Apr 4, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014, Kurt Krauss

Theme: REBUS, let your mind see the picture.

By now everyone should be used to the concept that Friday will give you something challenging, and often something new to deal with as you solve. We have had conversation (YR, I believe?) as to rebus puzzles being pictures like this classic FRAME GAME from USA Weekend magazine.  This will be my third of Kurt's Kreations to blog, and by far the most complex. All of the theme answers require two fill, which intersect, and the intersection is what reveals the single final fill. In effect the second word is inserted "in to" the first word to create a phrase that then stands alone. Tricky, but once you see the idea the rest really fell into place quickly. The symmetry of the top two sets have the intersecting word come from the top down, and the bottom two going down to the bottom from the intersection, along with some very nice 8 letter fill, like ACADEMIA, ONTARIAN, REFRAINS, SERPENTS, SNEAKERS and  VAN BUREN makes this a very fun looking puzzle.

20A. See 4-Down : SADKDLE. 4D. With 20-Across, working again, aptly : BACK.  (11). The common K tells you the fill is "Back in the saddle." Picture the perpendicular message here.

22A. See 8-Down : FAMSILY. 8D. With 22-Across, what red hair often does, aptly : RUNS. (11), The common S  reveals, "Runs in the family."

35A. See 30-Down : BANNK. 30D. With 35-Across, a financially sure thing, aptly : MONEY. (10). this central combination gives us, "Money in the bank."

50A. See 51-Down : MIRLROR. 51D. With 50-Across, do some self-examination, aptly : LOOK. (11). The intersection yields, "Look in the Mirror."

52A. See 53-Down : BUCDKET.  53D. With 52-Across, trivial amount, aptly : DROP(11). And we finish with my favorite, "Drop in the Bucket."


1. Biblical kingdom near the Dead Sea : MOAB. I knew I was going to have a good day when I confidently put this in and then confirmed with the perps.

5. Blue : LOW. Feeling kinda punk, down.

8. Chew (out) : REAM. He reamed him a new a******

12. Old empire builder : INCA. Love this near 16A. Donald's address, in comics : UNCA. By his sweet NEPHEWS. (7:33), I called my father's brother "Unc."

13. Construction materials : I-BARS.

17. Like a dotted note, in mus. : STAC. I knew this had to be STACCATO. See LINK. Any more commentary will have to come from those not musically deficient.

18. Bob preceder : SIREE. leaving out the "YES" to confuse you. (Yessiree bob!).

19. Tiny fraction of a min. : NSEC. We get this nanosecond frequently.

24. Dander : IRE.

25. Some tech sch. grads : EES. Electrical Engineers. Again.

26. Soweto's home: Abbr. : RSA. Republic of South Africa. Home to our now veteran veterinarian constructor, Gareth Bain, who has used NSEC in his works.

27. Great time, in slang : GAS. From nitrous oxide?

28. Rain cloud : NIMBUS. Our friend the cumulonimbus.

30. Fair ones : MAIDENS.

32. Julius Caesar's first name : GAIUS. A very common name, but this was an UNCOMMON man. 46D. Gallic girlfriends : AMIES. Gallic being French, amies are French girlfriends; in homage to Gaius Julius Caesar we can recall "Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est...." The beginning of his history of the invasion of Gaul. More on our Latin/Roman mini-theme, 21D. Roman god : DEUS. Just the Latin word, but because it looks like the name of the Greek god, ZEUS, this could be hard. Also, 44D. Dawn goddess : AURORA. The city outside of Denver.

33. Said : VOICED. Often times opinions....

34. Tandoori bread : NAN. Or NAAN.

36. Grilling sound : SSS. The steak or shrimp on the Barbie. Welcome back Kazie.

39. Macduff and Macbeth : THANES. This is/was a Scottish term the equivalent of Counts.

41. Charity, e.g. : DONEE. One who receives from a donor is a donee. A bit of a stretch.

43. Slipped past : EASED BY.

45. Sunday best : FINERY.

46. Soccer star Freddy : ADU. The son of Ghanian woman who won a green card lottery, Adu was considered an up-and-comer for United States football; much speculation surrounded his potential for future success, and he was even referred to as "the next Pele." With our mini-theme, 31D. Pelé's first name : EDSON. More specifically, Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

47. __ Simbel, site of Ramses II temples : ABU. You can read about it HERE. Do you agree the next fill should our old friend the Simpson's shopkeeper, APU?

48. Michaels et al. : ALS. So many Michaels in the world, we get the 'Miracle on Ice' announcer.

49. Galoot : APE.

54. "Was __ loud?" : I TOO.

