WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5, 2007 - Allan E. Parrish

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: DEER (71A: This puzzle's theme) - different word for DEER appears in each theme answer, clued in non-deer fashion

Respectable time in the low 6's today. I flailed around the grid - I really need to work on solving in somewhat more systematic fashion. I always try to stay close to words I already have and build off of them, but the second I get "stuck," I bounce, and often I bounce a lot. Today I "finished" the grid and then noticed three different areas of the grid where I had blank squares. Dumbest mistaken entries I made: where LAMP (58D: Desktop accessory) crosses APU (62A: "The Simpsons" storekeeper), I had IMAC crossing MOE ...

I enjoyed the puzzle. The layout of theme answers felt a bit unusual, in that your central answer was a Down, not an Across (which I believe is more customary). Further, I didn't know it was a theme answer at all at first, so the weird combination of letters (at one point I had -OH-DO-) didn't make sense to me. In the end, the theme was straightforward, and the high percentage of 80's goodness made it more than palatable to me.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Source of rump roast (HIND quarter) - first theme answer I got; thought the theme might be CHANGE, as in QUARTER, DIME, PENNY, etc. I didn't get another theme answer until I'd uncovered the theme (DEER) in the far SE corner.
  • 11D: "Sunglasses at Night" singer, 1984 (Corey HART) - The Heart Of High School. I'm not sure this song ever takes off if not for the power of Young MTV (where we could actually see Mr. HART wear said Sunglasses). This song is the quintessential one hit of a one-hit wonder. Super-catchy, super-goofy.
  • 26D: Court anonym (John DOE)
  • 34D: John Candy title role (Uncle BUCK) - also 80's (late 80's). Knew it right away, though I don't think I ever saw it.
  • 63A: Worrisome economic condition (STAGflation) - great word

Very nice that all the Acrosses have the deer at the front, and the Downs have the deer at the end.

Coincidence of the day:

DHARMA (41D: Teachings of Buddha) - please see my comment in yesterday's write-up about how to clue DHARMA without using Jenna Elfman. And speaking of "Didn't I just see you in the puzzle?" - NITTI is back (8D: Capone colleague), and I had only a moderately easier time getting him today. To my credit, I wrote in -ITTI very quickly. That first letter was one of the last to go in the grid. In my mind, that letter wants only to be a "V" - but I figured ELIVOR was probably not correct for 5A: Donahue of "Father Knows Best" (Elinor).

Words neophytes will want to tuck away:

  • AJA (20A: 1977 double-platinum Steely Dan album)
  • UAR (21A: Bygone Mideast grp.)
  • ESSO (68A: "Happy Motoring" sloganeer)
  • THOM (35A: _____ McAn shoes) - remember MCAN while you're at it...
  • APIA (59D: Capital of Samoa)
  • MOESHA (49D: One of the Mitchells in an old UPN sitcom) - she gets an Astonishing amount of play for someone whose sitcom didn't run that long, and ran only on a crappy marginal network (that no longer exists). "Old" in this clue makes me laugh. "Grampa, tell me about the 90's."

You also see IRR, RKO, OLE, and RNA a lot, but those are all probably easy for people with no puzzle experience to get (or guess)

Question marks / stumbling blocks:

  • 11A: One learning the ropes (cub) - is this true of any other profession besides reporter?
  • 22A: P.M. between Pearson and Clark (Trudeau) - Oh ... Canada.
  • 26A: Shared taxi (jitney) - took a while, but came to me eventually. I believe this is a word I know only from crosswords.
  • 39A: Speed-read (scanned) - I object, in that, to me, speed-reading is a special skill, where scanning ... hell, I can scan. Scanning barely counts as reading at all.
  • 67A: Regarding this point, in legalese (hereto) - had the --RETO and nearly wrote in the nonsensical IN RE TO.
  • 18D: Shows cowardice (quails) - I had QUAKES at first.
  • 23D: Police dept. figs. (dets) - I had SGTS at first.
  • 33D: _____-call (automated solicitation) (robo-) - sequel to ROBO-Cop? Never heard of this phenomenon, though I sure have experienced it.
Good stuff:

  • 14A: _____ Disney (Euro) - not exactly "good," but the first thing in the grid for me, so ... helpful.
  • 29A: Panama and others (isthmi) - like this word's not silly enough in the singular.
  • 45A: "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" star, 1979 (Alda) - not sure why I knew this (instantly) but I did.
  • 69A: Golf's Se Ri _____ (Pak) - with such a Scrabbly name, I'm surprised I don't see her more often.
  • 5D: Shevardnadze of Georgia (Eduard) - a very familiar name to me for reasons I honestly don't understand.
  • 30D: Love of the Beach Boys (Mike) - Looked at it, didn't get it instantly, moved on to something else and almost immediately remembered it. Sounds like a porn name.
  • 32D: Cartoonist Addams (Chas.) - Love cartoonist clues. There's a whole bit about CHAS. Addams cartoons in Fun Home, which clearly I will plug every chance I get. Would have taught that book in my prison class last night, but weather here was such that I had to cancel. Next week.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

57 comments:

wendy 9:12 AM  

Finally an intriguing puzzle after two days of 'yeah, whatever.' I admit that I didn't appreciate the DEER theme, however. Wake up, Wendy!

