Gondoliers nurse / SAT 9-29-12 / Autobus alternative / Wood lice pill bugs / Like George Bush's promised nation / Summer mountain feature / Dutch Golden Age painter / He was traded between Chicago teams in 1992 /

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Constructor: Joe DiPietro

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging



THEME: none

Word of the Day: Earl AVERILL (12D: Earl in the Baseball Hall of Fame) —
Howard Earl Averill (May 21, 1902 – August 16, 1983) was an American player inMajor League Baseball who was a center fielder from 1929 to 1941. He was a six-timeAll-Star (1933–38) and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975. // Born in Snohomish, Washington, Averill broke into the major leagues in 1929 (at the age of 27) with the Cleveland Indians. He played for Cleveland for over ten years, and remains the all-time Indian leader in total basesruns batted inruns, and triples. He also remains 3rd in all-time Indian hits and doubles, and 4th in all-time Indian home runs and walks. During his time in Cleveland, the team never finished higher than 3rd. He's famous for hitting the line drive that broke Dizzy Dean's toe in the 1937 All-StarGame. Averill was the first major league player to hit 4 home runs in a doubleheader (with home run in each game) on September 17, 1930; he was also one of the first players to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat (April 16, 1929, opening day). Averill batted .378 in 1936, leading the American League in hits with 232, but finishing 2nd to Luke Appling in the batting race (Appling batted .388 for the White Sox). // During a July 1 incident in 1935, Averill was lighting firecrackers with his four children as part of a pre-4 July celebration. One exploded while he was holding it, and he suffered lacerations on the fingers of his right hand, as well as burns on his face and chest. After several weeks, he made a full recovery. (wikipedia)
• • •

Another day, another themeless decidedly Not in my wheelhouse. Again, not sure what the seed answers are here, though I'm guessing GIRLIE (sic!) GIRLS is one of them (33A: Lovers of all things Barbie, say). I'd have loved that if it had been spelled right. JUNK E-MAIL is called JUNK MAIL, so that didn't go down well either (35A: Filter target). I do like the phrase STRANGE BIRD, so thumbs-up there (36A: Odd one). But other long stuff, like THE TAKING (?) (5D: What leftovers may be for) and REQUIRES OF (54A: Needs from), is often really awkward and clunky, so the entertainment value of the grid is pretty low. NARYA didn't help (46D: ___ one (nobody)). Neither did the obsure AVERILL. I'm trying to imagine putting that in a grid and just can't. Lots of people are in the Hall of Fame. Not all of them are worth having in your grid. This really seems like an autofill suggestion. And what does it get you? Nothing great that I can see. I'm supposed to know Jenna Bush's married name? Maybe this puzzle was for you, but it wasn't for me.


I had "TURN it down!" and entertained "TAKE it down!" before finally hitting on "TONE it down!" That's a trappy trap. "The Gondoliers" nurse? Ugh, no. No. Maleskish opera fuddiduddiness (INEZ). INEZ is my grandmother's name. There's gotta be a better clue. I liked the odd, interesting clue on GENTLER (21A: Like George Bush's promised nation), though it's really half-like said nation, since the phrase was "kinder, GENTLER nation." I think this was about the time he was saying stuff like America should be more like "The Waltons" and less like "The Simpsons." 1992 was neither kind nor gentle to him. [Summer mountain feature] is really just [Mountain feature] with "Summer" thrown in to fool you, although maybe in winter the mountain is totally covered in SNOW and thus can't be said to have a CAP. I dunno. That's some technical weather stuff I'll let the pros work out. Wanted JORDAN at 44A: He was traded between Chicago teams in 1992 (SOSA).


It was only after trying to say "Anxiolytic" out loud that I realized the connection to anxiety (or so I imagined), and thus figured TRANQ (first spelled TRANK) might apply (9D: Anxiolytic, e.g., for short). Expected something slightly more exotic-sounding for [Sichuan cooking ingredient] (CHILI OIL). I know JAN STEEN from many a crossword (35D: Dutch Golden Age painter), and he certainly helped in that SW corner, where TREN (59A: Autobús alternative) and MALE (53A: Like some plugs) could easily have stayed hidden a lot longer. Guessed SERAPE with just the first "E" in place because SERAPE was the crosswordesiest thing I could think of that fit. This helped a lot with ISOPODS, which came easily as a result of that "P" (40D: Wood lice and pill bugs). I admire the clue on MR. T because it didn't help at all (53D: Star of the motivational video "Be Somebody ... or Be Somebody's Fool"), but when I finally solved it I was able to see the "hint" in the clue ("Fool!"), and so had a satisfying little aha moment after all.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

65 comments:

jae 12:14 AM  

NW and SE went pretty fast but the rest was Sat. tough so, medium for me.  In fact NE and SW seem to have quite a few problem crosses.