55. Having no room for hedging : YES/NO. In cross-examining a witness you can often restrict the answer to Yes or No.

57. '20s tennis great Lacoste : RENE. Nice shirts? Chemise?

58. Designer Saarinen : EERO. Old time crosswordese. An architectural family, not like Ted Mosby.

59. Cynical response : SNEER.

60. Leftover bits : ORTS.

61. 40th st. : S DAK. Guess what state was 39th?

62. Whiz : PRO.

63. "Over here!" : PSST.


1. Not where it's expected to be : MISSING. So simple, yet I can see it hiding for a while.

2. Windsor resident : ONTARIAN. Eh, another Canadian reference.

3. Scholarly milieu : ACADEMIA. Where I become Dr. Lemonade.

5. Fine cotton threads : LISLES. Made from long staple cotton. Yeah, I really know what that means.

6. Awards named for a location : OBIES. Off Broadway.

7. Kids' card game : WAR. This is now a real money game in the casinos here.

9. Banner : ENSIGN. Apparently when you use your national flag at sea it becomes an Ensign. If you have watched Sheldon, I am sure you would know all about vexillology, or on the Game of Thrones, the bannerman. Sunday night!!!

10. Amtrak speedsters : ACELAS.  The high speed trains incorporated into our rail system. The name comes from Acceleration and Excellence, they say.

11. Store with a star : MACY'S.

14. Choruses : REFRAINS.

15. Queasy near the quay : SEASICK. This made me queasy.

23. Earned : MADE. Oh that life were fair and people actually made what they earned and earned what they made.

29. Squeeze plays involve them : BUNTS. Aren't you glad we had the discussion of this last week.

33. Jackson follower : VAN BUREN. Martin, president number 8 following Andrew Jackson, #7. Martin was from Buffalo and the first president born after the US was born.

35. 1995 Will Smith/Martin Lawrence film : BAD BOYS. Twenty years ago they made this MOVIE. (2:46).

37. Running pair : SNEAKERS.

38. Malicious types : SERPENTS. If the answer were snakes it would have come easier.

40. Try, as a case : HEAR. The Judge and/or jury "hear" the case.

41. Record : DISC. Hard to get away from the verb.

42. Seer's challenge : EYE TEST. The one examination I have never been able to do well on.

43. Corrected, in a way : EDITED.

45. Prefix with carbon : FLUORO. The  ENEMYof our world? 

48. Running back Haynes, first AFL player of the year : ABNER. On Friday, you do not get Lil, you get this. He is perhaps most famous for winning the toss and choosing to kick off in overtime in the championship game against Houston. LINK.

56. Equinox mo. : SEPtember. The autumnal season of equal day and night.

Wow, we are through already.  I hope you all had a good time and found the visual theme easily. Until then It is Lemonade off into the night.


OwenKL said...

The topologist may start in to babble
When up and down parabolas straddle.
But the graph in three-D
Isn't hyperbolae,
It's solved by going BACK [in the] SADDLE!

First Sis got the bug at her academy.
When Dad got it he used some profanity.
Mom and Bro got it next
Diarrhea sure is heck
With one bathroom and RUNS [in the] FAMILY!

The gold in the chest still went clank,
But the ship and the crew had all sank.
To stash his doubloons
Safe from British dragoons,
The river pirate hid his MONEY [in the] BANK!

OwenKL said...

The ham wanted to be a King Lear-er
But instead was a melodrama sneerer.
But his leer wasn't chillin'
For the part as the villain,
So he practiced his LOOK [in the] MIRROR!

The boat was a floating rust bucket
But the river looked calm, so he tuk it.
A bad choice he had made,
For ahead were cascades;
His ride became a DROP [in the] BUCKET!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Took awhile to figure out what was going on with the theme today, but once I did, well, the puzzle was still pretty tough. I did appreciate the concept behind the theme, but wasn't thrilled with its execution, to be honest. First of all, I think it would have been more elegant had each set of theme answers simply intersected instead of needing to have an extra letter inserted into one of each pair. That's just a stylistic preference, I guess, but it did make for a tougher solve. Second of all, though, was the fact that each theme phrase includes "the" and that was nowhere to be found in the grid. "DROP in BUCKET" just isn't the same as "a DROP in the BUCKET". I can live with the missing "A" at the beginning, but the missing "the" was just jarring to me.

Elsewhere, I struggled with unknowns such as ADU, EDSON (which I really should commit to memory one of these days) and ABNER. Not surprisingly, they were all names once again. Fortunately, the perps were solid (once I figured out the theme), so I managed to finish unassisted.

Favorite clue today was "Seer's challenge" for EYE TEST.

Anonymous said...

To the creator of this puzzle:

See you on the breadlines.

bfly said...

