LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Aug 2017, Thursday










Constructed by: Mel Rosen

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

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Theme: Accents Spelled Out

Today’s themed answers are terms in foreign languages that use accented letters. Those accents are spelled out in the grid:

  • 17A. Tarragona title, in detail? : SE[N-TILDE]OR (señor)
  • 29A. Arles animal, in detail? : B[E-CIRCUMFLEX]TE (bête)
  • 48A. Toulouse trace, in detail? : SOUP[C-CEDILLA]ON (soupçon)
  • 59A. Augsburg above, in detail? : [U-UMLAUT]BER (über)

Bill’s time: 11m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Mus. key of “I Am The Walrus” : A MAJ

“I Am the Walrus” is a Beatles song released in 1967. It was written by John Lennon, with the Walrus being a reference to the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass”.

14. Shade akin to ecru : BONE

The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

15. Critical vessel : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

16. K-12 : ELHI

“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from grades 1 through 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

17. Tarragona title, in detail? : SE[N-TILDE]OR (señor)

Tarragona is a Mediterranean port city in the northeast of Spain. The city is the capital of the Province of Tarragona.

20. NBC show that inspired “30 Rock” : SNL

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

“30 Rock” is a sitcom on NBC that was created by the show’s star Tina Fey. Fey is an ex-performer and writer from “Saturday Night Live” and uses her experiences on that show as a basis for the “30 Rock” storyline. Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for the fictional sketch comedy series “TGS with Tracy Jordan”.

28. Immature bee nourished by royal jelly : LARVA

Royal jelly is a glandular secretion from worker honey bees. It is used to feed all bee larvae. Most of the larvae are fed royal jelly for just three days, and these larvae develop into drones (males) and workers (sterile females). When the existing queen honey bee grows old or tired, the workers replace her by choosing several small larvae to feed with copious amounts of royal jelly. This triggers the development of a new queen, with fully developed ovaries for the laying of eggs.

29. Arles animal, in detail? : B[E-CIRCUMFLEX]TE (bête)

“Bête” is French for “beast”.

A circumflex is a diacritic mark used routinely in some languages, such as French. For example, there’s a circumflex over the first “e” in “être”, the French for “to be”.

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.

35. Rat Pack nickname : DINO

Dean Martin was the stage name of singer and actor Dino Crocetti. Martin was famous for his numerous hit songs such as “That’s Amore”, “Volare” and Everybody Loves Somebody”, as well as his film career with Jerry Lewis. Off screen, Martin was a member of the famous “Rat Pack” as he was a great friend of Frank Sinatra. Martin was always associated with Las Vegas and when he passed away in 1995 the lights on the strip were dimmed in his honor.

The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

43. Sci-fi SFX : CGI

Computer-generated imagery (CGI)

“FX” is an abbreviation for “effects”, as in “special effects”, sometimes referred to as “SFX”.

47. Capital of Delaware? : DEE

The capital letter of the word “Delaware” is a letter D (dee).

The state of Delaware takes its name from Virginia’s first colonial governor, Englishman Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. Delaware is known as the First State as it was the first to ratify the US Constitution, in 1787.

48. Toulouse trace, in detail? : SOUP[C-CEDILLA]ON (soupçon)

“Soupçon” translates literally from French into English as “suspicion”, and can be used in the sense that a “suspicion” of something is a just a hint, a crumb.

A cedilla is the diacritical mark found under the letter C in many French words, as in the words “garçon” and “façade”.

Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and is located in the southwest of the country. These days, Toulouse is noted as home to the Airbus headquarters and is known as the center of the European aerospace industry.

52. Poundstone of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” : PAULA

Paula Poundstone is a stand-up comedian who grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts. She is a regular panelist on the NPR weekly news quiz show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me”. I had the privilege of seeing Poundstone performing in a local theater not so long ago, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Chicago Public Radio produces one of my favorite radio shows, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” It is indeed a fun game show, hosted by Peter Sagal. The “Morning Edition” newsreader Carl Kasell used to act as judge and scorekeeper, until he retired in 2014. There should be more game shows of that ilk on the radio, in my humble opinion …

57. N.L. teams usually don’t use them : DHS

Baseball’s American League (AL) allows a designated hitter (DH) in each team’s lineup, whereas the National League (NL) does not.

58. Bus sched. info : RTES

Route (rte.)

59. Augsburg above, in detail? : [U-UMLAUT]BER (über)

“Über” is the German word for “over, across, above”.