@Rex -- GIRLIE is how they spell it on 30 Rock.

Unlike yesterday, lots of erasures:  STRANGEduck for BIRD, SEe for SEZ, PEppED for PERKED,  hrs for TD (wrong sport),  AnOn for AGOG (wild guess),  TRACk before TRACT (need to brush up on 3d), hasASAY before GOT, and tAs before RAS. 

Reasonably zippy, plus any puzzle with a KEPT woman and GIRLIEGIRLS has got my vote.  I liked it!

Evan 3:59 AM  

It's really a miracle of sorts that I solved this one with no mistakes. Just so much I didn't know, especially in the southwest corner. Who is JAN STEEN? A painter whose art is completely unfamiliar to me. What is a GEO Storm? A car I've never heard of. What is POTTAGE? Could not have told you.

The only reason I got that one right was because I remember reading a random comment on a political blog where someone used the phrase "All this for a mess of pottage," which I guess meant that whatever was traded to obtain a politician's support for some bill was too steep. Or the commenter really just hated vegetable soup. Whatever -- the point is, that one innocuous comment on the internet is the only thing that helped me get 49-Across. Just goes to show how we use all sorts of bizarre recesses in our brains to solve a crossword puzzle.

I had some of the same write-overs as @jae, but also Rend before RIft before RIVE, REctify before RESOLVE, and REQUIRES to before OF. I wonder if the TREN/JAN STEEN crossing will confound a fair number of solvers -- I couldn't shake the notion that an autobús is French, and TREN is not the French but Spanish word for "train."

Ulan News 4:05 AM  

Wow
very nice video

Senja Berita 4:05 AM  

very useful article

Shiva rei 4:07 AM  

nice post,
interesting article and nice, thank's info

Shiva rei 4:08 AM  

nice post,
interesting article and nice, thank's info

Evan 4:11 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Evan 4:21 AM  

Oh, and let the record show that the power of the internet allows you to watch the entirety of "Be Somebody....or Be Somebody's Fool." I highly recommend it if you can't get enough hilarious, campy advice from 1984 that none but MR. T can express. I think this clip will suffice.

jae 4:53 AM  

Ok -- Either this was a lot tougher than I thought or the night watch has better things to do on the last Fri. in Sep. (I just checked Amy's blog and this one took her longer than the infamous wrath of Klahn puzzle from a few years ago -- GOLCANDA anyone? -- so maybe tough is the problem). Plus, apparently the captcha is broken because there are four comments that the morning folks will never see once Rex awakens.

At least Evan took a break from his bride-to-be/doctoral program to chime in.

@Evan -- JANSTEEN and POTTAGE I knew from being alive a bit longer than you have been, AVERILL, on the hand, was a WTF.

Danp 6:17 AM  

Agog? In a swivet? Don't these represent rather opposing emotions? Anyone care to offer a sentence where they are interchangeable?

JFC 6:26 AM  

I like it when I come here and Rex expresses my thoughts more articulately than I ever could. What really disappointed me, however, was that the puzzle is an "X" away from being a pangram. Then Rex would toss in a little bonus rant on pangrams.,,,

JFC

Bob Snead 7:01 AM  

Meh.

At least we got some Liz Phair action today.

