SUNDAY, Jun. 15, 2008 - Jeremy Newton (WHALING ADVERB)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Did You Get the Memo?" - common phrases that start with "RE" are clued as if the "RE" meant "regarding" in a business memo

This was Dull. Really dull. As dull as ... well, as dull as an office memo, presumably. Even searching over all the clues, I could barely find anything remotely interesting to write about. When [Alternatives to Yodels] is your most interesting clue, man, you're in trouble. The difficulty level was pitched just right, there were very few entries that made me wince or gag, but taken as a totality, the puzzle was radically Blah. I have ALMOST (45D: Bordering on) nothing to say about it.

Theme answers:

  • 23A: Memo about Stephen King's "Christine?" (RE: possessed auto)
  • 32A: Memo about an inveterate perjurer? (RE: lying on instinct)
  • 48A: Memo about a dating guide? (RE: pair manual)
  • 64A: Memo about where tariffs are imposed on incoming ships? (RE: port for duty) - by far my least favorite of these. Supremely awkward.
  • 71A: Memo about stores for animal appendages? (RE: tail outlets) - what? There are other, more plausible kinds of tails, you know. Tuxedo tails, kite tails ...
  • 82A: Memo about a religious outpost for prisoners? (RE: con mission) - I do like how this intersects NAM (74D: Where Forrest Gump did a tour)
  • 101A: Memo about why to buy an air purifier? (RE: mote possibility) - another really bad one
  • 114A: Memo about a lyricist? (RE: verse engineer) - why not zazz this clue up? [Memo about AN ACTUAL @#$@#$ING POET]

Short bullet list:

  • 28A: Staple figure in origami (crane) - fantastic clue / answer pair, though sadly my first thought was "you don't use staples in origami ..."
  • 30A: Emmy-winning Ward (Sela) - part of the postmodern pantheon, i.e. those names that have become crossword staples since Will Shortz took over the puzzle (SELA Ward won her first Emmy in 1994)
  • 37A: Like the Honda Element (boxy) - our neighbors' daughter has one of these, so this answer came to me quickly. I love how this word is rotationally symmetrical with MINX (100A: Flirtatious sort). You see so few BOXY MINX these days. MINXES?
  • 38A: BBC : Britain :: _____ : Italy (R.A.I.) - I ... just ... what? What? See, the thing about the BBC is that people in the U.S. have Heard Of It. Yeesh. RAI is bad. Thankfully, I never saw the clue while solving this puzzle. I see (from the cruciverb.com database) that it's been in the puzzle before, usually clued as Thor Heyerdahl's boat (RA I), and only twice as the Italian network. At least I didn't get the [Algerian pop music] or [Some Bollywood actor I've clearly never heard of] clue.
  • 46A: "Now I see!" ("Ah, yes") - goes nicely with "I DIG IT!" (75D: "Gotcha," to a beatnik)
  • 70A: Apple gadget (corer) - nice misdirect with "Apple"
  • 74A: Falls on the border (Niagara) - nice noun-for-verb switchout
  • 76A: Strategic W.W. I river (Yser) - had EDER, then ESER, which I never bothered to change ... until my puzzle got rejected by the Puzzle Gods
  • 88A: 1492 voyager (Pinta) - put it in, couldn't do anything with it, took it out ... put it in. Eventually something happened.
  • 112A: Ready to roll? ... or not ready to roll? (tired) - I half-like this. It's daring. I would never say that a car was well TIRED, but whatever.
  • 121A: Clothing chain since 1994 (Old Navy) - Much older than I thought.
  • 6D: Fourth members of a musical group (fas) - Had FA- and was trying to think how in the world the puzzle was trying to spell FA (FAH? FAL?) when I noticed that the clue wanted a plural.
  • 11D: _____ Malfoy, Harry Potter antagonist (Draco) - With SELA, an important part of the postmodern pantheon.
  • 15D: "Arrested Development" actress Portia de _____ (Rossi) - she will be marrying Ellen DeGeneres soon, I hear.
  • 16D: Candy bar whose name is an exclamation ("Oh, Henry!") - Never thought of it as an exclamation. Interesting. Like that it intersects the equally junk-foody HOHOS.
  • 21D: 1958 hit whose B-side was "La Bamba" ("Donna") - one of my best students is named DONNA. Here's the song.
  • 29D: Biggest section in a dictionary (ess) - HA ha. I guess that's true.
  • 34D: When repeated, Mork's TV sign-off (Nanu) - I blame this answer for R.A.I.
  • 36D: Whaling adverb (thar) - awesome
  • 50D: LeBlanc of "Joey" (Matt) - sad. He remembers fondly, I'm sure, when he was clued as [LeBlanc of "Friends"]
  • 60D: Rule before a revolution, maybe (tyranny) - wow, nice clue. I was thinking of some scientific, perhaps astronomical "rule"
  • 66D: Grand _____, setting for "Evangeline" (Pré) - I have no idea what this clue means. What is "Evangeline?" A book? An opera? Oh, whoops, it's a Longfellow poem. I probably should have known that. In fact, maybe I did.
  • 85D: How a ringtone may be set (on silent) - hmmmm. Yes, OK. The phrase feels a little shaky to me, in terms of its stand-alone-worthiness.
  • 88D: Like many nonanimated Disney films (PG-rated) - what is up with this clue? Why not [Like many films], because that's about how specific this clue is.
  • 113D: Old Ottoman title (Dey) - yay, DEY. I always root for DEY over AGA. Then there's always BEY, which is what I had here at first...

