1969 Peace Prize grp. / SAT 10-23-10 / "84 Charring Cross Road" author Hanff / 2008 book "How to Break a Terrorist" / "King Joe" composer

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Constructor: Will Nediger

Relative difficulty: Medium


SHATNERESQUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you and good night!

Hi! It's Andrea Carla Michaels again, held over one more night, because Rex is still gone (Because what happens in the Village of Hempstead, about 25 miles (40 km) east of New York City, stays in the Village of Hempstead, about 25 miles (40 km) east of New York City … especially if there is an LIRR strike!)

NO NO NO NO there is no strike. Where do you think he is, France? He just asked if PuzzleGirl and I would step in one more time. Because Angela is crazy busy with her new job, I will babble and PG will embed.

I am tempted to just have a one-word post … that word being SHATNERESQUE!!!!!!! And maybe throw in a video of Kevin Pollak doing William Shatner doing James T. Kirk doing Shakespeare … but then all our heads would implode and there may be a good puzzle coming up Sunday!



Plus Will Nediger who is fast becoming one of my favorite constructors deserves much more space and praise than one word! Glancing at the database, he seems to only have been making puzzles for about five years, and they are mostly Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays awash with Z's and Q's and J's. I mean REALLY awash!

Remember that Sunday that was all long phrases starting with Q and A like QUIET AMERICAN, QANTAS AIRWAYS? Or the one where he had like ten words that he added a QU to (SQUEAL OF APPROVAL, QUEASY RIDER)? Or that composer one (BIZET SIGNAL, PLAY LISZT). We are talking serious puzzle genius here!

This one is an X short of a pangram, but 27D "Shell Alternative" (ESSO) has been renamed EXXON, so I count that.

Where to begin? The NW corner overall had a slightly negative vibe, what with NO NO NO NO, I DARE NOT, NONE, and, if you speak franglais, I suppose IN ON can be parsed I, NON. But what fun, imagining all the possibilities for 1A "Couples' activities once considered scandalous." My first instinct was SWAPPING, but finally decided it may still be slightly scandalous … in parts of Fresno. WALTZING? Who knew? WALTZING must have been the Lambada of its day. But what day exactly was that?

Yesterday I posted a film clip of "I, ME, MINE" that featured John Lennon and Yoko Ono WALTZING … and just because I love him and that clip made me cry, I will post it again. Oh no? (Ono?) Who's gonna stop me?



My biggest dilemma was 43A "Athlete stripped of 1994 national title." I mean, which sport? It's a sad state of AFFAIRs that it could have been any sport. Like there was that Canadian runner who had his medals taken away, and what about Flo-Jo, and all the steroid baseball guys … and the ones that bet on their own teams … and that swimmer … and the Tour-de-France bicyclist … and that African runner who may be a man. I mean, who hasn't had their title stripped?

But in the end it was just that mean skater girl, TONYA HARDING. Though, I can't believe that was 1994 and I can still hear Nancy Kerrigan crying over and over again "Why me? Why meeee?" So many times that I started to feel a weird, misplaced temptation to break her other knee. (By the way, I will actually forgive TOO HARD crossing with HARDING, because I am Queen … for a Day!)

In a psychic (but wrong) moment, I actually had YA in the spaces above the YA in TONYA, because my initial entry for 38A "I'm gone" (ADIOS) was SEE YA. I didn't change SEE YA to ADIOS till I got the S from SAVANNA (39D "Zebra zone"). But what the heck are zebras doing in Georgia?!

Do you see how clever Will JKQXZ Nediger slipped the Z's into the Zebra zone clue even when they weren't in the answer? I actually considered Zambia and Tanzania first. Thank god they were both too short and too long, respectively.

JAI ALAI (53A Activity requiring three walls) all spelled out elevated it from crosswordese to fabulousness. Plus the little classical cluster of JUNO and ARGO was saved by making the former a film reference.

So other than little cleanups along the way, e.g. 58A Coo had to become CAW and 14D Cows transmogrified into EWES … (Damn, I keep trying to type transmoogrified as a little joke and spellcheck keeps correcting it.) Plus I had to change my STUFFED shirt to a more demure V-NECKED one.