Gill I. P. 8:29 AM  

This puzzle just wasn't for me either. I had holes all over the place and I just couldn't plug them up. All the answers weren't that difficult but the cluing just threw me off.
GIRLIE GIRLS? That one I never heard of. Schwarzeneggar loved calling all the men in the assembly "GIRLIE Men" and I like that answer better.
Some answers I popped in which were wrong and remained so: cOrpse instead of POTENT for that stiff clue. TamE it down and everything that has OF, IN or IT at the very end came out all wrong. Wanted sesames instead of CHILI OIL.
I PERKED up at JAN STEEN though. We always see Frans Hals as our Dutch painter. @Evan if you see his self portrait, I bet you'd recognize him - not very flattering but he was considered quite the wit...If your house is messy or untidy, the Dutch say you have a JAN STEEN household. Maybe @Mac can confirm.
Husband, pups and I are off on a month long car trip from Sacramento to Charleston SC. We're taking route 80 to Chicago and then on down through the beautiful South.
Any of you folks who might know some interesting eating spots or lookie places in Salt Lake City or Cheyenne and maybe Kentucky, send an E-mail. We love any and all kinds of food except for okra. Ack, I think we're going to the okra capital of the world!!


jackj 9:01 AM  

Joe DiPietro, brings us a winner, missing only an X for a pangram but props for a two Q puzzle, (no stats available but I suspect that doesn’t happen too often).

The upper left filled in easily with ANATOMY being a cute clue/easy answer and STAR seemed too obvious for a Saturday but it stayed and then the Bush clan gave us some help with the Peggy Noonan line for G.H.W. Bush, “a kinder, GENTLER nation” while Bush 43’s daughter Jenna gave us no help in sorting out her married name, though HAGER ultimately went in.

Will’s penchant for aggressive cluing has helped make me into a bit of an unintended lech as I unhesitatingly wrote in KEPT for “Kind of woman” and quickly followed that up with GIRLIEGIRLS, (would GI Joe lovers be BOYLY BOYS?).

Getting back to those Q’s, only one of the 4 answers need be singled out, namely TRANQ while some other favorite entries included STRANGEBIRD, NARY A for a nice partial, as well as the other A,Y answer that gave us GOT A SAY, just in time for the election.

Finally, art lovers might easily know JAN STEEN but when it comes to Dutch Golden Age artists, it’s worth remembering that Vermeer and Rembrandt are the real lasting stars of that era, (STEEN was popular in his time but not as much today).

Another professional, clever, no Google puzzle from Joe DiP, who will forever be remembered by those of us in the Cru as the constructor who went to the dark side and left crosswords for Sudoku but, fortunately for all, has come back home

Glimmerglass 9:16 AM  

Challenging and satisfying. Couldn't remember Amundsen's first name (even though I saw his statue everywhere in northern Norway!), but TURGID, PINE TAR, and TDS gave me enough letters to guess RAOLD, which is at least a Scandinavian name. That led me to CHILI OIL (is that really a thing?). I got INEZ the same way (I had it's [me] and SEe [me] before SEZ). The rest of the puzzle had similar routes to the answers (viz, TREN).

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

Gill check out roadfood.com

joho 9:29 AM  

I ended up with INge/AVgRILL so a DNF. That corner is ugly. I had its, Sue and finally SEe me but never would have thought of SEZ. Not knowing either INEZ or AVERILL was my ruin. Come to think of it, knowing this was close to a pangram I should have tried the Z there.

I did like KEPT women over GIRLIEGIRLS. And the fact that Joe was able to sprinkle the puzzle with collequial lines like: STOPSAT, QUITIT, TOSSIN, GOTASAY, and GUNSIT.

Solid Saturday, thanks, Joe!




Anonymous 9:30 AM  

When I finished this puzzle, I thought JUNKEMAIL was either a German word or a constructor's mistake. Ended up googling it and realizing what it really was.
--Twangster

Carola 9:35 AM  

I liked this one very much, though I DNF. I kept SEe for SEZ, accepting INEe as a reasonable Gilbert and Sullivan name - never thought to question it.

Loved the SNOW CAP, GIRLIE GIRLS, STRANGE BIRD, and EARTH SIGN. A little run of ANATOMY lately, with the belly and bladder yesterday and the intestinal TRACT today.

@jackj -
I didn't realize that we were also having a little run of Peggy Noonan!

@Evan -
On what we can pluck from recesses of our brain - your POTTAGE was my Buck OWENS: I have no idea who he is or how I know the name. "Pottage," on the other hand, I knew from childhood reading of "Stories from the Bible," where Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a mess of pottage. I always wanted to shout at him, "Don't do it!"