Don't know how in the world I managed to complete this puzzle. Ten minutes in I was ready to throw in the towel. Got a few crucial answers and figured out the theme which helped a bunch. Still was a hard solve at first.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I liked this BADBOY, but I thought Rich didn't allow such things. Obviously, he does. Didn't know this ABNER; didn't remember EDSON, but the perps were solid. Quicker than the average Friday.

It would probably make CW's easier if I were to learn all the presidents and the order in which they served.

Lemonade714 said...

D-O as I understand Rich does not allow the REBUS which was pioneered I believe by Bernice Gordon ( still constructing at 100) in which there are multiple letters in a single answer box. I used the term rebus as used in other non crossword puzzles, like the old TV game show Concentration

Welcome bfly, I had two mental pictures. Big Fly, a baseball homerun or Bar Fly, which I guess speaks for itself. Of course there many others

Big Easy said...

This was a challenging Friday puzzle that had a sea of white after my first tun through. There were a few unknowns. GAIUS ADU ABU I knew it would be BACK IN THE SADDLE but was unfamiliar with DEUS. Where is an OBIE found? GAIUS was a WAG. After I got the theme, the puzzle just fell into place. A dotted note could also mean hold the note for an extra half-beat instead of staccato. The clue for DONEE makes no sense. I hear the term charity case but have never come across somebody/thing just called charity.

This one had DNF written all over until it clicked.

inanehiker said...

I enjoyed this-- having figured out the first one, back IN THE saddle, the rest were a breeze down to drop IN THE bucket. Made a much easier Friday than usual. I did get stuck with "eus" and wondering why a Roman god would be answered Zeus before switching to the generic deus.
WD-otto said about the unknowns being helped by solid perps. Interesting having fluoro twice in one week.
Thanks Lemonade for a fun writeup. I would be fine with a a break in the nimbus clouds this week.

Lemonade714 said...

Anon at 6:15, I deduce you did not care for the puzzle, but you should realize with very limited exceptions the people making these puzzles do not do so for the money. Your comment might have some worth if you took the time to explain your dissatisfaction. Crosswords evolve like everything else.

Anonymous said...

With all the cross reference clues (which I detest) odd clueing and a theme that makes no sense to me I found this puzzle a non starter.

bfly said...

Thank u for the welcome. Had never posted before but look forward to challenge of puzzle every morning. B is my first name initial and I'm fly, thus bfly

bfly said...

Appreciate the welcome. The b is for my first name initial and I'm so fly, thus bfly. Plus I like the different things people minds come up with.

Lemonade714 said...

While I appreciate the conflict with the crossword definition of Rebus, the use of the word to represent a PICTOGRAM has been around for a long time.

thehondohurricane said...


Can't think of anything nice to say, so I won't comment.

Anonymous said...

Big EZ: If you donate to a charity, then you are the donor, and the charity is the donee.

Didn't care for this puzzle at all.

Mari said...

Too rich for my blood. Better luck Saturday...

Anonymous said...

Pele's first name is Edison, not Edson. And the clue for 41 across was totally wrong. Made no sense.

kazie said...

DNF despite "getting" the theme concept. I agree with Barry G except he finished it and I couldn't.

unclefred said...

I do not like CWs with multiple cross references. Also don't like puzzles with letters stuck in the middle of a word, which makes the word nonsense, so when I look at it I think "No way that is right". Needless to say, I REALLY did not like this puzzle. Huge DNF. Lemonade, good for you for staying positive for this monster.

Rev Win D'oh said...

Today's write-up is below the usual standards of this blog. Typos, grammatical errors, misinformation and general haughtiness really left me longing for different reviewer. MelissaB always had a nice way of breaking down a puzzle.

Yellowrocks said...

I think a puzzle like this works best doing across and downs together right from the start, so I got BACK IN THE SADDLE right away, which helped tremendously with the others theme answers. At first. I found the extra K in SADDLE annoying, but I came to appreciate it. BACK is visually IN the SADDLE, not adjoining or abutting it. Then really liked the extra layer of complexity. Fun puzzle, fast for a Friday. All the names were perpable.

Where is Obie? Obies are given for off Brodaway productions. O.B , the source of the name, stands for Off Broadway.

ANON @ 8:15 good answer. I did not like DONNEE at first. Then I realized that the charity I give to is the donee. It makes sense.

I played endless games of WAR with my grandson years ago.

I think an attorney's YES/NO questions are sometimes unfair and do not always get at the truth. Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or No.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Kurt Krauss, for an excellent puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for a fine review.

Well, got started slowly. Got a few here and there.

My first theme answer was LOOK in the MIRROR. Then I had it. The rest fell easily. With that, the puzzle became a piece of cake.

Did not know ABNER, perped it.