HELENE/HEREIN gave me pause, as HELENo/HERoIN seemed more amusing.

Yet again, my illiteracy loomed as I haven't read "84 Charing Cross Road," but I did see the film, and HELENE seemed a fitting name for the Anne Bancroft character. (My mom went to high school with her so we had to see every movie of hers that ever came out … and this one isn't so bad. It has Anthony Hopkins and Dame Judy Dench … and it's based on a true-story.) Never mind the Charing Cross, I have to discuss the crazy-assed-possibly-Natick-y-Z AL ZARQAWI/FOOZLE cross. Hint: When in doubt, Will Nediger + Saturday = Z! FOOZLE?! OK, so golf is filled with words like FOOZLE and MULLIGAN and, um, PAR.

30D "Fire man?" was clever. SAINT ELMO, patron saint of fire and being tickled.


My final entry was the last letter in AL ZARQAW- . So, what was the first letter of 42A "1969 Peace Prize grp."? I had – LO, so I had a choice: I was pretty sure the PLO hadn't won any peace prizes … yet. ELO seemed more likely to have orchestrated Electric Lights than a peace treaty … and J.LO would have been a very little Jenny from the Block in those days, if she were even alive. (Actually, Ms. Lopez coincidentally was born in 1969, but I don't think they give out peace prizes just for being born … yet). So, by process of elimination, it must be ILO, the International Labour Organization. (OK, I admit I googled that and J.Lo's bday post-solve).

And now, I must leave you .… I know I'm going to be up all night as it is, wondering what exactly is "discreet" about punishment meted out in the WOODSHED. Perhaps a couple is getting the strap for WALTZING??! Will Nediger, you naughty naughty boy! Thank you for this dance. ;)

— ACME

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

61 comments:

chefwen 2:26 AM  

Andrea, what a treat to get you two days in a row. You really need to write a book, I'd be the first in line to buy it, maybe second after dk. Your line about Nancy K. (break her other knee) caught me mid sip of my wine and I just came short of spraying my screen.

ALZARQUAWI and SAHTNERESQUE did me in and I ended up with a DNF, but what I was able to finish I really did enjoy.

Need to accompany my husband next time he golfs so I can say "wow, you really FOOZLEd that one". Never heard of that saying, will have to ask him, if he ever gets home. Plane delayed by 5 hours, getting to be the norm.

David 2:53 AM  

Dodo is crossed with Moas. I like that ornithological neatness.

r.alphbunker 7:10 AM  

Thoroughly enjoyed the review and the puzzle. Will Nediger is now a constructor that I will remember thanks to Andrea's excellent commentary. I guessed footle because it sounded Irish. Foozle was my second guess when the happy pencil didn't appear.

dquarfoot 8:20 AM  

This was a truly excellent puzzle - the best in months, in my opinion. So clean, so clever - not a real junk word anywhere. So impressive, Will.

ArtLvr 8:31 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 8:35 AM  

Egads, this took me forever but I got there after conking out with little accomplished last night! I'm impressed with our Andrea as much as Nediger!

First section to fall was the SW with THE BARD, HELENE Hanff (adored the movie), ARMANI and NOONAN. Four stacked names, with SAINT ELMO running through them and TONYA HARDING there too.

In the SE I thought CURLIEST was going to be Craziest for a Z, but settled for the J in JUNO and JAI ALAI. The center bit wasn't TOO HARD with the UNICORN, but the V-NECKED was leading to Varlets until I remembered VASSALS... and voilĂ , Z in FOOZLE. Funny.

It took longest to untangle the NW as HEIGHTS sat up there and didn't yield easily to ZENITHS. Ha. The only reason I didn't give up was my needing to see what Couples weren't supposed to do... And I had to get the Moonstone's OPALINE since "chatoyance" wasn't going to fit! (Love that word!) I also resisted NONONONO because we'd seen that earlier this year, somewhere?

FYI for those who like trivia -- Scotland's noted symbol, the Thistle, belongs to another European area as well. Surprise! It's Lorraine...

