WEDNESDAY, Apr. 22, 2009 - D Finan (Chekhov play or its antihero / Stethoscope users at times / "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" duettist, 1976)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Shipbuilding - as the "Note" to the puzzle says, circled letters contain letters A through I, which, which connected in alphabetical order, form a picture of the puzzle's theme - in this case, a sailboat. Letters A through I are used in clues to indicate parts of the ship they describe. Additional boat-related content in the long answers ... and LOGS (28D: Old shipbuilding needs)

Word of the Day: YEGGS (63A: Stethoscope users, at times) - n. Slang. A thief, especially a burglar or safecracker.

How many times will I be asked to draw boats on my puzzles ... ?

Much kerfuffle at the NYT puzzle site last night. Apparently something in the formatting of this puzzle caused a big snafu and on-line subscribers couldn't get their puzzles until well after midnight (normal time: 10pm). Someone emailed me a bootleg copy of this puzzle in pdf format (from last week's Marbles Amateur Crossword Tournament in Chicago, which used this week's NYT puzzles), and so I printed it out and solved on paper. Came in at just under 6. I think that's pretty normal, especially factoring in the paper-solving (which almost always takes longer than keyboard-solving). It is news to no one that I am a big non-fan of this kind of puzzle. I hate taking the time to read a note (don't do it if I don't have to) and when I saw that the first theme clue was essentially gibberish, i.e. "With this other answer, these letters in some illustration you can't see yet," all I felt was annoyance. I do not like being asked to draw on my puzzle. In fact, I refuse. So I ignored the theme answers completely - solved around them - and in the process of doing so, the I intuited the nautical theme and I just made ship-related words out of any clue that was just giving me letters, e.g. [F-G], [C-D]. Didn't bother even looking at the (non-) illustration. This seems like the kind of puzzle that took some time to conceive and execute, and it probably deserves our admiration. But I didn't enjoy solving it. Except YEGGS. That clue was @!#$#ing awesome.

[title should read "Golden YEGGS"]

I started the puzzle off horribly, almost despairingly. Theme was inscrutable, or at least annoying, and the NW wouldn't come together. Never heard of the Chekhov antihero IVANOV (2D: Chekhov play or its antihero), and for some reason thought DOTS would be a good answer to the Morse Code clue (1A: A Morse "I" consists of two => DITS). I knew the lyric at 14A: "Climb _____ Mountain" but the answer I had in mind didn't seem to fit. Had no idea it was a contraction: EV'RY. So, some initial floundering, but once I got out of there, and then shortly thereafter picked up the theme, it really wasn't hard at all.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: With 59-Across, A-B-C-A in the illustration (main / sail)
  • 25A: F-G (keel)
  • 30A: C-D (mast)
  • 43A: A-B (boom)
  • 49A: E-F-G-H-E (hull)
Value Added:

  • 18A: Ship in "Pirates of the Caribbean" (Black Pearl)
  • 55A: Ship to the New World (Santa Maria)



ANNABEL Lee (23D: Poe's "_____ Lee) and KIKI DEE (25D: "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" duettist, 1976) make a beautiful rhyming pair of puzzle pillars. DOTS for DITS and DIABLE for DIABLO (40A: Counterpart of un ángel) were my only hiccups. I look forward to Thursday. The end. Almost.

Bullets:

  • 21A: Half of a mountaineering expedition (descent) - if you're lucky.
  • 36A: "Top Hat" dancer (Astaire) - you know, I've never seen even a little bit of an ASTAIRE/Rogers movie. Let's change that.



  • 52A: People in fierce snowball fights (pelters) - odd job, but I like the vivid action it implies.
  • 61A: Makeup of some little balls (lint) - wrote it in with no crosses. Felt bold, but ended up right.
  • 5D: Incorporate, as a YouTube video into a Web site (embed) - watch as I EMBED this ODE (10D: Tribute with feet):



  • 12D: 1921 play that introduced the word "robot" (R.U.R.) - a piece of crosswordese that I have great affection for.
  • 48D: Magnetic induction units (Teslas) - I don't remember much of anything important about my physics courses ... but his name really sticks.
  • 59D: Number on a bottle at the beach (SPF) - I was using lots of SPF 50 in Costa Rica. That stuff works - assuming you apply it completely ... my red patches are almost gone now.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. My write-up of the LAT crossword is here.

