Jan 11, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013, Ian Livengood

Theme: The world is upside down.

Each of the six theme answers take two blocks to complete, reading from the bottom of the clued answer to the top, and then down the adjacent unnumbered fill. Visually this is a very creative and fun puzzle by one of the many young people out there. This is my second effort at deciphering an Ian Livengood special, having blogged the second of his two LA Times efforts back in February, both published in the same week. His theme then was too subtle for me, and if you read this LINK you will see the opinion is subtle themes are what make his puzzles special.(Sadly, this compendium only includes regular NY Times constructors). Much of this was easy once you got the gimmick.

1D. Weather forecast data : REPMET (start with the T and then head down from the empty square to get  TEMPER (REPMET) ATURES. They can rise and fall quite quickly here.

10D. Transporter in a shaft : ELEV (VELE) ATOR. The operator complains about his work being up and down.

29D. Two-person plank : SEE (EES) SAW. Be careful if you seesaw with a little one.

33D. Financial index : THE (EHT) DOW. The volatility of the stock market's ups and downs has made many rich and many poor. I always told my customers I could guarantee them a small fortune, if they started with a large one.

46D. Treatment seen in bedrooms : WINDOW (WODNIW) SHADES. Keep them down during your examinations Dennis.

51D. Oscillating curve :  SINE (ENIS) WAVE. I will let Fermat or Bill G. describe this smooth repititive wave.

and the unifier:

6D. What the six puzzle answers graphically represented in this puzzle have in common : THEY GO UP AND DOWN.


1. "Gnarly!" : RAD. Surfer world word.

3. In a mood : TESTY. I hope most of you did not get testy when you looked at REMET and said Wednesday Thursday, Friday!

8. Bean variety : FAVA. Used extensively in Egyptian and Greek cooking not my fave. Really COSTLY.

11. Sorority character : ETA. I love it when a three letter clue is clever, I am sure many of you thought of some wacky girl you knew back in the day.

12. Drug giant behind Valium and Klonopin : ROCHE. The USA division is part of the international Hoffman-Roche, Ltd.

13. Posh bathroom fixture : BIDET. Speaking of behinds, how many of you first saw one in a fancy hotel and had no idea what it was, turned it on and got squirted in the eye? 13D. IQ test pioneer : BINET. he did not invent the Bidet.

14. Puts out : PUBLISHES. Speaking of behinds, publishing is not what I think of when I see puts out.

16. "If on a winter's night a traveler" writer Calvino : ITALO. never heard of this JOURNALIST.

17. Top banana : MR BIG.

18. Longtime Rolling Stones bassist Bill : WYMAN. The guy playing bass. he is 76.

20. Each : PER.

21. Sushi options : EELS.

22. Feature of an old mattress : SAG. Not to be associated with Bill Wyman.

23. Dollars for quarters : RENT. A really fun play on words.

25. Fly out of Africa? : TSE TSE. Another nice play on an old regular, which is not cut in half.

27. Acorns, someday : OAK TREES. They should be MIGHTY.

30. Liqueur made from elderflowers : SAMBUCA. Elder flowers yield elderberries, but the Italian liqueur favored by my paisans is flavored with anise. It was part of my birthday gift to my friend on his 80th last weekend.

32. Realm : AREA.

33. O staff, briefly : EDS. Editors of Oprah's magazine.

35. Cravat holders : TIE PINS. We have been through the tie tac, pin controversy enough.

37. Las Vegas-to-Tijuana dir. : SSW.

38. Distort, as with false data, with "up" : HOKE. "to alter or manipulate so as to give a deceptively or superficially improved quality or value (usually followed by up  ): a political speech hoked up with phony statistics." Oh, I get it, from HOKUM.

40. Scroll source : DEAD SEA. Both misleading and accurate. Papyrus also fits.

42. Like part of a special delivery? : TWIN BORN.

44. "I'm With Stupid" T-shirt markings : ARROWS. Fun clue.

47. Linguist Chomsky : NOAM. A very important person in the 60's and 70's LINK.

48. Headphone wearers, usually : DJS. Disc Jockeys.

50. Literary honey lover : POOH. Winnie.

51. Flock member : EWE. But not you.

52. "You can ___ horse..." : LEAD A. Horse to water but you can't make him do the dishes.

54. Nintendo princess kidnapped by Ganon : ZELDA.

55. Alvin, Simon and Theodore : NAMES. Chipmunks just will not fit!!!

57. Tinseltown : MOVIE LAND. eh.

59. The Donald's first : IVANA. Mother of model Ivanka.

60. Whacks : SWATS.

61. Concern on the course : LIE. A double entendre, the lie of the ball on the grass,  as well as the lie of how many strokes your opponent had.

62. Canonical hour : SEXT. From the Latin for the SIXTH hour.

63. First stage : ONSET.

64. Pet store reactions : AWS. I am speechless.


2. Work casually : DABBLE. I often dabble.

3. Pre-calc course : TRIG.onometry. More for our math whizzes, not related to Whizzer White.

4. Goddess of the morning : EOS. We just had her two weeks ago.

5. Unstressed vowel sound : SCHWA.

7. Backwoods agreement : YES'M. Hey, it is just respect, not backwoods.

8. Match : FIT. This simple fill gave me fits.

9. Aids for a bad 8-Down : ADAPTERS.

15. Rolls at sea : LISTS.

19. Where Hope may be found : ARKANSAS.  The LIST.

22. Feature of some apses : SEMI-DOME.

24. Gp. with many hunters : NRA. National Rifle Association.

26. Picked up a lap? : SAT. Cute.

28. Alkali neutralizer : ACID.

31. Keg filler : BEER. Obligatory shout to my boys.

34. Late-night adult programming airer, facetiously : SKINEMAX. really fun clue for soft core Cinemax.

36. Sunday msg. : SERmon.

39. Roxy Music alum : ENO. Watch and LISTEN.(4:08)

41. Adrien of cosmetics : ARPEL. Estee, Helena and on and on.

43. Hobbyist's wood : BALSA. Dennis can explain why this wood is a favorite.

45. "Yowzah!" : OO LA LA. This is how I learned FRENCH. (3:57).