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS Happy Father's Day to all relevant parties

67 comments:

Belvoir 9:06 AM  

It's actually DEY,not BEY:

"Dey (Arabic: داي, from Turkish Dayı [1][2]) was the title given to the rulers of the Regency of Algiers (Algeria) under the Ottoman Empire from 1671 onwards."

ArtLvr 9:32 AM  

Happy Fathers Day, Rex et alii -- Too bad, but I have to agree our puzzle didn't have enough pizzazz! The Newday puz has a good Fathers Day theme...

There were only a few items that slowed me down on this one: at 12D I wanted "inters" at first for INURNS (is that a real verb)? Okay. And for a boom maker at 78D, since I was doing downs first, I wanted "sst" rather than TNT.

On misreading 85D's ringtone as "ringstone", I was thinking "in silver" instead of ON SILENT. That last was cute-ish. Not much else was really amusing to me, except maybe 17D -- [it may be used for banking] which was POOL CUE. Not bad!

Also, I thought the loon at 61A would be more colorful as a nutcake, rather than NUTCASE. Maybe that's just me. Didn't fit anyway.

∑;)

ArtLvr 9:32 AM  

That's Newsday...

imsdave1 9:48 AM  

I hate to disagree with Rex, but I found the theme to be remarkably clever (OK, with a few groaners). Very respectable puzzle, a solid medium, and it kept my interest. Can't wait to see what Meet the Press does today (a big part of my Sunday morning). Any bets on Tiger's knee today?

Leon 10:04 AM  

Nice puzzle Mr. Newton.

Ode to Joy and I Shot the Sheriff. What a combo! Had to listen to both after reading a translation of Ode To Joy. Much Joy to all Fathers.

Conga line of pairs:
HOHOS/ ELF
INEXILE/SLEEPIN
OHHENRY/AHYES(NOSIREE)
JEERSAT/ATALL
ONRYE/ONSILENT
PEPUP/UPSTATE

@Belvoir - Your request for more memory from yesterday was granted with 35 down.

jubjub 10:05 AM  

I didn't like the cluing Babydoll=SWEET. To me, babydoll refers to a style of clothing. I've looked it up in four "dictionaries", and the ones I found it in only defined it either as a baby doll or a style of clothing. Wikipedia references the "Kinderwhore" look, which I think is a far better word than BEDEW. BEDEW? I'd like to see that used in a sentence please :).

parshutr 10:16 AM  

Agree with Rex >99%.
Cluing was imprecise at best...onsilent would be tosilent, buries "inurns"?? Urns are for cremation, not burial, a totally different method of disposal of remains. Inters fits and is more appropriate...and so many more.
@imsdave1...It won't be Tiger's knee that fails today (if finishing lower than first is failure) but his head. I look for him to leave a lot of putts short.
Sorry about the noncrossword comment, Rex, but it was asked for...

jubjub 10:19 AM  

PS I don't know if this was already mentioned here, but there is an article about EERO Saarinen on Slate:
http://www.slate.com/id/2193066/
Eero Saarinen was "largely forgotten after his death (except as a regular clue in the New York Times crossword)."

