Sausage king Froman in Ferris Bueller's Day Off / FRI 1-11-13 / Tennyson title lady / Key discovery of 1799 / College town on Stillwater River / Mr Clue-like board game / Feather source

Friday, January 11, 2013

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: none

Word of the Day: THE SITUATION (7D: "Jersey Shore" co-star) —
Michael Paul Sorrentino (born July 4, 1981) known by his nickname The Situation, is an American television personality. He has appeared on the MTVreality show Jersey Shore since its premiere in 2009. (wikipedia)
• • •

Wonderful work, but just too easy. Cluing needed to be a little demonified. I got THE SITUATION off of THE, DRUNK-DIALED off the -UNK-, TICKET STUB off the -UB, PERSIAN GULF off the PER-, etc. Only hang-ups that I can recall came in the NE, where I couldn't remember if the verb in question was RICES or DICES, so I waited for crosses. Got the -AN- at 9A: Anger and went with [drum roll] RANCOR! Only after EIDER made RANCOR impossible did I finally work out DANDER. Otherwise, this puzzle just rolled over. Maybe I'm just particularly in tune with Ian's work. I mean, I read [Looked into?] and without any crosses the first thing I thought of was XRAYED. This instantly made MANX CATS obvious, and things just flowed from there. There were a couple of moments where I had to think a little bit. I wrote in CULL for 29D: Cut down (CURB) and so had to work quite a bit to figure out 36A: Some crisscross patterns (TARTANS). And while I *knew* that there was going to be some tricky play on words in the clue at 20D: Key discovery of 1799 (ROSETTA STONE), I thought the "Key" was going to be Francis Scott ... but then I couldn't figure out what he could have "discovered" (to my slight credit, he *was* in fact alive in 1799, so the guess, while preposterous, was not impossibly preposterous). I remembered the Sausage King Froman in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (ABE) (I don't think he actually appears in the film—he's someone Ferris impersonates at a restaurant), but he wasn't really necessary since the crosses were all easy (although HOKE is not a word I see, ever) (31D: Bunkum). I managed to remember Mr. REE (it's a pun!), whose existence I learned of from crosswords gone by. [Elevated lines?] stumped me a bit because I wanted only ELS. But it's the non-plural ODE. I wish there'd been a few more of these speed bumps, because the grid is highly enjoyable. Entertaining and contemporary. Expertly made. Really nice work.


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

86 comments:

jae 12:06 AM  

Pretty much what Rex said.  Very zippy...DEAD TREE, THE SITUATION, AM I RIGHT, DRUNK DIALED...and enjoyable, but very easy.  (I don't think it's a wavelength issue, it's just easy).   After erasing way for 1a I flew through this with no additional missteps.  I liked it, but it's too bad there aren't themeless early week puzzles. This was a Wed. at best. 

Anonymous 12:08 AM  

Wow. Crushed another Friday. Are Fridays getting easier? I'm 12 and 3 for the last 15, with 8 of the 12 under an hour - which should not be possible for me (or anything close to that). Not much chance that I'm getting smarter, so I'm concerned for the integrity of the crossword. (2 of the last 15 I had to take to bed with me. Don't like 'em that hard.)
................................................................

SW went first, then NE, then Center, isolating the NW and SE corners. AM I RIGHT cracked the NW; had wanted 'no WAY' or 'no HOW', but that gave me 'no MAS'.

Wanting FOLKLORE or FOLKTALE (to go with ELS instead of ODE of course) before FOLK HERO.

WOD: DANDER

COD: Question before and after "or"
................................................................

Finished grid. (38:24)

Anonymous 12:14 AM  

Why is the answer to "AM I RIGHT or AM I RIGHT" most often "No you ass, you're wrong. 100% totally and completely wrong!"

retired_chemist 12:30 AM  

Another really good puzzle. AM I RIGHT or AM I RIGHT? YESSIREE!

A few writeovers (SHELTIES for MANX CATS, BLEU for FETA, NICKNAME off the K instead of FOLK HERO).

Loved DEAD TREE.

Nicely done, Mr. Livengood.

Anonymous 12:43 AM  

You've seen this before? AM I RIGHT, OR AM I RIGHT?

Ned Ryerson
................................

Amiright Comp Minotaurs 1:11 AM  

I don't think Ian has ever made a puzzle I didn't love.
He's amazing.
All the things @jae mentioned: DEADTREE, DRUNKDIALED, AMIRIGHT (so funny!), THESITUATION,
the craziness of TICKETSTUB end in a B.