P.P.S. If you are in the Southern California area, just a reminder that this Saturday is the CROSSWORDS LA TOURNAMENT. It's the real deal - good puzzles, great talent (Hinman! But he's not competing, don't worry), corporate sponsorship, the works. All for a wonderful charity. You should go. Here's the press release.

Press Release
For immediate release

CROSSWORDS LA TOURNAMENT LAUNCHES
April 25 event to raise money for local non-profit


LOS ANGELES, CA – April 20, 2009 – Crosswords West today announced the launch of the first annual Crosswords LA Tournament. The event will bring together crossword enthusiasts from the Los Angeles area and elsewhere – all for the purpose of having fun and raising money to benefit a local non-profit organization (Reading to Kids). The puzzles will be provided by Will Shortz, Editor of The New York Times Puzzles and Games section.

Crossword puzzle tournaments have been around for more than 30 years, but have until recently taken place primarily on the East Coast. The largest tournament in the nation – the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament – is held annually in New York and has, since distribution of the 1996 documentary “WordPlay,” grown in popularity to involve roughly 700 competitors.

“Los Angeles is overdue for a similar crossword tradition,” said Elissa Grossman, tournament organizer and professor of management at Loyola Marymount University. “These events offer people a chance to get together and share something they enjoy, while at the same time, in this instance, helping Reading to Kids continue its wonderful work.”

The tournament will be held at Loyola Marymount University on Saturday, April 25 (Hilton Center, Room 100). Online registration is available through April 23 at www.crosswordswest.com. On-site registration will be available on tournament day, through 10:50 AM (doors open at 10:00 AM). Prices vary from $10 - 30, depending on the time at which a person registers and the division in which the person participates. In an effort to make the tournament appropriate for a range of skill levels, there will be Regular, Expert, Student, and Spectator divisions. (Spectators can do the puzzles along with everyone else, but will not have those puzzles scored.) Competitors and spectators will be eligible for various tournament and raffle prizes. The prizes have been donated by St. Martin’s Press, Electronic Arts, Dell PennyPress, Pentel, Watson Adventures, Kustom Imprints, and Houdini, Inc.

The tournament will culminate in a playoff that pits the top three finishers overall – head to head to head – in a puzzle completed in front of an audience. Accompanying this race to complete the final puzzle will be live play-by-play and color commentary (as in a televised sporting event) by Tyler Hinman and Michael Colton. Tyler is a crossword constructor and the five-time American Crossword Puzzle Tournament champion. Michael is a panelist on VH1’s “Best Week Ever” and “I Love the 80s” and writes for the new comedy “Sit Down, Shut Up” (on Fox).

All event profits will be donated to Reading to Kids (www.readingtokids.org) – a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading, thereby enriching their lives and opportunities for success in the future. On the second Saturday of every month, Reading to Kids gathers together an average of 1,130 children and 460 volunteers for elementary school reading clubs.

###
For more information, please contact the tournament organizer:
Elissa Grossman
elissa.grossman@gmail.com
(310) 338-7401

89 comments:

chefbea 8:10 AM  

fun easy puzzle and I drew the outline of the sailboat on my puzzle. Didnt know Adda but got it from the crosses.

Thanks for Ode to Joy!! Was that from Fraggle Rock?

ArtLvr 8:43 AM  

Rex, I'm glad you included the flashback to last year's BATEAU puzzle -- that was a lovely one, with the upside-down angle and all.

This one was no PROBLEM, and I got it all with crosses only as you did, then read the notepad and drew the picture mentally.

Not sure why NORAD is a Santa-tracker?

∑;)

joho 8:53 AM  

Well, I liked this puzzle a whole lot more than Rex. I got to solve a puzzle and build a boat at the same time!

Other added values are CAPT, ATL. and MAE(WEST)...OK, that one's a stretch.

All in all an engaging theme well executed. And what's wrong with drawing on your puzzle, anyway?

nuzzle put 8:54 AM  

i suppose that the only way to get the deck in the puzzle was to H-I-D-E it!

Megan P 8:57 AM  

Fetching the puzzle was gnarly last night and my cookie ran out so I kept being dumped onto and held captive at the subscription page.

Finally seeing the grid this am, I felt dismay at the circles - don't like drawing pictures, either. . . Did the puzzle w/o respect to the theme and enjoyed it - just tough enough to be fun. Neither KRAIT nor ASP worked in the snake sector, for example.

dk 8:58 AM  

I like this puzzle for its unique (to other puzzles) fill. And, I always like to draw pictures of little boats.

