  

How many times have I heard a football announcer say about a quarterback: "The linebackers better be on the lookout for him to GO DEEP on second and short"? Of course the quarterback can GO DEEP. There's not much point in the receiver going deep if the quarterback goes shallow, right?

OISK 12:17 PM  

Loved this one, although it played easier than usual for me. Played clarinet and sax as a teen, so I knew what cut time was. (Common time with a line through it, and all the notes are played at half normal value.) And I got a big kick our of Field work!.. Never heard of Eragon, and couldn't see how field work could end in ae.

Eragon just sounded right, though, and suddenly, there it was! Norma Rae!! Field work! Great!!

I don't know who Solange is, but I have heard the name, perhaps in the puzzles. I kept thinking about a movie "Solange at the Fair,,," For me this has been a fine solving week. I would have liked the clue for "Welsh" to have been "Lose a bet and not pay"

Anoa Bob 12:19 PM  

Maybe BIT SEC is a measure of LENS SPEED.

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

Bitsec no such thing...baud is an alternative to the ubiquitous bps, but quite antiquated

Amelia 12:23 PM  

I liked this puzzle a lot. Loved that swiss Euler crossed Suisse. LOVED my first gimme, the one and only El Duque! Was he the guy who said he had five twin brothers? I may be confusing him with someone else, but what a pitcher. Those were not easy Yankee fan years, but El Duque!

Yes, if you're watching The Crown, Eden is a gimme. And why aren't you?

Now to the issue at hand. William Manchester was a VERY famous writer. (And yes, Churchill is the theme, clearly) I'm sure Rex googled before he wrote what he wrote, and knew that. Which leads me to say that he does this stuff on purpose to get a rise out of people who are "appalled" that he teaches our young people. Quite a game he plays.

Here is Manchester's Times obit:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/02/arts/william-manchester-whose-biographies-detailed-power-20th-century-dies-82.html?_r=0

Mohair Sam 12:25 PM  

Time flies, it's Wednesday already. Super clean puzzle and we liked it, but it hit our wheelhouse too well - just flew through it with a hiccough at the cleverly clued NORMARAE - crossing ERAGON made the "N" difficult for us - and like Rex we took a while before aha-ing the movie.

@Eleanor R. Smith - Totally Churchill - nice catch, you're right and I'm impressed.

I've read seven of William Manchester's books, all best sellers, and am absolutely gobsmacked that Rex and several others here consider him an "alleged" writer. He wrote what are by many considered perhaps the best biographies of MacArthur (American Caesar), and Churchill (The Last Lion). His "Death of a President", a million seller on the Kennedy assassination, was and is used as a key source on events surrounding that awful day. His controversial "The Arms of Krupp" was a huge success and should be required reading for those who don't fear the Military Industrial Complex. And barely a decade after the publishing of his last book He's become and "alleged" writer. Sigh. As Anon (10:58) said: "Sic transit gloria, and all that."

And thanks @Lise for the tip on "A World Only Lit by Fire" - knowing his style and the depth of his research I'll give it a read.

Hartley70 1:05 PM  

You teachers make me wish I'd had a larger gullible audience to entertain. I only had my two children who were convinced I'd fed them goat for dinner one evening. Oh the horror! Good times.

Generally I get a boost from PPP entries and I loved the clueing for Jack, Sally and Bob. I tried Rihanna for SOLANGE because I forgotten SOLANGE exists. It must be singer's hell to be Beyonce's sister. The baseball player was a loss and I tried oLd before EL. I still don't know who he is. I didn't stand a chance with ERAGON. I've vaguely heard of the title but not the author. STEPH I got off the S and H, but it was a lucky guess. I assume Curry isn't a lady although all the STEPHs I've known have been female. Is it worth Googling? Nope.

I too remember the 1970s fondly and the scent of Aramis by that perennial Crossword favorite Estee.

I'm with @mathgent. This was a difficult Saturday for me. The bottom half was easier but I really struggled with the top. I'm sadly giving myself a dnf for using the check word function liberally there.

mathgent 1:05 PM  

@burtonkd (11:05): Great explanation of cut time. That's my favorite thing about this blog. Experts offering a brief, clear tutorial.

JC66 1:07 PM  

@Nancy

I look forward to your daily posts and usually enjoy them, but reading you expounding on GO DEEP has me in stitches..

old timer 1:09 PM  

Definitely rough for me. Looked up many answers though mostly for confirmation of guesses. However I did get CUTTIME immediately since I am a recorder player. Had "apps" before USES. I bought my first iPhone because it had so many USES. EL DUQUE was an inspired guess on my part.