ENSIGN was easy. ACELAS I remember from newspapers and such. Plus I am an Amtrak fanatic.

I do have some ink blots on my newspaper as I worked through this, but that is a Friday occurrence for me.

VAN BUREN was easy once I had a couple letters. Was thinking of Jesse Jackson at first. Then Andrew became obvious.

GAIUS was easy. I had heard that name before. Lemonade's link to Caesar was interesting. I enjoy old history.

Busy day today. See you tomorrow.


(48 43243634)

Tinbeni said...

Thumper's Review (.11).

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I was frustrated with this early on and hopped all around trying to figure out what was going on. The light dawned with DROP in a BUCKET and I then had fun getting the rest to fill in. Thanks, Kurt Krauss, for what turned into an enjoyable challenge.

~ Perps came to the rescue in a number of places ~ especially in the first names of Julius Caesar and Pele.

~ Write-overs: Sad before LOW, Ace before PRO and Finest before FINERY.

~ A great write-up, Lemonade ~ a good explanation of the theme, lots of info and links!

Opening Day at Fenway park today!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Had enough solid fill in the NE to firm up Runs/Family, so the theme was established early. From there it was off to the races. I'm weak on Shakespeare but I do remember the Thane of Cawdor, so that helped. Slowed down around Serpents but got there eventually. All in all a good Friday challenge.

David R said...

I'm not sure if it has been adequately explained but the idea behind the theme is that the down word is literally "in the" across fill. The B of BACK is "in the" SADDLE. Very cute theme but I do agree that the weakness is the cross-referencing which is annoying.

It is sometimes worth getting out of your comfort zone and try something different, really you may like it.

Avg Joe said...

I do enough day old Sunday NYT pzls to appreciate gimmicks at times. This wasn't one of those times. Got it filled, but didn't like it.

Argyle said...

It appears EDSON can join with ARON for disputed names.

C6D6 Peg said...

At first run-through, had very little. Got the theme from LOOK/MIRROR, and then it was pretty easy..

Great writeup Lemonade! I totally disagree with Rev Win D'Oh.

Thanks for a challenge Kurt!

Yellowrocks said...

To see the dispute Argyle mentioned as to whether Pele's given nmae is Edison or Edson see the article in Wiki under Early Years.
Link Pele
Lemon, I always enjoy your very informative and witty blogs and your posts later in the day as well. I, too, disagree with Rev's comments.

Argyle said...

Al Cyone, You going to let stand Lemon's comment that Old Kinderhook came from Buffalo?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -


A Rebus.

I thought the LAT didn't stoop to that.

Without in any way gainsaying the cleverness, creativity and even brilliance of this construction, I hate it with the blazing heat of 1000 supernovae.


I suppose you all know Windsor is south of Detroit.

I knew GAIUS and ABNER, but had to google EDSON and BAD BOYS.

There are two placements for dots in musical notation. One is over the note, which indicates STACcato, or short. The other is behind the note, increasing it's length by 50%. When one speaks of "a dotted note," it is ALWAYS with the latter meaning in mind. So this clue is very much out of the language, musically speaking.

A DONEE is a person who receives something. Charity is the act of giving. There is no way to save this.

My Ex had red hair, and it ran in her family, but neither of our kids nor any of the grandchildren have been kissed by fire.

Foggy, gloomy and cold here.

Better days are coming.

We just don't know when.

Cool regards,

Lemonade714 said...

Of course, Argyle is correct, Van Buren is from Kinderhook; it was Millard Fillmore who was from Buffalo.

Yes I make mistakes.

For those of you who did not like the puzzle, if you look at the answer grid, the visual image should be more pleasing, as others have said, you the words being inserted into the others. At some point people will try different things to liven up the art of the crossword puzzle. I am sure that is why the crossword rebus was started. I doubt that any puzzle gets 100% positive or 100% negative reviews.

Jazzbumpa said...

Ah - so there is a way to save DONEE. OK.

Lemon - you have been quite sweet to the trolls today. I admire your restraint.

Rev Win D'oh - You literally have no idea what goes into one of the posts. Feel free to start your own blog and give it a try.

That's all the restraint I can muster.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

See Tin @ 9:02. (I guess I'm a purist as I strongly dislike "gimmick" puzzles, not matter how clever they are. Nuff said.)

Very cloudy and gloomy here and heavy rains are expected later on.

Thanks for the informative write-up, Lemon.

Have a great day.

Jazzbumpa said...

Owen -

Excellent as always.

First and third are brilliant.


Yellowrocks said...

Charity is not only the act of giving. It is also an organization providing charity: an organization that collects money and other voluntary contributions of help for people in need. The Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities. etc. are all donees, charities to whom we donate. The IRS calls these charities donees.

