Misquoting Scripture

The return of Randolph Ross.

Comments: 74

  1. Deb,

    Congratulations! One down, one to go. I had the same situation--one ending and one starting. For some reason, the second four years seemed to take a lot longer.

    I enjoyed the bible misquotes. 3D had me sure I had made an error, until I broke it down. If you try to google KEYOFE, you get KEY OF E.

  2. Congratulations to you, Deb, and best wishes to the graduate. We're on about the same timeline, so the problem I had with 1A was the clue; to pay tuition I've been selling, not buying, STK.

    Most of the themers were fun (82A and 95A were favorites) and 107A could have been clued as salable rather than ruined, I thought 42A was pushing it: "salt" or "the salt" is not "a salt."

    Was I SPACY looking for a Musketeer before a Mouseketeer?

  3. Thanks, Barry. If it had been a real clue for us, perhaps PLASMA would have been more appropriate.

  4. Congratulations on the graduate. The years fly by.

    Fun puzzle with the biblical puns. I love puns, so I enjoyed the theme answers. Thanks for the entertainment.

  5. Man does not live on provolone.
    Tasty puzzle.

  6. My time on this one was a little better than average, but somehow it felt slower--maybe because I solved it in fits and starts, with interruptions.

    I wasn't expecting 19A to be a city and state, and was at quite a loss to figure out a city that would fit with the Down bits that I had.

    Favorite theme answer: IN THE BIG INNING.

  7. My favorite clue was IN THE BIG INNING too.

    The FLASH WAS WEAK - reminded me of a pun from three decades ago. Here's a variation of it online: http://www.ahajokes.com/off41.html

    It was around the same time when I'd come across a whole series of terrible puns - I remember them all by punch line:
    "People who live in grass huts shouldn't stow thrones"
    "Arrested for transporting mynas across sedated lions for immortal porpoises"
    "Abscess makes the fart go Honda"


    These theme clues are of the same ilk.

  8. Liz, when a clue asks for a town or city I never expect to see a state as part of the answer, so I really struggled with 19A as well.

  9. Hands up for those of you who wanted TRUMP for 62D ("Putin ally").

  10. That would have been a good clue-entry for a Monday puzzle; Sunday needed something less obvious. (And I got the party clue first; he's not only not in it, I'm sure he doesn't know what it is.)


  11. Guilty (aided and abetted by DHubby, who was disappointed when I took it out immediately.). I was sure THAT was too good to be true, or too true to be good.

  12. Hands up here too.

    But I looked at 18D very early on in my solve, and that sent me to take a peek at 62D. I couldn't think of any way to make any kind of party--um, any kind of political party--that would make sense.

  13. I got "In the big inning" right away: I remember it as the answer to a riddle posed to me by my Uncle Norman, when I was 9 or 10 [a long, long time ago, when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn.] Q. Why is baseball the holiest sport? A. Because the Bible begins, "In the big inning. . ." At the time I thought that was very funny. Happy to see an old friend. Happy to have Uncle Norman and Ebbets Field brought to mind.

  14. and Elke
    John Plotz- LOL- one could plotz at your comment :))

  15. clever. liked False profits and in the Big Inning best. Yankees had a lot of those!

  16. After 'the week that was' surprised my only head scratching: 'bun' @ 8D. At this time next week hope we all still have our heads.

  17. 112D: Answer is "Unu." But you're talking about post-independence Burma, which was not specified. The actual first PM of "Burma," while still a British colony, was Ba Maw. I tried Maw, only to find that the author either doesn't know Burmese history as well as he thinks, or was sloppy with the clue.

  18. Gotta disagree a bit as I wouldn't think of a prime minister in an occupied country as being the first, only ones after independence. Also U Nu shows up fairly regularly in NYTs crossword puzzles.

  19. Deb,
    Instead of "Yay, me," I think that "Yay, her" or "Yay, him" might have been more appropriate. ;)

    I didn't know VALES, though I guess that I should.

  20. Hi paulsfo,

    Indeed, but I was thinking of the brief break I get in tuition payments between now and when my second starts college in August.

  21. Or "Yay, them."

    (Teach your parents well)

  22. Better that than the two-year overlap our offspring managed....but praise be for academic scholarships!

  23. This puzzle was really a blast fo' me!

  24. I had a couple of funny brain glitches. For the longest time I wondered where the hell OREMUTA (which I saw as a single word) is -- is it a Native American town? Why haven't I heard of it? The other glitch was trying to figure out ANNETTE as one of the Three Muskateers (hi Barry!), trying to jive that with my world view.

    My favorite themer was IN_THE_BIG_INNING. That actually made me smile and let out a "Ha!". I liked the clues for ARIES and GEOS, and there were a lot of threes (36) to get through. KEEP_BUSY is debut answer for the NYT, and a good one. It was an impressive construction feat, having those two long down theme answers cross two across themers.