Anonymous 9:55 AM  

Didn't know POTTAGE either. I know POTAGE, but I've only seen it in Japan to refer to a weird kind of corn soup. Annoying that clues for ATMS and CPAS didn't give any indication that the answers are acronyms/abbreviations.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

write overs :
TAs vs. RAs
strange duck
tack on before toss in
rend for rive
birth sign for earth sign
had a say vs got...

loren muse smith 10:06 AM  

I was pleased to get as far as I did on this toughie. Googling AVERILL allowed me to “finish” everything but the brutal southwest. I’ve never met the word RIVE, wanted “on tv” for MALE, and my uno año en la escuela failed me at TREN. ¡Qué lastima!

I agree with Rex – I get junkmail, not JUNK EMAIL.

“Sue,” “see” - @Carola – I thought it was “Inee/see, too.

@anon 9:55 -I thought POTTAGE had only one t.

Flirted with a malapop at POTENT, considering TURGID, confusing it with “rigid,” those horrid id adjectives that I’m always wobbly on. “Stiff” – solid, valid clue, though!

“Ford sedan” had to slowly morph into EARTH SIGN. It wasn’t pretty.

I’m a bit dismayed that OWENS went in without hesitation. I have a GENTLE dog named OWEN whose driving force is to establish and keep meaningful eye contact. He can be creepy.

@Gill I.P. – I really wanted “sesame” to fit where CHILI was, too.

I had a “sarong” wrapped around my ANATOMY (terrific clue!) before I changed into a SERAPE.

When I was YOUNG, I was definitely no GIRLIE GIRL – I was always trying to kiss my elbow so I could become MALE. (If I had been a MALE, my name would have been WADE.) Quarterback of my high school’s powder puff football team, I’ve had the pleasure of having PINE TAR on my hands. I think it was supposed to be KEPT a secret. Hey – we scored some TDS!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:21 AM  

Oh, darn, again!

Solved on paper in medium time, quite pleased with myself, only to come to the blog and find that my multiple write-overs in the far NE stopped with SEE/INEE (thought G&S might have had a non-PC-named Chinese nurse!)

At least, I see others made the same mistake.

Thought it was pretty good puzz otherwise.

(Almost never cite captchas, but this one is "oralcat".)

Kris in ABCA 10:44 AM  

Another hand up for SEE/INEE

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

Being Saturday makes any hall of famer eligible.
Junk mail is analog or digital. Only junk email gets filtered.

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

@danp - I'm all agog / I'm all in a swivet. Same same.

Sandy K 10:59 AM  

Being able to finish within medium TIMING, sure PERKED up my Saturday!

Was not familiar with Mr. AVERILL, but TOSSIN of acrosses helped RESOLVE the NE.

I GOTASAY it was not STREWN with much JUNK...NARY An Ono, Oreo or Otto.

I didn't mind JUNKEMAIL, and I liked STRANGEBIRD, GHETTOS, GIRLIEGIRLS, clue for GENTLER- two Bush references for the conservatives...

Glad I remembered POTTAGE from other puzzles.

Looking forward to the big Sunday puz!

quilter1 11:06 AM  

No joy 3 days in a row. Everything I knew was right but there wasn't enough to get me anything else. It is not that I want an easier puzzle and I enjoy misdirection in cluing but these last few puzzles have seemed less clever than vague for vagueness sake.

I like the Sunday puzzle so I am hoping for a pleasant experience tomorrow.

Susan McConnell 11:20 AM  

A slog. Struggled through to completion without resorting to google, but enjoyment factor was low. Is it me, or is this an X short of a pangram?

Masked and Anotfinishinthisamous 12:07 PM  

Har. This puz took Dan Feyer 3:29 to complete. Took me that long to get 13-D "___ me". Wanted SEE. Then wanted SUE. That damn Gondolier nurse was a real canal blocker.

mac 12:08 PM  

Nice but partly challenging puzzle, with the NE the hardest for me. I had pincher at 11d too long.

Pottage looked weird with the two ts, but it had to be.

@Gill I.P., yes we do say "een huishouden van Jan Steen. Very messy scenes loaded with symbolism. And yes, he is considered to be in the top tier of that era.

Strange bird was sweet. My father called my stepmom "een vreemde vogel" when they were first married, then turned it into the English strange bird, and for the rest of his life his nickname for her was Bird.