49. Diner cupfuls : JAVAS.

53. Playground reply : AM SO. AM NOT!

54. Twist at a bar : ZEST. The appealing name for the peel.

56. Med. specialty : ENT. Ear Nose & Throat

58. Mineral suffix : ITE. Not sure why, but BAUXITE comes to mind.

Thank you Ian for a new twist on the grid, and standing us on our heads to get this one done. For the rest, January is going quickly so go out into the 80+ weather and enjoy.  Oh, that is only here, my bad. See you all next time, thanks for the week off C.C. ladies, I did my best. L714 out.


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I was so close. Didn't get the Ta-Da because I had Pit (as in place into competition against) instead of Fit for the clue "Match".

So close!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, it says something when Mr. Livengood was also published in today's New York Times and that puzzle was easy compared to this one...

I finally got the theme toward the bottom, but I really floundered for awhile. And even after I got the theme, I assumed that each answer consisted of two words, so I struggled with TEMPER ATURE (ELEV ATOR had previously been filled in completely via the perps, so I forgot about it).

WYMAN was unknown to me, so that hurt a bit. And I really had to dig deep to get BINET and ROCHE.

In the end, though, I was defeated by HOKE. Never ever heard of it. Not even once. I also incorrectly guessed SEPT instead of SEXT at 68A, and just couldn't think of SKINEMAX as a result. I probably could have guessed my way out of that mess, but I went through every letter of the alphabet when faced with HO_E and just couldn't come up with anything that made sense.

Ah well...

Dennis said...

Good morning, Lemonade, C.C. and gang - very strange solve today, as my puzzle clues don't line up with Lemon's blog.

The most troubling was 10D, 'Aids for a bad 8-Down, where my 8D is 'Backwoods Agreement'. I've been trying to figure out how an adapter would come into play in a backwoods scenario, and it wasn't pretty. There were others, but basically, the numbering's off on the one I downloaded. Anybody else have this problem?

Oh, and Lemonade, 'Hobbyist's wood' took me in an entirely different direction...

Dudley said...

Dennis, glad you mentioned that. I never did see the connection either. I hope somebody can 'splain it.

TTP said...

Wow, wow, wow. YOWZAH ! Posting before reading the write up after this toughie.

Had quite a few fills after the first pass, but wasn't sure about many because the perps with the - symbol didn't make any sense.

Could not complete any one area until I revisited the SE and filled in ZELDA. Stared at WODNIW, with SHADES next door, and the game was on.

At that point, worked out all the other hyphenated areas, and fixed due south that was hosed up from Peel instead of ZEST.

Ultimately could not complete it. Never heard of Chornsky, and NOAM / ENO was a natick for me.

Loved a number of the clues, including Dollars for quarters, Alvin, Theodore and Simon leading to NAMES, The Donald's first, and Picked up a lap.

Time to read Lemonade and see what every one else is saying. This one should be fun to follow all day.

HeartRx said...

Dennis and Dudley, in the print version of this puzzle, there was no number at the remaining downs in that row were one lower. 9-Down was numbered with 8, and 10-down was numbered with 9. So the the 8-down answer was FIT, and the clue for 9-down was "Aids for a bad 8-down" [ADAPTER].

Anonymous said...

what a total piece of crap and waste of time.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with you??? Are you aware of how many numbers are off or missing???

HeartRx said...

Wherever one of the theme entries was included, the second part of the entry going down did not have a number, so all of the downs after 2-down were off. I just explained why the cross-referential clue at 9 (10 in the online version) down referred to FIT.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. Man, oh man was this a tough puzzle! I finally caught on when I filled in WODNIW, and I though, but the answer is spelled backwards! That was my Rosetta Stone. Then I realized that those clues with a "-" were set in pairs with the clue before it.

If you did the puzzle on line today, the numbering system is off. The numbers with a "-" on line, are not numbered in the newspaper. That is why 9-Down doesn't make sense if you try to match it with YES'M.

Dollars for Quarters = RENT was my favorite clue.

All I could think of was a Lima Bean. Once I got the FAVA bean, I remembered this this. Hey, you knew someone was bound to link it!

I never heard of SKINEMAX, but it was interesting to have this clue next to the Sunday SERmon!

I remember the Stanford-BINET IQ tests from grade school.

It will be nearly 80F here today, too, but more pounding rain. The ground is waterlogged and there is lots of flooding around.

QOD: When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. Abraham Joshua Heschel (Jan. 11, 1907 ~ Dec. 23, 1972)

Middletown Bomber said...

Dennis and Dudley;

I found the problem if you do the puzzle from the chicago tribune website 1d and 2d are part of the same clue and then the next clue is 3d "DABBLE"

IF you look at the LATIMES site 1d is the first two down lines then 2d "DABBLE" which lines up with Lemonades blog post.

Hope this explains the confusion we had with the blog post and the puzzle version we normally use.

Anonymous said...

This puzzle is garbage.

Thanks for the headache.

Hahtoolah said...

Oop, I left out the FAVA beans.

HeartRx, you beat me to the explanation of the different numbering system from paper vs. on line.

Anonymous said...

"QOD: When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people"

So cleverness and kindness are mutually exclusive?

Middletown Bomber said...

I always thought that sambuca was made from either fennel or anise not elderflowers and I had a head slap "DOH" moment for dollars for quarters. "RENT"

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning everyone,

Been a while since i've been totally flummoxed by a puzzle, but Ian did me in quite nicely. Even though I had the unifier from 7D, I never figured out how it played into the theme clues. As a result and without counting, I don't think I had half of the fills completed.