PhillySolver 9:09 AM  

I liked the puzzle because of the cluing innovation with the two variations on connecting letters. I just couldn't ideate, at first. Felt a little harder than normal.

Alex 9:17 AM  

I don't know how long it took me (the third time the puzzle failed to load I walked away with it still trying and then some time later saw that it had loaded after all) but it felt like near record time.

Never really had time to get annoyed with the them or have it confuse me. The clue for 17A made it clear that I was a picture puzzle and having MAIN ---- as a theme entry my mind immediately jumped to MAIN SAIL and so I assumed boat parts and it was easy sailing from there except for trouble in the southwest where I put ODEAS instead of ODEON.

So, I too am not fond of this type of theme but at least this time it wasn't really necessary to the puzzle solving.

SethG 9:20 AM  

Through a weird glitch on their site last night, I actually wound up completing this week's Thursday and Friday puzzles as well. One is entirely about fishing and stamp collecting, the other ballroom and square dancing. They're both in French.

I did not draw a boat. I did have trouble with the ook mountains instead of captains crossed with mambo instead of cobra.

TOGAED? It's a word, but yuck.

nanpilla 9:21 AM  

@nuzzle put : good one!

@chefbea: where's ADDA ?

Overall, didn't really care for this puzzle, although it was clever and probably hard to make. Of course it was saved by: STOP ON A DIME ! But I won't go there again.

Glitch 9:27 AM  

@ArtLvr --- more than you want to know:

Forget tracking missiles and attacks from the Soviets Axis of Evil, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence command) will once again be tracking Santa's flight across the world with the Santa Tracker.

NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets.

Tracking Santa starts with the
NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system consists of 47 installations strung across the northern border of North America. On Christmas Eve, NORAD monitors the radar continuously for indications that Santa Claus has left the North Pole.

Your tax dollars at work ;)

.../Glitch

Bob Kerfuffle 9:52 AM  

De gustibus . . .

I really enjoyed this puzzle, in part because you couldn't just plow ahead, given the somewhat cryptic clues. (I'll admit it did reach the point where K__L and H__L could be filled in as KEEL and HULL without benefit of the diagram.)

Our old friend E. A. Poe gets a mention today. I recommend the April 27, 2009, issue of The New Yorker for Jill Lepore's article, "THE HUMBUG Edgar Allan Poe and the economy of horror." Poe's life was a genuine horror story.

Anonymous 9:53 AM  

I'm just glad to see ADE finally clued as the suffix that it is.

This would be a good clue for ADE: "Gator tail?"

XMAN 9:56 AM  

My biggest problem was having CORAL for COBRA. I wondered where the LTL Ocean was and where the ROA snake could be found. Der.

A way to clue ROA: Snake that has never before occurred in a crossword.

Anne 10:16 AM  

I thought this was a lot of fun. I didn't see a note and just solved around the theme and eventually saw what was going on.

I noted they also managed to use alee, along with the other things mentioned above.

I went to the Norad site last Christmas to see Santa being tracked. I think any kid would love it. The kid in me sure did.

And I remember the Kiki Dee and Elton John duet; it's one of those songs that gets stuck in your brain. I'm hearing it as I type.

I liked this a lot.

jeff in chicago 10:20 AM  

At the Chicago tourney, people who solved this puzzle correctly, including drawing the boat, got prizes. DITS apparently tripped up many people. I was happy that it crossed a theater clue (IVANOV) otherwise I may have got it wrong as well. (Aside: I'm working hard on getting cast in a fall production of "Waiting for Godot" at a theater in town that doesn't audition for its shows. You just have to be known. The director there came to the closing night of the Pinter show I was just in. Wish me luck!)

KIKIDEE seemed to be the major unknown for the tourney people. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" was released the summer after my freshman year in college ('76). Easy breezy.

@Rex: I hope it's just the Astaire/Rogers films you haven't seen. (Well...OK...musicals aren't for everyone. I get that.) In the Astaire canon I highly recommend "Daddy Long Legs," with his best partner ever (IMO) Cyd Charisse, and "Funny Face," with the always-fantastic Audrey Hepburn.