Just found a mistake: sale for male at 53A, I talked myself into a plug being an ad for a sale....

I have a stack of puzzles from Ryan to keep me busy on the plane back tomorrow!

Captcha: telJim

Shamik 12:13 PM  

Seems I'm in the minority, but solved this one in an easy Saturday time for me. However, the puzzle grid was empty until I filled in HIVE and OWENS. Then the SW...to the SE...to the NW... to the N and finally the NE. Was surprised how fast it fell once it did fall, considering the rocky start. It's always fun to read the comments and see that gimmes for some were brick walls for others.

POTTAGE...gimme, and the start to the puzzle falling into place.

Lewis 12:29 PM  

Needed three Googles, then, as Glimmerglass said, it was challenging and satisfying -- and went relatively quickly for me. I liked this one.

louisproyect 12:36 PM  

The northwest corner of this puzzle was rather perverse.

M and A further 12:45 PM  

P.S. Is there a term for two crossing, gettable words, where the clues are so bat-zarro far out that you can sit there all day playin' them like a slot machine that's due to pay off? SezInez doesn't quite make it --just ain't as catchy as cousin Nat-tick. snort.

Congrats to all who solved this puz. 3:29? Yike. I'd accuse the dude of bein' a Martian, but the commute time to the ACPT wouldn't have the right arithmetic.

syndy 12:47 PM  

I stared at JUNKEMAIL thinking maybe HongKong harbor maybe? so thanks guys for clearing that up.Spelling TRANk with a "Q" was a really rotten thing to do Joe!Thanx for that! **OPODS gave me chills-hell it could be Anything!Having TAS before RAS turned out to be lucky.I Liked it a lot even if someone has left me with a picture of Arnie molesting Barbie.

Merle 1:04 PM  

Struggled, Googled, then turned to Rex for help, and after making believe that I was finishing the puzzle instead of cheating my way through the puzzle, had to Google Maleskish! And guess what, found it on Google! A comment on Rex's comment -- oh, Maleska-style! Maleska-ish! Had sarong, then changed it to serape. At 6 D, had TAs, teaching assistants, not RAs. But I went to Brooklyn College, a commuter school, not a dorm school. We didn't have RAs. That T instead of R kept me from getting Tract. Grrr. Liked the City of York -- Toronto clue and answer. Obscure, and now unforgettable. Bring it on again, and I'm ready. Now -- is junk email inaccurate? Yes, spam is junk mail. But we also get junk snail mail. So email junk differentiates from snail mail junk. Then again, who cares? Felt really good about how I was acing the Thursday and Friday puzzles, and now feel like a has-been used-to-wuz ace puzzle solver. Well, Sunday is usually a romp in the park, so here comes some self-esteem renewal!

joho 1:30 PM  

One thing I forgot to mention earlier was that NEDICKS showed up today as ORANGESODA.

Ruth 1:47 PM  

girl-Y- girls gets 10 times as many Google citations as girl-IE- girls, but found it interesting that the Wikipedia article defining girlY girls almost immediately starts spelling the phrase with the IE. I don't think the IE spelling is "wrong."

Sandy K 2:37 PM  

@Merle

Went to Brooklyn College too...
No RAs in BC, so thought of TAs also.

But thanks to watching "Felicity" and her fictitious college- knew Noel was her RA...

ANON B 2:56 PM  

What world do you people live in?

Anxiolitic? Swivet? TREN?
City known as "The Town Of York"?
etc, etc, etc.
orange crush=orange soda? Not
where I come from

fergus 3:56 PM  

Favorite board game of all time: All-Star Baseball, buy Cadaco. No problem with Earl.

chefwen 4:02 PM  

Got about three quarter of the puzzle done last night. Almost threw in the towel but decided to overnight it. Picked it up this A.M. and everything just fell into place. Kept wondering why I didn't get that last night? Brain must have been half asleep.

Started to fill in saran at 52A but found I needed an extra letter, so like @loren I wrapped myself up in a sarong. That was my last little area to polish and complete.

According to my Food Lover's Companion POTTAGE does indeed have only one T.

Thought of @dk with 33A clue.

37D royalty sure as shoot didn't work.

I use CHILI OIL in my Pot-sticker dipping sauce.

Not my favorite puzzle last night, but I sure loved it when I was able to finish it this morning.

