Jul 26, 2013

Friday July 26, 2013 George Shayler

Theme: TURN IT AROUND (54A. Recover from a setback, and a hint to 20-, 33- and 40-Across) - IT is turned around and changed to TI.
20A. Sloppily kept tents? : CAMPING STIES. Camping sites.

33A. Low clouds on an East Asian island? : TAIWAN STRATI. Taiwan Strait.

40A. Conditions of kids' shoes, too often? : UNTIED STATES. United States.

Boomer here, pinch-hitting for Lemonade, who is sick. He'll be back next Friday.

I just wanted to start by mentioning a bowling tournament I was in last Sunday.  The lane conditions were tough, but I was doing okay, averaged 210 for 6 games and had won 4 of 6 matches.  Then I moved to my next pair, lanes 13 & 14 and tossed 3 splits, (not spltis), and a washout and scored 150 for the game.  I suspect this puzzle for you solvers was a Lanes 13 & 14.


1. "Little House on the Prairie" merchant ___ Oleson : NELS.  I never watched "Little House" but there are many guys named Nels here in Minnesota, don'tcha know.

5. Bit of trickery : TRAP

9. Genoan chiefs of old : DOGES - You could fill a nostril of a flea with my knowledge of Genoan chiefs.

14. Part of many co. names : INIT

15. Poet Teasdale : SARA

16. Far beyond the norm : ULTRA  -  A good brand.  Fleer made Ultra baseball cards, and there's a golf ball brand Ultra, for those who cannot afford Titleists.

17. See 36-Down : ACTE. And 36-Down: With 17-Across, intermission music: ENTR. Entr'acte.

18. Reunion nicknames : UNCS - If this is short for Uncles, then I suppose Aunts would be AUNS ??

19. Award for John le Carré : EDGAR. Mystery.

23. Tropical rainforest critter : IGUANA.  Many folks keep these for house pets.  They are kind of ugly, so they can replace a husband, (until it's time to fix something).

24. Pacific coast desert : ATACAMA - Of course I was trying to fit Mohave in here, Las Vegas, Southern Calif, etc.  I sort of forgot that Chile also has a Pacific Coast.  Apologies to my buddy, Jorge, from Santiago.

28. Top-selling 1980s game console : NES - Nintendo - Final Fantasy was great.

29. Key of Brahm's Piano Sonata No. 1 : C MAJ

32. Pill bug or gribble : ISOPOD - A crustacean that I've never heard of.

35. Genesis wife : LEAH - Seems Jacob had a couple of wives.

38. Prior to, to Prior : ERE

39. Louisiane, e.g. : ETAT - I get it - Louisiane is French for Louisiana, Etat is french for state.  Do you want fries with that??

45. "A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy" author : STERNE (Laurence)

46. Doctor's specialty? : SPIN - Why pick on doctors?  I prefer politician's specialty as a clue. 

47. "Ta-ta" : BYE

50. Locks without keys : TRESSES - Kind of a hairy answer that I didn't get right away.

52. Cooking surface : TEFLON - A DuPont innovation in the day.  They now have pans with surfaces so hard you can burn a block of cheese and it won't stick.

57. "Why Can't I?" singer Liz : PHAIR - Sorry, not well known to me.

60. "I'll say!" : AMEN - Latin for "So be it".  Often used and mis-clued in Crosswords.

61. Language written right to left : URDU - another virtually unknown reference.

62. Teegarden of "Friday Night Lights" : AIMEE

63. Equal: Pref. : PARI - My first thought was parimutuel betting at the track.  But that never seems to come out equal.

64. Troon turndowns : NAEs

65. Sporty Nissans : Z-CARS - In 1969, Nissan skipped the entire alphabet and produced their first Z-car in Japan.  Not sure why a Japanese company used our English alphabet ... or maybe I am. 

66. Austen heroine : EMMA - Not Ross Geller and Rachel Green's little girl?

67. London flat, perhaps : TYRE. Flat tyre.


1. Vitamin in liver : NIACIN - I guess this is vitamin B3 - for those who need to know.

2. Coop up in a coop : ENCAGE  - Picky, Picky - I am not sure if encage is a word.  I am pretty sure that a cage is not a coop.  The Metrodome is a cage, Target field is a coop.  (Flying objects can escape).

3. Substance in acid tests : LITMUS - Red is for acid, blue is for Alkaline, (Hall of Famer who played right field for the Tigers, before Detroit went broke.)  Purple is neutral, Vikings training camp opened this week. 