    I tried to think of other theme answers, without success, although something with Blessed Are The Pacemakers is starting to gain shape...

  25. "The other glitch was trying to figure out ANNETTE as one of the Three Muskateers"

    For boys born 10-12 years before the show aired, Annette was the ONLY Mouseketeer. R.I.P.

  26. Hah. I misread that, too! Also pleased to realize that you're older than I am :0)

  27. I don't understand the clue for GEOS.

    In fact, I don't understand GEOS.

  28. This was really fun. My first one was FORBIDDEN FLUTE, and wondered briefly if they would all be L's replacing R's. My Bible knowledge isn't great, so I needed a fair number of letters before the light dawned for some of them. I agree with the BIG INNING one being the best, nice LOL moment.

    I love having lots of theme answers, especially on a Sunday.

    Congratulations to your first born, Deb. As to time going by in a flash, it just gets more and more so as I'm sure many in wordplay will agree. My first born graduated 39 years ago; it doesn't seem possible.

  29. Mr. Ross & Mr. Shortz,

    What a great puzzle to snuggle up with on a rainy Sunday morning!

    Thanks for the puns / plays on words!

    From the scripture "belt" buckle, kind regards!


  30. I assume all of the regulars here know what a Natick is. In NYACK we have an almost perfect instance of that travesty.

    Lots more to dislike here, sorry to say. I spent decades in financial services and never once saw STK. IN THE BIG INNING is an old stale joke, not the fresh pun we deserve.

    AVOID BOREDOM? Not today, I'm afraid.

    Speaking of which, Deb, may your commencement speaker be platitude-free. Mazel tov!

  31. Sorry, Charlie (couldn't avoid that after Thursday's rebus of the sea). A "Natick" is when *two* proper nouns cross; even if you didn't know NYACK (in your part of the USA), it did not cross any proper nouns. And people in *any* field always complain about word usage from their field (music clues, anyone?).

  32. Barry, you're right about the need for two obscure proper nouns to cross to make a natick. I still think NYACK sucks. The other day we had MR MET. Raises the question of whether nycentric clues are appropriate in a national newspaper. Ponder that on the ETRAIN or FTRAIN or whatever.

    Since you're troubled by poorly formed musical references, and in line with your "Sorry Charlie" taunt, what's "Guy who gets your piano on pitch" in four letters? Hint: Pronounce it as they do in Natick.

  33. My best friend back in high school was a transfer in from NYACK - when he told me where his family was from, I thought he was pulling my leg. Who would name a town that? But at least it means I have Nyack in my vocab.

    Tunas that taste good.

  34. I didn't get 59 DOWN, until 15 minutes after finishing I suddenly realized the "OT" in the clue didn't stand for Old Testament. Surely, given the theme, one might forgive such a misapprehension?

  35. That was exactly my experience with that entry, trevor. I kept staring at it and not getting it. I'm not that knowledgeable about the Bible, but the only kind of "ender" I could think of was "selah."

    But picture my surprise and glee when I was able to figure out the rationale, albeit only after I had all the letters from the crossings.

  36. UNU? Who knew?

  37. Enjoyed these Bible misquotes. ASSAULTOFTHEEARTH was the first one I got but I think my favorite was AN AYE FOR AN AYE. I felt as if this puzzle took a long time to solve but I see it was just two minutes longer than my average Sunday time.

    Congratulations, Deb, to you and your firstborn. Yes, it does go by in a flash and actually accelerates. May you enjoy each step of the way.

  38. ASSAULT OF THE EARTH? THE SALT, more accurately.

    Otherwise very enjoyable.

  39. Oh, and the O in 45D should 0, no?

    PS the link in the iPad Crossword app now leads to the column's landing page, not the specific column for the day's puzzle. Can that be reverted?

  40. No, the O in 45D is not 0, it *is* O.

    (Offensive line)

  41. That was another one that I didn't understand, Barry.

    I did figure out the ZONE DEFENSE was sports, probably basketball or football but I didn't bother to look it up. But I had no idea what an O-line was. You offer "offensive," which sounds like football. Are FBS fullbacks?

  42. My wife is not a crossword fan and just groans at most punny themes. The look on her face today when I shared "Let there be lite" and "In the big inning" was priceless. So, so bad in her opinion. My opinion differs, which is why I persevere with these puzzles. Got the dreaded "Almost" pop-up after entering the last letter in the grid. Three times through and I finally saw that I had "Pancho" at one down. Too much Cisco Kid as a child.

  43. So *that's* why I kept hesitating with 1D! I did write in SANCHO but "Poncho" kept popping up, and I thought it was due to the P in Panza (Sancho's last name).