One of those I did not get was 16A Puts out. I had several thoughts, but it was either too many or too few letters. Probably just as well.

Lemonade, thanks for the explanations. You cleared up some of the mud.

25A Dollars for quarters/RENT was one of my successful fills and it gave me a chuckle.

Congrats to those of you who got this beast right.

Hungry Mother said...

I feel lucky to get this one. I remembered "Binet" from idly looking at my test booklets lo these many years ago.

Dennis said...

Yeah, I just looked at the morning paper, and it's as Marti stated. Thanks for clearing that up -- thought Alzheimer's had arrived a bit early.

Very clever puzzle; had me really going until I finally figured out the twist. More like fell into the twist.

desper-otto said...

Good morning, I think.

This one took all of the allotted time. And two minutes more. I do the puzzle in the newspaper, so there was no mis-numbering issue. But I thought the un-numbered columns were a printing error. D'oh!

Nice shoutout to Lucina with that YOWZAH! The Sorority character didn't fool me, but there are so many 3-letter Greek characters that I had to wait for the perps. ITALO and NOAM popped out of some dark recess in my memory. YESM started out as YEPS, and that slowed PUBLISHES from appearing.

Can there really be two towns named HOPE in KY? And when I think of "headphone wearers, usually" I think of joggers before DJS.

But I still think the puzzle was very clever. Congrats to Ian Livengood.

Tinbeni said...

I agree with Anon @6:48

Thumper speaks for me

TTP said...

Thank you Ian Livengood. I had never seen this gimmick. Very clever with the Ups and Downs theme and answers. Got a kick out of a number of your clues and answers as I posted earlier. Forgot to mention fresh cluing for ETA and as Lemonade said, "clever." As well as Concern on the grass = LIE. Loved it. Good stuff young man.

Thank you Lemonade, and ditto on you association for puts out. Back in the day, there was this wacky sorority girl - a real character - named, well, never mind. Better not to kiss and tell. Got distracted by the Bardot clip, which was needed after watching that Roxy music vid. Is that what they call "Glam" rock ? It didn't sound like Gary Glitter to me.

SCHWA was new for me and filled by the perps. I too had never heard of SKINEMAX, but laughed as it appeared.

TTP said...

D-O, I know you are a fast solver, so I assume your allotted time is .5 hours. I was actually lookingt to see how fast Al Cyone did it today as he always posts his time, but no Al so far today. Mine was 46 minutes and 2 seconds. Don't think I'm near ready for the ACT...

Time for me to either get to work or take the day off. Can't believe it's going to be sixty degrees on Jan 11.

BTW, Happy Milk Day to everyone !

Anonymous said...

Oooph da!!!

It's been mostly said. My key was see-saw. That helped enormously. Had lots of outright guesses, some of which were right...(glad I was using a #2 pencil). Finally had it all except the extreme SW and resorted to google for sext, which broke open the balance.

Serious mental calisthenics. Not sure if it was fun, but it's done.

Anony Mouse said...

Thank you Mr. Livengood, for a conundrum of a puzzle. This had more contortions than a TV soap opera. Fortunately, the late Mr. Binet, from cloud Stanford, whacked me upside my head and ordered me to come to the counselor's blog. ASAP.

Thank you Mr. Lemonade, for making it all so clear, like sea water. This is the first time, that AFTER reading your blog, I penciled in your answers, and then had to rewrite them, after reading your blog for the second time....

Why are Fava beans so expensive ? A couple of years ago, I bought a 10 lb. bag of unshelled Fava beans, from a gourmet store, nearby at $ 1.60 a pound. ( 60% off, Bill G. - what was the original price ? ).

They are like peas in a pod - except that the giant pod, is 8" long, and totally inedible. Each pod has 2 or 3 beans, and to add insult to injury, the bean arils are tough and leathery, and have to be peeled again. So you end up with 5 percent of the original weight. BTW, the beans tasted like chicken. (lol).

My wife came across a tiny toddler patient, last night, whose name is La-a, pronounced 'Ladasha'. Aside from giving her kinder garden teacher apoplexy, I wonder how long it will take Mr. Norris to incorporate this fad into his puzzles. I would venture early April, at the latest.

Have a good weekend, you guys, and best wishes.

Avg Joe said...

Hmm! That anon at 8:02 was me. Not sure why that happened?

Anonymous said...

This puzzle was a little too cute for me.

Al Cyone said...

Yikes! This was fun! I was cruising towards an early DNF (and thought, perhaps, that the online puzzle was missing something that the printed puzzle was showing) but then SEE-SAW "appeared" and, right after that, ELEV-ATOR. I then thought I'd be home free but got hung up in the SW corner thinking the "I" in 38-down was a long "i" (something like "shineman"?) and I'd never heard of HOKE. Somehow I thought of Cinemax but then thought the beginning might reference "sin". Man, this was fun. [21:59}

Anony Mouse said...

Avg. Joe - I'm you ?

Talk about an identity crisis .... (lol)

Mari said...

Wow, this was a tough one. I can't believe there are 25 postings ahead of me! Did you guys find this easy?

The numberless cells threw me off at first, but I eventually just started filling them in with other answers and thought I'd see where they'd go. That didn't help (What is ATURES?) I knew POOH was correct, but why was WINDOW being misspelled?

And on top of this crazyness there were a lot of unknowns, like SCHWA, REPMET, NOAM and ROCHE.

Too rich for my blood. I need a coffee break and some aspirin!

Anonymous said...

"Like part of a special delivery? Twin Born" just doesn't make sense

Avg Joe said...

AM, I meant the other anon, of course.

Twin born may be a bit weak, but it does make sense. If you're talking about one of my twin sons, Juan and Amahl, either could be considered "twin born".