Misty said...

Well, since I didn't get the gimmick this puzzle didn't work for me at all. I got a few starters, sure, but then got stymied when the words filling in just weren't making sense. I think this should have been relegated to a Saturday since it was much harder than a Silkie, or there should have been some signal about the gimmick. Rotten way to start a Friday.

Bill G. said...

Good morning! This puzzle was a tough challenge for me. I had the same concern as others with the extra letter in the horizontal theme words but the final result made it OK by me. I agreed with JzB on the dotted note. It means 50 percent longer on all the guitar music I ever used. And DONEE seemed off to me; The word is OK but the clue could be better. Still, overall, this was a very clever puzzle and I appreciate the effort.

JJM said...

Took me a while to get the theme, but once I did everything but one letter eventually fell into place. Technically, a DNF for me as I could not get the "C" in10D or 16A. Brain cramp I guess.

Maverick said...

Loved it! It was a slow go until I got the theme in the central cross. Once I had the perps it was "MONEY in the BANK"! The corners fell quickly. Had some troubles with a couple in the lower corners. Too many 3 letter choices for a galoot (LUG/OAF/ASS/APE). Also liked the EYE TEST which gave it away. Mis-read Gallic as Gaelic (all that red hair had me thinking Scottish). Guesses on ABU and EERO (instead of NERO) left me with AMIES (which I read as a slang AMYS) and that I didn't get the AHA confirmation until a read the blog.

JJM said...

Speaking of red heads, my little Irish red-headed beauty turned 16 the other day! Took her to get her license and haven't seen much of her since. Hope I make it through all this

OwenKL said...

Jazz: Thanks for the assessment! My fave was the second (RUNS in the FAMILY) but the first one (for BillG & fermat) was good, too. The rest, meh.

I liked this puzzle, though I had a hard time with it. Cryptic puzzles have clues called charades* which I've always thought were more like rebuses, but looks like rebus already has 2 meanings in the American crossword world. Tried looking it up and found way too much info! Another word that popped up tho was plexers for what we had today.

5a started with SAD but that W seemed solid, so decided it meant blue jokes, so RAW. When perps forced LOW, I figured that's still an apt adjective for dirty jokes.

*E.g., sob softly small spasm = cry+p+tic, or cleaning lady's fruit drink = char+ade.

erocchio said...

If a puzzle offers no challenges it's too easy. I like being stumped and I love the writes up that explain what I missed. Too bad that the creator of these hard ones always gets dumped on for making it hard. Oh well.

CrossEyedDave said...

Sorry I missed yesterday, I was helping my daughter move into an apartment. Then I spent the rest of the day on my knees putting together IKEA Furniture. (Today my knees are killing me!) Talk about a puzzle, have you ever tried to make sense of IKEA's wordless assembly instructions?

CC, I did try your fun puzzle. I made it past 2nd base, but got tagged out at 3rd...

I think I know why I liked today's puzzle more than most. I had 2 hours to kill in a waiting room while DW had epidurals for her back & hip. The catch was obvious, & the theme began to appear, but it was so hard I never did complete it. I ended up checking the Blog when I got home, & then trying to complete it from memory, & I still had trouble.

But after 2 hours of puzzling, you just "have to" know what you couldn't get.

P.S., loved the Kitty Cake!

Unknown said...

hated it, worst ever.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Whew, I had to work very hard to solve this puzzle. It took me a long time to figure out how the gimmick worked, but once I figured it out things became much easier. Much of the non-theme fill was harder for me. I knew some of the proper names and not others. A real brain-stretcher today. Best wishes to you all.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This puzzle vexed me mightily with all the cryptic refer backs, etc. Then I had a light bulb moment with the third theme fill and laughed heartily out loud. Getting the theme helped on the others. Very challenging, Kurt, but amusing.

Thanks, Lemonade, for all you do! Don't mind the trolls.

The pictures of the ABU Simbel site looked familiar but didn't remember the name. ABU seemed logical. Thanks for the link.

Charity: I was off track on this one. I tried "lovee" & "lover". This was because as a child, I memorized the "love" chapter of 1st Corinthians 13 in the King James Bible version which used the word "charity" in place of "love". This reading is often used at weddings these days. Finally, perped DONEE.

ARBAON said...

For CC: Is it EVER ok to have the clue and the answer be the same? In another puzzle I do the clue and the answer were the one word :seen. The puzzle was edited by Timothy Parker.

J.S.Bach said...

Jazz, the dot comes AFTER the note to increase it by 50% not BEHIND it.

Unknown said...

The puzzle needed something to tie it together. I'd suggest a circle in the across words. Then they should spell "in the". That would have given me a satisfying aha moment. As is, no fun

grams said...