    Yep, Cicso Kid watcher here, too!

  44. Deb -

    Congrats to you and your graduate. Given this week's theme, maybe a picture of mother and child would have been appropriate.

    I liked this puzzle. Can't be too many theme entries for me, if the theme has a giggle in it. I loved FORBIDDEN FLUTE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T2ktwt_gXI

  45. Mixed feelings on this one. It was a good Sunday workout, which is what I most look forward to. The themers were a mixed bag. INTHEBIGINNING is by far by the best, but as others have pointed out it's an old joke; I remember hearing it as a kid. Some of the others were kind of cute; some... not so much, but it was still fun working them all out.

    My biggest issue with this was that the 3 letter stuff (which wasn't very interesting at all) really jumped out at me today. There were 36 three-letter answers in today's puzzle. I went and looked at the previous two Sundays and they had 14 and 24 respectively. But even the one with 24 didn't have clusters of three letter answers that I could see. This one...

    Starting at 6d there are 5 consecutive three-letter downs. Right below it there are 4 consecutive threes, the latter consisting of ICU/STL/WET/ETO (crossing ISWEAK, ironically enough). And of course you have that same matching set in the bottom of the puzzle. That's 18 of the three letter answers all jumbled together to some extent and all of them forced by one and sometimes two of the theme answers. Hard (for me, at least) to ignore. Maybe that happens more than I think and I just haven't noticed.

    Impressive to get 10 theme entries in, but I really think that reducing that number might have made this a little better all around.

  46. Randolph Ross is back. Some may cheer; I groan. I wish the old high school principal well, but his puzzles always strike me as homework assignments -- lots of work, very little joy. Were any of the thematics witty? or funny? or clever? Made me feel like I was back in school.

  47. Ha ha ha ha ha. Fun, and just hard enough!

    Thanks, Randolph Ross!

  48. I am Misquoting "Blazing Saddles:". Raaaan-dolph Rooooooss! (Not Scott)

    This was a ton of fun, once I saw the lay of the land and the form the misquotes were taking. (Can't help thinking of the buffoonery of "Two Corinthians.")

    I enjoyed this solve despite a couple of names (Vogel, Vitale). In the matter of nursery rhymes, I ran through Wee Willie Winkie; Tom, Tom the Piper's son; Jack (nimble and quick); other Jack (Jill's); and more before finally hitting on the right guy.

    Yesterday morning storms never happened, according to this sunny Sunday morning's bright blue sky.

  49. For me, not having much biblical background (and none in New Testament), this was the toughest Sunday puzzle in many weeks. Last of the long entries to fall were THE FLASH IS WEAK and AN AYE FOR AN AYE. And then I still had to wrestle with the initial letter of the intersection of writer Kenneth -- and "forum farewells." Finally, though, TADA, I was done. Praise be!

  50. Similar experience for me; it was slow going. THE GARDEN OF ETON was the first theme. LET THERE BE LITE and FALSE PROFITS followed, but I was very slow in getting THE FLASH IS WEAK. That initial letter for VOGEL was my last entry. I had problems with some of the crosswordese abbreviations which slowed me down in seeing some of the themes. I appreciated this puzzle more after I finished.

  51. Very low quality. Fill is awful: safaried, refereed, ase, keyofe, vogel, stk, itoff, ....... Come on NYT you used to be much better than this. I can remember Sunday puzzles that were fun, enlightening, and well done. UGH

  52. Barf. I did the top quarter of the puzzle and was so irritated at the garbage up there that I revealed the rest of the puzzle in the app to spare myself from wasting any more time.

    And since I started doing the Times crossword regularly, I NEVER skip theme puzzles Sunday through Monday. First time for everything I guess.

  53. Congratulations, Deb!

  54. Any puzzle that has to resort to STK @1A has one STriKe against it from the get-go. Got a giggle out of most of the theme answers, but a whole lot of gluey fill. Don't remember PREV encountering SAFARI as a verb. As others have mentioned, correctly parsing KEYOFE and OREMUTAH took some head-scratching.

    From their 1968 album "Beggars Banquet," the Rolling Stones with "SALT OF THE EARTH," their masterful ode to hard-working people everywhere.


  55. Congrats to your grad, Deb. And to you for helping get your child there.

    Haven't had a good laugh while doing a crossword puzzle in a long time but today's gave me two. Of course, as always, YMMV but when I figured out 3D I didn't just giggle, I full on laughed at KEY OF E (after I don't care to say how long trying to figure out some town in Italy that started with a K). Also got a good on at 95A with IN THE BIG INNING (but maybe I'm just easy).