Any one of which would have made the puzzle for me.

It wasn't THAT easy for me, as I had FOrester for Johnny Appleseed and I kept looking for a hidden meaning in CAPES...overthinking. CAPES, Back cover, what does that mean!?

Ironically, couldn't get NIL even tho just spent last week making a puzzle with Judge Vic prompted by that word.

NOFEES a sort of reverse bleedover from yesterday's FINDERS fees.

ENDEARED reminded me of one of my favorite Beatle's songs...
"Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to I will

For if I ever saw you
I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do ENDEAR you to me
Oh, you know I will, I will

Anonymous 2:22 AM  

I had 'augurs' for symbols of impending trouble because it fit with the u I had from 'drunk dialed'. Refused to cave and write 'able' for 10D. Also, I can't spell minotaur. Everything else was easy.

chefwen 2:23 AM  

Geez, I love this guy!

@ret-chem - Shelties had to be written over by me too.

We have a old school friend from Mequon, WI (that would make an excellent new Natick, look at all those pretty vowels) Enaway, she usually called at 7 P.M. and I would say, don't answer the phone, it's Midnight where she is. Husband, easily amused would pick up the phone, talk to her for about an hour, giving personal and business advise. I would tell him, that is an hour out of your life that you'll never get back and she won't even remember talking to you tomorrow. 12D made me laugh and cringe.

Loved it Ian.

chefwen 2:28 AM  

I think, what I meant to say was that tomorrow she won't remember talking to you. Need to get words in the proper order...

Asnarkycomment 2:38 AM  

Slight irony with The Situation matching Rosetta Stone. One speaks three languages, the other barely one....

syndy 3:23 AM  

MANXCATS was my first enrty-that gave me XRAYED and I was off! A couple of entries made n o earthy sense but even that never slowed me down! Am I to Believe "THE SITUATION" is a person? no don't answer-Also HOUSEMUSIC?Nevermind I'm sure that's something too. So clean sparkly but not a friday.Is Will saving up?

Qvart 4:36 AM  

Don't know why, but I got tripped up in the NW. Should have gotten AGT and XRAYED sooner, but once I did AMIRIGHT finally clicked and the rest fell into place. Good thing I didn't have to know anything about Jersey Shore or this one would have been a DNF.

Other than the NW, pretty zippy for me. Fun answers: DRUNKDIALING and DEADTREE (especially apt since I'm doing these puzzles in AcrossLite - fewer DEADTREEs? - YESSIREE).

24:07

webwinger 5:09 AM  

At first thought this was going to be a typically hard or harder Friday--you know, the kind I sometimes wait to solve until Saturday so I can peek at the answers when I get stuck. Finally found a foothold in the SW with IN LOVE crossing ROE, followed by ORONO with help from Google. Good guess for ARG led to PERSIAN GULF, and then things began to fall pretty quickly; ended up under 40 minutes, definitely better than average for me. Like Rex tried to find a Francis Scott Key connection before ROSETTASTONE emerged from the mist. DEADTREE didn’t make sense to me at first, then did; think I have heard this somewhere before. Agree pretty snappy overall, and just hard enough IMO.

Danp 6:33 AM  

I couldn't remember "The Situation", though I knew one of those Chris Christie wannabees had an odd name like that.

If doing the puzzle quickly made it easy, then so be it, but this was a fun one. A couple write-overs, but only because I kept thinking of multiple options - much more fun than staring at useless clues like "hanger shaped cartoon character".

Gill I. P. 6:38 AM  

Everything @Rex said....Livengood ALWAYS makes me smile.
Loved writting in SOUR ON and just below it IN LOVE and then across the street ENDEARED. The only thing I've never heard before is DRUNK DIALED but now I will picture @chefwen's husband on the phone at midnight....and remember the phrase.

No BS 7:33 AM  

Funniest saddest drunk dial was in Sideways. where I learned the phrase, actually. oh no, man, you didn't drink and dial did you?

Glimmerglass 7:39 AM  

Easy, but with some farfetched Friday clues. Everything is fair on Friday and Saturday. DEAD TREE is how people complain about wasting paper, but it's not exactly a definition of "print." DICES is the cooking direction, not the gambling items (that's "dice" or "dies"). Never heard HOUSE MUSIC ("house band," yes). Fortunately, everything fell to crosses, even the potential Natick with ABE and HOKE.