While I'm sending links, related to ODETO Joy, here is a link to the Bright Eyes performance of "Road to Joy" on one of them late night talk shows:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=RKV2bHpiH1E

Jane Doh 10:29 AM  

SWEET puzzle.

I don't mind respectfully disagreeing with Rex ... and I love themes like this. It almost feels like this should have been done already, but since it apparently hasn't, I'm happy that it now has.

Clever theme answers, I thought, groan-provoking in a good way. The fill is very clean and has some nice vocabulary that made solving this a pleasure outside of the theme discovery process. TOPS OFF, EVEN PAR, CAST-IRON, OH HENRY!, POOL CUE, PG-RATED, IN EXILE, ON SILENT, OLD NAVY, GO EASY, and more -- good stuff. Solid set of clues -- if a tad on the easy side -- to round out the experience.

Happy Fathers Day to all.

jls 10:31 AM  

i'm among those who found this lively, cheerful and not at all "dull." "retailoutlets," "repairmanual," "relyingoninstinct"? now maybe i'm just an easy mark/too easily pleased (no comment, please...), but this is all (fill and clue) seriously smile-worthy in my book.

and the distinction between the bbc ("people in the U.S. have Heard Of It"...) and "rai" -- well, this people have heard of it [sic] -- and while taking a course in italian even *watched* it -- as it's long been a cable choice in nyc -- and other national markets i'd venture to guess.

but that's what makes for lively interplay among xword lovers and folks in the blogosphere, eh?

cheers, all -- and happy fathers day to them as is fathers!

;-)

janie

Kathy 10:33 AM  

I liked the puzzle, too, and never had to google to finish, which is unusual for me with late-week puzzles.

Interestingly, I didn't get the theme until after I finished and realized that each of the theme answers started with RE. Duh.

Kathy

P.S. When using "Google" as a verb, should the G be uppercase?
Inquiring minds....

Wobbith 10:51 AM  

Ugh.

Somebody please explain why DECOR is distracting?

I set my cell phone to silent at times, ok I suppose you could say "ON SILENT". but I don't believe it is possible to set my ringtone to, or on silent.

I have digits, but I am not numeric. Is "23 Skidoo" numeric?

Ditto to Jubjub re: BABYDOLL.

What makes a military DETAIL special?

"RE: PORT FOR DUTY" is just nonsensical and ugly.

Yawn.
I guess I'm grumpy today.

Will 11:06 AM  

I like this puzzzle because did not have any proper names as a clue answers other than the three letter (Lee).

PuzzleGirl 11:07 AM  

I didn't think it was dull necessarily, just super easy. I enjoyed the theme.

I misread a few clues and that slowed me down: I read "verb" for "adverb" in the whaling clue and, like artlvr, saw "ringstone" for "ringtone."

The fact that "kinderwhore" is a word kinda creeps me out.

Re: INURNS, my grandmother was cremated, her ashes were placed in an urn, then the urn was buried in a cemetery. Not really sure what that was all about.

@wobbith: Try DECOY for decor.

@belvoir: Now go look up BEY and get back to us, okay?

chefbea1 11:14 AM  

Way too easy for a sunday puzzle. Had it finnished too quickly. I like to keep coming back to it during the day and discover answers that I had missed. Had trouble with 55A board and 47D frank. wanted frank to be honest. Wouldnt you know they were both food related. Liked the crossing of minx and sex.
Happy father's day to all. Go get those franks on the grill

mac 11:18 AM  

Easy puzzle, but I was just happy to have it at all!
Don't know HoHo's, maybe because of my geographical status I was thinking horns (Alpenhorns?) I have seen a lot of Austria and Switzerland, on tv, the last week. I had another shortlived mistake: "martial" instead of "tyranny" at 60 down. I got the clue quickly and filled in a lot of re-'s right away which helped a bit.
I've seen RAI quite a bit, both when living in Germany and during visits to Italy, and I wonder if the BBC might not be a little insulted being compared to this station. Last time I checked the Brits mostly kept their clothes on.

Anonymous 11:23 AM  

Babydoll is also a 1940ish pet name as in "hey there babydoll!" but think SWEET is a bit awkward and would be more comfortable with SWEETY (SWEETIE?).

Also agree a silent ringtone isn't even an oxymoron. Better clued as RINGER than RINGTONE as the former can be considered a "device" capable of being silenced, but a RINGTONE is not.