Sam 10:22 AM  

I did not see the note,
I did not read the note.
I did not draw a boat,
I would not draw a boat.
I do not like games with notes,
I do not like games with boats.

Shamik 10:22 AM  

Bah! I liked this puzzle as much as Rex did. And I've never actually used Morse code personally, but I always called those things DOTS which made for a perfect Natick crossing with OVANOV. Bah!

Other mis-starts:
DIAVLO for DIABLO (wondering where the O was after the V)

And sorry...LINT and NOSTRIL didn't pass my breakfast test for some reason. Flat LINT only comes out of the catcher of the dryer. Balled LINT originates elsewhere. NOSTRIL would have been fine if it wasn't the next word after LINT.

I need a new computer. The slowness makes most videos be more like hiccups: start, stop, start, stop. Fred and Ginger were giving me motion sickness where I usually just love to watch them flow seamlessly from step to step. And then I realized that the song is one my husband...who knows more songs from the 30's and 40's than he ought to...sings frequently.

As for knowing all the words, I'll have to stick with MEE MEE MEE MEE MEE MEE MEE MEE MEE MEE MEE MEE MEEEE-ME-MEE and smile the rest of the day.

HudsonHawk 10:32 AM  

@SethG: very funny. You forgot to mention Saturday's puzzle, which is a college wrestling theme, and is entirely in ESPERANTO.

chefbea 10:32 AM  

@nanpilla I meant Adah

PuzzleGirl 10:40 AM  

When I saw the note I thought, "Ooh, Rex is gonna hate this!" Easy breezy solve for me today. Only misstart was spit for LINT. An old friend from high school told me recently that the Elton John/Kiki Dee song always makes her think of me. I have no idea why.

@HudsonHawk: Can't wait for that Saturday puzzle!

mac 10:41 AM  

I started out being completely with Rex's description, but felt a grudging respect at the end. I just didn't enjoy it that much.
It didn't help that 14A made me think of Ashcroft, and instead of "lint" I started out with spit...
I liked the crossing snakes, the understatement of "problem", triage and pelters, not so much "togaed". I had a bad start with DOTS and ONEGIN in the NW, but that resolved itself.

Two Ponies 10:43 AM  

Togaed looked strange in the grid and duettist looks odd in the clues.
Besides the aforementioned nautical answers we also have "ship's christening" in the clues and the problem of a leaking boat at 33D. That's a lot of sailing clues.
I'm sure this was a challenge to contruct but I feel like Rex did about this one.
I do remember the first time I saw the Santa tracking on TV and thinking that was pretty cool.

Frieda 10:51 AM  

Sorry to hear about the download problems last night; if I weren't a paper solver, I'm sure I would have been in the downloaders' company, and would very much have preferred drawing/seeing the little boat then, rather than drawing this semester through its interminable wandering end.

As it was, puppy friend escaped briefly when I went out to get the paper. Different sort of glitch. Liked the boat.

Loved YEGGS, the clue for ODE, a different snake population in the NE, ANNABEL-KIKIDEE...

Wondered about TOGAED and TOG in the same puzzle? same word, sort of (as verb forms), same root.

Kalisa Hyman 11:11 AM  

Maybe I haven't had enough coffee, but I'm still not understanding the F-G and E-F-G-H-E clues. Like you, I filled them in b/c of their nautical theme but can someone please explain to this poor soul who's lost at sea? (HA HA SEE WHAT I DID THERE??)
Thanks

Anonymous 11:16 AM  

i loved this puzzle - i always love the gimmicky ones. but what is this note that everybody keeps mentioning?

toothdoc 11:21 AM  

To continue yesterday's discussion: we should create a new morse code (maybe call it Parker Code) that uses "meeps" and "beeps" instead of "dits" and "dashes". Your ship may still sink but it sure would be fun to send out a "meep-meep-meep beep-beep meep-meep-meep" distress call.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:23 AM  

@Kalisa Hyman - In the completed drawing, made by connecting the circled letters in alphabetical order, the line segments given in the clues are the corresponding parts of the boat. For example, F - G is the KEEL in the sketch.

PlantieBea 11:35 AM  

I had the same problem with DOTS and DITS. And I didn't think the theme would be so popular here after yesterday's SPRITS. This boat appears to be KEELless, so I did not like the 25 F-G clue.

I believe that lava, because of brand rip-off products, should be clued as Lava Brand Motion Lamps.