4. Process start : STEP A

5. Earthquake consequence : TSUNAMI - I never heard this term until a few years ago.  We always called them tidal waves when I was a kid.

6. Gave a buzz : RANG - Didn't like the clue.  Gave a buzz is what the barber did to your head a few days before boot camp.  Rang is more of a chapel bell sound.  It used to be a phone call before ring tones and vibrates.

7. Curved pieces : ARCS

8. It may be corkscrew-shaped : PASTA - yeah, Rotini, but it won't open a bottle of wine.

9. 90 degrees : DUE EAST - Only if you're facing North or South. 

10. It takes time to settle them : OLD SCORES

11. Ta-ta, to texters : GTG (Got to Go) - I don't text or tweet. 

12. Cheer competitor : ERA - Soapy Sales

13. Genealogically-based patriotic org. : SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) - TMAITP (Too many acronyms in this puzzle).

21. Andean native : INCA - Believe it or not, the Incas populated an area from Columbia to the ATACAMA Desert.  24 Across anyone?

22. Medical office closing? : ITIS - Arthritis? Hepatitis? Gingivitis? PLEASE, this is a suffix, not a closing.

25. ___ on the back : A PAT

26. Manny who ranks third in MLB lifetime pinch hits : MOTA - A great pinch hitter, mostly for the Dodgers and Pirates.

27. Colliery entry : ADIT

30. Blows away : AWES - Sorry, not really awed by this puzzle.

31. Horseshoes-like game : JARTS  - They changed the name to Lawn Darts, but then I think they had to pull it from the market due to injuries caused by accidents or misuse.  Later there was Posy Pitch, but it just didn't seem to catch on. Jarts was easier if you used a hula hoop instead of those small plastic rings they gave you.

33. Wanting more : THIRSTIER

34. Biweekly tide : NEAP - comes during the first and third quarters of the moon.  I think it could happen three times a month, say once every blue moon or so.

35. Zest : LUST - Zest is soap.  Lust is something for which you may need the soap.

37. Fits to ___ : A TEE - I have heard the expression but I still like golf peg or field goal kickers need.

41. Cinches : ENSURES

42. Ruminants with racks : DEER - Yeah, but only in the male deer.  Unlike humans where the females have the racks. 

43. Oberon's queen : TITANIA - I rest my case.

44. Cabinet dept. : ENER - I have only seen energy abbreviated this way when a pen runs out of ink.

47. Disc storage format : BLU-RAY - I hardly got used to standard DVDs when along comes Blu-Ray.  I suppose teeny discs for Google Glassed are next.

48. Over there : YONDER - "Lookie Yonder" was a standard phrase in the South.  Probably still is.

49. Ultimate purpose : END USE

51. Dumbledore's slayer : SNAPE - I have sent people on Snipe hunts.  I have never heard of Snape but he could be of the snipe family.

53. Source : FOUNT

55. Quran authority : IMAM

56. Period with limits : TERM - Frank Smith's term was over 250 episodes

57. Bolivia's La ___ : PAZ

58. Minute Maid brand : HIC - Took me awhile to see HI C.  I was thinking more the result of too much Scotch.

59. GP's gp. : AMA

I think I am done.  Thank you for reading this far.  Have a pleasant Friday, and for your trivia question of the day - Who was Joe Friday's original partner on Dragnet, before Bill Gannon?  If you have to Google it, you cannot win the prize.

PS:  There is no prize.


Anonymous said...

Frank Smith. Played by Ben Alexander.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This one defeated me. I struggled mightily throughout and finally figured out the theme, but it only helped a little bit.

Thought things were going to be easy today when I threw down RUSE right away at 5A, and then realized the truth of my situation when nothing else worked up there until I removed RUSE and put in TRAP instead.

I got through the NE with a WAG at MOTA that let me finally get ATACAMA, ETAT and ISOPD, which inturn let me get DUE EAST and OLD SCORES.

I wasn't so lucky in the SW where THIRSTING kept me from getting ZCARS or AIMEE. Finally had to turn on the red letter help to get THIRSTIER, after which I could guess the other two answers.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Boomer, C.C. et al.

Kudos to you for filling in on this Friday challenge, Boomer! Yep - lane 13 & 14 for me, for sure.

Never heard of NELS Oleson, and the downs in that area weren't much help. ENCAGE?? STEP A? Then moving on, there was INIT, UNCS, ITIS; the unknowns of MOTA (baseball is just not my forte), STERNE and PHAIR; PARI, ENER, and the crosswordese ADIT.