An “umlaut” (also “diaeresis”) is a diacritical mark consisting of two horizontal dots placed over a letter, usually a vowel. Here in the West, we are perhaps most familiar with umlauts in German, as in “Schön”.

Augsburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany. Augsburg was founded in 15 BC, making it the third oldest city in the whole country.

66. Brat condiment : KRAUT

Sauerkraut translates from German as “sour herb” or “sour cabbage”. During WWI, sauerkraut producers changes its name in order to distance their product from the “enemy”. They called it “Liberty cabbage”.

A bratwurst (sometimes “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

69. 37-Across plant : SEDGE
(37A. Wetland area : MARSH)

Sedges are a family of plants that resemble grasses and rushes. Sedges are more properly called Cyperaceae.

70. CT scan component : X-RAY

A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful, causing damage that is cumulative over time.

Down

1. They might be ripped : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They are all called a “six-pack” in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

2. “The Simpsons” tavern owner : MOE

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

3. Gloucester’s cape : ANN

Cape Ann is 30 miles north of Boston and is on the northernmost edge of Massachusetts Bay. The Cape was first mapped by the explorer John Smith. Early in his adventurous life Smith had been captured and enslaved by the Ottoman Empire. His “owner” in his days of slavery was a woman called Tragabigzanda, and apparently the slave and owner fell in love. Smith originally called Cape Tragabigzanda in her memory, but King Charles I changed the name to Cape Ann in honor of his own mother, Anne of Denmark.

Gloucester, Massachusetts is a city on Cape Ann. Gloucester is a fishing port and a popular spot for tourists.

4. Lake craft : JET SKI

“Jet Ski” is actually a brand name owned by Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The generic term, not often used, is “personal watercraft”. Most people use the term “Jet Ski” generically, although “WaveRunner” is also popular. But that’s another brand name, one owned by Yamaha.

6. Mason’s burden : HOD

A hod is a 3-sided box on the the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks (and sometimes mortar) at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.

8. College in Northfield, Minn. : ST OLAF

St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota was named for the former king and patron saint of Norway, Olaf II.

9. Colt producer : MARE

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

11. Finney with a recurring role in Jason Bourne films : ALBERT

Albert Finney is a marvelous English actor whose long career has included starring roles in movies such as “Annie” (1982) and “Erin Brockovich” (2000). My favorite of Finney’s performance is perhaps less well known, namely “Two for the Road” (1967) in which he stars opposite the lovely Audrey Hepburn.

“The Bourne Identity” is a great spy novel written by Robert Ludlum, and first published in 1980. It has been ranked as the second best spy novel of all time, just behind the even more enjoyable “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” by John le Carre. I’ll agree with that sentiment. Ludlum wrote two sequels, and all three parts of the Bourne Trilogy have been made into very successful movies now, starring Matt Damon in the title role. Ludlum died before he could write more than three novels featuring Jason Bourne, but five more titles in the series have been published, written by Eric Van Lustbader. I must check them out …

12. “Look What __ Done to My Song, Ma” : THEY’VE

“What Have They Done to My Song, Ma?” is 1972 recording released by Melanie Safka, who went by the stage name of “Melanie”. Love that song …

18. Like helium : INERT

Helium is the chemical element with the atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

23. Preschool song opener : ABCD …

“The Alphabet Song” was copyrighted in 1835 in the US. The tune that goes with the words is the French folk song “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman”, used by Mozart for a set of piano variations. The same tune is used for the nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

24. Sainted pontiff called “the Great” : LEO I

The first pope named Leo is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. Leo I is famous for meeting with the feared Attila the Hun and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe.

26. Skipjack or bluefin : TUNA

Skipjack tuna would be called medium-sized, growing to about three feet long. Albacore tuna is a little larger.

Bluefin tuna is one of those species (actually there are three species of bluefin) that has been overfished, and is no longer found in some parts of the world.

31. “The Blacklist” actress : LAHTI

Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

“The Blacklist” is an entertaining, albeit a little formulaic, crime drama TV show starring James Spader and Megan Boone. Spader plays a successful criminal who surrenders to the FBI in order to help catch a “blacklist” of high-profile criminals.

38. DUI-fighting org. : SADD

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) was founded in Massachusetts in 1981. SADD’s aim is to prevent road traffic accidents by urging students to avoid potentially destructive decisions (such as driving under the influence of alcohol).