SUISSE strikes me as unfair because it always has a "La" in front of it. SEMIARID was a bit of a misdirect in that I was looking for a wine term there.

Hartley70 1:10 PM  

Oops, my memory is fading. My husband informs me that Ms. Estee is blameless for the introduction of ARAMIS into the atmosphere.

Lewis 1:12 PM  

@anoa -- Hah! Good one!

Anonymous 1:17 PM  

Had to run the alphabet (thankfully not for long) to get the "D" of EL DUQUE crossing EDEN---that was a natick for me, with the obscure clueing of the latter.

kitshef 1:19 PM  

@burtonkd - That actually helps. Thank you.

QuasiMojo 1:23 PM  

Agree with @Mohair —The Arms of Krupp is a fascinating and very well-written book.

Cheerio 1:26 PM  

Hand up for it's being HARD. But the cluing was great. I gave up in the end and googled for Charles Haid, Steph Curry, El Duque, and eisteddfod. So it was mostly male proper names that slowed me up. Of course, I am not male. Dig deep into olympic figure skaters and I will shine. I did get Euler, likely due to my math Ph.D.

Masked and Anonymous 1:36 PM  

Nice double-jaws design, in the grid art. Also was intrigued by the long, central diagonal line. Made M&A wonder: what's the longest line of shady squares ever to show up in a 15x15 NYTPuz? In theory, I guess an Across or Down line could go up to 12-long. Or longer, if doin somethin real goofy.

This SatPuz had hard spots and easy spots at our house. Overall, I'd maybe call it schizo-medium.
Sometimes I just had trouble knowin what the clues were talkin about (yo, "eisteddfod festival"). Other times I just didn't know the answers (yo, NW corner & suburbs). And sometimes it was a gimme (yo, GTO & WATERDOG & JOAD). Along the way, had to get a research-jumpstart, on 2 occasions.

REARER: har. @muse's avatar: har2. Betterer clue: {Less up-front??}. Betterester clue: {Place for operators, out back??}. Controversialer clue: {User of -hole words??}.

staff weeject pick of only 4 to choose from: ELI. Had no idea from its clue -- which is unusual, for trusty ELI. Hard solvequest fight, when even old ELI turns agin U. Thank MAKER for GTO JOAD & the WATERDOGs.

Cool ZINC clue, among many other of the lil SUCRES. (yo, WRITER & NORMARAE)

Thanx, Mr. Derkazarian. It's been kinda AREOLAR.

Masked & Anonymo9Us


**gruntz**

Nancy 1:52 PM  

@JC66 (1:07) -- Thanks for the compliment, I think...... :)

@Hartley -- Don't let @mathgent catch you thinking that STEPH Curry is a woman. What a thought. And, btw, Hartley, goat is delicious and nothing to tease your kids about. Pretty much the only type of restaurants that have it are Indian ones. A dish made with goat instead of lamb will usually have a deeper flavor. But it should be marinated for a long time and served in some sort of stew because otherwise goat can be tough.

Aketi 2:00 PM  

Right now I am embracing LANGUOR after Saturday fight club. Not so before I went. I was having a little trouble whether to use the U or the O or both since I wasn’t sure which belonged to the monkey and which belonged to the state of being. I was tempted to employ yesterday’s ID addition as well.

Count me in with @Dolgo, @JohnX and @Birch with trying to Latinize NORMA RAE until finiallly hit the point where I could say YES I SEE you. Then I laughed because the movie first came out was at the very time I almost joined a union. I had two part time jobs that summer, the first one as a cook in a restaurant and as a new HIREE as a teller at a bank on the same street. The restaurant started bouncing our paychecks so we went on strike and some union tried to pick up our cause. The union flyers were full of hyperbole about our “sweat shop conditions” when the real issue was our bounced paychecks. Someone at the bank must have seen me with my sign picketing at the restaurant and taken pity on me because a few days later the bank upped my hours to full time.

Anonymous 2:10 PM  

And your point Aketi?

DigitalDan 2:11 PM  

Another klaxon jeer for BITSEC. If anything, it would denote bit second, a meaningless multiple rather than a ratio. Major blunder.

Oldflappyfrommississappy 2:16 PM  

Woulda loved to have banged Barbara EDEN when she was in her physical PRIMA.

Barry Frain 2:19 PM  

He doesn’t know who William Manchester was? My God. Doesn’t Sharp have a PhD in something or other?