I liked the idea behind the theme, and the revealer was spot on. But TAIWAN STRATI seemed a bit forced. And with all the other bits mentioned above, it turned into a Friday fizzle for me.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Boomer and friends. I thought the theme was very clever, but wasn't so enamored by the rest of the puzzle.

My newspaper listed our very own Marti as the constructor, but this puzzle didn't have a Marti "feel" to it.

It didn't help that my newspaper version of this puzzle had a non sequitur for cross-referenced clues. 17-Across sent me to 36-Down, which was clued as Le Carre spy Leamas = ALEC. This, of course, made no sense. when paired with ACTE.

Here are my favorite SPIN Doctors.

I was pleased to see a Louisiana reference for the third straight day.

QOD: After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. ~ Aldous Huxley (July 26, 1894 ~ Nov. 22, 1963)


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Great job, Boomer! You really had me yukking it up.

WBS about THIRSTING. I solve on paper, so red letters weren't an option. So, DNF!

WHS (What Hahtoolah Said) about 17A/36D and Le Carré as well as listing some person named Marti as the creator. Hahtoolah, do you subscribe to the Houston Barnacle?

Hahtoolah said...

Desper-Otto: Nope, the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Vidwan827 said...

My paper, The Plain Dealer, in Cleveland, shows the author of today 's puzzle as our own Marti DuGuay -C. I was all set for a congratulatory message.

Did anyone else have this ?

I had to check the black silhouette pattern, of the puzzle, to make sure I was on 'the right page'. ( lol).

I guess our paper company has its own XWord editor -who shall remain nameless - who can allocate authorship of the puzzle, at will. Take that, Rich, ..... You're not the most powerful man in the world, anymore ....... We have our own local Capo di Capo, right here, in town.

Have a nice weekend, you all.

River Doc said...

Happy (?) Friday everybody!

So many unknowns, so little iPad battery life....

Whole puzzle seemed like one big TRAP to me, so I ended up crying UNC about halfway thru and went red. Even after "solving" I still felt like I just ate a dirt sandwich....


For imediate release - said...

From the McClatchy newspapers, 3rd Vice President -

The Vice President, in charge of all vices -

It has been decided that the authorship, of crass, mere Crossword puzzles, shall now be randomly allocated - by executive order.

What with our important news like teenage prostitution, drug deals, and SEC Er, SAIC insider trading,, -- a crossword puzzle, is a mere trifle in the higher order of things, er, national news in our valuable news media. As to who the 'constructor' is, is not important or for that matter, relevant, - a mere iota of a blip on our self important journalistic radar --- on our glorious destiny of proclaiming all that is note worthy to our proles.

Accordingly, we shall entertain no more queries on this matter. You are also free to interpret the solution, as you wish. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

No disparaging comments about 36D - LeCarre spy Leamas? It works out to "ENTR"?? Arrgh! (The spy who "came in from the cold" is Alec.)

desper-otto said...

It appears that the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but with Tribune Media Services. Fie, I say.

Yellowrocks said...

A big DNF for me, even with Mr. G's. assistance. I see I am in good company. Lemonade was lucky he had no part of this. I got all the theme answers, but there were too many unknowns.
Who constructed this one? It can't be Marti as my paper says. It is not her style and she commented on it.
What does ENTR' ACTE have to do with Leamus?
I usually enjoy the stumpers. even if I whiff. This was no fun.
Boomer, thanks for your wit. You are very brave.

Argyle said...

George Shayler

HeartRx said...

Just to clarify the confusion in some papers naming me as the constructor -

Rich had scheduled one of my puzzles for today, but then changed it with this one. Evidently some papers made the puzzle change, but neglected to change the author. The cruciverb site and the Mensa site both had the correct author.

Anonymous said...

Our paper here in Westchester County, NY, doesn't give the puzzle author's name. But, then again, they've apparently never heard of spell-check - or editing, either - so it's not surprising. We had the Le Carre clue for 36D, too. From some comments, I'm guessing there's a digital version of the puzzle online somewhere? Here I am using pen and paper! Worst Friday puzzle I've had in MONTHS!

Anonymous said...

After attempting to finish this puzzle I thought, "great, now I have to go read lemon's pretentious write-up". Imagine my relief when only after reading the first sentence, I knew it wasn't lemony!