In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

40. TV Batman West : ADAM

Adam West was the actor who played the title role in the sixties TV series “Batman”. More recently West voiced the character named “Adam West” on the animated show “Family Guy”. Back in 1970, West was offered the role of James Bond in the movie “Diamonds are Forever”, but he turned it down!

The television show “Batman” aired from 1966-1968. Burt Ward played Robin opposite Adam West’s Batman. Supposedly, Burt Ward was offered the part taken by Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”, but Ward couldn’t get out of his contract for the “Batman” television series. Holy xxxx, Batman!

41. Biz biggies : CEOS

Chief executive officer (CEO)

42. Bingo kin : KENO

The name “Keno” has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

Our modern bingo is a derivative of an Italian lottery game called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” that became popular in the 16th-century.

44. Dean’s list nos. : GPAS

Grade point average (GPA)

46. Friend of Job : ELIHU

In the Bible’s Book of Job, Elihu is described as a friend of Job.

48. “Nausea” novelist : SARTRE

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

50. Small parrot : CONURE

“Conure” is a relatively informal term describing a group of small parrots. The American Ornithologists’’ Union prefers to use the term “parakeet” in place of “conure”.

51. Yarn that makes fabric stretchy : LASTEX

Lastex is a trade-name for yarn with an elastic rubber core, wound with rayon, nylon or a natural fiber thread.

52. Oater colleagues : PARDS

The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

56. Arctic divers : AUKS

Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

62. Backdrop for many jokes : BAR

Seeing as I’m one of three brothers, I have a favorite “So a guy walks into a bar” joke:

So a guy walks into a bar and orders three beers.

The bartender brings him the three beers, and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third, until they’re gone. He then orders three more and the bartender says, “Sir, I know you like them cold, so you can start with one, and I’ll bring you a fresh one as soon as you’re low.” The man says, “You don’t understand. I have two brothers, one in Australia and one in the Ireland. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night, we’d still drink together. So right now, my brothers have three beers, too, and we’re drinking together.” The bartender thinks it’s a wonderful tradition, and every week he sets up the guy’s three beers. Then one week, the man comes in and orders only two. He drinks them and then orders two more. The bartender says sadly, “Knowing your tradition, I’d just like to just say that I’m sorry you’ve lost a brother.”

The man replies, “Oh, my brothers are fine — I just quit drinking.”

63. Actress Longoria : EVA

Eva Longoria is a fashion model and an actress who had a regular role on TV’s “Desperate Housewives”, playing Gabrielle Solis.

64. Spanish king : REY

“Rey” is the Spanish word for “king”.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Mus. key of “I Am The Walrus” : A MAJ

5. Gulf : CHASM

10. They’re underfoot : MATS

14. Shade akin to ecru : BONE

15. Critical vessel : AORTA

16. K-12 : ELHI

17. Tarragona title, in detail? : SE[N-TILDE]OR (señor)

19. Tucked in : ABED

20. NBC show that inspired “30 Rock” : SNL

21. It’s hidden in some profiles : LEFT EYE

23. How great minds think : ALIKE

26. Sweet __ : TEA

28. Immature bee nourished by royal jelly : LARVA

29. Arles animal, in detail? : B[E-CIRCUMFLEX]TE (bête)

32. Amorous murmur : COO

33. Voice mail prompt : TONE

34. Wow : AWE

35. Rat Pack nickname : DINO

37. Wetland area : MARSH

39. Fire : SACK

43. Sci-fi SFX : CGI

45. Take at a concert : GATE

47. Capital of Delaware? : DEE

48. Toulouse trace, in detail? : SOUP[C-CEDILLA]ON (soupçon)

52. Poundstone of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” : PAULA

53. Like the occasional clean sock : ODD

54. Emphatic affirmation : I AM SO

55. Craftsperson : ARTISAN

57. N.L. teams usually don’t use them : DHS

58. Bus sched. info : RTES

59. Augsburg above, in detail? : [U-UMLAUT]BER (über)

65. “Foiled again!” : DRAT!