The mountain references brought to mind John Krakauer's excellent "Into Thin Air" about a true story about a tragic Mount Everest expedition. We just listened to it on tape--an adventure thriller--recommend.

ArtLvr 11:40 AM  

@ Glitch -- thanks for the Norad Sabta-tracking info, but I wish you were kidding...

@ Jeff in Chicago -- good luck in your quest for a role in upcoming Godot!

@ Sam --

If there had been another SPRIT
I expect you'd want to SPIT.
At least this boat was not a Scow
Or you'd sigh Garbage, gads, and how!

∑;(

Kalisa Hyman 11:41 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle Ahhh. I never would've figured that out. Guess maybe you have to know something about boats.

Crosscan 11:43 AM  

Another day another draw a boat puzzle. Like those connect the dits you did as a kid.

Not Hillary 11:54 AM  

@Rex - 99.999% of all mountain climbers undergo a descent. How they descend is another matter.

Doc John 12:03 PM  

Finished the puzzle with a big ? over my head about YEGGS. All the crosses seemed to fit so it had to be right but it just looked so wrong! I also forgot to realize that medical professionals are not the only stethoscope wearers.

Not my favorite type of puzzle, either, especially when so much was given away in the note (which I fortunately didn't see until I was finished).

Got slowed down by the Top Hat clue because I was trying to figure out how to fit in "Uncle Bill". ;)
(My uncle is the middle one on the right in that popular pic from the movie and that's as far as his career got.)

PIX 12:10 PM  

A fun puzzle.

John 12:15 PM  

MOrse Code: The SOUND is a DIT and a DAH. The SYMBOLS are DOTS and DASHES

@Sam, you were doing Dr Seuss!

mexgirl 12:16 PM  

One of the easiest Wednesdays I've done, though I loved all the marine references.
The best part of today? Beaker's Ode!

hazel 12:17 PM  

@Puzzle Girl - what's with you and the spit again? Still wanting to hear your story about getting spit on.

I liked the puzzle, liked the concept, liked drawing the boat (helped me with a couple of answers), liked the other nautical clues. Pretty much thought the whole thing was cool.

Maybe novelty puzzles are irritating to the old guard, but I'm still at the solving stage where "novelty itself rivet[s] [my] attention." I JUST read about this phenomenon last night in A Natural History of the Senses (D. Ackerman).

"that unique moment when one confronts something new and astonishment begins. Whatever it is, it looms brightly, its edges sharp, its details ravishing, in a hard clear light; just beholding it is a form of revelation, a new sensory litany. But the second time one sees it, the mind says, Oh, that again, another wing walker, another moon landing. And soon, when it's become commonplace, the brain begins slurring the details, recognizing it too quickly, by just a few of its features; it doesn't have to bother scrutinizing it. Then it is lost to astonishment."

I'm still at the astonishment stage of puzzling.

Daniel Myers 12:29 PM  

Easy puzzle, and, unlike Rex et alia, I fancied it. No Eniacs or Univacs for Brainiacs. YEGG is a term I memorised some time ago as crosswordese. But can someone please explain to me exactly what an ADOUT is? I gather it has to do with Tennis, a course which I failed in Pre-School

Greene 12:31 PM  

I liked this puzzle, although I worked it online and didn't bother to draw the boat. Like Rex, I was able to figure out the nautical theme from crosses, so I just solved it without bothering to print and draw.

Like many, I had DOTS for 1A, but IVANOV set me straight on that. There was lots of show-biz in this puzzle which made it easier than yesterday's baseball puzzle for me. I'm at work and can't access YouTube so I don't know which ASTAIRE clip Rex selected. I'm hoping it was "Dancing Cheek to Cheek." I've always been partial to that number.

@Jeff in Chicago: If I wish you luck about the casting for Godot does that mean you'll get cast as Lucky? I don't know how you feel about playing a slave with a rope around your neck, but that's an awesome part. What the hell, good luck!

Anonymous 12:37 PM  

@Daniel - When a tennis match goes to deuce, either player must win by two points. If the server wins the next point, his(her) advantage is referred to as ad in. If he or she looses, it is referred to as ad out.