Anonymous said...

Really clever puzzle, glad I didn't print it out and bought a paper instead!

Anonymous said...

Total waste of time.

Yellowrocks said...

DNF I had a few blanks. I had the majority of the themes correct, but they made no sense because I didn't get the gimmick. I solved a printed version form the Chicago Trib. which was numbered incorrectly. The lack of numbers was an important part of the clue which would have led me to connect the side by side answers. Then I would have had a shot at the ones I didn’t complete.
When I saw that an ADAPTER could aid a YESM I was totally turned off. Although I liked some of the clever misdirections, I'm basically with Tinbeni and Thumper.
I wasted all this time and now I am dissatisfied and behind schedule.

kazie said...

Totally out of my wheelhouse for many of the clues and the trick involved in the theme too. I got the unifier and still couldn't make any sense of it. I ended up with over 40 missing letters, so I won't bore you all with what they were.

My first bidet experience was when I got to France in 1970, and had one in my room at the school I stayed at when I was assistante d'anglais for the year. I liked it so much, we put one in our first home we built here.

Have a good weekend!

Yellowrocks said...

Sorry, my dissatisfaction is with the Chicago Trib, not the puzzle constructor.

IMO, even better than a BIDET is the Japanese toilet that washes you with a stream of warm water and multiple settings. I had a home stay in a very modest home, but even there they had one. They are very commom in Japan, but would be terribly expensive here.

Montana said...

I had quite a few fills after a couple passes through the puzzle. I was feeling really good about a 'Friday' puzzle. Then started using red letter help. I had gotten the unifier clue but that didn't help me. Went through the entire alphabet, twice, for two of the squares and no letter registered as correct. (iPad problem? Or Cruciverb?). Anyway, plodded on, but after I finished, I can't say I enjoyed the last half of the solve.

Thank you, Lemon, for saving the mood of my day. I really enjoyed your explanation. And I was glad to read that it wasn't an easy solve for others.

Wishing those of you on the East Coast an enjoyable weekend with your warm weather,


Anonymous said...

Cleverness and kindness are not mutually exclusive, but neither are they linked in any particular way.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

Tinbeni @ 7:28 and Thumper says it all.

Thanks for the enlightening expo, Lemony.

Have a great Friday.

Husker Gary said...


I got these above (and scratched my head) and all but 4 other cells the rest of the way, but without the gimmick it was not so much fun until I got here (is this thing in Klingon?). I got the 6D theme and was content with SAW, SHADES, WAVE, et al going up and down but other parts got me.

Curse you Red Baron and Ian ;-)! How dare you hide the key right out in the open! The option is to kvetch or learn. I choose the latter. Can I get some whipped cream on my humble pie?

Jazzbumpa said...

High gang -

I'll err on the side of politness and just say that I hate this puzzle with the heat of 1000 blazing suns.

In supernova.

Cool regards!

Java Mama said...

Holy Smoke and Mirrors, Batman! Knew this was going to be a toughie as soon as I saw the missing numbers in the grid. Took me forever to catch on to the up-and-down gimmick – very impressive, Ian. Thanks for an enlightening write-up, Lemon. The picture of the twins made my day.

Ended up with a DNF since my old mattress featured a TAG instead of SAG, which messed up SEMIDOME. Got a laugh out of SKINEMAX. Spent w-a-y too much time mulling over Dollars for Quarters = RENT, and Rolls at Sea = LISTS. Tried to make Hollywood work for 57A – it fit, but the perps wouldn’t allow it.

Hope everyone is managing to dodge the flu bug this season. Our church has even temporarily discontinued distributing Communion wine during the outbreak. DH and I both had flu shots, but it’s no guarantee.

Have a great day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Watermelon Capitol of the United States?? Hope Arkansas. At least that is what the sign read.

desper-otto said...

Now that I think about it, I guess the joggers would call them ear buds rather than ear phones.

TTP, I give myself 25 minutes on Fridays, and 30 on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday 'cause it's harder and Sunday 'cause it's bigger.

Mikey said...

The theme came to me fairly quickly in the SW corner, because I wanted SINEWAVE at all costs. Just had to find a way to make it fit, and several others suddenly fit as well. Funny, got SEESAW with the perps and never noticed.

Had to use Zarf to figure out PUBLISHES, having only sussed out LISHES on my own. Had the same thoughts as Lemonade on this one. Once that was filled, TEMPERATURES slid in nicely and the deed was done.

Anonymous said...

Crashed and burned on this one. Never saw a puzzle with this format before. Next time I'll be more prepared.

Mikey said...

We put a BIDET in our first house during a major bathroom relocate-and-remodel. Great for washing cats and chilling wine, as well as, apparently, preventing cervical cancer, according to literature we found even pre-Internet.

JJM said...

Making my comment before I read everyone else's.

Extremely clever puzzle. didn't get the theme until I finally had filled everything. And then only after staring at it for a while. HOWEVER...... way, way, too tricked out for 98% people who will attempt this puzzle. HOKE, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.... there's only 1 thing only that this clue should refer to,,, the CHIPMUNKS. SEMIDOME, Ive never heard that reference ever. C'mon! Really!

Only good thing for me was that it reminded me that I'll have to go listen to "Avalon" by Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music.

Misty said...

Well, if themes were allowed on Saturdays, this should definitely have been a Saturday puzzle! Like many of you, I first thought there was a printing error when I saw no numbers on some of the downs. But I did get the reveal at which point WAVE and SAW and a few others now made sense. Still couldn't figure out the weird adjacent fills even when I got them right. Kept looking at VELE and thinking that ought to be ELEVATOR, but it just doesn't fit. Duh! Even so, I really enjoyed the challenge--so many thanks, Ian. And you too, Lemonade, for the helpful explanations and the great pic of MR. BIG!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

River Doc said...