66. Brat condiment : KRAUT

67. Gable neighbor : EAVE

68. Jazz sessions : SETS

69. 37-Across plant : SEDGE

70. CT scan component : X-RAY

Down

1. They might be ripped : ABS

2. “The Simpsons” tavern owner : MOE

3. Gloucester’s cape : ANN

4. Lake craft : JET SKI

5. Word with roll or toll : CALL

6. Mason’s burden : HOD

7. “__ you coming?” : ARE

8. College in Northfield, Minn. : ST OLAF

9. Colt producer : MARE

10. Cleavers : MEAT-AXES

11. Finney with a recurring role in Jason Bourne films : ALBERT

12. “Look What __ Done to My Song, Ma” : THEY’VE

13. What an LP has that a CD lacks : SIDE A

18. Like helium : INERT

22. Went like mad : FLEW

23. Preschool song opener : ABCD …

24. Sainted pontiff called “the Great” : LEO I

25. Revered one : ICON

26. Skipjack or bluefin : TUNA

27. Came to light : EMERGED

30. Stand-up individual? : COMIC

31. “The Blacklist” actress : LAHTI

36. Eye experts, old-style : OCULISTS

38. DUI-fighting org. : SADD

40. TV Batman West : ADAM

41. Biz biggies : CEOS

42. Bingo kin : KENO

44. Dean’s list nos. : GPAS

46. Friend of Job : ELIHU

48. “Nausea” novelist : SARTRE

49. Surpass in a hot dog contest : OUTEAT

50. Small parrot : CONURE

51. Yarn that makes fabric stretchy : LASTEX

52. Oater colleagues : PARDS

56. Arctic divers : AUKS

57. Check figure : DATE

60. Sore : MAD

61. Carry with difficulty : LUG

62. Backdrop for many jokes : BAR

63. Actress Longoria : EVA

64. Spanish king : REY

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20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 10 Aug 2017, Thursday”

  1. Agreed! Not only the foreign language stuff, which was totally obscure, but the musical key of “I am the Walrus” This must be the ultimate Natick; who is going to know that but a guitar player? Where have you ever seen that written except on sheet music?
    In general this one was was filled with obtuse cluing and was too cute by half.
    Thus ends my rant for the day.

  2. Awful. After Googling all four theme answers, I still didn’t get it til I came here (Thanx, Bill).

    Also, had SIDE b before A. IdOl before ICON, TuNE before TONE, mATE before DATE.
    Also Googled for A MAJ, LASTEX. Never heard of CONURE, DHS (sports, of course). Nothing to grasp on to.

    Makes me not want to try Friday. Booooo

  3. If this is a Thursday level of difficulty I’m in mortal fear of what’s coming on Friday and Saturday. DNF due to 48 Across and 50 Down (with an assist to the double “u” to begin 59 Across. Double, (maybe triple) D’oh!

  4. 29 minutes, 1 error (bad guess on 59A-56D). Agreed with the others on the theme of this one. Terrible. Today’s WSJ in process (by Peter Collins nonetheless) – so far much more entertaining than this one.

      1. Hi Glenn. I also thought the WSJ was an excellent challenge today. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but finally finished it without any final errors and a sense of satisfaction.

          1. I finished today’s WSJ in 15:25, with no errors, and agree with both Glenn and Tony. It took me awhile to understand the gimmick and the intersection of 61A (“Keyboardist Saunders”) and 61D (“Duff server, on TV”) was a near-Natick for me. A bit more challenging than the usual WSJ Thursday, I thought.

            I also liked today’s Newsday puzzle (14:33, no errors) and thought it was a little harder than usual. (Either it’s just me or there’s something in the air … 😄.)

            @Glenn … Thanks for the link to your blog. I recently found that there is a lot more there than I had realized, but haven’t had a chance to go back and follow up on the discovery. For some reason, it was not until I followed one of your links that I began to see a lot of your past entries. (Probably just a result of my own lack of web navigation experience … )

  5. 16:29, no errors. I made a number of missteps on this one (some of which others have mentioned) and it took me quite a while to understand the gimmick. The last letter I entered was the “S” of DHS (which should have been a kind of gimme, since it was used in a relatively recent puzzle, but my memory isn’t what it used to be) and LASTEX (a logical name for such a product, I guess, but I’d never heard of it). All in all, a somewhat mind-bending experience … but I didn’t hate it … 😳.

    This is just a poor, friendless, abandoned little puzzle, with big sad eyes, looking for love in all the wrong places … 😄

  6. Add me to the “this theme was complete trash” vote. The author may as well throw some cyrillic alphabet in there next time!

  7. I thought this puzzle was hard, but by divine intervention, I discovered the theme. From there, it fell into place.

    Here’s my favorite (short) bar joke:

    Past, Present and Future walked into a bar. It was tense!