Great expo Boomer. Stuffed full of brevity, humility, humor, wit and fun facts.

Yellowrocks said...

On the Mensa site 36D says "with !7across, intermission music." I had ENTR. With he proper clue ACTE would have been easy and might have made the NW doable.
I wasted so much time for so little satisfaction this AM.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

ANON @9:00 do we have to see your snarkiness every Friday? Get lost!

Anonymous said...

"Medical office closing? : ITIS - Arthritis? Hepatitis? Gingivitis? PLEASE, this is a suffix, not a closing."


This puzzle kicked my ass.

Anonymous said...

Clue 36 down is WRONG in the paper.....doesn't say with 17 across! Made me crazy this morn! Thanks.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Boomer, your write-up was witty, informative, and far more enjoyable than this puzzle. Other than that, what Thumper says, threefold!

Have a great Friday.

Bumppo said...

Excellent expo, excellent critique.

We had Le Carré and Leamas in the Louisville Courier-Journal, too. No author attribution.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Thanks Boomer for the intro.

Yep; Lanes 13 & 14 alright. Couldn't finish the SW at (my) PHAIR/HIC Natick. But got, eventually, all the theme fill and actually enjoyed the it-TI reversal. I thought TAIWAN STRATI was devilishly clever. Nailed URDU. Took awhile but loved the 90º DUE EAST clue. A few too many authors for me, but I thkink it was APT for a Friday. Some good WAGs like IGUANA and LEAH helped. Knew that DOGES had been the leaders of Venice; but did not know the term applied to Genoa.
Good job, Marti.

Have a great day.

Qli said...

Glad to see I'm in good company today-a DNF for me. I don't feel so bad now that I see many of you didn't finish either. WBS about THIRSTIng. Kind of enjoyed London flat TYRE!

Favorite clue was 50A for TRESSES. Hairy indeed, Boomer!

Our paper also had the 36D LeCarre clue and listed Marti as the constructor. Good job filling in for Lemonade, Boomer.

Not familiar with troon, pill bug or gribble, and thought they could be sci-fi references. (My niece went to ComicCon and has been posting on Facebook, so that's where my brain went.)

GTG and get something done on my first day of vacation. or maybe I'll just go to the ND State Fair!

Grumpy 1 said...

Top o' the morning, all. Great expo, Boomer.

I looked at the constructor's name and was all set for a Marti fun Friday, but, as has been said by others, it didn't seem like her style.

I also fell into the Thirsting TRAP, but ZCARS straightened that out. Fortunately, ENTR ACTE filled itself from the perps, except for S_ERNE. 'T' was the only letter that made any sense across, but the down made no sense at all with the clue. I finally figured out that the cross-reference from 17A was missing from the 36D clue and decided that clue had to be a misprint.

I had NiLS, but knew iNCAGE was wrong, so that wasn't too difficult to straighten out. I couldn't come up with MOTA, but perps gave me _OTA. The M was a wag, but a good one for a change.

Looking forward to Marti's Friday puzzle when Rich gets around to publishing it. I finished this one, but it wasn't fun.

Argyle said...

Troon is on the west coast of Scotland, home of the Royal Troon golf course.

Funny aside: Dale Gribble is an exterminator on "King of the Hill".


Gunghy said...

Liah/intr, incage/Nils Init? Unc?

Yeah, and "What they said."

If this had been a Saturday, I might be able to excuse some of this, but it just didn't rang my bell.

Tinbeni said...

Boomer: Excellent "Pinch-hitting" for Lemon.
(Which I wish I had been doing during this Ink-Blot).
I was in lanes 15/16 ...

Thumper's Review


Zcarguy said...

I liked 65 A , nothing else !

Anonymous T said...

G'day All!

Hand-up for lanes 13 &14. I suppose it was just karma after crowing about a Google-less Thursday....

Also, H-Chron uses the Tribune media service, so wrong author (I can't comment on the x-refs because I don't know what any of that means - I Googled it and now "The Spy..." is in my Amazon queue).

Boomer - Thanks for filling in; I wouldn't be able to carry on with all those white squares...

So, to the pzl... The NW fell easily as I knew NELS, that poor hen-pecked shop owner. Then, RANG, TRAP, PASTA (yum), then nada.

To the SE - took a while but when TYRE fell, my morning was made.

With some perps, I WAGd Haiwan (looked ok) and then nothing else. Keyless clue sent my noodle to dams, nessie, golden... sigh...