∑;)

Lolly 8:48 AM  

Juno, although made in 2007, was a 2008 best picture nominee. Threw my whole SE off.

Leslie 8:55 AM  

ACM, thank you so much for the great write-up. And for sharing my biggest reaction: SHATNERESQUE?? I love love love it. (And the video.)

I think the WOODSHED is supposed to be discreet just because it's away from the house, so no one will hear you getting your whuppin'.

glimmerglass 8:56 AM  

Defeated by the NE. Guessed "footle" for 16A, because it sounds like a way to cheat at golf (kicking the ball). ALZARQAWI was completely foreign to me. Tried to make Alzawari fit. Couldn't parse "TWAS love -- not me." Had ESSO, REARS, and ILO. Got SHATNERESQUE, but kept looking at it as the problem. That couldn't be right! It was, but the terrorist beat me.

mmorgan 9:03 AM  

Good, humbling DNF puzzle. Somehow got TONYAHARDING right off, but SHATNERESQUE? Brilliant... (and truly, some of the most horrendous stuff featured on the Annoying Music Show).

I've played golf for nearly 50 years and I play nearly every day, and I've never heard the word FOOZLE. But there it is...

Hobbyist 9:04 AM  

Best write up I have ever read.
Nancy Kerrigan was a bit much with her tears but the whole knee thing was a bit outre.
I loved 84 Charing Cross and Anthony Hopkins before he went all Hollywoody.
Write that book and I'll buy it right after Chef Wen

joho 9:46 AM  

@Andrea, I didn't think you could outdo herself from yesterday, but I was wrong: brava! LOL at the knee quip. I second @chefwen ... you really need to write a book. The last time I laughed out loud recently was when reading "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and you're right up there with Sadaris.

Will Nediger IS a genius! What a puzzle. A perfect Saturday and one I'll remember. I had FOOsLE because I couldn't spell ALZARQAWI and the "S" sounded right. In fact, I am so proud I got ALsARQAWI I don't care if it was wrong!

I had churnER before ROOSTER, shadOW before FOLLOW and grIffiN before UNICORN.

My only nit is SNAILED. He SNAILED his way to the dentist's office?

No matter, terrific job, Will, thank you!

Nancy in PA 9:48 AM  

Loved the puzzle and loved Andrea's write-up(s). Almost spat the coffee, a la @chefwen's wine, when I got SHATNERESQUE. Best clue/answer ever. I was reading "green goof" as newbie, not golf, so thought FOOZLE was some new slang I was not privy to. Also, believe it or not, parsed TONY A. HARDING, assuming some baseball or track record-holder I'd never heard of. There are so many who have lost medals...

edith b 10:03 AM  

I ran into FOOZLE in a Sunday puzzle last year and committed it to memory realizing that it would rear its ugly head again and I was not disappointed. ILO was a neon because how many Peace Prizes are awarded to something with only 3 letters and, using ACME's logic, I eliminated the PLO right away which gave me the terminal I for the terrorist which I then had to piece together the spelling from the crosses which fortunately for me were simple enough, realizing that SHATNERESQUE would end in something **ESQUE.

I made a full meal out of this puzzle but, with a few lucky breaks along the way, I managed to finish. I truly love Will Nediger's concoctions.

Ben 10:14 AM  

Good one, Andrea! (or should I say... Good Going!)

SethG 10:25 AM  

Here's a link to the last day FOOZLE confused everyone.

Here's a link to a picture of Tony Mandarich, who I tried to fit in for _way_ too long when I couldn't parse TONY* as anything buy Tony.

You can find your own links to Shatner singing Rocket Man, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Total Eclipse of the Heart, Mr Tambourine Man, and more. Much more.

SE was tough, but this was awesome.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:29 AM  

Great one, Will! And great write-up, Andrea!

I corrected my goofs at NULL before NONE and ADIEU before ADIOS, but finished out of the money with a T instead of Z at the FOOZLE/ALZARQAWI Natick.

JaxInL.A. 10:33 AM  

I'm dying to hear news of how Rex's pulp fiction presentation went. Any news?