Hi all, TGIF. I'll have to take Thumper's saying bout this #%?! CW; however, Lemonade, you did your usual fine job, IMHO! Sure is nice day in Trinity, TX

Bill G. said...

It seems to be a truism, certainly for me too, that if a puzzle is tricky but one is able to finish it, it's viewed as clever. If one gets stumped and can't finish, some see it as a terrible and unfair puzzle. I don't know if I would have managed to finish all of this with only pencil and paper and without a couple of Googles but I got through it and liked the clever gimmick.

JJM, I enjoyed the photo of your red-headed daughter. Good luck with her first year of driving. When my oldest son got his license, I told him that he had to ask permission to use the car and no joy riding with his friends. A week later, I noticed a traffic citation opened on his desk for failing to stop at a stop sign at two in the morning in nearby Palos Verdes. He and his best buddy took the Mustang out for a spin. Geez...

Herr Bach: I'm sure JzB and I both know where the dot goes but thanks for trying to be helpful.

Still no Dodgers games for me unless I sign up with Time Warner. However, they have alienated me so much that I wouldn't consider it. I assume my provider will cave and pay them for access. If I have to pay a smallish surcharge, I am OK with that. I can only assume the previous money-grubbing owners made this arrangement before selling the team and profited handsomely. I hate to wish ill for anybody but I would by OK if the IRS gave that guy a big fat audit.

Irish Miss said...

Bill G @ 2:07 - I finished this puzzle without help, albeit in longer than usual time and with much brain-wracking. And It was clever. However, one of my musts for liking a puzzle is the "fun factor" and this puzzle was not fun, at least for me. As I said earlier, I don't like gimmicks and cross-references make me dizzy. All in all, Thumper says it best! :-)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the old days when we looked up answers in a Crossword Puzzle Dictionary?? Sensible, hard answers - not these tricky - cutsie things? I am an old lady showing my age!!

Ol' Man Keith said...

So MANY re-writes!
A brilliant pzl today from Mr. Krauss! Why? Because as Bill G has opined, it was (a) tough and (b) *I* could do it.
Well, let's say I could do 98%, as I needed a peek to break into the SE corner. My sin was 48D. ABNER is the B&E crime that allowed me entry to the bottom right sector.
I first caught onto the theme with RUNS (in the) FAMILY. The genetic odds of red hair persuaded me to take a chance, to re-write over my initial faith that all redheads can somehow qualify for VARSITY track!
The double word theme was fun--although I don't usually care for pzls that require an answer to be coordinated with another clue. But here I enjoyed the combination of cleverness and the familiarity of the phrases, whereby each of them scored an "Aha!" punch.
Easiest: MOAB, MACYS, STAC, THANES, EERO (it has been a while!), and S DAK.
Hardest: Mainly the re-writes, the need to change BANCK to BANNK, FLOORO to FLUORO, and especially FINEST to FINERY.
And Hands Up everyone who entered IZOD before RENE!
(I hadn't realized (a) that Lacoste was a real tennis player and then (b) that his name wasn't Izod...)

Al Cyone said...

Argyle@10:32: I missed the Buffalo gaffe. Thanks. I've been to VanBuren's home in Kinderhook. Of course he's on the pricier side of the Hudson.

ARBAON@1:36: That was today's S.F. Chronicle puzzle and I thought it was weird too.

retired lineman said...

Way to hard for me today. I'm impressed with those who were able to finish.

Electrical engineer two days in a row is rubbing it in to me. I wanted to be an electrical engineer. But I struggled to get C's in calculus, differential equations and analytical geometry. When I saw some students breeze through those courses I became discouraged. So I thought if I can't design the electrical grid I may as well work on it.

HeartRx said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Well, this has been the week from hell for me, but I won't bore you with the details.

At least I had a few minutes to finish the puzzle before today's craziness began. I enjoy a puzzle that takes me out of the usual run-of-the-mill "word before/after, add a letter, delete a letter, definition, quote or tribute" themes. Don and C.C.'s puzzle yesterday was a refreshing change, and was both visually and mentally pleasing. (Sorry I didn't get to publish a write-up!)

So I guess people either hated this one or loved it. My vote is for the latter!

Lemonade714 said...

Rose, how nice to see you. Yes, the Universal Crossword is considerably les strict in its approach, but does present mostly doable puzzles. They do include words I do not know like PROEM, but overall a good exercise.

Retired well Glen Campbell and I appreciate you and what you did.

marti, we missed you but life does intervene in our fun.