.../Glitch

Doris 11:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
alanrichard 11:30 AM  

I did the missing links puzzles and I haven't started the crossword yet. Cucumbers, cassette, tractable and reville - this is a welcome novelty. The thing I enjoy most since Will Shortz became editor is the creative puzzles added to the lower section.

Rex Parker 11:37 AM  

Please don't use the Comments section as a venue for discussing other puzzles, even if they are in the NYT. Expect such comments to be ruthlessly deleted from here on out, especially if they are even tangentially related to Sudoku.


rp

Doris 11:38 AM  

Re INURN: As I've posted before, "Hamlet" is an education in itself. If one never reads anything else but knows this play pretty well, one can do just about any crossword (barring annoying pop-culture clues, which are a challenge to me, but which I manage to dredge up, mostly without googling—must have learned this stuff by osmosis).

Act I, iv—The Dane addresses the Ghost:

Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly INURN'D
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again.

BTW, the latest Time Out New York, listing the Shakespeare in the Park production of this play, quotes the memorable Dietz/Schwartz song "That's Entertainment" in its supremely clever ("I wish I'd written that") line, "When a ghost and a prince meet, and everyone ends up mincemeat."

Ben Hassenger 11:51 AM  

I don't know dude, maybe it's just because I got my best time for a Sunday (just a little under 36 minutes, slowly getting better and better!), but I thought this puzzle was a blast. There were a ton of answers that I enjoyed, and I liked a lot of the cluing, especially for POOLCUE and SLASH.

Joon 11:59 AM  

i liked this puzzle, and did not find it as easy as everybody else. it was straightforward enough, but it took me my usual NYT sunday time. REPOSSESSEDAUTO was my favorite theme answer. that's just good. i learned something, too: did not know MODELA. but that makes a great deal of sense. does that mean the model T was the 20th ford?

no capital G in the verb google. as far as i know, english has no proper verbs. (from my comments style, i may not seem like the big authority on capitalization, i know.) check out bowdlerize or spoonerize in your dictionary. they're lowercase.

on a related note, google (the noun) seems to have rebranded itself with a lowercase g. maybe they're onto something.

wobbith, i know you are grumpy, but there has never been a rule that the clue and answer have to be interchangeable in all usages. just one usage. so [Having digits]/NUMERIC is perfectly fine. i agree that ONSILENT was imprecisely clued. [Like some cell phones] would have been both more correct and more interesting to figure out. [Babydoll]/SWEET seemed okay to me... except that i kind of wanted SWEETUMS or something equally cloying. (well, no, i didn't really want it. but you know what i mean.)

sherryo 12:08 PM  

Imagine, if you will, the indescribable pleasure one feels upon seeing one's name on a NYTs Sunday crossword puzzle. The pure joy of it, like you could smile for a month!

Now imagine the virtual punch in the gut you just gave this constructor.

Rex Parker 12:10 PM  

[Imagining .... imagining ....]

Is something supposed to happen?

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

Really enjoyed this puzzle, including a couple amusing twists (eg Apple gadget, CORER and not some I-something, which I started with), or HOTDOG for "Frank"--started with "honest" there as well. TIRED was fun to puzzle out, CASTIRON and (Dutch) OVENS with the CORER had a pleasant retro kitchen feel. I think my favorite clue was "Falls on the border," filled in NIAGARA only way late, and having grown up near there this made me laugh. Really no complaints here about clueing or anything else. Happy to have DEY and THAR at hand now and have learned to live with ELHI.

Orange 12:35 PM  

Me, I liked this puzzle. I've liked all the puzzles I've done this weekend. Either they're a nice batch or I'm predisposed to be particularly cheerful because I've got the house to myself all weekend—or both.

INURNS is unimpeachable on account of being an actual verb. American Heritage gives two definitions: 1. To put in an urn: inurned the ashes of the deceased. 2. To bury or entomb; inter.. Why anybody ever began to use inurn to mean inter or bury or entomb—when those words probably already existed—is a mystery to me.

My blog covers a bunch of crosswords, not just the NYT crosswords. I also sometimes blog about the NYT's second Sunday puzzle, and covered the "Missing Links" one this weekend. So if you just cannot hold it in, you can visit my site. (If, however, you are looking to swap recipes, neither my blog nor Rex's is designed for that. I hear there are plenty of food blogs out there, though...)