All I can say is WOW! That would be WOW spelled backwards!

I was definitely stumped by the many dashed clues, but luckily OAKTREES, AREA, and SSW revealed SEE SAW. Had to double back to fill the other themes – got all except THE DOW.

WEES about Y’SM – ADAPTER head scratching….

Favorite theme answers revealed SINE WAVE going up and down, just like a, well, a sine wave! It wasn’t until later (much, much later) that I realized that the up and down was both literal and figurative on all theme answers. Very, very clever….

River Doc said...

If you REALLY want a headache, the Sunday Las Vegas Review Journal publishes a crossword called DIAGRAMLESS. It is a 21 x 21, but all they provide are the across and down clues. No grid. You have to figure out how long each answer is, where the black squares are, etc. Never even tried to solve this beast....

Pookie said...

REALLY glad I didn't waste any more time with this.
Agree with Irish Miss who agrees Tinbeni who agrees with anon.

Vairnut said...

Oh, MAJOR DNF on this one, even after getting the theme. Hand Up for sAG instead of TAG. Didnt know SA_BUCA. HOKE? SKINEMAX?? Also wanted NASDAQ instead of THE DOW. (DOW-JONES wouldnt FIT) Maybe with an ADAPTER???? My brain hurts....

Vairnut said...

VegasDoc: My Grandmother used to do those diagramless puzzles all the time- and finished them. I never even knew where to start.

Lucina said...

Hello, Lemonade and all. Good to see ZEST in the puzzle as that is what I think of, Lemon.

It took me a loooong time to suss this but I finally got that the unnumbered cells were hooked together with the one beside it.

Fun but difficult and that is the challenge I like. I got all but NAMES and ENT as I had INT.

Thank you, Lemonade and Ian Livengood! Now I'll read what you all had to say.

I hope your Friday is great, everyone!

CrossEyedDave said...


JJM said...

Vegas Doc...I used to do those when I was a kid. The old man taught me how to do them. Really it's simple because all crosswords are are just a mirror of themselves. The top hasto match the bottom and 90% of the time you can get one of the first 3 clues either up or down.
Once you do that, it follows fairly quickly.

Lemonade714 said...


Thanks for the Zesty comment, and for the ladies who notice I kept my promise. Diagramless are easier than they sound if the cluing is fair.

Husker Gary said...

Index of my frustration level this morning – Since many of us here are Downton Abbey addicts, my lovely bride knew this and after my oldest daughter sang its praises, Joann starting watching Episode 1 of the Third Season, called me into the room and kept asking me what was going on with each character. Hmmm… how much is enough, how much is too much?
Shall I bring up Mr. Pamuk?
How much does she need to know or can she assimilate about Bates?
Who is that girl who showed up at the home for troubled girls Mrs. Crawley is operating and ran away? Who was Lavinia?
What about Thomas and his lousy attitude?
OMG! Oh well, of course she loved Maggie Smith and I think we are onto a good common show. Maybe I should buy the DVD’s.

Has anyone else ever taken on such a task?

Maggie Smith said...

Sounds like a discussion best done off-blog with e-mails.

Bill G. said...

Usually I don't make negative comments about a puzzle because I don't think my C/W opinions are worth much in this group of constructors and super solvers. But I decided to write this before reading the rest of the comments, so here goes nothing. Then I'll look to see how many people, whose opinions I've come to respect, disagreed with me.

I was totally lost about the theme. I thought it was unbelievably weak until I came here and found that it wasn't weak at all; just too clever for me to figure out on my own. But because of that, I had a sour opinion about the whole puzzle while solving it 'cause so much of it just didn't make sense. I'll bet I would have had so much trouble if both theme words had been connected somehow, with circles maybe (because they all had numbers in the online grid from the Chicago Trib).

Now that I see how clever the theme was, I still have some complaints about the fill though my confidence in my opinions was shaken. I've heard of 'hokey' but not HOKE. Though TWINBORN makes some sense, I've never heard the word or phrase used by anyone. JAVAS also. Since java is liquid coffee, the plural doesn't make much sense to me. Cups of java would make sense but not JAVAS. I REALLY disliked the NAMES clue and answer. I did like 'Dollars for quarters' a lot.

miss beckley said...

I thought this puzzle was wonderful. Why bother to get mad at something just because it makes you feel stupid? I wanted kin for match and adopter for 9 down. The real answers are much better. I got 6 down before any of the themed answers, so that helped. It was still a DNF. I had to come here to figure some of it out. And they weren't the hard ones!

kazie said...

I only discovered DA after seeing the discussions here a while back. So I rented the first two seasons worth of DVDs and then got on board with season 3 the other night. If you don't want to do that, you can always find the synopses online too.

Anonymous said...

Filled nearly the whole thing in without figuring out the theme. With the unnumbered spaces I knew I was in for NYT's type shenanigans.

Only time I've heard of fava beans was Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs:

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Didn't even come close to getting this one. Did get 11 correct answers!
But when it's so far out of what I can figure out, I give up and come here. Congratulations to all to did finish.

I have a Washlet, which is much better than a bidet. 1) the water is heated 2) one sits on the toilet seat, which can be heated (not necessary is SW Fl.) 3) there are two positions for aiming the water (fore and aft). I highly recommend it.


Tinbeni said...

Bill G. @1:34
I totally agree with your 3rd paragraph.
Had pretty much the same thoughts about HOKE, TWINBORN, JAVAS, (the weak/crap) NAMES clue & answer.
An actual Natick at the ENO/NOAM crossing (probaby another at the ARPEL/ZELDA cross).
ALSO the lousy clue for YES'M. Seemed a bit condescending to me.

Probably the only positive thing was having BIDET in the grid to clean the #@&#.

Probably will rank as my "Least Favorite Time Solving" puzzle of the year.

(This from a solver who got it 100% correct. Just wasn't an enjoyable time!)