Hahtoolah - Love the SPIN doctors. My wife met them at NLU back in the day. They (SD) hung around the studio for an interview, but no one would talk to them - Pauly Shore (sp?) was the "get." She got the "get," but missed SD, then 1 month later Pocket Full of Kryptonite dropped. My wife left RTVF and became an English Major (now PhD professor).

GTG - need to enter cc on Amazon!



Vidwan827 said...

Just wanted to say, Boomer, very good job, very well done. I was looking forward to 'Fridays with Lemonade' ... - I hope he is in good health and spirits.

But it was very nice for you to have done the commentary on the blog, and I really, really enjoyed it. Your honesty and charm and subtle humor are all very refreshing.

I notice Niacin - Vitamin B3 - and Nicotinic acid - and its more common pro-derivative, Niacinamide, or also called, Nicotinamide is also a Nootropic ( a good CW word, - means 'smart' drug, memory enhancer, cognitive function enhancer - something I could really use ...

.... and an Antiamnesic for memory improvement and ( prevention of a serious case of yawning ? )

.... and a Antihypoxic agent - gets more oxygen into your blood and the brain.

I shoulda taken a dozen pills of some of that before I started on this puzzle .....

Have a nice day, you all.

P.S. - Nicotinic Acid does NOT come from Nicotine - aka cigarette smoke ......
Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

My paper also listed this as a Marti, so glad it wasn't.
I was fuming about 4 clues into this puzzle.
Even the hard ones we get here from time to time, all have a flow. This is absolutely the worst puzzle EVER.
No need to go into details, most of my problem with it have been covered.
I won't do another George Shayler puzzle, just as a matter of principle.

Have a good weekend everybody, the weather looks great.

P.S. I am sorry for the things I said about you Marti, before I found out.

Anonymous T said...

"This is absolutely the worst puzzle EVER. "

Like anyone can ever know that Neopolian....


Misty said...

Well, it was a relief to read the blog this morning. Felt less like an idiot after seeing that nearly everyone had a tough time with this. And what a relief to learn this wasn't a Marti puzzle. I was praying that I wouldn't have to add her to my listed of "dreaded" constructors, and my prayer was answered. Yay!

Anyway, a toughie and a mess. But it was fun to see a write-up from Boomer. Get well soon, Lemony.

My favorite answer was EMMA because my husband and I just finished watching the wonderful Masterpiece Classic production of Jane Austen's EMMA last night. The greatest Jane Austen novel, for my money.

Boomer, I can't remember his name but wasn't the "Dragnet" sidekick the same guy who played Colonel Potter on "Mash" some years later?

Have a great Friday, everybody, and I can't wait to get your REAL puzzle, Marti!

Anonymous T said...

I recall Harry Morgan, but I thought that was later...

Anonymous said...

no fun at all. can't wait until tomorrow. cannot waste the day trying though.

Anonymous said...

I very much enjoy your intelligent sense of humor and references in your answers. You are the best!

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, George Shayler, for the puzzle. Thank you, Boomer, for the excellent write-up.

Well, this puzzle was too much for me. I spent 3 1/2 hours on it and had to get help. The ATACAMA Desert was totally unknowable to me. I went and looked at my globe and found it. Way down in South America. Then ISOPOD right under it. Too tough for me.

The theme I thought was pretty good. Found all three before the theme itself. It all made sense. CAMPING STIES was my first. Then I knew you had to turn the IT around. That helped with the other two.

FOUNT for 53D was a good one.

I actually got ADIT for 27D. Thought about it off and on for a couple hours, and with a couple letter, it hit me. A mine opening. We have had that word many times through the years, just different clues.

JARTS again. We discussed that one a while back.

Now that my day is half shot, I have a lot to do.

See you tomorrow.



Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Definitely a challenge today. Where an unknown (to me) Chilean desert met a ball player, at Atacama and Mota, I nearly crashed and burned. Had to guess at that one. Sussed the theme early for once, and that helped with Taiwan Strati.

Hello Boomer, really enjoyed the humor!

Vidwan, please send over some cognitive enhancement compound. Need it today. Example: while leaving a voice mail, I plum forgot my own phone number. This is inconvenient.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Same as many of you said: Wrong constructor attribution and wrong clue at 36D. Left a bad taste in my mouth, like Doha Doc's dirt sandwich. Boomer, your writeup was the perfect antidote. Best wishes to you all.

Lucina said...