  8. Wow! First time EVER for me that the Thursday puzzle in the LAT made the NYT’s seem easy. Good one, Mr. Rosen!
    I filled in everything EXCEPT the spelled-out diacritical marks before sussing out the gimmick in 17A (SEN TILDE OR), then the others fell into place. Well, cedilla didn’t exactly “fall” into place. I didn’t immediately remember its name, or how to spell it (got it on the LAHTI cross).
    I hope to see more puzzles of this caliber in the LAT. It’s long been my experience that late in the week, I find the NYT and WSJ puzzles fairly challenging, but those in the LAT just time-killers (no offense intended … just the way it is).
    Not many nits to pick here either: 5D, maybe (Word with roll or toll = CALL). When’s the last time you heard “toll call” or, these days, even “collect call”? And 50D (CONURE). Huh? Not inaccurate, merely obscure. Ironically, I got the “c” only after I remembered “cedilla.” Few nits, indeed — but no gems, either.
    @Bill. You da man! In your Dino remarks, you correctly said “center on”! Too often, I hear or read “center around,” a literal impossibility. And your trivia is the best. (I keep trying to imagine Robin pounding on the glass and screaming “Elaine!” Har!)

  9. I will look for Mel Rosen’s name on future puzzles and skip them. Been doing crosswords for years and this is the most obtuse one I’ve ever done. Across #s 17, 29, 48 and 59 are ridiculous and seem to be intended to show an offbeat disregard for solvers to make any kind of informed answer.

  10. Well everyone seems undecided about this one…. I actually did this in pen on paper on the plane today. Don’t know my time ,but probably 25-29 minutes….ish. I had several guesses that miraculously came out correct. Finally figured the theme out very late in the puzzle.

    I think the law of expectations comes into play. Not used to this on a LAT Thursday so it’s bothersome. The exact same grid on a NYT Thursday would seem pretty normal.

    I thought it was fun. In Puerto Vallarta about to go have my first tequila. Agree with Joe B that this was actually tougher than the NYT for a change.

    Best –

  11. Very late in posting due to pressing, imperative appointments and very heavy rain …..
    I had a tough, tough, tough time with this puzzle – and was vicariously delighted, to see that I was not alone. ( see above … ) Misery loves company.
    But still delighted to find out that some people actually completed the puzzle – Bill, your time is incredible …. and also that the average I.Q. in Puerto/Puerta Vallarta went up by 25% today …. with a dip of 5% for the first tequila …..

    All is not lost – in our utter failures, there are glorious opportunities. I took the opportunity to re-read all the diacritical and not-so-critical marks up in the Wiki. I learnt a little – the problem is, that these marks mean different things, in different languages, so its back to square one – all over again. For a person, who is used to languages that are strictly phonetic ( no spelling Bees, ever – ) such anomalies and special treatment is all so cumbersome and unnecessary. Why can’t they all reform to make the written language phonetic ???? In this day and age, a law should have been promulgated …. all languages must conform to some well known programming language – all logic and consistency and no ‘special case reasoning’.

    Have a nice day, fellas and gals, tomorrow is another day.

  12. Too tough for me today; got about 90%, but had about 10 squares unfilled. Never heard of CONURE or LASTEX or LAHTI. Still, now that I see the theme answers, and I did get a couple, I should have finished. Busy today.

    Oh well, on to Friday…

    RIP Godzilla (Tuesday)

  13. I’M SO MAD AT THIS PUZZLE!!!!😣
    I have to weigh in with my perspective, if y’all don’t mind: Like some of you, I know all the foreign terms, as well as the names of the diacritical marks, and I still couldn’t crack it. The theme was terrible, but IMO the BIGGEST problem was the cluing!!! For one: “Tarragona title, in detail.” Just tweak that a bit! Make it “Madrid gentleman, in detail” and it’s actually doable!! THAT was the first themed clue. The setter should AT LEAST make the puzzle accessible!!!

    In all kindness, I would respectfully disagree with you, Jeff, as to the law of expectations being in play here. I think it’s a flawed puzzle, no matter where or which day it might appear!

    Meanwhile tho– glad to find so much humor here in everyone’s comments!😊 Poor sad-eyed puzzle indeed….!

    Thank heavens that Robin never played Ben. We dodged a bullet there!!!😮
    Be well~~™🍷🍷🍷

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