Imfromjersey 8:01 AM  

Rare to get a TICKET STUB these days, most places just scan your ticket instead of tearing it. Had GMEN before AGTS, otherwise pretty easy for a Friday. Loved DRUNK DIALED and THE SITUATION. Nice puzzle Mr. Livengood!

Milford 8:09 AM  

Easy here too, but fun to solve and definitely no googling! That's a good Friday.

Only hang up was in the NW, where I had No WAY for too long, and I was locked into 1A being a dog. Finally figured out X-RAYED and it fell nicely. Really worried I was going to have to know Snooki or somebody's real name, thank goodness not.

Loved AM I RIGHT. Got a deck of slang flash cards for a stocking stuffer, so this phrase makes me think of aiight being a word.

First thought on 12D was booty call, but it didn't fit. Years ago I had to be on ridiculous painkillers for a week, and I DRUNK DIALED/narc DIALED my husband at work endlessly.

ABE Froman! Love it! Speaking of puns like Mr. REE (thank you, @Rex for the explanation), ABE's reservations are at Chez Quis, aka Shakey's, a pizza place in Chicago.

Thank you, Ian!

joho 8:20 AM  

I have to chime in with my accolades for Ian's always lovely puzzles ... seamlessly contructied, fresh and smile-inducing.

I love the BONY NUDES hanging out at SPAS perhaps with the FOLKHERO who left his FURHAT at the door.

DRUNKDIALED and AMIRIGHT are brilliant. @Anon 12:43 A.M. that evolving scene with Ned Ryerson is one of the best in that fantastic movie.

SPOOFED and SPLATTER are fun.

@Amiright Comp Minataur ... thanks for the lyrics. I love that song, too.

Perhaps too easy for a Friday but who cares when you get a beauty like this one?

joho 8:23 AM  

That would be "constructed."

loren muse smith 8:27 AM  

Great puzzle, Ian! So bright and contemporary!

Loved DANDER crossing EIDER. And fried OKRA is always OK by me.

@Acme - Now I'm going around humming that song. It's a good one!

Add the locksmith, Sure Lock Homes, to the list of punny titles. And every Monday on the way to the prison I drive past a body shop, Wreck-a-Mended. There has to be a puzzle there. . .

Sir Hillary 8:27 AM  

Not too much to add. Superb grid, but I wish it had been clued more deviously. When I get through a Friday in 15 minutes, it isn't really Friday-hard. Dropped MANXCATS in right away (never thought of SHELTIES, luckily) and sailed on from there.

Too bad ABE couldn't have been ABS, which is what THESITUATION is most known for.

My captcha today is PsyCon. Hmm...a good description of "Gangnam Style"?

Airymom 8:33 AM  

What a terrific puzzle. This puzzle should be the example for every constructor--minimum of junk, good cluing, fresh answers (dead tree, drunk dialed, house music, etc.)

I understand that many folks thought it was too easy for a Friday and I was able to complete it more quickly than most Fridays.

BUT...an hour spent with an excellent puzzle trumps two hours spent with a bore anytime.

Thanks Ian.

Michael Leddy 8:46 AM  

Is anyone else bugged about 23 Down, AWAIT? The clue, "Look for," doesn't fit the word. To await is to wait for or be in store for.

evil doug 9:03 AM  

Ian's going to have a big head ('Tod', yesterday), but everybody's right: The vivid and varied wording easily surpasses easy-ish complaints.

[Speaking of yesterday: Z, I was being modest.]

'Sour on' on top of 'in love'---nice contrast. The one feeling the latter is likely to 'drunk dial' the one who's reached the former opinion of their relationship. (Drunk-dialed, butt-dialed---I wonder if our kids have any idea whence came 'dial'....)

Had trouble spelling 'yessiree' (tried one 's', two 'r's).

Now that 'The Situation' and his pals are gone, we can watch Loren's West Virginia 'folk heroes' in "Buckwild"....

Would have preferred 'blood ________' as the clue to 'splatter'. I don't think fry cooks care....
**********************
JERRY: Hey, isn't that George's father?

ELAINE: Oh, yeah, it is! Should we say hello?

JERRY: I've never seen him in Manhattan before; it's weird. So out of context.

ELAINE: That man he's with: is he wearing a cape?