Daniel Myers 12:46 PM  

@Anonymous - Ah, I see. Many thanks! I stared at that answer for so long after completing the puzzle thinking that I must have erred. The only use I've ever found for tennis balls is playing catch w/ my dog.

ileen 12:48 PM  

I didn't see the note. I play tennis but didn't get ADOUT at all. I was wondering about the word adout and YEGGS while we're at it. All this and having to do it in the morning instead of the night before conspired to slow me down (I think my brain works better at night) to over 22 minutes. At least I didn't look anything up.

Jim in Chicago 12:49 PM  

Nice medium Monday - ooh, its Wednesday, nevermind.

I actually sailed (pun intended) through this puzzle from top to bottom with no problems, and the few tricky bits were easily solved by the crosses. The only word that is still not in my vocabulary is KIKIDEE, but again the crosses left no question as to its correctness.

To its credit, a "leak on a ship" being a PROBLEM, made me smile, and I like the connection to the theme.

But, like others I'm not a big fan of any puzzle that asks me to draw diagrams on it. I refused to do so, and didn't need them in any case.

George NYC 1:01 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
mac 1:11 PM  

@Jeff in Chicago: hope the best for you!

Ben 1:14 PM  

Hey Rex, remember YEGG from one of the puzzles in the recent ACPT? As if the word weren't crosswordy enough, I believe the clue was "Boxman." I was all, Huh?

Had fun with Orange, Bob Petitto, Anne Erdmann, Kent Brody et al. at the recent Chicago crossword event. I wrote a tournament report here:

http://benbassandbeyond.blogspot.com/2009/04/never-cross-word.html

Ben 1:15 PM  

p.s. In re the boat, as Kiki Dee would say, "Don't go makin' me draw."

Sandy 1:18 PM  

@mac: "grudging respect" is a good way to describe how I feel. And for me, "grudging" just isn't how I want to feel about a puzzle.

I'm also a bit frustrated at myself, because I made too many little errors - things that I should have figured out, but just wasn't paying enough attention to (I can't tell you what I wrote in for ODE). Makes me feel like I still have a ways to go in this puzzle business.

Ben 1:22 PM  

p.p.s. I seem to recall from some long-otherwise-forgotten book from childhood, like maybe a Hardy Boys title, that "dit" (for dot) and "dah" (for dash) are trade shorthand for Morse code.

Sorry for all the p.s.es. (PSES is also bad crosswordese)

OK, done.

JC66 1:37 PM  

@Rex, thanks for the Astaire/Rogers clip. It brought to mind the famous quote: "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels."

dk 1:39 PM  

@ben if you went from Cub to Boy scouts in the 60's you had to learn some Morse Code and more if you wanted the merit badge.

Warning boring story ahead:

Knowing Morse Code was my shoe in to a DJ job at my college radio station. I never had to dit or dah but at the time stations were a part of CONALRAD (Continental Alert Radio) so I needed to be ever vigilant and at the ready. (don't tell crosscan but it was our neighbors to the north we were worried about)

Maybe CONALRAD is related to NORAD. I am sure one of you could turn it into a poem,

Pete M 1:43 PM  

Never heard of "Mississippi Masala". It was a toss up between that and MAJALA, which seemed just as plausible. Happened to guess right this time.

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

How could you not like this puzzle? Although at first I had HELL for the bottom of the boat and was looking for a deeper meaning.....
GREAT PUZZLE

Denise 1:58 PM  

So frustrated last night!! I had to get up early, so gave up fighting with the NY Times around 11. Fine today.

When I was a little girl, we listened to the "Santa Reports" on the radio -- when the NORAD type systems were first activated.

I could visualize the "picture" and found the clues easy, since ev'rything was so nautical.

Jane Doh 2:00 PM  

Fun solve. Loved seeing BLACK PEARL ... thinking of Captain Jack Sparrow ... thinking of Johnny Depp ... love Johnny Depp.

Shamik: I went to a movie theater in Natick last weekend.

Wondering about EVRY and EVER in the grid. I see in the dictionary that "every" is derived from "ever" plus "each."

--JD

Laurence Hunt 2:35 PM  

Rex,

Maybe this is about being a visual person.

I loved this puzzle, and solved the ship very early on, thus filling in the circles and naming the parts of the ship - boom, hull, main sail, etc. at the outset. No drawing was necessary, it was easy to visualize.

De gustabus non es disputandum.

(I note that you substituted a "(" for a "/" in the title.)

Then again, I'm not timing myself, and I don't solve any of them in 3-6 minutes!