Hello, all. Thanks, Boomer, for subbing today. I missed Lemonade's usual ZEST but you are equal to the task.

First, I must yell, foul! 17A and 36D were clued as Le Carre spy Leamus. Once I had NIACIN and ENCAGE that voided those clues. Whose error was that?

I also had to look up STERNE or 36D would be blank. Not fair!

Otherwise, this was a genuine challenge, definitely Lanes 13 &14 but doable except for the above.

Well, actually I didn't know Liz PHAIR or AIMEE Teegarden either so that was a Natick.

DOGES was an early fill but I had doubts because they are usually associated more with Venice.

I also now know that a colliery is a mine and a tricky clue for ADIT which is an old crosswordese term.
One of the first I learned long ago. Gribble/pill bug is a new one, too.

For me, this was a TSUNAMI not a sashay which forced me to yell, UNCle,but challenging and therefore a good puzzle.

I liked the cluing for :
London flat, TYRES (aced it)
Zest, LUST (who knew?)

Thanks, Marti and Boomer!

Have a fantastic Friday, you all!

Ol' Man Keith said...

This was a monster, and it certainly didn't help that the LA Times and-- according to Hahtoolah's and others' comments-- some other papers published a WRONG clue for 36D and 17A. Alec Leamas has nothing to do with ENTR'ACTE. We were left hanging with no way to be certain of a finish.

As I look back over other fills and the cleverly reversed vowels in the theme answers, I think I would have enjoyed this tough Xword, but I'm sorry to say that the screw-up left me with a bad taste this morning.

Lucina said...

Sorry, Marti, I see now from reading the comments that you were not the author of this boondoggle.

I look forward to one of yours!

Husker Gary said...

A little spackle, a little sanding and a coat of paint and where I was hitting my head and the wall should be fine! A big 7 – 10 for me, Boomer. AIMEE, PHAIR and thirstING plus other esotery and abstruse cluing = “NO JOY” which is what NASA says after an unsatisfying outcome. I knew this couldn’t be Marti and am disappointed Rich was a poor goalie who let this one get by him, especially if he had Marti on the bench (how’s that for a mixed sport’s metaphor?)

-DOGES Palace in Venice. Been there, loved that.
-Hey, I may be ugly, but I hooked up and programmed an antenna so Joann could watch her soaps today because CBS affiliate and Time Warner Cable are in a spat. I got a PAT on the back and 17.3 brownie points.
-SPIN Doctors after a political speech nauseate me. “The American people know…” Yeah right!
-16 year old granddaughter EMMA wants to play golf next weekend. I love that she still calls and wants to do something with Papa.
-If the ocean quickly recedes a mile or so from shore, hello TSUNAMI
-Manny MOTA from my fav comedy
-We used hula hoops for steel tipped Jarts until one of them pierced the hoop

Velvel Pipick said...

Is lemony the next Wally Pipp?

Oh, if only...

Pookie said...

HEY! This isn't a Marti puzzle!
What? 17A and 36D....
Want to look up a few things just to pick nits, but I've wasted WAY too much time on this travesty already.
Any other crossword I can do to get rid of the bad taste this one left me with?

Argyle said...

Interesting. Wally Pipp's 226 sacrifices as a Yankee remain a team record.

Bill G. said...

WEES. That was harder for me than the usual Friday. When I figured out the theme, I patted myself on the back but it didn't help much.

It was fun to see Aimee Teegarden in a puzzle. I was a big fan of Friday Night Lights. It had everything I like; good stories, excellent characters and writing with some of the most attractive actors to be found anywhere on TV. I was always surprised that it wasn't more popular.

I know I'm going to feel silly but I don't understand the references to lanes 13 an 14.

Tinbeni said...

Bill G.
See Boomer's write-up ... and his reference about his bowling scores going down when he moved over to lanes 13 and 14.

My dislike for this Friday offering moved me over to lanes 15 and 16.
(As I said @11:07)

Lucina said...

One other good feature of this puzzle is a shoutout to our own LEAH, aka, Chickie! Hi, Chickie.

Yellowrocks said...

George Shayler, I am sorry we took out all our frustrations on you. The puzzle did have redeeming qualities. It had a clever theme, the best feature of the puzzle, which I sussed before the reveal.I got all of the theme answers easily.
I liked DUE EAST, SPIN doctor, ITIS, ADIT, TYRE.
The problem was the puzzle didn't flow and there were too many obscurities.
Most of us here were not on your wave length. I believe in second chances for you and us. I wll try you again.