  56. Most of my reaction has already been expressed by others.

    I may be a little more enamored of puns than many, the groanier the better, so that was fun for me. I thought the clue for LET THERE BE LITE was wonderful.

    I'm also in agreement with those who found too many three-letter words, although that may be because I had so much trouble with FBS and FGS. Also, only a little longer, GEOS and HOAD.

    I needed almost all the letters to get YVETTE, since I don't keep up with the marriages of sportspeople. But I do remember some old revue shtick about shows called "No, No, Nanette," "Yes, Yes, Yvette," and "If, If, Iphigenia."

    I missed alerting all my fellow WPers that last Friday was National Endangered Species Day. And the world celebrates that the giant panda is no longer considered endangered, although still listed as vulnerable.

    Congratulations to you, Deb, and your firstborn.

  57. Thanks for freeing me. My brain got stuck. Let the rebe lite.

  58. No need to throw teddy out of the pram. It wasn't all that bad. Good time-passer between deliveries while watching the IPL final. I know some will be mystified here. Me too when it comes to Mr Vogel, Mr Vitale, etc, though now I know. Part of the fun, I suppose. Loved TADAS. ... and what's the point of a pun if it's not puerile. (Rhetorical question)

  59. "...watching the IPL final."

    They're not so PC as to have a problem with a team called the Indians.

  60. My partner always reminds me that I do the crossword for fun, and it's not punishment, and really, so much depends on whether or not a particular theme or set of clues is in a person's wheelhouse or not. This one, not.
    Sadly, no fun for me.

  61. Puzzle easy, puns cute (I was lucky enough not to have heard INTHEBIGINNING before so I laughed) but apart from the themes the fill was quite ordinary. I agree on the excess of three letter words, but to me the one unforgivable one was four letters - ADDA.

    And now to prepare for our big guest tomorrow and Tuesday. Life will be heavily disrupted for 45's visit, lots of streets closed in my neighborhood, motorcades passing through periodically. I plan to stay home. A class and a concert have been canceled. Reminds me of Deadline on New Year's Eve.

  62. Blech. Do you know how hard it is to put down a Sunday puzzle? I had to... so disappointed.

  63. I guess I've gotten spoiled by tight themes. Having solved INTHEBIGINNING first, I assumed the rest would also by sound-alikes. But then we get "flute" instead of "fruit," and "assault" instead of ... uh... just "salt," I guess. And even the non-themers were a little off, with OREMUTAH and ADDA. The whole thing just felt like it was built on shaky ground. It was still a good diversion, but not my favorite.

  64. Nice Sunday puzzle.

    P.S. I'm not so happy to see that the mismatched dates before and after you click to get to this column have been "corrected" so that now, neither one of them is the date of the puzzle.

  65. I still can't figure out 66 across: Forum Farewells? I got the correct answer but don't understand how VALES meets the clue. Appreciate any response that won't cause me to smash my palm on my forehead and go D'oh.

  66. It's Latin. The Romans did business in the Forum.

    Where have all the classics gone? :)

  67. Thanks. I got the Roman connection and wondered if it referred to the vales between the seven hills but the "farewell" made no sense. I came, I saw, but I didn't conquer.

  68. VALE means farewell in Latin. As in VALEDICTORIAN, who gives the farewell address.

  69. Come now, everyone. This wasn't work. It was a challenge, as the Sunday puzzle is supposed to be. I appreciated the puns. I didn't appreciate some of the filler like Peer Gynt character or YVETTE Jordan (guessed Yvonne originally), but that's part of the thrill, isn't it? I'm here to cheer Randolph Ross amid all the groans. Well played, sir!

    My time: 59:11

  70. I enjoyed the bible babbel, but "setting for Spring..." should have had a ",say" or ",maybe " qualifier because I don't think a composer's choice of key is a "setting".

  71. As much as I didn't enjoy the fill "key of E" - the composer / arranger does make a choice to "set" a piece in a given key. The key makes a huge difference in many ways. Since the Four Seasons is for string orchestra, the key of E means that certain pitches are played or playable on open strings (particularly, E and A), while most others must be played stopped. That makes an impact on the resulting sound especially in terms of resonance. The same piece played in the key of F or E-flat, though very close in terms of absolute pitch, would have a completely different effect both for the players and the listeners. Composers and arrangers do spend a little energy and thought on the whole concept of "what key" a song/piece is in. And the word for that is, indeed, the "setting."

    Well-Tempered Clavier

  72. I've learned not to try to tough it out on my own, but to look to Wordplay for help with the puzzles. It really helped with Sunday's puzzle. I got the idea, but I couldn't put it all together for some of the clues.

  73. I'm wondering -- and testing to see -- if *all* commenting in frozen, or if it's just the Monday puzzle comments that froze.

  74. oh thanks so much for the funpuns