Ben 2:41 PM  

@dk No, I was a Cub scout in the early 1980s and never graduated to Boy Scouts. For some reason a copy of my old 5th (?) grade class picture was floating around the office of our family business, a friend decided to scan it, and now it lives online. To suggest I retained many scouting skills, much less earned any Boy Scout merit badges, would overstate the case.

@crosscan Never got to meet you in person in Bklyn., but when you said "I'm Crosscan" at that evening event, I did applaud out of warm online familiarity. :)

And for the record, I liked drawing the boat, I was just echoing the reactions up top so I could paraphrase Kiki Dee.

Anonymous 3:02 PM  

Got Miss. MASALA from Netflix, IMDB didn't have it, to I finish that SE corner and puzzle.

I found this puzzle highly annoying, sometimes awkward and all over the place. Inconsistent, poorly directed, un-smooth.

Cluing/Answers in question ..

Had HILLARY for DESCENT, seemed logical (stupid simple)
TOGA-ED parsing might be more fun clued "How to prepare for frat party?"
EVENT = ship's christening? :P
NAPAS for certain wines? weak
un angel yet (_ _) DIABLO? inconsistent
IDEATE ~ brainstorm? try daydream

LINT balls? hardly spherical
YEGGS standard crosswordese gimme
I don't want no KNITTER putting in none my stitches
ADE is a drink suffix, not a fruit one

doable but tedious

bookmark 3:15 PM  

@Sam (I Am) and ArtLvr: Thanks for making me smle.
I needed that!

bookmark

andrea carla michaels 3:15 PM  

@PeteM
Add "Mississippi Masala to your netflix...fabulous Mira Nair film with Denzel Washington and opening scenes in Uganda.

@LA tournament attendees
I'll be in LA this weekend and will go to the tournament...come up and say hi if I don't first!

Doug 3:26 PM  

I like these kinds of puzzles, but I must say that getting the boat drawing cleaned off my PC screen is a real pain. Isn't there a better way? Doesn't anyone else have this problem?

When I returned to Canada I gave up my 28' sailboat. And I was never happier! As the saying goes about the two best times of boat ownership: The day you buy, and the day you sell.

edith b 3:43 PM  

great comment, Sam.

And, Hazel, you and people like you are why I like the Comments section at this blog. You and Seth G and Greene and a guy who doesnt comment much anymore, Bill from NJ, I love your comments usually more than the puzzle itself because, as my uncle uses to say they are "all meat and no gristle."

I did like the fact that one had to intuit the theme entries from not much. And, like Rex and others, I refuse to draw a boat like a six-year-old.

Mark Trevor Smith 3:56 PM  
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Mark Trevor Smith 4:03 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Trevor Smith 4:04 PM  

I found this to be a very enjoyable, and very easy, puzzle. As a non-power solver, I'm starry-eyed with admiration at the miraculous patterns that these puzzle constructors can pull out from under their hats. Just noticed that yesterday's heroic second baseman "Evers" almost makes a reappearance in the top middle.

Clark 4:09 PM  

@dk -- Watching too much South Park? The continental defense system was worried about stuff coming from the north, but the concern was Russian bombers coming over the pole. So, no need to keep it from Crosscan. (I grew up in the U.P. of Michigan. There was a radar base just North of us and a B-52 airbase to the East.)

David 4:54 PM  

@toothdoc, I'm sure you meant to write meep-meep-meep beep-beep-beep meep-meep-meep

I never read the note, and solved it without knowing what the clues of just letters were. The nautical theme appeared early, and I solved the strange clues with the theme in mind.
I agree that pictures and cross words are two completely different genres.

Glitch 4:59 PM  

@Danial Meyers

If you Google ADOUT, you'll get about 1/2 the hits as Uniac.

@Pete M

Misissippi Masala: Denzel Washington, NAACP Image Awards, Best Actor 1992. As those awards were a [much discussed] theme a few weeks ago, I wonder if there's a hidden meaning here --- conspiracy advocates unite!

must-go-take-my-meds-now

.../Glitch

Vega 5:06 PM  

@Hazel, exactly! Me too.

I thought it was fun to gradually understand what those series of letters meant. Didn't even notice the notepad until I finished the puzzle, which I think made the puzzle more fun for me.

As Esperanto and French are my first and second languages, I am clearly going to SAIL through the rest of the week.

-Vega

Anonymous 5:21 PM  

I know nothing about sailboats. This puzzle is an outrage!