JERRY: I believe he is wearing a cape.

ELAINE: Why is Mr. Costanza with a man in a cape?

JERRY: Well, it is good cape weather. Cool. Breezy.

ELAINE: Yeah, but why a cape? Who wears a cape? Where do you even get a cape?

JERRY: You're right; it is strange. In fact, let's cross to the other side of the street. Cover me....
**********************
Evil

chefbea 9:37 AM  

I agree!!Easy for a Friday. I almost finished!! Folk lore fouled me up.

Nothing better than fried okra down here..be careful that the grease doesn't spatter!!

jackj 9:38 AM  

Way, way too easy.

Ian’s only other themeless puzzle was published in the Times about a year back and was a credible, (though also easy), effort that featured BABEMAGNET as its first entry.

Today’s puzzle, despite having an impressive nine virgin entries, just didn’t give enough serious pushback. It wasn’t for lack of trying, as noted by the cleverness of the cluing for PERSIANGULF, FURHAT and XRAYED, for example but even they just weren’t very perplexing after a few crosses.

I’m beginning to wonder, are Will’s “Young Turks” better suited for themed puzzles where they have shown extraordinary cleverness? With themeless puzzles, they have often seemed to display fascinating wordplay, just not butt-kickingly clued bits that can have one hollering “bingo” in joyous frustration.

Some of Ian’s shortest answers today were his best, such as CURB, MOVE, NUKED and ODE and while the nine debut entries provide some excellent fill, they would seem to be better positioned as difficult Wednesday entries.

The exception for me came with _ _ _ SITUATION, never having seen (or wanted to see) “Jersey Shore” and my only guess was JOE but that didn’t work well with a “J” as the cross and sorting out MANXCATS finally showed it to be THE SITUATION, a likely name for a 21st century wrestler, maybe.

This was still a wonderful, fun, solve, but a puzzle that unwittingly allowed this pencil pusher to become a speed-solver.

Sarah 10:11 AM  

Just as I was finishing this totally enjoyable puzzle, my cellphone rang.It was my son, but when I picked up I heard lots of chatter and background noise. I hung up. Phone rang again. Chatter and noise. Hung up. Rang again. Chatter and noise. Now I'm ready for a variation on 12D: BUTTDIALED.

Elle54 10:14 AM  

There was a Mr. Ree game at my grandmother's farm when I was a kid. It was leftover from my mom and her sibs playing it before WW ll We always thought it was fascinating but I don't remember playing it through..maybe pieces missing. Almost bought one on EBay once... Don't know why I didn't .

Matthew G. 10:20 AM  

Agree with Rex completely. Wonderful puzzle, but the cluing was way too transparent. Guessed MANX CATS off the clue, confirmed with X-RAYED, and it was off to the races.

I really did like the clue on PERSIAN GULF, though.

Never heard of THE SITUATION, but was able to work around that.

Two Ponies 10:41 AM  

Another gem from Ian L.
Drunk dialed made me laugh and cringe as I have been guilty.
Thanks @ jackj for the data. Nine new answers! Wow.

Tita 11:07 AM  

Easy? NFM...Had to cheat once to see that it was an H - had jOKE, which made HOUSEMUSIC tough to see.

Was looking for a family name - THE SIT___A_TIOs.

NE was last to fall. Had cRaNKDIALING. Also had enG before ARG for the World Cup. (Misread as America's Cup - still woulda been wrong.)

This puzzle told a family story.
Stepdaughter got engaged on New Year's Eve to a Scot She said YESSIREE! They are INLOVE, he has ENDEARED himself to us, and there will definitely be TARTANS worn at the wedding. Her MANXCAT[S] will not be ABLE to attend.

Thanks Mr. Livengood!

jae 11:12 AM  

@Michael Leddy: I'll AWAIT your answer in the mail. I'll LOOK FOR your answer in the mail.

One of the side benefits of reading a newspaper every day or DVRing late night talk shows (e.g. The Daily Show, Colbert, Letterman)is that you know stuff like THE SITUATION without ever having to watch the show.

Carola 11:16 AM  

Lovely, lovely - not surprising for an Ian Livengood puzzle. Agree on "easy" for a Friday, but so much fun to fill in. Like others, enjoyed IN LOVE + ENDEARED contrasting with SOUR ON and DANDER, possible relating to getting DRUNKDIALED.