You may think Rex is being arbitrary about limiting discussion of other puzzles here, but that's actually a reader service. Many people hate running into spoilers for puzzles they haven't done yet, and they're expecting to find only the regular NYT crossword discussed here. You know how some people get angry if you spoil plot points from a movie or Lost? It's the same with puzzles.

Tintin 1:01 PM  

This was definitely easy-medium. Liked the cluing for CORER, NIAGARA and POOL CUE. Like others, thought SWEET at 103D was awkward. Had never heard of GRAND PRE. I am absolutely outraged at any Old Ottoman dude that displaces my beloved SUSAN DEY. ;)

The japanese-inspired babydoll/kinderwhore movement and its Lolita subset seem to be popping up around NYC more frequently of late. Anyone else see this around?

Would have liked to see some Father's day reference worked in somewhere, absent a full theme. On that note, happy Father's Day to Rex and all!

Brooklyn

treedweller 1:04 PM  

@jubjub:

My favorite part of "Fantasia" is the segment in which the fairies wake up and BEDEW all the flowers.

I'm not saying it's a great word, but . . .

jae 1:18 PM  

Enjoyed this more than Rex perhaps because it capped an error free week. I also thought this was comparatively easy. Only a couple of minor missteps with INTER and HONEST.

SWEET also seemed off to me and I'm with tintin on Susan DEY.

alanrichard 1:23 PM  

Sorry - i'll stay focused on the NY Times1 Anyway this was quick puzzle. i got misled after ahyes and metro when I put down honest for frank. I got Niagata quickly enough to correct that. It's always good to see a cross of a snob with a snub, and OH Henry and HoHos. And I loved reposessed auto - maybe someday there will be a refernece to a 1928 Porter (My mother the car)!

PhillySolver 1:37 PM  

Busy morning here in Philly, but finished the puzzle last night. I enjoyed it and the aid of knowing the theme answers started with RE.

It took awhile as Sundays do and then I researched Jeremy Newton. He seems a very clever young man and it appears this is his first published puzzle. Since a lot of clues come from Will, I am not sure which are original to Mr. Newton, but the cruciverb database shows a lot of the fill appears for the first time and added to the rare ones (less than four occurrences) represent a fresh face with fresh ideas.

I tried a number of tri words before TRINARY. I knew OH HENRY from a bit of Seinfeld Trivia. Misspelled NANU (nano), but nothing impossible due to getable crosses. I wonder who has the higher rank, BEY or DEY? BEDEW and INURN were two new ones on me, but I am ready for their reappearance.

Megan P 3:00 PM  

I liked this puzzle a lot, a lot. It made me laugh! Many Sunday puzzles tend to be boring and dull, repetitive and tedious. Actually, I used to not even do them.

So, new constructor, you have a new fan - several, to judge from the comments.

I really liked the puzzle.

archaeoprof 3:47 PM  

I agree with Rex -- this one seemed a little flat. Here's a question for Latin experts about 111D: isn't ANNUM, the Latin word for "year" a second declension neuter noun? Shouldn't the plural be ANNA rather than ANNI?

jean 3:56 PM  

There's a delightful A. A. Milne poem about King John. In it "anxiety bedewed his brow."
I couldn't copy the link, but if you look up the quoted phrase, you'll find it.

Jean

Anonymous 3:56 PM  

FWIW, here's one example of a capitalized verb. I believe there are others too.

Anonymous 4:24 PM  

what is a reverse engineer?
why is slash part of 1/2?
does anyone else hate the word "apers"?

Doris 4:38 PM  

The poem referred to by Jean at 3:56 is "King John's Christmas," a favorite of mine, too. It's the one where bad King John still gets the India-rubber ball he wishes for so fervently. Here's the link:

http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Dell/4500/ppc_redball.htm

ArtLvr 4:55 PM  

@ archeoprof -- re 111D ANNI, do you remember Queen Elizabeth II of England, with her home/favorite historic castle at Winsor in roaring flames as backdrop, when she gave her Christmas address in 1992 and spoke in quavering voice of her "annus horribilis"? That's the masculine nominative singular, and the plural is ANNI as seen in the puzzle.

This phrase of hers was widely reported, having since been copied to mean a period of multiple major disasters, and no wonder! Nobody was heard to begrudge her the Latin tag, as the nation was reeling too.

∑;(

Ben Hassenger 5:01 PM  

Yo 4:24 - between the 1 and 2, there is a slash mark.