Anon @1:47
Hahtoolah posted the FAVA bean clip at 6:53 this morning. Way to be timely.

"It's Five O'clock Somewhere" ...
Cheers !!!

Argyle said...

After seeing both versions of the puzzle, imho, the unnumbered column one would be easier. The online, with the number and a dash, led me to believe all the dashed ones were related.

Avg Joe said...

Gotta agree Argyle. I have no idea what I'd have done with the on line version. Especially with at least one error (8 or 9 down). Having blanks in the dead tree version was strange looking, but at least it tipped you off to something strange happening.

HeartRx said...

Argyle @ 2:01, I agree with you about the unnumbered puzzle. I did it on paper, and it was much easier than the numbered one online - especially with the messed up cross-referential clue at 10-Down in the numbered puzzle.

It seems everyone either despised this puzzle, or loved it. Personally, I was delighted to see such an unusual theme, as it stretches the boundaries a bit. And it was so much more original than a word before/after or delete/add-a-letter theme.

But one thing is pretty clear - Lemonade's write-up was a big help to many today. His delightful wit and wisdom are always here for us on Fridays!

TGIF ... I wonder what Saturday has in store?

Argyle said...

Honest! This clip is related to the puzzle. Clip(1:24)

HeartRx said...

Argyle @2:18, GUFFAW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

By hook or by crook, I was going to fit the word "chipmunks" in that space somehow!....oh well

Lemonade714 said...

Argyle, you are amazing! A skinemax link.

It was original and I appreciated the challenge; and everyone has the right to love or hate each effort, but creativity is a good thing.

marti you are a dear.

Bill G. said...

OK, I've read all the comments now. I see lots of folks had similar frustrations as I did. I think if my online version was missing numbers to connect both parts of the theme answer (or circles as I said before), I would have been OK with the theme and found it tricky but fair. The dashes in my online version didn't do the job and made no sense to me. Then if Ian or Rich had done something better with NAMES, HOKE and JAVAS, I would probably have thought this was a really clever and fair puzzle.

I enjoy quiz show like Jeopardy and Cash Cab. I used to like Millionaire (funny clip Argyle!) but the format has gotten so repetitive that it's tiresome. I'm a big fan of Meredith Viera but her wit and intelligence are wasted on that show. Also, the questions have gotten so hard that almost nobody can even get to the final four questions. Cash Cab is more enjoyable by far.

I've got to get off my butt and quit procrastinating. I need to go to the DMV to take a written test and an eye test to renew my driver's license. I'm not sure if I need to but I'm doing a little studying for the written test.

Anonymous said...

Been solving crosswords for many years (more than I care to admit). After a while, it is easy to recognize that the constructor's intention was not to entertain, but to show how smart he/she is... This was the most un-enjoyable I have ever come across. And can someone please explain the "adapters" and what is a bad "yes'm'....

Argyle said...

I can but I won't. Read the comments.

Lemonade714 said...

Anon- 2:46, do you thinks authors write to show how smart they are? Do you think song writers compose to show how musical they are? Do painters paint to show how skilled they are? In any field creativity is a virtue, and like modern art, it may not appeal to everybody. I am fine with your not liking the effort, but do not ascribe bad motive to the process. Hopefully Mr. Livengood will check in and disabuse you of this notion.

Lucina said...

YOWZA! Thanks desper-otto for the shout out. My good friend and neighbor was here helping me with a plumbing problem, minor I'm happy to say, and so didn't have time earlier to gush about this puzzle and only now read the comments.

It's really surprising how many didn't like it. When I saw the many blanks I knew some kind of gimmick was in play and it took quite a long while to see it, especially the upside down part. My Rosetta stone, to quote Hahtoolah, was EHT DOW (the dow) and then I went back to finish the others. Very clever, Mr Livengood!

SEXT was a normal part of my day in my past life along with the other canonical hours.

My favorite clue was dollars for quarters, RENT. That is briliiant.

Once in Spain I had a most delicious soup with FAVA beans though my first fill was LIMA but then FIT made more sense.

This was a very satisfying solve for me. I'm sorry others did not enjoy it.

Lucina said...

And yes, Lemonade, ZESTy is a good FIT for you!

Al Cyone said...

anonymous @2:46: If you don't care enough to assume an identity, don't expect anyone to care about what you have to say.

PK said...

Mission Impossible! Boo hiss! Sorry, guys, this is the nicest I'm gonna be. Stick to your day job, if you have one, Ian Livingood! <----I'M WITH STUPID! If you act nice about something you consider bad, you get more of the same.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Almost exactly What Barry G Said.

Yellowrocks said...

Argyle @2:41,that is exactly what I meant @ 8:41. Having the second part of the theme answer unnumbered would indicate it is a run-on. I have frequently seen that type of run-on in the NYT, although not UP AND DOWN like this one. That misprint and the mistaken numbering of FIT or YESM spoiled my enjoyment.

Intellectually I can see the beauty of this puzzle. Emotionally the Trib ruined it for me.

Sfingi said...

A world of difference between today and yesterday. Just didn't get the theme. DNF both sides.

Had HollywooD before MOVIELAND.

And my beloved chipmunks are just NAMES?

CrossEyedDave said...

My My, this puzzle sure has struck a bidetful of emotions!

WAS, (What Argyle Said)

At 1st i did not know how to respond to this puzzle, i have never seen anything like it. Now that i know that writing words backwards is acceptable, i might have a chance at the next one. It is unfortunate that the numbering was off, it would have made a big difference.

I came to the Blog with dozens of nits & questions, but once again, the Blog has enlightened me. Now all that is left to complain about hardly seems worth mentioning. Chipmonks = names was a bit below the belt, but worth an aha, if you have the perps. The only thing that bothers me is "rolls at sea" is not lists! Rolls gives the impression of a back & forth movement, i think tilts at sea would be a fairer clue, but then again not Friday worthy.