Fauna for the ZOO: an EIDER, a MINOTAUR, and, in the FUR area, a PERSIAN to go with the MANX. Also liked COMP with TICKET STUB.

@glimmerglass - Not sure if this speaks to your point, but I've heard "DEAD TREE version" used to mean "print version" of some document or other.

jae 11:17 AM  

...speaking of which, I'm with Dave, Kathryn Bigelow got screwed!

Evan 11:18 AM  

Argh, tripped at the finish line. Had everything, thought it was easy and fun, and went with TARTARS/CROTE on the last square. I know TARTARS doesn't make much sense, but I knew it was at least a word. I didn't know what a TARTAN is, and I thought they wanted a piece of a literal cabbage -- which I don't eat -- and CROTE sounded totally plausible to me. To make a delicious cabbage stew, just cut off the crote, and....

retired_chemist 11:33 AM  

AWAIT IMO is fine as an answer to "look for." From my dictionary: "We AWAIT the proposals with impatience." "Look for" fits that, though if you're picky there may be some difference in nuance.

lawprof 11:50 AM  

Just goes to show: a great puzzle doesn't have to be hard.

Wanted MANXCATS right off the bat, but hesitated when 1D seemed to want "No WAY!" But XRAYED (4D) cofirmed my initial inclination, and the Leonard vs. Duran "No MAS" fight came into focus.

Never heard of THESITUATION; not familiar with DRUNKDIALED or HOUSEMUSIC; SOURON seems a bit off; ABLE-minded not in my lexicon (wanted like-minded for a while). But all easily gettable from crosses.

The Stillwater River clue (45D) had me mentally scanning Oklahoma (OSU, which is in Stillwater) before diverting cross-country to New England and the U. of Maine.

Fun, fun Friday.

chefbea 11:52 AM  

@Evan Love cabbage!! Noticed a post of yours late yesterday...My room mate in college went to New Trier.
We went to Wheaton College (not in Ill.) in Norton Mass.

Rob C 11:59 AM  

Nothing to add that hasn't already been said. But I did want to add another vote for LIKED.

Gareth Bain 12:08 PM  

@Jackj: Difficulty isn't entirely a valid criticism of the constructor; Will Shortz sometimes edits puzzles' clues quite drastically (50%+ of the clues, to a lesser or greater degrees) to change their difficulties to his ideal. My first themeless to be accepted for The Times I wrote as an easy Friday, but Will says he'll probably run it on a Saturday... I expect he'll beef up the clueing accordingly!

If you are looking for another puzzle to slake your thirst for a challenging crossword, I found today's LA Times, by someone called Ian Livengood, a lot more difficult than this puzzle!

jberg 12:22 PM  

@Evan, are you sending us up -- er, I mean SPOOFing us --after yesterday, not knowing what a TARTAN is?

I was so proud of myself to think of HOUSE MUSIC, which I know only as a phrase (i.e., not as music), not to mention PERSIAN GULF off the I (not without being tempted by 'the pipeline'). Two writeovers, though, Cede before COMP, and hOLE (as in golf) as the thing you play.

What everyone said, otherwise.

Evan 12:34 PM  

@jberg:

No send-up. I didn't know what a TARTAN is and I got it wrong today. Which sucks extra because I was feeling all high 'n mighty yesterday for not knowing several proper nouns but getting them right anyway.

@chefbea:

Cool. I think you officially know at least one more person who went to New Trier than I do. Well, I remember some people who went there, but I never became friends with them.

Sandy K 12:40 PM  

Pleasant solve- usually try to avoid THE SITUATION, but his appearance here, along with DRUNK-DIALED and the ROSETTA STONE was kind of ironic.

HOKE, HOUSE MUSIC and PISTOLA seemed a bit forced to me, but the rest made up for it.

Susan McConnell 1:00 PM  

Fine fun Friday with lots of fresh fill!

Lewis 1:00 PM  

"Perhaps too easy for a Friday but who cares when you get a beauty like this one?" -- Joho

Echoes my feelings. And Gareth, that's a good point, and I wonder how much WS played into the difficulty of the cluing.

So fresh and zippy, this puzzle, it left me feeling buoyant...

Carola 1:00 PM  

@Gareth Bain - Thank you for the reference to the L.A. Times puzzle. Yes, more difficult, just as much fun. Two Ian Livengood Friday puzzles - 46A!