CrazyCat said...

Hi all and Thank you Boomer for clarifying the identity of the constructor. I also had the 17a and 36 d mess up which made this puzzle even more impossible to dicipher. Last week (I think) there was a puzzle in the LA Times that left out the clues for 60 and 61 d. Otherwise WEES.

Definitely a kvetch worthy puzzle!

Java Mama said...

Good evening, everyone! Thanks for the challenge, George. But I gotta say that Boomer’s write-up was the best part of this Friday fiasco. I thought I was just distracted by having out-of-town visitors this weekend, but I see everyone else struggled, too.

Unknowns (ATACAMA, ISOPOD, and STERNE to name a few) left my grid with more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. I did think Locks Without Keys = TRESSES was clever, and gave myself a head slap when I finally figured out that 90 Degrees was DUE EAST. That only happened when I took out EXTRA and put in ULTRA at 16A, because OXD______ just didn’t look right.

All in all, this one left me longing for a Saturday Silkie.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Did the puzzle at 2 a.m. and was too tired to get fired up. I just did a number of red-letter alphabet runs to get ATACAMA & MOTA and those girls in the SW. Then I sat and stared at ATACAMA wondering if the red-letters were right.

I caught onto the theme with my first long fill UNTIED STATES which helped with the other long ones & reveal.

Mr. Olson's first name took some thought. No one called him anything but Mr. Olson except his wife.

Pill bugs aka known as "rolly polly bugs" have invaded my home big-time this summer for some unknown reason. I started out picking up each crawler as they appeared. 12 one night left me dizzy. Right now I have little stacks in the corners that I aim to suck up with the vacuum after this. My house is on a slab and they seem to come up in the cracks under the base boards. Spraying doesn't stop the influx.

GTG unknown. I don't text or tweet either.

PK said...

Boomer, thanks for your very witty expo. You made our day. Hope you roll 300 next time. You sure did with this group!

Anonymous said...

The character Nels Olesen was played by long time Chicago actor Richard Bull. This puzzle was also all bull___

Jerome said...

I think this is George's debut puzzle. If so, congratulations on your debut. If not, congratulations for crafting an enjoyable puzzle. I thought it clever and fun. TSUNAMI, THIRSTIER, TITANIA, DUE EAST, OLD SCORES, TEFLON, and Z-CARS, are excellent. CAMPING STIES and UNTIED LACES brought on a smile. Sure, there's a few clunkers, but almost all puzzles have a clunker or two. So what. I would think this crowd would at least appreciate George's time, work, and effort to bring a bit of pleasure our way. Calling this puzzle a "travesty", "boondoggle", "monster", ad nauseam is, frankly, disgusting.

One of the neatest things that ever happened in my long life was having a puzzle published in the L.A. Times. I really hope George can treasure this day. He deserves to.

Pookie said...

The fact that George Shayler wasn't given credit for the puzzle in our newspapers and the wrong clues ARE a travesty. So was my attempt to solve it. I should think this day would be a huge disappointment for him because of the foul-ups of which he had no control. He deserves an apology from the editors.
No one is attacking him, some liked it and others didn't.

Anonymous said...

Anon@9:11 Yes, then no.

And who are you anyway?

Yellowrocks said...

There have been times when the constructors have shown us their original clues and I preferred them to the final edited version. Whenever I question a clue or the tone of a puzzle I wonder how much of the things I question are attributable to the constructor and how much to the editor. As I writer I hate to have my prose changed. Often the editor is correct, but at times mu original idea was better.

Anonymous said...

Using Anon because I can't remember how to sign in. This is boomer again. Answer to the trivia question is Officer Frank Smith who was Joe Friday's partner for over 250 episodes. Bill Gannon, (aka Colonel Potter) played by Harry Morgan came later in the 60s.

Lucina said...

By "boondoggle" I meant my own fiasco with this puzzle. I actually enjoyed much of it but I chide myself when I can't suss that many answers. I do appreciate the work that went into it and apologize to Mr. George Shayler for inaccurately attributing it to Marti.

CrazyCat said...

I meant no ill will towards the constructor. I agree with Yellowrocks that sometimes the clues get changed and just don't work as well.

The clues that bothered me were 14a Part of many co. names, shouldn't it be INITS? And also, 22a Medical Office closing. ITIS. Medical closing would have made more sense.

I did think the theme was clever. And I do know Liz Phair, from both CWs and I have one of her CDs . Thanks George and congrats on your debut!

