Device Used by Anubis

Spend Saturday with Patrick Berry.

Comments: 87

  1. This was a nice smooth solve, with words filling in more easily than I expected. The things that I absolutely didn't know--SUMAC, THE OMEN--were gettable from crosses. And things that I knew but couldn't remember--CECILIA, YESHIVA, LOUIS PRIMA--came to mind once I had 2 or 3 letters.

    The far NE corner was the last to fill in. I had LEAR before PERK and didn't want to give it up. I think SOP just refers to anything that pacifies a person, not necessarily a baby's pacifier, or in its use like "a SOP to one's conscience." I also fell for AFRO before FETE, which led me to think of EILEEN ATKINS, but no! she's an actress. Didn't know YUL was in the Ten Commandments.

  2. Deb, I'm a beginning solver who has ventured into Thursday through Saturday puzzles with your guidance. Some say I've become obsessed with the Nyt puzzles because I can't get on with my day until I've studied and solved the puzzle one way or another - often though your blog. This was the first Saturday puzzle where I had a great start because "Being There" is one of my all time favorite films- especially significant given today's presidential choices! And like you, I entered the work force clad in Eileen Fisher suits- another easy one for me. Add to that my fascination with Egypt, everything Barbara Streisand and Vivaldi and I tackled quite a few more entries. This puzzle had enough in my wheelhouse that I solved it in under an hour. Thanks for your tips- I may become a respectable solver yet!

  3. Ronna, between the EILEEN FISHER and your Saturday time, I'd say you have no worries about your respect_ability!

    LizB, YUL Brynner was Pharaoh to Charlton Heston's Moses, and played the CHARACTER handsomely enough to make a body ROOT for the Egyptians. ['Pologies to El Kouzi!]

  4. Welcome to Wordplay, Ronna, and to our obsession. (All right, that's an overstatement, but you know what I mean.)

    So glad to see that you are growing as a solver and having fun doing it. Hope to see you become a Wordplay regular.

  5. Google and I solved this puzzle collaboratively. I needed help with this one, but managed to get by without lookups except with Google.

    Fun, tough puzzle. Thanks.

  6. Martin, I've seen enough. Puzzle smooth, crisp and clean. Avatar obvious. Berry is the best.

  7. Obvious is true. My cheat tool got 69 hits!

  8. .
    Do you remember Martin's recipe for the perfect cubes? Your guy would probably know. Not only is he cool, but check out the crossing words in the grid for the 3d and 5th letters in his nickname.

    There's a separate national historic site near FDR's Hyde Park. It was Eleanor Roosevelt's home. This guy would know about it. Lots of Trees there.

    I did expect a theme-related Avatar, so I was trying to think of people connected with YUL, SCALES, ASP, Tut, Ramses, or Anubis. Plus when King Tut died, the people offered up burnt sacrifices. Those resulted in ASHES, later found in URNs. This guy relates to the theme quite cleverly, in a manner I did not know about previously.

    If Howard Carter's team had to move a stone to reach the chamber containing Tut, would it be a "Tombstone"?

    I have no idea if your guy has a Chicago connection, but FRAN in the grid takes care of that all on her own, if I recall.

    I don't think you commented, JFC, on the recent thread about the morality of the Vietnam Conflict ... um, I mean the thread about whether AGENT ORANGE can properly be called a "weapon". I know it brought unpleasant memories for some, but I thought it was a juicy inquiry into word-meaning. And suddenly we were shooting scuba gear. Later came the inveighing. Actual inveighing. So do you think a defoliant used to advance military aims is a "weapon"? I believe you had some role in the AIR WAR of the era? I registered for the draft but that was it; I'm technically unfit medically.

  9. And speaking of Egyptians (as MTFT also touched on), I may just buy a paper copy of this Sunday's NYT, just to have a dead-tree copy of the Magazine. Looks to be a stellar effort.

  10. did pretty well. last to fall was the SW. Got B sharp and hired on and then pave became obvious and that was that!

  11. I love Patrick Berry's puzzles. If it weren't quite so scary, I'd call myself his number one fan. I apparently lurk in his wheelhouse. Hillary's NORGAY had me stuck because I thought the clue was quite clever but I remembered Tenzing but not his last name. All around perfect Saturday puzzle. More, please.

  12. Too funny, Tristan! I was also sitting there going 'Tenzing NOR-, NOR- .... Go away, NORbert, you're Wiener!'

  13. Funny that I also remember the name Tenzing as much as the NORGAY. Some things stick in the mind.

    Leapy, open that envelope, you may already be a wiener.