OISK 1:51 PM  

Reference to Jersey Shore had me gritting my teeth right at the beginning, and I had no idea how "The Situation" fit the clue until I came here, but this was a wonderful puzzle.  Loved the Amiright clue, deadtree, and others. Finished in slightly faster than average time for a Friday, but I wouldn't call it "too easy". Just right. I expected to like it when I say Ian's name.

On "tartans." I expect that anyone who has been to Britain would know what they are, but here they are often called "Argyles".

Thanks, Ian!

Masked and Anonymo8Us 1:56 PM  

Eight of the little jewels -- so, this dude is definitely "in tune" with m&e. themelessthUmbsUp.

U'all is too smart, tho. This puz put up a fight, at my place. Turned over several small pieces of furniture. Left claw marks on my neck. Then DRUNKDIALED my sister and called her names. Tough. snort.

Glad THESITUATION was wotd, since all I could come up with there was Chris Christie (too long by 1, so went with a Y ending).

Fave clues:
[Russian dressing?] = FURHAT. Wanted boyar or babushka.
[Symbols of impending trouble] = CLOUDS. First thought: satanic red rubber duckies. har.

All in all, this puz ended up being slightly ornerier than the ThursPuz, which is about where U want to be, come to think on it. Righto.

Bird 2:02 PM  

I liked this puzzle, despite not completing the NE corner. I had BOXES for 9D and 12D started with PRANK (DRUNK DIALing was not a phrase in my book, though I know it does happen). That combination gave me XROADS for 18A and NEO for 11D (which was LAD at first). EIDER, RASTA and running the alphabet were no help either.

The remaining long downs were fresh and I like some of the same answers as others.

And now one of the idiots from that inane TV show makes the NYT. Wonderful. I watched Donald Trump’s roast in which this idiot tried to be funny, but all he could do was talk about himself and he bombed.

I like the 6 Degrees of Separation between 41A and 50D.

@Asnarkycomment - LOL

TGIF!

John V 3:23 PM  

Crappy day, for work reasons, so majorly not connected to this puzzle and I'm quite sure it's me, not the puzzle. That said, it's pretty depressing to have Jersey Shore follow up on WHEEL OF FORTUNE from yesterday. I'm quite sure that if my focus were better this would have been very difficult for me. Pop culture, esp TV, has always been my
Achilles Heel. C'est la guerre

OISK 3:45 PM  

Need to correct something I wrote. I mixed up "tartan" with "intarsia." Tartans are the particular plaid designs characteristic of Scottish clans. Argyle sweaters in Britain are often labeled "intarsia." The first part I wrote is still true, though. I imagine that anyone who has been to Britain, or especially Scotland, is familiar with tartans.

retired_chemist 3:50 PM  

ARGYLES was my predecessor to TARTANS.

jazzmanchgo 4:43 PM  

"DICES" ??? I thought "dice" was the plural of "die" -- never even knew there WAS such a word as "DICES."

And how is "print" a "DEAD TREE"? I thought the dead tree was the actual paper that the print was on. Or do they use trees to make ink, as well?

jackj 4:48 PM  

@Gareth Bain-

I agree with your comments and am aware that Will can shape the outcome of any puzzle. My comment was largely due to this puzzle being a carbon copy, difficulty-wise, of the earlier Friday puzzle of Ian’s; too easy. (But I did love them both for their wordplay even though as an afficionado of difficult themeless puzzles I had wished for more of a challenge).

Perhaps my point was best illustrated by Ian’s puzzle in today’s LA Times, a themed construction that demonstrated the “extraordinary cleverness” to which I had earlier referred.

Congrats on your upcoming Saturday. It will be interesting to see how much Will has toughened your “easy Friday”.

Joe The Juggler 4:50 PM  

I think Carola got it right on the "dead tree"/ "print" one: you have to think of it as an adjective with "version".

Sfingi 4:51 PM  

DNF NW. 8 Googles (my usual Friday is 12), sports and guy-movies got me.

Wanted Terriers (Skye, Scots, etc.)
Learned that the Setter is a dying breed!

"els" before ODE - one common answer for another.

Some funny stuff, eh.

Johnny Appleseed is very real. He spread the crab apple so he could have something safe to drink. That wouldn't have worked if someone hadn't spread the bee ahead of him. He also read the Bible in isolated homes. He died owning acres of land and no progeny.