Thanks Joe DiPietro!

Rookie 4:03 PM  

@ Merle and @ Sandy K

I took RA to mean RESEARCH ASSISTANT as opposed to TEACHING ASSISTANT.

JohnV 4:05 PM  

DNF. Lotsa holes and mistakes all over. Usually connect with Joe D but not today.

Carola 6:13 PM  

@chefwen - Your comment made me curious about "pottage" v. "potage," so I dug into the dictionary, which stated that the double-t version is now "chiefly historical, except for some regional dishes." Also discovered that "porridge" is a variant of "pottage" - now "Pease porridge hot..." makes more sense to me - otherwise only knew porridge as oatmeal.

Rob C 7:05 PM  

Lots of stuff outside my zone, so dnf. CHILI OIL, TRANQ, INEZ, ISOPODS...

We got TWO PAIR today after all the poker discussion yesterday.

@ Merle and @ Sandy K
Fellow Brooklyn College grad here. My dnf today is no reflection on the school.

Sandy K 7:32 PM  

@ Rookie
RA= Resident Assistant

@Rob C
Crosswordese eg CHILI OIL, INEZ, ISOPODS, and esp. TRANQ were definitely not in the Brooklyn College curriculum... ;)

Nice to meet you here! Did they say "See ya' round the quad" when you were there?

Dirigonzo 7:37 PM  

Another hand up for the OWS club in the NE corner - ___-Who? as the clue would have been too obvious for a Saturday, I guess. Wanted "In a swivet" to be AmOk before it couldn't be, and had stopIT until the TRANQ cross finally appeared and necessitated a change.

Shout out to @Waxy in syndiland at 2d, but he won't see it for 5 weeks.

Milford 7:38 PM  

DNF again. This has been a rough week!

Also finished with INEe/SEz. Only know of POTAGE, not the two-T version. Like Rex, I got TRANQ by saying the clue aloud.

I did like the TORONTO clue. We used to go there every year, great city to wander around.

@ANON B - Crush is a soda company and their most popular is Orange, kind of like Fanta. Don't know if that helps.

Rookie 9:18 PM  

@Sandy K-

Yes, I know that RA is also Resident Assistant since I was one both during undergrad and grad school. I just was offering the possibility that RAs existed at community colleges without dorm facilities, which is where some of those commenting went to school. When I got my Master's I got a Teaching Assistantship; others got Research Assistantships. We were called TAs; they were called RAs. The term RA, therefor, has two usages on many campuses.

Sorry if I wasn't clear about that. I should have been more specific. :(

Rookie 9:19 PM  

Oops -

"therefore" not "therefor"

Thanks for overlooking!

ANON B 10:04 PM  

@milford

Thanks.

Numbers Guy 10:30 PM  

mediumchallenging - atleast.
in honor of the former swing state PA, i really wanted 39D to be GOT AN ID. when that didnt work i quit.

Sandy K 10:36 PM  

@Rookie

You were fine!! I didn't realize there were 2 meanings...

But I got it now. Always something to learn here!

Tomorrow's a new day and a new puzzle.

Have a good night! :)

C. Ross Word 10:46 PM  

After tough Thursday and Friday puzzles, felt somewhat smug at easily finishing this one - only to find myself also caught in the SEe INEe trap. Oh well, loved seeing Earl AVERILL in the puzzle as I am a Cooperstown buff.

Anatomy Cede Males 3:48 AM  

See Me, Sue Me, Sez Me, Feel meeeeeee

Did not come even close to finishing. Had to google HAGER

Had HEALTH being "everything"! (From the idea if you have your Health you have everything) Not one letter right and this from a former comic!

Mini malapop STOPIT for QUITIT, till DROPSBY became STOPSAT. OY.

Had a ReRight, STREWN temporarily became SpREad and back again.

Having VAN someone for dutch name kept me from seeing filter answer.

Loved the ANATOMY clue. ANd I think frilly dresses and makeup would have been more on the mark than Barbies for GIRLIEGIRLS.

DID get MRT from the clue. Fool me once...shame on you, fool me twice... last week's crossword.

Amelia 11:13 AM  

I swear I stared at this puzzle, pen in hand, for an entire subway ride (3 trens) from 77th Street in Manhattan to 7th Avenue in Brooklyn. Filled in nary a clue. Wasn't till I got Owens much later in the evening could I even begin. But finish I did.