Molte grazie to Andrea for another charming and funny write-up. Big DNF for me. Two days in a row... I might feel discouraged, but then I come here and learn how to get better and I dont mind too much.

Andrea commented yesterday that all the really great double z words start with "P" like pizza and paparazzi.  I have been thinking about double z words ever since.  So far I have dizzy, tizzy, fizzy, and frizzy, but mostly they come up sizzle, drizzle, swizzle and such, plus nozzle, muzzle and razzle dazzle. Where does the "zzle" combo come from? 

And speaking of which, I play Scrabble so I understand the high-value, unusual letters, and I know that they make a puzzle more interesting, but I don't understand when you praise a puzzle for being "scrabbly".  Why is that good? Can someone explain?

Golfballman 10:41 AM  

@mmorgan I agree I've played golf for over 45 years and never heard foozle. Have spent time on a farm and was never told to go out and milk the sheep. Never ever heard of angel pie. How is mocks, sends up. Another example of trying to be too cute or ambiguous for a fri. or sat. puzzle. If you wanted to finish you had to google. Both Wills need to reread the rules for constructing a x-word .

mitchs 10:46 AM  

I was smirking - ever so impressed with myself - for writing OMEGA crossing MERINGUE in the SE. Turns out I was a smirking schmuck with what became a very ugly ink filled quadrant.

Sparky 10:47 AM  

@CaseAce. Yes, little pitchers have big ears, not TEAPOTS. This has been bothering me since yesterday. About today: DNF I filled in the NW, got SHATNERESQUE, MOAS and DODO, and a stray word here and there like ALEPH and BASIE. But the mind went blank. Never heard of Angel Pie. Thanks Andrea for a really fun write up.

Evgeny 11:04 AM  

What a fun puzzle! i do have a problem with the clue for 5d: ZENITHS (Climbers' goals) though - in its literal (astronomic) meaning, zenith has nothing to do with climbing and I find it hard to see how the 'climbers' part of the clue can be understood idiomatically. A clue somehow containing "shooting star" or such would have been a nice misdirection.

Jim 11:07 AM  

RP--COME BACK...PLEASE!!!

Golfballman: when you send someone (something) up, you MOCK him (it). It's correct, and not altogether challenging by comparison today.

ANGELPIE will now become shorthand for ridiculous, just ridiculous SAT-type fill. Combine that with omega/meringue and the SE was...just forget it.

Wouldve thought the (more British) SOYABEAN would produce howls, but I guess not. ARABS, mmm, I don't know. Strictly speaking true, but since Arabia is not a state, it seems wrongheaded to lump EVERY Arab into a war with Israel. Wanted Cyprus (wasn't there some sort of Greek/Turko/Cypro problem in 1948--opening salvo in the Cold War?). But, too many letters, plus that Omega thing and...

Loved DOLL...that's the kind of misdirect we can all appreciate...not ANGELPIE.

Have a great Saturday.

Jon 11:10 AM  

I'm going to add to the chorus and say: TREMENDOUS puzzle. My favorite is a great long while. It had everything I look for: challenge, (non-schticky) humor, no junk, creativity, exciting words. A+++++.

And great write-up too. Happy day.

Lookup Guy 11:19 AM  

@Evgeny

Maybe this will help:

•In topography, a summit is a point on a surface that is higher in elevation than all points immediately adjacent to it. Mathematically, a summit is a local maximum in elevation. The topographic terms "acme", "apex", "peak", and "zenith" are synonyms.
[en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenith_(topography)]

Oscar 11:19 AM  

Why does ELMO get all the puzzle cred? Even when the clue makes no sense he manages to weedle his way into the puzzle. There is such a thing as Saint Elmo's fire, but it isn't fire, it's an electron discharge. Think that psychodelic little orb with ligntning in it that looked so far out when you were all smoking dope. He's the patron saint of sailors, not fire by the way.

N. Kerrigan 12:00 PM  

Tonya's name comes up and you guys decide to slag ME? What did I ever do to you?