I own several books on tartans. Got rid of 800 this year and 1,000 last, but not my Scottish stuff. Still have 6,000 to go. Life is short.

jazzmanchgo 4:58 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jazzmanchgo 5:00 PM  

p.s. House music is, in fact, a genre of dance music. It evolved in the '80s out of a Chicago nightclub called the Warehouse. A DJ ("deejay"?) named Frankie Knuckles is usually credited for originating it. It was kind of a blend of post-disco hard funk and electronica, not quite as harsh and mechanical as hip-hop would eventually become (and usually a lot more melodic and often more soulful as well), but moving in that direction. Loleatta Holloway, although these days she's usually categorized as disco, was actually one of the major figures in house music.

AndrewA 6:19 PM  

I first took the plural of "elevated lines" to be a clever clue for OD's of controlled substances.
I was glad to unearth the nickname of THE SITUATION before having to zero in on some long and not later-useful Jersey Shore surname.

Evan 6:50 PM  

@jazzmanchgo:

I think DICES is meant to be a verb, as in to cut food into small cubes.

Z 7:11 PM  

Ditto. DRUNK DIALED alone was worth the price of admission.

@Masked and Anonymo8Us - That's modest satanic red rubber duckies.

Elle54 7:36 PM  

Did you ever visit your roommate's hometown? That's where I live and went to high school.

jazzmanchgo 8:22 PM  

I do know "dices" as a verb in the food-preparation sense; but the clue "cubes" still confuses me. Can you "cube" food (as well as numbers)?

chefbea 8:26 PM  

@elle54 I assumed you were asking me??? Have been to Chicago many times since I am originally from St. Louis. E-mail me and we can discuss things.

micahael 10:01 PM  

I didn't find this as easy as most of you. Had Johnny Appleseed as a forester and the the British Isle pets as scotties for too long. I went through most of this quickly but then got stuck in the northwest. Finally erased scotties, but still stuck with ___situation. Finally googled to come up with exciting "the" and finished.

sanfranman59 10:14 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. 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 7:19, 6:12, 1.18, 98%, Challenging (5th highest ratio of 160 Mondays)
Tue 9:58, 8:37, 1.16, 83%, Challenging
Wed 7:49, 11:52, 0.66, 1%, Easy (lowest ratio of 159 Wednesdays)
Thu 20:13, 17:05, 1.18, 81%, Challenging
Fri 16:35, 20:49, 0.80, 14%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:09, 3:39, 1.14, 94%, Challenging
Tue 5:49, 4:57, 1.18, 86%, Challenging
Wed 4:37, 6:34, 0.70, 1%, Easy (lowest ratio of 159 Wednesdays)
Thu 11:59, 9:34, 1.25, 84%, Challenging
Fri 8:54, 11:47, 0.76, 11%, Easy

Michael Leddy 11:12 PM  

@jae and retired_chemist: I'm happy to be in the minority on "await," but I don't think I'm being picky. The OED gives "To wait for (a coming event or person)" and "To be in store for, be reserved for" as "the only current senses" for the word. If, for instance, you are awaiting sentencing, you're not looking for it; you're just waiting for it.

mac 11:40 PM  

Wonderful puzzle! looking forward to the LATimes one.

Tita 12:04 AM  

@jazzman..."cut the potatoes into 1/2" cubes..."
If you've cut then into cubes, then you've cubed them?
Sure...no one has ever seen a recipe that says "cube the potatoes", but hey...it's Friday...

Joseph B 12:55 AM  

Dang it: guessed wrong at the ARG/ARONO cross.

I'm sure ARONO is a piece of crosswordese I should know by now, but ALONO looked no more unlikely.

JackLee 5:08 AM  

DNF, I'm afraid, due to a clog in the W -- I had ARABIANGULF for 24D and then of course nothing else on that side made sense. :(

pooloniousmonk 11:10 AM  

What is the romance in a drunk dial? The clue would have been fine without that word, which really threw me off. Apparently, "drunk dialing" is a idiomatic expression that specifically references a romantic interest as the subject of the call and not simply dialing when drunk.
I really wanted "egg" for timer that was definitely not old. It was too cool to ignore and fit with augurs.

the daily cannibal 11:59 AM  

Tired of the NYT confusing "trap" with "skeet." Trap shooting uses one target; skeet two. Skeet targets are fired from towers, not traps. May as well confuse cricket with baseball. Hell, they both involve bats and balls, don't they?