I loved my Barbie Doll when I was a girl. But I would have punched anyone who called me a girlie girl.

Just saying.

paulsfo 10:05 PM  

@Michael Hanko: My problem with TAMER is that, in 59 years, I've never heard a lion tamer referred to as a "tamer." And there is a perfectly standard usage, i.e. as an adjective, so there was not the usual argument of necessity for this tortured clue.

@Brian R: I just looked at 3 online dictionaries and they all list ENURE as a variant spelling of "inure," so...

Regarding the allegedly offensive entries, REARBUMPER and TURNSIGNAL, I this is really a reach. The first one might have raised eyebrows during the Victorian era, but today? Also, note that any (extremely mild) sexual context present here has been completely supplied by the reader, not the authors.
And I have quite a sensitive stomach, myself, but it's hard to imagine that a reference to the *idea* that milk can spoil actually upset anyone.

DMGrandma 3:12 PM  

Wonder what @paulsfo was commenting on? A future Syndiland stumper?

As for today's puzzle, I got about half. Then, frustrated, went against my normal instincts, and tried Google. Got Jenna's last name and Amundsen's first. But a Google for "baseball hall of fame Earl" yielded all sorts of material about Earl Weaver which didn't fit.

Don't like the Barbie answer, was expecting something more along the lines of "into fashion" or "doll lovers". And, I think leftovers are for something like a casserole or a stew. Sadly, tho I toyed with "takehomebag", I didn't manage to twist it into the desired answer. And so it went, another DNF day.

Spacecraft 3:37 PM  

@Carola and many others, I too was fooled by the clue "___me!" If it had been "___who?" or even "___you!" I might have had a chance at it. The cross was a total unknown, so a "Nedicks" for me. Alas, I left it with the upper-management directive "SEe me!"

That's a shame, because I got every other letter right, despite misremembering Mr. Amundsen as "Raoul" at first. Was pretty proud, too. This was challenging, no "medium" about it. Virtually every entry came hard. I worked on it for almost four hours.

I did smile at the clue for SERAPE: "It's a wrap." Very homophonic. Still, one entry is a mystery to me: GIB for "Noted rock site: abbr." Will some Lucy out there do some 'splainin'?

rain forest 4:24 PM  

Tough, but ultimately gettable, puzzle. I never time myself (no point, really), and this one took over an hour. I started right off with AVERILL (just knew him), INEZ and the whole NE caved. I must admit that I had several lucky guesses, but eventually got it all. We've seen TRANQ before. No idea what "in a swivet" means, but AGOG had to go in there. Never heard of JAN STEEN but, again, it had to be spelled that way. I thought NARYA was a neat partial, and I liked the EQUI- clue. Hardest puzzle this week.
I think some of that rain from Sandy crossed the continent and is letting us have it here on the West Coast, without the winds, thankfully.

DMGrandma 4:59 PM  

@SPacecraft. I took GIB to mean Gibralter, as in The Rock of....

You must live in the north, as down here it is still sunny Calicornia. Eeghty degrees as I write this.

Waxy in Montreal 6:03 PM  

Thanks @Diri five weeks ago - YORK/TORONTO (half my family lives there) certainly a gimme for me. Too much time pouring over baseball reference books in my youth made AVERILL easy for me (nicely located beside PINETAR) tho like @DMG first tried somehow to make WEAVER work. Had THETAXMAN for THETAKING for far too long which led to XENA at 28A so this puz became a mess (of POTTAGE).

Thank goodness that GIRLIEGIRLS, OWENS, ORANGESODA and STRANGEBIRD were readily apparent or might still be solving. Of course, we in syndiland get an extra hour ADD(ED) AS A BONUS tonight.

bananfish 3:07 AM  

Enjoyed this one - it was challenging, but with focus and concentration it slowly came together, and nothing I felt terrible about.

As the father of a 7 year old GIRLIEGIRL, I loved that clue and answer. As far as the spelling goes, I've always thought of it as being spelled the way it is in this puzzle, so had no problem with it. And more importantly, I don't believe any true girlie girl would want to spell it without the 'i" in there, because that would mean you only got to put in two hearts over the i's rather than three, and that's good enough logic for me.

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