My 1st reaction before i got stuck was the grid of this puzzle. I was like,,, how am i going to get into all these nooks & crannies!

Which leaves me with only one thing...


What could it be used for?

Of Course!

Bumppo said...

I'm with the anonymous of 6:48 (first), 6:55, 8:10 and 8:23 a.m. and Jazzbumpa. This entire puzzle is a foul. If the ups-and-downs started down in the left column and then came up in the right column, it would not be egregious. But to expect the puzzled to start at the bottom and go up on 1-DOWN and the others is unconscionable. It's outside the crossword code.

Take another look at 1D, 33D and 51D, in particular (the three ups-and-downs in the first and second columns). All have numbers at the bottoms of their left-hand columns also. So, wouldn't 1D more properly be numbered "25U," 33D more properly be numbered "42U," and 51D more properly be numbered "62U"? At least that would give the puzzled a little clue.

On top of which lies HOKE. It is simply misused here. The Oxford New American Dictionary defines "hoke" as "to act [in drama] in an insincere, sentimental, or melodramatic manner." Nothing about missing lines (i.e., "false data," as the clue said). Ditto, Warner Books' Webster, Collins English Dictionary, Webster's New World. Granted, the American Heritage, Merriam-Webster and Random House all refer to falsity; but only the American Heritage suggests falsifying data (Merriam-Webster says, "to give a contrived, falsely impressive, or hokey quality to —- usually used with up " [my emphasis added]).

MOVIE LAND is pretty weak, too. If the clue "Tinseltown" does not yield HOLLYWOOD, shouldn't it yield at least MOVIE CITY?

creature said...

CED, you said it all for us, the 'frustrated'- upside down and backwards, even but "chipmunks = NAMES was a blow below the belt"

Ian, thanks. And you, too, Lemon.

Avg Joe said...

Well, it seems everyone is pretty well divided into armed camps. Any minute now an entrepreneurial sort should be setting up vending kiosks with pitchforks and torches.:-)

Ah well. It gives me a chance to link what is probably my all time favorite movie scene. Cry Foul

Manac said...

I'm going to take Thumper's advice except to say that I did manage to

creature said...

Oh, Manac, Great!

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Ian, for the puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for the fine review.

Well, I started with a happy attitude, as I always do on my daily puzzle. I thought it was unusually difficult. I saw that some numbers were missing. I was able to get the 6D theme THEY GO UP AND DOWN, eventually, but I did not equate it to what it really meant. Not sure if I am dimwitted or what, but I never caught on. Also, I never finished this puzzle, which is rare.

I expect a crossword puzzle to be just that. A crossword puzzle. Not a game with a second agenda.

Nevertheless, I commend Ian Livengood for his talent at putting this together. I am sure it was a lot of work. A little too off the wall for me, however.

See you tomorrow.


buckeye bob said...

What hondohurricane said at 7:07 AM: "Been a while since i've been totally flummoxed by a puzzle, but Ian did me in quite nicely." Too many unknowns and naticks for me. My first DNF in a long time.

Tinbeni said...

Is "finishit" a type of Scandinavian (how do I say this in a delicate and polite manner?) waste matter?

If so, I agree.

OTOH ... I do believe I set a flight record this morning when I tossed the completed grid, across my living room. lol

And since this Rated #1 on my "Least Satisfying LAT Solving Experience" (EVER!!!) ... things are looking up for the future.

PS It was a wonderful "toast" to ALL at Sunset tonight.

Cheers !!! (and-a-half!)

JimmyB said...

This one slapped me "up and down" pretty hard. It's nice to know I'm in good company.

I knew something was fishy when I spotted the unmarked down squares. But this was tough even after I figured out the key. Is it just me, or is Friday becoming one of the toughest days of the week?

Otherwise, pretty much what Barry G said.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried the WaPo Bob Khan? Yowser!!!

Qli said...

Too much thinking for me today! TGIF, and I have the weekend off. WooHoo!

Manac said...

Tin, I would have done the same thing too but i just got this laptop six months ago.
And now for something different...
OK just a little dirty
" A mother and father took their 6-year-old son to a nude beach. As the boy walked along the beach, he noticed that some of the ladies had boobs bigger than his mother’s, and asked her why. She told her son, "The bigger they are the dumber the person is." The boy pleased with the answer, goes to play in the ocean but returns to tell his mother that many of the men have larger "units" than his dad. His mother replied, "The bigger they are the dumber the person is." Again satisfied with this answer, the boy returns to the ocean to play. Shortly after, the boy returned again. He promptly told his mother, "Daddy is talking to the dumbest girl on the beach, and the longer he talks, the dumber he gets."

Al Cyone said...

CrossEyedDave @4:15 says: "Rolls gives the impression of a back & forth movement"

Check out the difference between roll, pitch, and yaw. I'm not sure there's a lot of back and forth movement with a ship at sea (or a plane in the air).

Bill G. said...

It's damn chilly around here; about 53 degrees and windy. Not cold for you Minnesotans of course but I skipped my bike ride.

Manac, heh heh. Good one!

God gave men both brains and a penis but only enough blood to run one at a time.

Joy Behar says, "When Mr. Happy gets hard, the brain gets soft."

Bill G. said...

Seen any good elk videos lately? I liked this one a lot. Elk and stuff.

Anonymous said...

How is sat 'picked up a lap'? If you sit don't you drop down your lap? Or is it referring to something else? Please help me understand this one.

chefwen said...

I was so happy to see an Ian Livingood puzzle this A.M. because the one that I did last night in the NYT was so great.
However, that sensation quickly dissipated. Never did get my AHA moment and gave up with only 3/4 fill.

Guess you can't hit a home run every time. Maybe I'll blame my lack of patience and not the puzzle.