  14. "I remembered Tenzing but not his last name".

    I hope I don't come across as "that guy", but on behalf of Deb's Himalayan readers, I'll just point out that the oft-decorated climber's last name was Tensing. His son's son lives in Canada, I believe, using that surname. NORGAY was the equivalent of a first name.

    Speaking of Hillary and last names, I believe the last name that would appear on the guest list for the Inaugural Balls would be Monica -- no matter who gets elected. If Hillary is elected, Monica would also be the last name of tax-refund recipients or recipients of any other government payment. But under Hillary's administration, I believe that neither lesbian, nor bisexual, NORGAY, will be discriminated against in White House hiring. (In fact, her top campaign guy, NORRobby NORMook, identifies as NORGAY. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robby_Mook [I have to use NOR because I can't type the other syllable alone in all caps.] NORMook is from the NORtheast, and has run a strong enough campaign that his candidate may get almost all the Electoral votes from the NORtheast.)

  15. Like the rest of you, I love Patrick Berry puzzles. Can anybody tell me what percentage of his original clues remain unchanged through the edit process?

    Btw, Deb, I agree with Liz B. Instead of thinking of a baby's pacifier as a sop, consider a sop as something which pacifies.

  16. We were hanging with some friends at their family cabin near the Stanford Sierra Camp and even the squirrels were CARDINAL RED, but while I was preparing dinner, good guest huh?, our host put on LOUIS PRIMA in his Keely Smith phase. What a great act! He was anything but an ICEMAN and she, of course, was the quintessential ICE Princess. Was the band Sam Butera and the Witnesses? Terrific entertainers.

  17. SILENT NIGHT before STABAT MATER which I read as STAB AT MATER while picturing a snotty English kid attacking his mum.

    I thought of TWEENAGERS before actually entering it, because I've never heard anyone go beyond TWEENS.

    It's rare for me to finish in the center, but it happened tonight.

  18. My first thought was PRE-TEENAGERS. Also never heard the age group referred to as anything other than TWEENS.

    Well, okay, I've heard them called other things, but not with specific reference to their age.

  19. Count me in a member of the "I love Patrick Berry" AMEN chorus. I will Sing, Sing, Sung his praises along with LOUIS PRIMA, which takes us back to Tuesday's puzzle (which also had B SHARP).

  20. Well, g'day
    I'm back after a few weeks away.
    So it was my first Saturday crossword in a long while. 21min 12sec is not bad (that included 4 hints)

    Never heard of Eileen Fisher, or even that Hymn (even after I completed the grid!). I liked 29D Casting Lady, and the splattering of film references helped me out (I got Talia Shire straight away).
    Interestingly, we spell Mike, as Mic down under.
    And as for 35A Book Collection, 'book' down here can mean 'to report something' and so I was thinking something along the lines of Charge Sheet, or Charge Log. And when the first 3 letters were CHA, I though I was on to something.
    But, alas.

  21. G'day Rhett -- "Book" has multiple meanings up here too; same possible misdirection. And we use both "mike" and "mic."

  22. .
    Great puzzle!

    Deb, do you think themeless expert Martin Ashwood-Smith was at the Finals of the Women's 800m Freestyle swim? I'll email you a photo that will explain my question.

    Another question: Sometimes people have that thing happen where they complete the puzzle and get a solve time but their browser crashes at the precise moment that you don't want it to crash, and when they open the Puzzle again, they see a filled grid with the timer at 0:00. You tell them to write to _______ . Please advise on filling in that blank? And is there a webpage with a form I use for this purpose? I'm relieved to have my streak end but the blue star (rather than gold) prevents my solve time from lowering my Saturday average!

    I believe -- could be wrong -- that a while back, Deb, you said that if anyone has solve approaches they thought could benefit others, they should unveil them. Then as I recall, I mentioned that I had some methodology but that others might not be able to use it. And in my mind's eye, RiA said he was interested in seeing it.

    The other day, I posted the first 3 of my solve gimmicks. There are 2 or 3 left, geared primarily to weekend crosswords. If anyone wants me to post them, please say so. Otherwise, I will not do so. I sensed that in certain circles of the high-camaraderie commentariat, there was strong preference for brevity. My solve gimmicks can't be described briefly, so if I write up more of them, the write-up will be longish. No one is forced to read, though.