Barry Frain
East Biggs, CA

sanfranman59 2:32 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 4:48 4:08 1.16 83.3% Challenging
Tue 4:53 5:35 0.88 23.2% Easy-Medium
Wed 5:57 5:54 1.01 59.4% Medium
Thu 9:47 10:28 0.93 38.0% Easy-Medium
Fri 7:53 11:37 0.68 12.4% Easy
Sat 13:11 16:08 0.82 33.8% Easy-Medium

Anonymous 2:40 PM  

“but had a bit of fun with my 7th period earlier this week…”

Jesus Christ, how many periods do you have every week? I thought it was just one every month!

Backdoor Slim 2:44 PM  

When I have sex I prefer REARER entry.

evil doug 2:54 PM  

I'm guessing you don't get much, unless you pay for it....

Stanley Hudson 3:00 PM  

ROFL @evil doug 2:54 PM

Birchbark 3:25 PM  

@Nancy (12:12) puts the nail in the coffin of the GO DEEP debate. The radar is up for the commentators on this afternoon's Eagles/Falcons game to provide empirical support.

@Eleanor R. Smith (10:57) -- great Churchill find. I think of Manchester as "the guy who wrote the Churchill biography," but still completely missed the other connections.

John Hoffman 3:42 PM  

I finished my first Saturday puzzle ever! Glad that it was an easier Saturday. Gives me confidence for the next one.
- I had LABRADOR instead of WATERDOG; took me a while to replace it.
- I knew EDEN because I have been watching The Crown.
- Don't get me started on AREOLAR.

Anonymous 3:48 PM  

@Nancy. "Pretty much the only type of restaurants that have it are Indian ones." I think you meant "the only restaurants I've ever been to that served goat were Indian ones." Sweetie, goats are almost everywhere, and they are eaten almost everywhere. If you google "where do people eat goat meat" you'll see what I mean.

And all that stuff about the marinade? Faux expert, much?

Billy

Hungry Mother 3:49 PM  

I guess it was easy for me, too. It took me 2:27 (that’s two hours!) and a lot of sweat. Luckily, I’m sitting poolside in Key West getting ready for the half marathon tomorrow by veging out. Happy to finish, not happy with my time; my usual reaction to a half marathon the last couple of years.

Go Democrats 4:40 PM  

The Glory and the Dream was a fAvorite book when I was in high school.

ColoradoCog 5:33 PM  

OK, this should settle it. “GODEEP” is legit.

https://youtu.be/rCANxnsN5-A

There are a couple of good examples starting at 1:45.

christine georgenson 5:36 PM  

Eisteddfod was the first one I got. Actually performed at one in Wales when I was a kid! Similarly Eden was pretty easy for me. Going to see the Churchill movie tonight so will be looking out for Anthony!

Joe Dipinto 5:50 PM  

(Julie) London or (Melissa) Manchester = SINGER. Just sayin'. And isn't the YESISEE a river in Russia? Oh, my bad, that's the Yenisey.

Another EZ Weeknd puzz.

Joe Dipinto 5:54 PM  

What did the panino stutter when it was ready to be served?

"I'm...I'm...pressed!"

Joe Welling 6:20 PM  

I was living in Ecuador during dollarization--the end of the sucre.

David 6:20 PM  

From a quick ctrl+F, am I the only one who very confidently put in OLYMPIC for 12D? It seemed so perfect until it ruined everything in that corner.

JC66 9:08 PM  

@Nancy

If you can throw in 77A or 118A in tomorrow's puzzle with just a couple letters given by the downs, I'll take back my 1:07PM comment.






For some reason, I don't think of you as a sports fan. ;-)

Anonymous 9:10 PM  

@anon 3:48 thank you for pointing out Nancy's pretentiousness once again. What a ridiculous human being.

salty 12:02 PM  

No one would say bit/sec unless the value in question was 1.

semioticus (shelbyl) 3:35 PM  

This one wasn't bad, but it could definitely use some work.

ASTER-JOAD-OTT-AREOLAR is not fun to have in the same corner. especially when MAJORCA is known to many people as Mallorca. That corner messed me up real good. Also, ELDUQUE next to LAERTES couldn't be fun for some people.

Those objections aside, this was solid. EGGMCMUFFIN, PRIDEPARADE, IMIMPRESSED (which was almost a gimme but I wasn't sure about it until much later) are cool answers. Cluing was also slightly above par, good attempt but it couldn't exactly hit that very delicate "trivia/trickiness/gimme" balance as much as I would have liked. That's totally subjective though.

Overall, not a bad effort for a rookie constructor.

GRADE: B, 3.5 stars.

P.S.: I apparently forgot to hit publish, and this comment box has been open for more than 24 hours. Amazing job by me.

Andrew Gordon 3:48 PM  

I could try that in my class LMS, but if they asked to see my back they'd find out I was lyin' =)

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