Beadola 12:04 PM  

Lovely puzzle, lovely write-up. Thanks so much Andrea. I had a very similar solving experience, "see ya" for adios, trying to remember all the athletes names before getting Tonya, just delighted at Shatneresque, "swapping" for waltzing (and thinking it was still somewhat scandalous), last letter "I" in ILO.

Elmo 12:05 PM  

Oscar, you in puzzle too! You clue for 18A!

PuzzleNut 12:07 PM  

@Oscar - loved your comments. Reminds me of another great poster, @Mnemes.
Same start in the SE as @mitchs, but JAIALAI fixed omEga. Lots of write-overs all over the map, but eventually conquered this one (as opposed to yesterday's beast).
ALZARQAWI was my last fill. Started off as ALgeRhiss, but that had a few problems. Loved SHATNERESQUE, but the Q had me scratching my head. Went through the alphabet getting T?AS and eventually gave up on pLO (much later than any reasonable person would). Seemed like there ought to be a Z in there somewhere and FOOZLE was the only place I could find to put it.
Liked WINOS for Red lovers (hit close to home). WOODSHED was another answer that felt good.
I'm not one to praise the daily write-up, either Rex's or guest contributors, but I'll make an exception today. Andrea, you had me at SHATNERESQUE!

mac 12:09 PM  

Fantastic puzzle, and I'm joining the line at Barnes and Noble's! Read that book, it one of those that really stays with you.

DNF, ran out of time mainly in the East. Forgot foozle again, was wondering about an ecological blunder... I too had omega, after all that talk about it 2 days ago, and doesn't it look like an ox's head? I was looking for a verb for 45 down, and a covered bodypart for 60A. Never heard of angel pie, and I love lemon desserts!

After waltzing (first I had swinging) affair came without crosses! Heard about a funny costume for Halloween in Connecticut: 60's hairdo and clothing and a basket of car keys.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

Your write-up made it all worthwhile! Thank you!

chefbea 12:19 PM  

Great write up. DNF again today. Did get angle pie but never heard of it much less make one. Will have to look that one up.

chefbea 12:21 PM  

OMG...I definitely have to make this!!!

http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/angel-pie/Detail.aspx

David L 12:28 PM  

Three-quarters easy-medium but then the NE took forever. FOOZLE bamboozled me until I realized I could fit ALZARQAWI in instead of some tortured variation on ALQAEDA...

Agree with Evgeny that zenith doesn't really work -- it's originally astronomical, is sometimes used mathematically (as lookupguy indicates), but I don't think it's a word even a cruciverbilast mountaineer is likely to use...

And I have to deduct a point or two for SNAILED, and possibly ANGELPIE. Rabbit pie I've eaten, but angel pie? Not going there....

jesser 12:31 PM  

I normally don't comment on weekends, but this puzzle was SO good, and I wanted to see who would be sitting in for Rex. What a delight to see Ms. Andrea again. SUCH a good writer. I'll join the book line!

Smooth solve today from the corner booth at Andele Restaurant in Mesilla, N.M., where I had the chilequilies (red, natch) and a jug o' iced tea (although on my bill it said 'ice tea,' and I thought of this blog and grinned/winced all in one crazy moment).

Only writeover was at 19A, where I entered OPALeNE, and had to be shouted down from the ZENITHS to see the error of my ways. Alas, I wish I had had one more writeover at 37A, where ThAS looked funny, but ALZARQAhI looked just fine, so I left it alone and then came here for that sickly feeling of checking the grid and seeing Mr. Nediger's attack on me that I never saw coming, and which derailed my puzzle gold. AL ZARQAhI, indeed. The terrorist won.

Between the scandalous couples and the maximally kinky happenings in the WOODSHED and the glorious SHATNERESQUE, this puzzle was, well, maximally wonderful. And I may have blushed a couple of times during the solve, but I could have pawned that off on the heat from the red chile I was ingesting.

Later this evening, I will amble down to the TAVERN and toast this fantastic puzzle. What a way to start Saturday!

Oh, and I join the chorus of those who want a rundown of Rex's adventures with the LIRR and the particulars of his presentation.