  23. Thanks for asking, MTF. Any technical questions should be sent via the Feedback link on the main puzzle page.

  24. You know you are in for a fun day when 44d and 47d give you the most trouble. When Mr. Happy Pencil appeared after I guessed DEISTS and Far EAST was reviled to me… well it was like entering Shangri-La De Dah (see Flintstones season 4 episode 20 for this lame reference)

    Appleton WI is where they print Topps Baseball cards. As a part of an assignment for Justice I was at Topps. Told them my son was an avid collector/speculator of baseball cards and they handed me 4 card sets. I think that may be one of the reasons I moved to WI after years in NYC and LA.

    Today my brother is hosting a Louisiana Crab boil albeit at the other end of the Mississippi. I may whip up a few Sazeracs: Laissez les bons temps rouler!

  25. I went to college in Appleton and was never aware of that. Searches for various combinations of 'Topps' 'baseball cards' and 'Appleton' suggest that the internet isn't aware of it either. Neither the Wikipedia page for Topps nor the page for 'Baseball cards' mentions Appleton.

    Can you provide a link?

  26. Isn't there some sort of clown school in Appleton?

    Or something circus-related?

  27. Probably depends on who you ask, DL.

    I think you may be thinking of Baraboo, Wisconsin, which has some Ringling brothers related stuff and was briefly home to the clown college, which was in Venice, Florida for most of its existence. I also lived in Venice for a while, but never attended the college.

  28. One of the most interesting aspects of solving for me is discovering what will be my way in. Today it was the crossing of JANE and BEING THERE, probably my favorite Sellers film with a title I've never forgotten. From there, B SHARP and _RED which I pondered over for a while trying to think of reds; finally laughing, as I'm surrounded by the color at work, and CARDINAL is printed big and bold into the tiles of the swimming pool I use regularly.

    Worked my way up the center stack, and really liked the clue for CHARACTERS. Took a few breaks, each time with a renewed vision and getting just one more and the next until ... music.

  29. By Chance, BEING THERE was an early gimme for me also (same reason), but my way in was --as almost always -- the NW corner. FRAN/ANY showed me ALFALFA, and the need to replace RICOLA with LUDENS.

  30. Only had ANTE and also Ricola in the NW until I got the top center and worked west when I had LOUIS PRIMA. Also had tried Halle's before LUDENS came with ALFALFA.

  31. When I was a kid LUDEN'S Wild Cherry cough drops were very popular. They were like candy, only more acceptable to parents.

    They may have helped with coughs too. Can't remember that. But at least they didn't taste like medicine, as other brands did.

  32. Never heard of LUDENS; FETE was my first thought for a do, as was some sort of manicure answer for the filing clue, and thought of Tenzing NORGAY almost immediately, that being my favorite clue/entry combination. I'm not sure he ever really got the full recognition he deserved.

    I agree with Liz and others about SOP for pacifier. Here a baby's pacifier is called a dummy, BTW.

    I needed help with the hymn as well as Coppola's sister, but mostly a fairly smooth solve for a Saturday. It's always a delight to see Patrick Berry's name.

  33. Agree Tenzig NORGAY never got the recognition he deserved. A lot of the time he's just referred to as "Sherpa Tenzig."

    Granted, he didn't climb the mountain backwards and in high heels, but he was carrying a lot of stuff.

  34. Suejean, LUDENS make cough drops for German TWEENERS who wear Ludenhosens.

  35. Of course, John. Should have known that.

  36. It would be impossible for me not to love a puzzle with BEINGTHERE. Add CECILIA and I'm done. Oh, and that other little thing, it actually *is* impossible for me not to love a Patrick Berry puzzle.

    Today's cluing was Berry special as always, my favorite was for BSHARP.

    Thank you, Mr. Berry. Bravo!

    (And thank you, Deb, for STABAMATER: beautiful!)

  37. Whoops! STABATMATER

  38. I meant to mention BSHARP as well. I'd love to know whose clue it was

  39. MIC in the mini and MIKE in the main?

  40. and Michael in your comment.

  41. Mickle a Michael indeedy.

  42. "I knew that Topps sold gum, and somewhere deep in the recesses of my brain I knew they sold something with the gum, but I couldn’t recall what that thing was."

    Did Topps "sell" the cards with the gum, or did it "give away" the cards with the gum? Or did Topps sell the gum and give away cards? What, you don't think it matters?