ArtLvr 5:21 PM  

@ doris -- Many thanks for your quotation from "Hamlet" and the link to Pooh's Poetry Corner... I do love your contributions!

∑;)

Orange 5:28 PM  

4:24—"Reverse engineer" is a verb, not a noun. Here's an article that gives you the basics of reverse engineering. And yes, everyone dislikes APER and APERS. Even constructors. But the letters come in handy, and here the word crosses two theme entries.

john in ct 5:42 PM  

Happy Father's Day. This is my first one as a father. Oh yeah, the puzzle. It was ok. Fishing this morning was more fun than the puzzle.

Michael 6:02 PM  

I enjoyed the puzzle -- thought it was clever, not at all dull, and at about the right level of Sunday difficulty. What I didn't enjoy at all was doing it on Across Lite (and am still wondering how come I can get it on Explorer but not on Firefox). I can't wait to do the puzzle again on paper with pen. (I also can't wait for the waters to recede here in Iowa, but I'm hardly alone in that around here and am lucky to live on high ground.)

Question on Across Lite -- When I finished, the screen said that I had filled in all the letters. Did that mean that I had them all right (I think I did today) or just that I had completed the grid and could conceivably have written in all "z"s?

jls 6:07 PM  

"Simonize" brings to mind another capitalized verb, this one related to a dry-cleaning process and immortalized by frank loesser in "take back your mink" from guys and dolls. the song is a striptease performed by miss adelaide and the hot box girls (the "debutantes"):

...I thought that each expensive gift you'd arrange
Was a token of your esteem.
But when I think of what you want in exchange
It all seems a horrible dream --
So take back your mink
To from whence it came
And tell them to Hollanderize it
For some other dame!

"...to from whence it came..." -- bliss!

;-)

janie

LoneStar 6:35 PM  

I thought the Disney non-animated movies were PIRATED - like a pun for the PIRATES of the Carribbean series. I didn't get the DECOY/DEY section, and I couldn't figure out what an INU was - figured it must be some sort of bearded beast that I never heard of. I had to come here and surprise I found them PGRATED.

archaeoprof 7:07 PM  

@artlvr: right you are. Thanks for your help. It's been too long since my high school Latin. The word is ANNUS (second declension masculine, with plural ANNI). Somewhere Mrs Wentzel is looking down and telling me, "Study your vocabulary!"

Anonymous 7:20 PM  

to michael, re: across lite - when the screen says you have filled in all the letters, it just means that all the boxes are filled. if you are doing the puzzle the next day and you fill in all the boxes correctly, it says "congraulations! you have successfully completed the puzzle." or it will do the same if you unlock the solution after filling all the boxes.

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

re: capitalized verbs Simonize and Hollanderize - howbout Xerox?

green mantis 7:23 PM  

Distracting decor is one of my trademarks. When I moved into my current digs, I painted my ceiling (sloping corners with a big medallion in the center, reminiscent of a turret) in solid gold. Wall colors are indigo and blood red. So I am, basically, a genie.

And, I thought "der" was plausible, but mostly I guess because I like saying it. Der.

I didn't go fetch the paper today so I got online to do it, and started tearing through the puzzle like greased lightning--faster than I'd ever moved before. I was on fire, people, and making plans to try to join Mensa later in the day, and maybe solve the whole cold fusion thing, when I realized I was doing Monday's puzzle. Der.

foodie 7:48 PM  

@Phillysolver

I think Dey is higher than Bey, but Dey only existed as an official title in the North African Ottoman territories (as noted by Belvoir). Bey is much more common, and growing up in the Middle East, I heard mostly of Pasha (or Basha) the highest, then Bey, which eventually went from a formal title to an appellation given to everyone deemed important (the way Italians seem to use Dottore) while Aga (Agha) was a title for gentleman- farmer types. Even now, there are older people who retain these titles and certainly refer to their ancestors using them. Actually,
Turkish titles extended beyond these to many titles indicating respect, family hierarchy and connections-- e.g. a formal title for addressing "older brother" (abey), "older sister" (abla), and lady (Khanum or Hanum)... I am surprised they don't make it into the puzzles.

@David from last night, glad you liked my erroneous response, "BAREBACK" in place of "CARALARM". I think it was when I got to those crosses that I decided it was a bit much, I had to let it go...

@ John in ct, this is also my son's first father's day. What a great occasion! Happy rest of the day to all the wonderful dads!

