It’s safe to say that this Saturday toughie from Samuel Donaldson and Brad Wilber kicked my behind off. I no longer have a behind. I am bottomless. I can't wear pants any more.
So let’s get right into my list of failures to know things. This is going to be very long.
I had a lot of trouble with the NE corner. Three Across entries in particular stood in my way:
I didn’t know DAMASCUS was called the City of Jasmine. It's because of the large number of jasmine trees.
I know cabriolet, brougham, hansom and landau, but I’m not sure I’ve heard of a STANHOPE. It's not on this glossary of carriages.
I have heard of Saint ANSELM but didn’t know of his association with Canterbury. Which is, apparently, his whole raison d'être. He lived in the eleventh century.
How am I supposed to know “HILARY B. Price, creator of the comic strip Rhymes with Orange”? This is a lame clue. She’s not that famous. There are much better HILARY answers out there. If you can’t say “Comic creator Price” with any hope of anyone except her mom say, “Oh that’s good old HILARY,” then don’t use that as a reference. Did she win a contest to be an answer in the New York Times puzzle or something?
For “clinched” I had *ACED for quite a while, which held me up and doesn’t sound right anyway. It’s ICED.
I don’t know anything about musical notation, and SEGNO is a term I’ve never heard before. It means a passage is to be repeated. I’m going to start yelling that instead of “encore” at concerts. “Segno! Seeeeegnoooo!” Also, Dal Segno sounds like a black marketeer in Star Wars.
For “poker action,” I thought *DEAL, waited, put in *TELL (which is not an action), and then found CALL.
I balked at IN A TIE for “knotted.” That’s just such a blah answer.
I know MR. MAGOO, but I was trying to remember if his catchphrase was indeed a self-congratulatory “you’ve done it again!” But it is.
“Near Eastern inns” are IMARETS. I have never heard this word. I was thinking serai, which of course doesn’t fit.
I am the single-most clueless American male about sports, an ongoing series:
Duke legend is COACH K, which is Mike Krzyzewski, who has won numerous titles for Duke basketball and gold medals for the US Olympic teams and turned down millions to coach for various NBA teams. He is a god to North Carolinans. They kiss his Gucchis.
I haven’t heard of these tennis players, both ELENAS: Elena Dementieva (won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, sixteen singles titles) and Elena Makarova (highest rank 43, zero singles titles).
For “display of glee” I initially had *WAG but it’s JIG. I like wag better.
I must admit HOT PEPPER EMOJIS is great fill, but I did not get there from “sext symbols.” To me, that would be eggplant emoji. I mean, check out that definition in the link.
A note in the B major scale is D SHARP. I don’t know why.
I had the hardest time getting to SET MENU from “Thanksgiving offering at many restaurants.” I was thinking, hot menu??
I read “shared vow” as “sacred vow” for a long while, which made WE DO very confusing to me.
Anyway, this was a real challenge TO ME. I don’t mind a challenge and I don’t think anything was unfair in the clues, and I do admire a lot of the fresh, interesting, modern fill: JOB JAR, ROGUE ONE, ZIMBABWEAN, SYSTOLES, BACON (“earnings, in slang”), I’M LIKE…, COSMIC JOKE. Good stuff. But I think I’m ready for Monday!