    Fleer - the makers of Double Bubble - sued Topps in the early 1970s for monopolizing the baseball trading cards business. Topps said "Who, us? We sell gum." Fleer said "Yeah, right." And thereby hangs a tale best told by Judge Clarence Nerwcomer of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/501/485/2377924/

    I worked at the law firm that represented Fleer in those days. Seeing the names of my colleagues Matt Strickler and Linda Martin (whose husband was my dentist) in the court's opinion brings back fond memories. Fleer won the case, as any boy of twelve in 1957 (when I collected the whole set of cards and threw away the unchewable pink slabs) could have told you they/we would.

  43. I never knew of anyone who bought the package for the gum.

  44. That was a hard entry for me.

    I did, vaguely, remember that TOPPS was the name of the bubble gum that wasn't Double Bubble. I knew there were such things as baseball cards, and somewhere in the darkest recesses of my mind they were associated with bubble gum.

    I also knew that baseball cards had pictures of baseball players on them. What I learned today is that they apparently also had (presumably the pictured player s') STATS.

  45. I followed your link and read the whole opinion. Not sure why, but I find that type of business stuff fascinating. Thanks.

  46. Adventures in memory for me today but still ended up as a fairly typical Saturday - meaning it took me a long time and a few failed checks. Lots of stop and go too, but overall very satisfying solve and nice puzzle.

    Never heard of STABATMATER or EILEEN FISHER. Thought of TWEENERS immediately at 28a but it didn't fit. Have never heard anybody use TWEENAGERS.

    Was a nice aha moment when I tumbled to the right Hillary but still took a while to remember the name. I knew what film was referenced at 40a immediately. Remembered that he was a gardener and then remembered his name. Couldn't remember the name of film and needed crosses before it dawned on me. I'm sure that five years ago I would have immediately known 53a, but not today. It's not that I couldn't remember the name of the actress, I had just completely forgotten that connection.

    Did a weird thing with 37a. Read the clue, thought, "Ok, Charlton Heston," and then "so I'm looking for a last name." Even when I had that filled in from the crosses I was thinking the clue was wrong and had to go back and look before it dawned on me. After I was done with the puzzle I spent at least an hour trying to remember the names of Edward G. Robinson and John Carradine. Finally got the former but never did recall the latter.

    I think I've done this for a long time, but today was the first time I was completely aware that I ALWAYS remember the word YESHIVA by thinking of 'Yentl the Yeshiva boy." I need to go read Singer again.

    Fini.

  47. "Adventures in memory". I love it !

  48. Good old Anubis. Those were the days. Well, maybe when tam-clad nenes fly.

    Probably taboo to resurrect old puzzles, but for Thursday's: recursion excursion?

    As a quasi-beginner, this seemed like a little easier Saturday, given that I google *a lot* on Saturdays. (Otherwise, Saturdays are pretty much all impossible for me. Eileen Fisher? Umm ... the nenes are flying again ...)

  49. I really liked this puzzle. I think it helped to be oldish (even if it was in young Deb' wheelhouse). It also helped to remember what day of the week it is. On Monday, Hillary runs for President and John Paul is a pope. On Saturday, Hillary climbs mountains and JP is a Pole.

    I think I remember Tenzing Norgay's name because it's funny, in the sense that comedy writers find the "seventeenth floor" funny, or Gene Roddenberry found the "k" sound attractive in characters' names. I recall Dennis Miller mentioning Norgay. I think it's that exotic, Jabberwockish name - surely an anagram for something else (like Reince Priebus) - that just makes you want to say it. And the Sherpa is just such a great metaphor for so many unsung heroes...

  50. Love Patrick Berry. We got our fastest time today. But we won't post it because it won't be close to the really fast solvers. Besides, if we do it too fast, we have our tea and graham crackers left over. It's good to finish the puzzle and the tea+grahams at the same time!

  51. Congratulations on the good time, and good to hear from you after so long.

  52. Haven't seen you in a while, Gail and Bill. Welcome back.

    Coffe and a muffin.

  53. LUDENS, in Latin, means "playing" which is the point of this cruciverbal undertaking according to Deb. Couldn't agree more.

  54. About an hour early, even not allowing for solving time, but I think I'm going to crash for a while, so...

    Hi Viv.

  55. Hi Rich. Just came here to find you, and find you I did. Had long Skype calls with each of my two American daughters so got a late start on the puzzle. Such a solid Berry job, a joy to solve. I felt I was in his wheelhouse most of the time. I knew the Hillary clue was going to be about Tenzing but didn't remember his last name until quite a few crosses. As for BEING THERE, I saw it on cable last week, had seen the film and read the book several times - Deadline, pick it up and read it, it's short and magnificent.