I'm just having some fun with comments about yesterday's baseball puzzle, which I enjoyed and found easier than most.

EB 5:47 PM  

If you Google ADOUT, you'll get over two hundred thousand hits. And if you IMDB Mississippi Masala, you'll get exactly one.

chefwen 5:54 PM  

Nautical but nice, well someone had to say it.

Dots for DITS and asp for BOA, no other whiteouts

Crosscan 6:21 PM  

I had this weird feeling people were talking about me. Wonder why. Oh, well. Gotta get back to my secret invasion plans.

Step 1 - infiltrate Washington DC by "moving" baseball team there.

Step 2 - Two words. Celine Dion.

Step 3 - Wait for surrender.

mac 6:38 PM  

@Crosscan: don't spoil it! We're counting on you to escape to!

Chefbea will be happy: Masala is in every Indian cook's cupboard. In fact, it is probably home-made (measured, toasted, ground and stored in an airtight container, stored in a cool dark place). I have some! It's probably a little stale....

@edith b and @hazel: it's odd that Edith paid Hazel such a compliment; if often have to double-check which of the two is commenting!

Leon 6:44 PM  

Thanks Mr. Finan.

Thanks RP for Golden Yeggs. Porky actually says "What's the Rumpus".

TOGA,TOGA,TOGA.

hazel 7:28 PM  

@edith b - thanks very much for your kind words. I'm away from home for a few days, and it was very nice to drop in to the blog and have such a nice surprise waiting for me. Really cheered me up!

Dean 7:34 PM  

For those new to Astaire/Rogers dance sequences, the amazing thing to note is the lack of film cuts. I counted 5 in Rex's clip as they moved from a long shot to close, but often there are many fewer. Saw "Swingtime" on TCM the other night and there was a 4+ minute sequence, NO cuts. Can you imagine the practice and work to get through a complicated routine in one perfect take?
-Dean

michael 8:03 PM  

I liked it. But then I liked connect the dot puzzles when I was a kid. A lot more fun than a quote puzzle (the gimmick I dislike).

I finally figured out why yeggs use stethoscopes, but it took me longer than solving the puzzle.

John 9:10 PM  

Wasnt there a Bugs Bunny cartoon called "Easter Yeggs"?

Noam D. Elkies 9:12 PM  

Now that was an enjoyable puzzle -- all the more welcome after yesterday's unrewarding slog. I can understand that online solvers would have less fun with it. But I can't understand Rex's annoyance with "letters in some illustration you can't see yet": it's in the nature of many puzzles, including themed crosswords, that it takes a while before we understand what the puzzle is getting at. Today's puzzle is a particularly inventive example of this.

About the construction, the pair 49A:HULL / 55A:IDEATE is particularly impressive, the first with the H figuring in both the drawing and a theme answer, the second with three theme letters. Nuzzle Put is right about the missed opportunity for H-I-D-E -- that would have been a cherry on the icing on the cake.

Finally thanks for the Muppets rendition of the Ode to Joy; note that the chaos starts to built up quite early, as the singers get out of time with the metronome :-)

NDE

Anonymous 9:14 PM  

This blog's comment section proves one thing -- there are a lot of really lonely people in the world.

Anonymous 10:03 PM  

Can anyone tell me why the "I" in IDEATE is circled, since it's not part of any of the theme clues? Maybe I'm just stupid...

Frieda 10:17 PM  

@anon 10:03

Drawing rightwards from the "H" (through "I") towards the "D" completes the deck of the boat--(or the connect-the-dots would have to go back to "D" to finish)

Sue 11:03 PM  

For some reason, I still can't get this Wednesday puzzle online...still says the file is corrupt. I got Thursday's just fine, so it's not my computer.....any suggestions?

Orange 11:11 PM  

I suspect whoever can't find Mississippi Masala on IMDb or via Google is making typos along the way. I get 103,000 Google hits, the first of which is the movie's IMDb page. I saw the movie back in '91 or '92 and liked it. Just steamy enough!

Rick 12:44 AM  

Same here, Sue. I'm still getting a corrupt file when I download it.

retired_chemist 5:28 AM  

@ Rick and Sue - perhaps if you clear the cache?

Rick 8:21 PM  

rc, I downloaded it again today, and it worked okay this time, even before I tried clearing out the cache. Thanks anyway!

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