Cheerio 12:30 PM  

Wow - what a gorgeous puzzle! Thanks Ian! I loved that Iberia was over the clouds, and soured on was over in love. On top of that, the fur hat crossing the dead tree was amusing. 2 things to feel guilty about, if you are so inclined. Amazing.

Tita 3:45 PM  
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Tita 3:50 PM  
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Ellen S 4:10 PM  

Yipes, if this was easy, I must not be able to do any of Mr. Livengood's hard ones. Took me from Thursday night to late Friday night. All the first half dozen things I filled in were wrong, stopping all crosses. I got nowhere until I enlisted the aid of Mr. Happy Pencil to show me my errors. Basically ... start over. I liked some of the answers, once I got them, like DICES and CNOTE (@Evan, CrOTE sounds like something it would be painful to have cut off). But I agree with @Rex, HOKE is pure bunkum. And I never heard of DRUNK-DIALING. Oh, from Sideways? Saw the movie, forgot the most important line. But even if I had remembered it, having someone I did not want to be involved with call me up while he was drunk, does not sound romantic to me. Creepy, and possibly more than a little scary.

Spacecraft 11:21 AM  

Strange. OFL got DRUNKDIALED "off just the UNK," while the 12 square was the very last one I filled. "Trunk-dialed," I thought, but neither danter ner ranter made sense. If the 9a clue had been "Angry one," I'd have put in RANTER for sure. Eventually decided that DANDER had to be right. DRUNKDIALED? Ne. Vah. Hoidofit.

But for that weird expression, and morphing Mr. Appleseed from FOLKtale through FOLKloRe to arrive at last at FOLKHERO, I agree that the rest of this was easy. (OFL: why did you want ELS? The word "elevated"--for which ELS is merely a shortened form, was in the clue. Can't do that, can ya?)

I must note, continuing from @anon 12:43's mention of "Ned the Head," that I too thought of him straightaway--and was doubly amused when I saw the expression crossed with STRIPES: another memorable Murray vehicle. Good stuff.

rain forest 1:25 PM  

I don't think I would ever complain that a puzzle is too easy. This one was certainly easier than your average Friday offering, but I found it very fresh, clever, and enjoyable.

Like @Spacecraft, the DRUNKDIALED/DANDER cross was my last entry. I've never heard the term DRUNKDIALED, but I once did it; alas, it wasn't well-received...

SPLATTER was my first entry, then NIL, which gave me MANXCATS, and then I was off. My only wtf's were THESITUATION (have never watched the show) and TCBY (Canadian,eh). No HOKE in this effort. Really well done.


DMGrandma 2:27 PM  

Easy for some, but I simply couldn't do the NW corner. Wanted Scotties for the pet which gave me "no SIR." And things just didn't get better. Thought the question could be "isitart" which,naturally, didn't fit. NIL didnt fit anything I could think of Began to feel that, as a name, ---SITUATION must be wrong, and just threw in the towel. As for the rest it flowed, though I did have to accept HOUSEMUSIC as something that exists. Glad somebody explained it.

Dirigonzo 4:06 PM  

PP and I were halfway through the clues with the grid still mostly blank, when we gained traction in the middle of the puzzle and the bottom half fell quickly (for us). When we got back to the top part we discovered that some of the answers we had rejected were right and some of the answers we had put in were wrong but eventually it all came together. I'm glad THESITUATION was explained her because neither of us understood that answer.

Nice to see a shout-out to my alma mater, UM ORONO - the next time I visit there should be to see my younger son receive his degree.

Spacecraft 4:11 PM  

TCBY is an acronym for "The Country's Best Yogurt." The country, I think, is the USA. I only knew it because I happened to see a store sign once in Williamsport, PA.

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

Started with AM I RIGHT off the bat, then THE SITUATION and YESSIREE off the very same bat like some sort of Hunter Pence magic liner. Breezed through the entire grid until crashing into the wall in the NE, where my iDLE mind got my DiNDER up. Probably would have been ABLE to solve had I kept after it, but I got someplace I gotta be.

@ACME...tear to my eye every time I watch old Paul George & Ringo sing that one on the Anthology DVD. (John would've rolled his eyes and called it shite, of course)

Anonyrat 9:38 AM  

@ loren muse smith 8:27 AM - My favorite punny business name (seen referenced somewhere on the Web) was an English waterproofing biz using the name "Titus Aduxass".

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