Blue Iris said...

Nothing much to say except I feel TESTY after trying to understand theme. Expected answers to go up and down from bottom to top...Not grid to grid. I'm tired and hungry. Time for some Chinese take-out.
Hope everyone has a pleasant wkend.

windhover said...

I am deeply offended that I was only able to solve about 80% of this puzzle EVEN AFTER I figured out the gimmick. In fact, I'm so irritated I may never solve another puzzle. Until tomorrow, that is. Get over it, people and Anons. It's a game. Ya don't win every time out.
This one was fun, win, lose (I did), or draw. Let's do it again (what most guys are thinking before the first time) tomorrow.

Blue Iris said...

Bill G., Thanks for beautiful elk nature video. I feel better.

TTP said...

Argyle, that clip had me ROFLMAO ! Perfect match.

ANON @ 7:41 Picked up as in gained or acquired. Didn't have a lap while standing. Gained one by sitting down.

Windhover, great perspective !

Have a good night all !

downtonabbey said...

Lemony, really needed your explanation today so thanks! What Bill said! I am sure this was a task to construct for Ian. But... what Tinbeni said!

I liked having Hope, Arkansas in the puzzle. I have been to the watermelon festival. It is a neat little town.

Lemonade714 said...

what greater compliment can there be than to stimulate discussion and it seems some of you are so stimulated I am blushing. thank you all for the kind words.

Molly said...

This reminds me of a jigsaw puzzle I couldn't complete: "Closeup of the Three Bears." It was round and brown. Not fun for me.

Montana said...

Bill G. Nice elk video. It made for a nice ending to reading the late posts. I am guessing the filming was done in Wyoming, but I have seen all those animals in Montana. There is an incredible elk viewing area 70 miles south of me where the herds of elk are plentiful like in the video.

Have a good night,

Lucina said...

That's a beautiful video. Thank you.

JD said...

As soon as I saw those hyphens for 2,12,32,37 Down, I knew this was Waaaaay above my wheelhouse. Enjoyed the article for Mr. Livingood.I really thought his name was a pseudonym for in "I'm living good", but I can see Ian is a force to be reckoned with in the puzzle world. Fanatstic fresh clues.

Then I see that those hyphens were not to be there, but, alas, it was too late. I need an entire day to do a Friday.

I'm looking forward to an all day camera class tomorrow (with my daughter) to learn to use our new Nikon D5100's. I loved the D40, but this one has more bells and whistles to learn.Baby steps...

JD said...

Bill, spectacular video. I was up in the park a few years ago when the elks were rutting, and were all over Estes Park and the 2 golf courses.

Irish Miss said...

Bill G - Thanks for that beautiful video. I am still in a bad mood over today's puzzle. But, as Thumper says...............

Bill G. said...

JD, Irish Miss, Lucina, Montana, Blue Iris, et al; I'm glad you liked the Elk video. Beautiful animals...

It's supposed to get down to 38 degrees for the next several nights. That's nothing for some of you but it's darned cold for this area. Time for a fire in the fireplace.

Jordan is spending the night. I know what to expect because he and many of the other kids can get a Smoothie after school on Fridays. That means he shows up here all strung out on sugar. Here it's nine o'clock and he's finally mellowed out. Almost time to read him some Shel Silverstein before putting him to bed.

Manac said...

Bill, 38 degrees? Heh heh, if you only knew! I moved about three cord of wood out of the elements before xmas thinking it would last thru Feb.
I will be lucky if it finishes this month. Guess we just got addicted to warmth. No worry's though, plenty more here, Just have to move it.

Bill G. said...

Manac, I met a group of people from Maine online (much like this group) about 12 years ago. One of the ladies invited us to spend a week at her house. We really enjoyed the visit and the hospitality including lobster and whoopie pies. We've kept in touch with most of them and have often seen their snowy winter photos. I experienced snow growing up in Virginia and going to school at Cornell but you guys sometimes get much more. It may have snowed a few times in the past in Manhattan Beach but it wasn't cold enough to stick and accumulate. Still, 38 degrees is going to give our furnace a workout and I may have to read the operator's manual for the new electric blanket.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that some people are blaming the Chicago Tribune, some Ian Livengood, but no one Rich Norris.

Manac said...

Bill, My dealings with Snow

Bill G. said...

Manac, great photos! That's a very excellent-looking woodpile. What kind of wood? My next favorite is the one of the car. I'm guessing you didn't go for a joyride that day?

Manac said...

Insomnia, good thing or bad,

Bill, Without being DF it was all hardwood, Oak and maple mostly, and we didn't do any driving for a couple of days after that storm. Good thing I had some Pinch stashed away.

Tinbeni said...

For the record, I'm a very laid-back individual.

In my first post I thank the Blogger for the write-up and links, followed by thanking the constructor for a FUN puzzle.
Go ahead, review my prior posts. I truly appreciate the efforts of those that make this such a nice place to visit.

If I have a DNF, I admit it straight up, no dancing about not getting a "ta-da" (I solve in Ink, on Newsprint), but even when I have a DNF I generally say it was a FUN puzzle.

Today (Friday) I got it 100% correct, yeah, I got the Up-v-Down theme ... but even still ... it was an unsatisfactory experience.
(I remember this happening about 3 years ago with a Saturday NYT. That constructor commented at Rex's site, that he was proud that so many, about 90%, hated his offering).

I am sooooooo much looking forward to Saturday's puzzle ... it will probably "kick-my-ass" but I bet I will have enjoyed my solve.

Cheers !!!

PS Manac, your "snow" would probably kill me. lol

Neal said...

Is the Cleveland Plain Dealer the only paper that doesn't print the theme for these daily puzzles? The print them for the Sunday ones, but not the LA Times ones.

Argyle said...

LA Times weekday puzzles have no titles. We make them up.