  56. Val Kilmer (born on New Year’s Eve, 1959) is an actor. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret! (1984), then the cult classic Real Genius (1985), as well as the blockbuster action film Top Gun (1986) and the swords and sorcery fantasy film Willow (1988).

    Some of his other notable film roles include Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991), Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993), armed robber Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995), Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Forever (1995), Simon Templar in The Saint (1997), astronaut Robby Gallagher in Red Planet (2000), and a meth-using informant in The Salton Sea (2002).

    At the age of 17, he became the youngest person at the time to be accepted into the Juilliard School's Drama Division, where he was a member of Group 10 (1977–81).

    He was cast as naval aviator "ICEMAN" in the action film Top Gun alongside Tom Cruise. Top Gun grossed a total of $344,700,000 worldwide and made Kilmer a major star.

    In 1993, Kilmer played Doc Holliday in the western Tombstone alongside Kurt Russell, in what is credited as one of Kilmer's finest performances. In the film, Doc Holliday performs Chopin’s Nocturne in E minor, Op.72, No. 1; however, Kilmer does not play the piano and he practiced that one piece for months in preparation.

  57. .
    In keeping with the theme of the puzzle, he was also involved in "Prince of Egypt".

    In the grid, ICEMAN crosses AIR WAR and EGO. Both were appropriate to the film CHARACTER. I prevealed with those, as well as Tombstone and Eleanor Roosevelt historic site "Valkill". I didn't use "ICEMAN" of course, but I said he was "cool".

    You have to be really good to get into Julliard's Drama Program. Jessica Chastain got in at roughly age 22 (and could afford Julliard only because of a scholarship fund set up by Julliard alum Robin Williams).

  58. Two full hours, mostly spent on looking up pop-cultural and commercial names, resulted in a clean solve. My only secure gimmes were ESTER and YESHIVA. I was thrown off track for a long time by Salve Regina before STABAT MATER. This would not have happened if the clue had been “Hymn set to music by Pergolesi and Rossini.”

    My favorite clue/entries: CHARACTERS, NORGAY, NO U-TURN.

    I have reservations about classifying Einstein as a DEIST. If he was, he was a pretty cold one.

  59. >> ... about classifying Einstein as a DEIST

    Just one in a long line of greats classified as DEIST by writers who didn't want to see them as the religious men that they were.

  60. I'm guessing this is mostly based on his "God does not play dice" response to Heisenberg.

    I couldn't remember any specific reference to Einstein being religious - so I took another look at my Isaacson, and confirmed that he became very anti-religious at the age of 12 (after exposure to science readings at that point).

    So not religious, but has a sense of God-ness - you could call him a DEIST, I suppose!

  61. Einstein was anything but religious in the traditional sense. He explained over and over again that he did not believe in a personal God. His "religion," such as it was, was pretty vague, but seems to have been a kind of awe at the wonder of the universe and the fact that its order can be discovered by human beings. In that sense, a lot of atheists are religious too.

  62. IMO, neither Deb nor Jeff gave "Kukla, FRAN and Ollie" enough respect.

    I've posted this before, but there are new WPers since then, and many are probably unfamilliar with the sheer wonderfulness of KFO. This website was developed and is maintained, for love, by my good friend and former colleague Mark Milano: http://kukla.tv/

    Besides KFA, one of my Great Loves is Patrick Berry. (I may have mentioned that before too.)

    As usual with PB, I had to work for some of this, and everything I had to work for was satisfying to solve. (Well, except EILEEN FISHER, which was completely new to me and that I had to get only from letters.)

    I never saw the Sellers flick, but I could picture the poster and remembered fairly early that it was "BEING Something." The THERE there took a while.

    Right church, wrong pew department: Kept trying to get Something JOBs into 34A.

    Speaking of church, my mother was a devoted member of the church choir and a wonderful singer (in later life used to hire out as soloist to smaller churches). I remember her being really nervous when she learned that her choir was going to perform the STABAT MATER, so I have the impression that it is very challenging musically. Didn't know there were two versions.

    Favorite clue/entry combo: 35A. CHARACTERS could refer to the people in a novel or the letters in the words.

    Heat index here today predicted at 110+. More of the same tomorrow. Stay safe, neighbors!

  63. I read the book and saw the film, and I still couldn't come up with the title without quite a few crosses.

  64. Tenzing NORGAY was a pivotal plot point from the underrated Coen Brothers film "Intolerable Cruelty." Thinking about NORGAY prompts George Clooney to crack open Catherine Zeta-Jones's plans and expose them in an extremely funny courtroom scene.