Beam me up, Scotty.

Restr! (I'm not awake yet, ROOSTER. Try again.) -- jesser

foodie 12:34 PM  

What a treat!!!!! A great puzzle AND a fantastic write up by Andrea- Hilarious, insightful, informative, perfect! Both the puzzle and the write-up that is.

At one point I had S---NERESQUE and I thought fleetingly- SHATNERESQUE? and then laughed and figure I would tell you all about my crazy guess. I couldn't believe it when it emerged as the correct answer. And the Kevin Pollak bit had me truly laughing out loud. Perfect choice!

Yes, many ideas in response to 1A that had nothing to do with WALTZING. And can someone actually explain what is "discreet" about a punishment in the WOODSHED?

Will N and Andrea CM, what a great WALTZ in the Puzz!

jesser 12:38 PM  

I'm going to guess that a WOODSHED punishment is discreet in that it's away from the house, and the siblings and visitors can hear neither the swats nor the wails. Just a guess. -- jesser

foodie 12:43 PM  

I just saw @Leslie's explanation of WOODSHED, so, a retroactive thank you! Sorry, I thought I read all the comments at first pass, but I guess not...

Chefwen's book writing suggestion for Andrea is a seriously good idea. I imagine several of us would volunteer our services as early readers.

Rosemarie 1:01 PM  

In 50 years of playing golf, hubby says he's never heard of FOOZLE for a "Green Goof".

Vega 1:58 PM  

This puzzle, SHATNERESQUE, and today's write-up make me forget that I'm at work all weekend and send me into a fuzzy glow of enchantment.

Doc John 2:33 PM  

Nice write up again, Andrea!
Thanks will, now I've got Ringo Starr's "No No Song" running around in my head all day: "NO NO NO NO I don't *sniffing sound* no more..."

Evgeny 2:47 PM  

@Lookup Guy: thank you very much for the, well, look up :-) You live, you learn... apparently my feel for the third language wasn't in its zenith today.

(Climbers' goals = acmes would have been cool, wouldn't it?)

51 across 3:13 PM  

All's Well that Ends Well: II, iii

PAROLLES: What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

jae 3:17 PM  

Two great puzzles in a row plus Andrea. A fine weekend. I tried NADA for 7d and ASIN for 51d but other than those, a pretty smooth solve. Medium works for me. Add me to those who have played golf for decades and not run across FOOZLE. I owe my bride an assist on the ZARQAWI spelling.

joho 4:14 PM  

@SethG ... thanks for the link to last year's FOOZLE debate. Now I have to say, FOOZLE me once, shame on you. FOOZLE me twice shame on me!

I will never be FOOZLED again.

Clark 4:18 PM  

Loved the puzzle. Loved the write-up. 'Like overdramatic spoken-word versions of pop songs' had me scratching my head, trying to do it outloud, trying to let my imagination generate an example -- There is no word for this! Then, I got it. Hilarious, will-never-forget moment in crossword solving.

@jim -- ARABS is not just 'strictly speaking true'. That war goes by the name of the '1948 Arab-Israeli War'.

Jesse 4:58 PM  

The terrorist won against me too - never heard of a foozle and I've been listening to golf commentators since 1997.

When I saw the clue for 1A, I thought for sure that this was a BEQ. And I'd hate to say how many answers ran through me mind. Between 1A, 56A and the spankings involved in 60A, this was a kinky puzzle.

Shatneresque!! Bravo, Will. Did he just coin the term

michael 5:26 PM  

I am surprised that I got this fairly easily, given shatneresque, foozle, alzarqawi, angel pie and my wrong turn at omega/merengue. I'm not sure I share the appreciation here for shatneresque. I laughed when I got it, but even more than some clues, it seemed to require a lot of cultural knowledge for a key answer.

Anonymous 5:41 PM  

As if William Shatner needed another reason to gloat in his epic ....ego- driven......world of his.......why not Nimoy-esque........Leonard is a much nicer guy!!!!

Lookup Guy 5:44 PM  

@Jesse

It appears at least Wiktionary acknowledges it too.