Joon 9:00 PM  

i don't know about "hollanderize," and maybe there is no answer since it seems to be a word that has only ever been used once. but simonize is in the m-w dictionary with a lowercase s. likewise xeroxed i think that's just how it is. a linguist friend of mine told me this once, although i can't cite any reference on the matter.

Anonymous 9:45 PM  

As a Nova Scotian living in New York (Binghamton actually) I get overly excited about any Canadian reference in the NYT crossword. The setting for "Evangeline", Grand Pré, is also a national park in Nova Scotia that commemorates the deportation of Acadians from the area in late 1700's.
The park is very beautiful and well worth the visit. http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/grandpre/index_e.aspv

ArtLvr 10:27 PM  

@ archaeoprof -- Thanks for responding! I too see the Latin teachers of my youth in my mind's eye: Miss Muir, Mr. Baker, and Miss Whalley -- the last claiming to have taught my father as well...

(I never asked him if it was true, but it was likely. My h.s. freshman English teacher claimed to have taught Ernest Hemingway too, which would have been even earlier, but just barely possible!)

∑;)

Howard B 10:37 PM  

Actually a cute little theme... Found the clues easy, and you didn't need to fully grasp the theme to crack the puzzle. Speaking of which, I was overthinking the puzzle the whole time, and didn't see the theme fully until late in the puzzle. (MEMO? is there a ME or MO in there somewhere...). This despite my running off more than a few 'Re:' emails each week at the office.

At that point, of course, I wanted to kick myself... more of a "D'oh! moment" than an "Aha! moment".

If this is the contructor's first Sunday effort, congrats!

The Asian Badger 11:14 PM  

Liked 17D POOLCUE. Not much else. I'm not a big fan of "cute" which today's puzzle was, IMHO. Some nice use of the English language but that's about it.

Jim in NYC 12:31 AM  

"I'll charm your willing ears with songs of lovers' fears/While sympathetic tears my cheeks BEDEW..."
--W.S. Gilbert

Anonymous 12:56 AM  

Loved, loved, loved the puzzle!
It had no sports references, no ancient history (var.), no war battles in obscure places, no govt. offices or other crazy-making abbr.
Thank you!
Re: Evangeline: read it in junior high, will remember it forever.
Even with inurns and apers, it was a satisfying solve.

Retired_Chemist 1:03 PM  

I have a google-free month going but it won't be an error-free one. Didn't know DEY (113D: Old Ottoman title) and left BEY to think about at the end - then forgot, leaving 112A as TIREB (wtf). Never heard of Portia DeRossi (15D) and only vaguely of HOHOS (22A: Yodel alternative). HIHOS had a seven-dwarfy sound to it (Hiho, Hiho, it;s off to work we go...) so the Yodel connection was "a sound you hear in odd, nonurban environments). I guessed the I since deRissi seemed as plausible as deRossi. And lost.

shiroijin 5:36 PM  

@ green mantis

I thought Der was a great word too. Possible, at least. Even though decor was an awkward answer, I've seen many distracting decors in my lifetime (some my fault, some not). Being a genie is not so bad, try living as a vampire...All black - walls, furniture, carpet - I was depressed and didn't know why.

Sorry to hear about your premature genius status...maybe next week.

MaryPatOR 6:55 PM  

This puzzle was pure joy! No googling or reference books needed! My favorite answer was "REPOSESSEDAUTO," as Christine was a wonderfully fun movie. Also, I just acquired "Word Play" and watched it last night. It's so much fun and good to place faces with familiar crossworld names. I recommend it to all crossword devotees.

kadh 2:50 AM  

Easiest Sunday puzzle ever for me, even if I got it a week late. I thought the theme was cute but that there were so many 3 letter answers that it was very easy.

Anonymous 5:37 PM  

97D: FIRST FORD - MODEL A SHOULD BE

MODEL T.

Rex Parker 5:50 PM  

Anonymous,

You're simply wrong. A quick Google search will tell you that. As the letter implies, A was first. I think T was the first successfully mass-produced version.

rp

Anonymous 12:06 PM  

As Rex says, the Model T was Ford's first successfully mass-produced car. There were 2 Model A's. The second, and most well-known [famous] came right after the Model T.

Saiful 11:22 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saiful 11:29 AM  

I loved the puzzle. The theme showed tremendous wit - how can you not like "reverse engineer" and "relying on instinct"??

Can't wait for the next one!

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