PK said...

George, I thought the theme was pretty fun and got some chuckles. I also like learning new geographical places so ATACAMA filled that bill. Who knew Chili had a desert? Lots of unknowns for me, but I still liked it better than a Silkie which always frustrate the heck out of me.

Dudley, your memory glitch struck a cord with me. I certainly need some of Vidwan's memory booster -- what was it again? My biggest number glitch is transposing the digits in my SSN whenever asked to recite the last four numbers to prove my right to take cash out of the bank. If I don't start with the first five digits in my mind, I can't say the right last four ones out loud. Then they think I'm a fraud.

windhover said...

Did anyone else notice?,
Gunghy's back !!
Hey, motorcycle brother, how ya doing'?

Anonymous said...

you skipped 36 down. it makes no sense, I looked it up several times and still it was not right. the answer is alec which doesn't fit at all.

Argyle said...

Big snafu. It depends on where you got your puzzle. 17A and 36D are a cross-reference. No explanation for Alec; probably lost in a rewrite.

Anonymous said...

ANON @7:32, have you been reading the other posters? This has been explained all day.

Jayce said...

Hiya Gunghy!

Gunghy said...

Hi Wind -- and other old-timers.

I'm doing well. Won't be around much, I'm hunting Mayans. 2012 kicked my butt and I figure they and their predictions owe me big time.

After a major family squabble, I bought out my sibs and moved into my parents house this January. (They both passed last year.) I'm spending like I have it to get the house in shape. New floors, windows, shades, dry wall, paint, and bathroom. I've converted the garage back into a two car garage. Sprinklers start going in next week and the repairs on the screen porch are almost done. That just leaves 2 bathrooms and a kitchen that needs major work.

Oh, The DMV left my motorcycle rating off my new license, but that's OK, 'cause I haven't ridden it any more than I've done cross-words lately.

Rush said...


To quote an accomplished constructor from his review:

"...I’m sorry to be this negative, especially as it appears to be George Shayler’s debut puzzle, but I also can’t not write what I feel about the puzzle. 2.25 stars."

We all are entitled to our opinions whether or not if you find them 'disgusting'.

Argyle said...

Does it make a difference if it isn't George's debut? I found a USA Today puzzle by him and it is claimed a puzzle seen in an episode of "Lost" shows a LAT puzzle by George from Monday, July 31, 2006. I can't confirm that.

Bill G. said...

Pas, right you are. There were no serious screw ups in the version of the puzzle I solved on the Mensa site. It was hard for me but I expect that on Fridays. For a constructor apparently early on, I was impressed and I hope he continues on and continues to improve. (I hope the same for myself!)

JD said...

Hi ...Gutterball J.D. here

Boomer, loved your humor in the write up.

Pookie said...

Bill G: Thanks. I had no problem with the theme and thought it was clever.It was the presentation of the puzzle (through no fault of Mr. Shayler) that was so frustrating. The bad taste I spoke of was trying to suss clues and the confusion over the constructor's name. Marti should have her day in court also! LOL
p.s. read your comments from last night and think the DMV owes Barbara an apology. To wait three weeks for their mistake is, well, inexcusable. BTW, how is her knee?

Anonymous said...

wow, really

Anonymous said...

51 down is Draco. Apparently author of puzzle didn't read Deathly Hallows carefully enough. That's how Harry eventually gets the Elder Wand. Coop

Bill G. said...

Pas, her knee keeps getting better. Thanks for asking. She is walking with a cane and hasn't used the walker in over a week. The Physical Therapist is a little frustrated that her range of motion (maximum bending angle) isn't continuing to improve and tells her she needs to work harder. That's a tough one for her. She never has been a charter member of the NoPain, No Gain school. If it hurts, she stops doing it. So, we'll see how that goes.

Has anybody been watching "South Riding" on Masterpiece Theater? I'm about two-thirds of the way along so I guess I'll watch the rest of it anyway. How about them Dodgers?

Argyle said...

Draco disarmed Dumbledore but it was Professor Snape that uttered the killing curse.

Nom de Plume said...

No excuse for this one, LA Times. The "clues" (Leamas) for 17A & 36D made the puzzle unsolvable. And in retrospect, it was a crappy crossword anyway, with inelegant, inappropriate clues - not worth the time I wasted on it.

Doc said...

i needed theis review. for 36 down, my paper had Le Carre spy Leamas. Entre Acte did not work!