Shatneresque:

Etymology Shatner +‎ -esque

1.In the style of William Shatner, particularly in overacting or singing

And if that's not enough:

Related terms: Shatnerian

sanfranman59 6:12 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 5:46, 6:57, 0.83, 1%, Easy
Tue 8:41, 8:55, 0.97, 50%, Medium
Wed 18:03, 11:43, 1.54, 100%, Challenging
Thu 15:50, 19:01, 0.83, 24%, Easy-Medium
Fri 28:26, 26:20, 1.08, 71%, Medium-Challenging
Sat 30:15, 30:34, 0.99, 48%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:16, 3:43, 0.88, 3%, Easy
Tue 4:37, 4:36, 1.00, 57%, Medium
Wed 7:35, 5:46, 1.32, 96%, Challenging
Thu 7:59, 9:08, 0.87, 32%, Easy-Medium
Fri 14:57, 12:51, 1.16, 80%, Challenging
Sat 17:49, 17:29, 1.02, 63%, Medium-Challenging

andrea zenith michaels 6:53 PM  

i...was...going...to...write...the...whole...com..mentary...a...la...
will...i...am...shat...ner, but I don't think it would have worked in print!

Thanks for all that encouragement to write a book, precisely what I came to SF to do 20 YEARS ago...alas.
But I'm content to write daily on this phenomenal blog Rex has created
(don't forget to donate!) and to occasionally sub when he is in the lurch!
(Plus I'd not be able to post at all were it not for Sethg and Puzzlegirl helping with all the posting aspects and keeping my craziness in check)
Never fear, Rex will be back Monday and it sounds like it went super well!

@joho
Foozle me twice... HA! Very funny.

jmccarthy39 7:28 PM  

The reference to "tach it up" is from the song "Shutdown" by the Beach Boys. The cars mentioned in the song are the Stingray and the Dodge Dart, not the GTO. There was a separate song titled "GTO" but it didn't include the reference to "tach it up"

Ronny and The Daytonas 7:48 PM  

Little G.T.O.
Written by John Wilkin
Covered by the Beach Boys

Little GTO, you're really lookin' fine
Three deuces and a four-speed and a 389
Listen to her tachin' up now, listen to her why-ee-eye-ine
C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

You oughta see her on a road course or a quarter mile
This little modified Pon-Pon has got plenty of style
She beats the gassers and the rail jobs, really drives 'em why-ee-eye-ild
C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

R. McGeddon 8:55 PM  

Great puzzle. Great commentary.

Rex is king, but what a deep bench he has. What a great community this is.

Thank you.

Anonymous 11:40 PM  

Flo-Jo was not stripped of her medals, but Marion Jones (2000 Olympics in Barcelona) winner of three gold and two bronze medals for the United States, relinquished them in October 2007 after confessing that she had taken tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) from September 2000 through July 2001.

Loved "Shatneresque!"

Stan 12:41 AM  

Good puzzle, hilarious write-up.

Go San Francisco!

Bill from NJ 12:46 AM  

My wife was scheduled for a C-section with our second child in the middle of the Winter Olympics of 1994. She checked into the hospital the night before her surgery was scheduled and we watched TONYAHARDING skate together from her bedside so, as edith b so quaintly puts it,
TONYAHARDING was a neon for me and gave me a leg up on this delightful puzzle.

Anonymous 2:21 PM  

Can't believe Shatneresque was one of my first fills. I got it with only ATM, Unicorn and Esso. Sometimes I amaze even myself. Actually, it just usually just disturbs me, the way my mind works.

Dave in Seattle 3:19 PM  

Brilliant puzzle, best Saturday in a long while. Finished in a little over an hour but most of that time was spent staring at a blank NW before deciding that the only thing that could come before an ...HS was a T which finally led me to ZENITH and I was able to knock off that quadrant PDQ. Had the LO and dropped in the P, without thinking that an Arabic name usually doesn't end with P. And, I too, really wanted THAS at 37A so it took another ten minutes before Al Zarqawi finally came to me. Maybe we should start calling puzzles this good SHATNERESQUE!

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