My only thought to those of you who dislike this and other really hard puzzles, think of how you would explain it to people. The process of doing these write ups which has helped me 1000% in recognizing themes and structure of puzzles. Perhaps it is like modern art, it may not be what you are used to seeing but it can be beautiful.

Lemonade714 said...

BTW, those of you who have said kind things about my write ups, thank you. Those who do not, you have your opinion and your right to same, though if you detest me, why are you here every Friday?

The whole experience is so much fun for me, and as I said I have learned so much about the building of puzzles that I will be forever grateful to C.C. and all the other constructors who have commented here, from C.C. to marti, Jerome, Jeff Chen, Gareth, Doug Peterson, SJSJ, and the list goes on and on.

Yellowrocks said...

CED, I feel your pain, both in the knees and with the Ikea directions. I think the wordless directions are a weak attempt to circumvent the language barrier. Have you ever had directions that were a poor translation from another language? They would be laughable if we were not so eager to comnplete our projects.

Speaking of semantics, I am sure JS Bach @ 1:37 agrees about where the dot is on the dotted note. It is a matter of semantics whether that position is after or behind. I find the same dilemma when people want to add letters after or behind a word. I am not sure which is correct. It does cause confusion.

erocchio @ 12:01. I agree. A really difficult one, even a DNF once or twice a week, is a good learning experience. I find that patiently Googling and reading about the the unknowns rather than red lettering helps me remember the answers so I have fewer DNFs in the future. I won't look at a Goggle that gives crossword answers. They teach us nothing.

retired lineman said...

Yr; good advice about googling. Also ; I try to remember your positive attitude when I get stumped.

Maci45 said...

Way too difficult today. Kudos to those who pulled it off. Today and tomorrow I will probably just peruse the blog, and smile at the answers -- what few there will be-- that I know.

CanadianEh! said...

Took a while today to get on the correct wavelength but when I got LOOK IN THE MIRROR the theme opened up. I enjoyed this puzzle even though it required a lot of work!

I had BLONDES before MAIDENS, SAD before LOW, and ZEUS before DEUS. Can you believe that I was assuming there was a Windsor somewhere in the US before I actually filled in ONTARIAN! (There is a Windsor in Nova Scotia also).

As a piano player, I wanted HELD for the dotted note clue. I agree with Jazzbumpa @1033. Even Wikipedia says "A dot indicating staccato articulation is not to be confused with a dotted note." So even with the abbreviation of mus., the clue is not entirely correct.

Very busy, exciting last few days with birth of new granddaughter!!
No red hair even though it RUNS IN THE FAMILY (but a long way back).

CrossEyedDave said...

I agree with Jzb, 17A dotted note was very misleading. For those that do not read music, some visuals may help explain:


What musicians call dotted notes.

Where can I get one of these?

Well, it's not like you didn't know already...

I gotta get one of these!

What you might miss if you don't look in the mirror.

Drop in the bucket gave me a hard time finding a visual, but when I kept looking under slightly different wording,,, I found too many...






& just because I need a lighter way to get out of here...

Pamela said...

Fantastic puzzle! I was frustrated enough to almost throw the newspaper page across the room (but was intimidated by the presence of a co-worker), but the light finally went on with BACK in the SADDLE, and the rest fell into place. Didn't care for SSS or PSST, but those are minor quibbles. Really enjoyed the challenge here.

Manac said...

Evening All.

I can't say I hated this one but I definitely didn't like it. Got the theme eventually but tanked it at Adu and Edson.

Dave, what a coincidence... About the same time you were throwing your daughter out of the house yesterday, I was bringing mine home for the weekend. Dirty laundry and all. Funny, I don't remember her taking that much clothing with her before.

CrossEyedDave said...

Hey Bill G!

I was trying to find a video on the bank maze puzzle, when one of the side links caught my eye.
(actually, it said free beer...)

Here are 3 math puzzles that can be solved without using any math! (just abstract thinking...)

Note: @ 14 minutes, it's a bit long. But guaranteed to drive you nuts. The blatant ads @ 6 & 8 minutes only add to the suspense. One word of caution, don't try these at a bar, (you might lose some teeth...)

Anonymous said...

Been doing crosswords for 20 years and this was by far the most poorly thought out one I have ever seen.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Those three "math" puzzles cost me too many minutes of my life.
But I did have to wonder why the answer to the second one couldn't be
- 60
+ 60

Somehow I think that shows more creative thinking than the answer provided.
Heh, heh.

Husker Gary said...

Couldn’t blog again today at that school any site with the word “blog” in it is verboten and then it was off another Lenten fish fry. Marti’s assessment of this clever puzzle is just right and I don’t need to gild her lily, unless she asks me to ;-)!

p.s. I saw 77 comments and I thought, oh no, somebody’s off the rails again! Nah, just some fun comments.