  65. Is Jane Austen allowed to have characters named "Jane"? Isn't that like repeating words from the clue in the crossword? It didn't feel right. Also, was "jailer, sailor, tailor" deliberately evoking "tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor"? Got all mixed up and for a while had "spittle". No not "spittle", that was my browser's wordplay, I mean "spytitle".

  66. I'm sure I very recently, like in the last several days, did a Mini with TOPPS as an answer. I've been doing a lot in the archives so maybe it was there. I got in the habit of starting the puzzles as soon as they are available the prior evening because it used to take me all day to finish one before the deadline for a proper solve. But I've stopped worrying about blue vs yellow symbols and (surprise) I'm getting better at solving with more practice. When I completely finish the puzzle early, then I'm disappointed when it is over and I don't have one to do the next day. Thus the archives.

  67. Yes, TOPPS was in the Mini one day this week if my fleering (oops, fleeting) memory serves me well.

  68. Glad I left 46A open before my first reaction to fill in nag at.
    I still remember the Peter Sellers film Being There. Love the quote I found on IMDb:

    "Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
    [Long pause]
    Chance the Gardener: "As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden."

    How refreshing for a change!

  69. Glad I solved the Patrick Berry puzzle pretty handily, because the Saturday Stumper has me hornswoggled.
    Plus I can't come up with the 3 pointer on the Spelling Bee. (Did enjoy that Berry puzzle, Altered something.)

    (Very late to the party--locked in a struggle to the death with my quilt design.... now I understand people who want to buy a pattern.)

  70. Good luck, MOL.

    (Do you understand people who'd rather buy the quilt?)

  71. No, dear Deadline, I do not.
    I need always to have something to do with my hands--cooking, gardening, sewing (or even filling in puzzles.) And creating something both useful and visually arresting and beautiful? Priceless!

  72. MOL - about that Spelling Bee - don't complain, I'm sure you'll find a three-pointer if you just take a pepto and think a bit.

  73. Unusually low double letter count (4), and, as always, butter smooth rife with ahas. Even the 3-letter answers -- and there weren't all that many -- were anything but ugly. I love the symmetrically-placed anagrams of SPA and ASP. Great clue for CHARACTERS but less uber-clever cluing than normal for PB. But so what? Plunging into this puzzle, as with PBs puzzles as usual, was diving into loveliness.

  74. Thoughts on the introduction: yes, it's a game for most, but for some of us it's also a vital sign. Not to boast, but I have solved EVERY NYT puzzle for many years. The first one I can't complete will be the harbinger of decline to incapacity, incontinence and death.

  75. Welcome to Wordplay.

    Good choice of screen name. Can't wait to see your avatar.

  76. The first one I can't complete will be the harbinger of decline to incapacity, incontinence and death.

    Dr. D: When it happens, before you pop the poison pill, please check these comments: there may have been a mistake in the puzzle (or the software).

  77. What Barry said.

    And even if there's not an error or glitch, you might find lots of company in whatever mistake there was, or at the very least a giggle, from the comments by the WP tribe.

  78. My wife works at an Eileen Fisher store here in Vermont. It took me longer than it should have to get it, but I was sure to call her to let management know. Free advertising! Great company to work for.

    Great puzzle. (I really disliked Thursday however.) PB

  79. Deb: Re STABAT MATER . . . Vivaldi, Haydn, and Pergolesi are fine, but if you don't know it, definitely listen to the Verdi (from the Quatro Pezzi Sacri, among the last music he ever wrote). In a word: sublime.

  80. Tonight's movie feature was "Florence Foster Jenkins" starring Meryl Streep, seen in today's photo. Expect another Best Actress nomination. Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg (Wolowitz on "Big Bang Theory") also turn in Oscar-caliber performances.

    Oh yes, the puzzle. Solid Saturday, smooth solve. BEINGTHERE is a favorite, and I knew TALIASHIRE was FF Coppola's sister. Still, the clue for EAST was terribly generic, so the SE was the last section to fall. Always a pleasure to finish a Patrick Berry puzzle.

    35D, "CECILIA," by Simon & Garfunkel:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5_QV97eYqM

  81. I'm astonished you didn't know what a sop is.

  82. A sop is a panacea. But you can also use a cloth soaked in sweet liquid as a sop for a baby.

  83. The Rachmaninoff Stabat Mater is particularly poignant and beautiful--especially given the death of his child. There stands the mother, weeping.