Bill G. said...

CED, thanks for those three puzzles. I'd seen the first one before so I got it easily. I was pleased with myself for figuring out the last one. I was pis$#d off that I gave up too easily on the second one. Thanks again.

I also found/saw this alternative answer for the third one. 3 + 4/2 = 5. Clever!

OM Keith, good creative answer but not quite following the rules. He said "Only three numbers and a plus sign." No minus signs allowed in his version.

Here's another one kinda in the same vein.
What's the largest number you can make using ONLY three digits? Hint: It's way bigger than 999.

Manac said...

Bill G.
Slight flaw in your alternative solution. You used an extra symbol that isn't allowed as the problem was posed.

PK said...

Keith, dear, please put your own handsome face back into your avatar. That devil disturbs me. Reminds me too much of some of my in-laws.

kjinkc said...

Contrary to many, I thoroughly enjoyed this change of pace today, even though it was difficult at times.

Did anyone see Pele on the Daily Show tonight? I was channel surfing and stumbled into his interview. What an awesome person. And to the comment about his name...His first name IS Edson, however, his birth certificate showed Edison.

Now off to ponder the 3 math challenges.

Lucina said...

Very busy day today so diddn't have much time for the puzzle. However, early this morning I finished all but the themes. Later tonight when I got to them I was flummoxed and came to see Lemonade's explanation.

I've done those kinds of puzzles in a word game situation but never in a crossword puzzle so it was unexpected. Brilliant execution, but I prefer the regular crosswords.

I saw the movie, "God is not dead" and was completely impressed with it. Very powerful.

I hope you all had a beautiful Friday!

kjinkc said...

Since this is my night off, I decided to go back and do Thursday puzzle. Boy am I glad I did!

CC - thanks for the Yankees, ALEast and all the other clever baseball references. Truly enjoyed it even if it was a day late for me.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all:

I couldn't get enough of a foothold to WAG at any perps. Once I saw LEM's write-up I thought "ok, cool idea" but, No sir, I didn't like it..

Tip o' the hat to those who could do it.

Honestly, I didn't spend enough time on the puzzle to see if I could peck out most of the answers, but I know I'd have needed the Google for all the proper names.

retired lineman - my 1st crack at calc 3 earned me a D. The integrals seemed like memorization. I was hurt, but took it again and really learned how to study. I've never designed a grid either, just computer networks. Know with out implementers, the design would never get done.

I went to the Rocket's game tonight to watch them clench a playoff berth. OKC put up a good fight.

Off to play with the math puzzles posted.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Keith - you weren't allowed to use a "-" symbol, it was "3 numbers" with a "+" sign. No, I didn't get it either. I only got the last one after scam-school bent my brain and non-linear thinking set in.

How did I get the same CAPTCHA 2x?

C, -T

Bumppo said...

And, so, what is so "aptly" about all these double clues with broken horizontals?

Argyle said...

I rationalized it as "aptly" because the vertical word is "in the" horizontal word; so "drop" is aptly placed "in the" bucket.

That's the best I could come up with.

BarbieMom said...

I did not get to the puzzle until this morning. Once I got the theme, the puzzle rolled right along. I enjoyed it and only had to google for Pele's first name. Now on to Saturday's puzzle.

Curt said...

I find it very interesting. The people who don't like the puzzle are the people who do poorly at it. I thought this was a great puzzle. There is certainly no need for "in" or "the" because they are implied when the drop is in the bucket.

Anonymous said...

I have done the LA Times daily puzzles for some time now, but friday's puzzle was one for the books - the bad books. Even after I figured out the scheme (yes, I got it) I still felt that it was inane. When the puzzle is done, the answers should be WORDS, and not have extra letters put in. If one wants to do this sort of puzzle, the crossing words should have a common letter so that each answer forms a true word. I also felt that some of the clues were really stretching it. I enjoy a challenge as much as the next guy, but please, keep the playing field a bit more level.

KentuckyKate said...

I've been away, so just got to this Friday puzzle today and have to say I liked it, as well as the write-up and all the comments.Thank you, Lemonade and commenters. I was about to give up in the SW but FLOURO finally showed up, along with EYETEST (I kept trying for a fortune-teller type Seer) and it finally fell into place.

It is really interesting to me that sometimes I can get on the wavelength of the author and other times not at all, even though most commenters seem to have solved a puzzle without help. I initially expected the common letter, but once the design became apparent, I think it worked, given that so many puzzles now attempt a bit of a gimmick. It's a change of pace and of thought processes...a good thing for my aging brain!

Cheers, all and thanks for the community of comments. Makes it more fun. Now on to the Saturday and I'll have a Sunday to savor later this week. Hooray!