Really liked the NW juxtaposition of OUIJA, BAZAAR, QUAIL, ARNAZ et al - delightful scrabbly words. Also liked the way SOLEMN messed with my mind at first. ISTHMI - boyohboy that's incredible.

I had MOE, too! WTF? Obviously incorrect, but there's some sort of autopilot thing that can go on with these puzzles sometimes. APU/APIA - woo hoo!

Biggest problems were Ringo at first instead of STARR and Promos instead of ARENAS.

RERUNS for summer tv fare is somewhat antiquated. With so many cable networks airing original programming, that's far from the case anymore and hasn't been for many years, in my experience.

Would love to hear about how the inmates react to Fun Home.

Graeme 9:20 AM  

Tough day for me. Never heard of Stagflation (but biz-school wife got it straight away with no crosses), brain couldn't see jitney even tho I've been on them in many asian countries, and never heard of Corey Hart (didn't reach England). So the theme was tough to decipher, to say the least.

Also, what does IRR stand for in bargain bins? Got it from the crosses, but no idea what it means.

Shaun 9:21 AM  

Sunglasses at Night provided one of my sister's most awesome mondegreens: "Don't be afraid of the Diet 7UP."

Alex 9:22 AM  

The R in DEER was the very last letter put in place. I had no idea that HIND is the female equivalent of HART, so I was having trouble committing (and for some reason SENOR wasn't parsing into a real word for me).

So I'm staring at DEE-. For three of the theme entries I can see the DEER meaning. For the other I can see a DEES meaning (HIND QUARTER = D; D is one quarter of HIND) and fear I am too stupid to see it in the other three.

But since DEER was beating DEES I eventually committed to it and fortunately it was right.

I have no idea who Corey Hart is so for a little bit, when I had all but the last 3 letters, I had guessed COREY HAIM

PuzzleGirl 9:38 AM  

I had WALT for EURO, CANALS for ISTHMI, SGTS for DETS. Argh. It all straightened out eventually.

Laughed out loud at Rex's apparent influence when I got to DHARMA.

How about CUB in the scouting sense? The Cub Scouts do learn how to tie knots after all.

Living in Iowa during campaign season, I'm all too familiar with ROBO-calls. (Aside: I spent a good half hour on the phone with a pollster the other night. It was so hard to answer the stupid questions. Because they were so stupid. And some of them were so long! At the end of one I asked her to repeat it because I had dozed off. Heh.)

@graeme: IRR stands for IRREGULAR (i.e., something wrong with it, which is why it's in the bargain bin).

Orange 9:39 AM  

Rex, the #1 reason to watch Uncle Buck with your daughter someday (but not at this age, owing to the teenager story lines): the giant pancake scene.

I know a toddler whose legal name is Thom. The receptionist at the pediatrician's office pronounces it with an initial "th" rather than just a T sound. Ach!

I learned the deer type of hind in high school English class, from Thomas Wyatt's sonnet, "Whoso list to hunt":

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind!
But as for me, alas, I may no more;
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that furthest come behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow; I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I, may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain,
There is written her fair neck round about,
"Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame."

Whitey's mom 9:54 AM  

Thanks for revealing the theme; after quarter didn't work for anything, I gave up. Finished the puzzle, still didn't see it. Maybe tomorrow...

seedog 10:21 AM  

One of those things I can't fathom: "The Golden Hind", Sir Francis Drake's ship, is permantly etched into my brain.

grayfont 10:22 AM  

Rex, I always thought of Corey Hart as a one-hit wonder as well until a few weeks ago the XM Radio DJ on the 80's channel identified him as the singer of "Never Surrender." I looked it up and, by golly, the man had two hits...

One of my favorite moments of this baseball season was at a Brewers-Nats game. When Brewers outfielder Corey Hart came up for his first at-bat, the chorus of "Sunglasses at Night" was played over the RFK Stadium sound system. Good fun.

deion 10:23 AM  

is it just me or did stagflation trip up other folks? how long has that word been around?

...and though i got 'deer' as the theme from the other words, i was messed up for a while by 'hart', which i never heard of...so i started thinking along the lines of 'dear' like sweet-'heart'...then maybe it should be cory heart not hart...which made head hurt a bit so i abandoned that line of thought and went with 'deer' in the end.

seedog's 4th grade teacher 10:24 AM  

Permantly: The description of the cost of doing business when tallied in cloaks

Parshutr 10:40 AM  

Stagflation (combo of stagnation and inflation) has been around since the Carter/Reagan era.
Except for Corey Hart, [got it on crosses alone, never heard of him]this puzzle seemed as easy as a Monday for me, even though the first entry I made was WALT instead of EURO, but no other changes needed.
Agree with Rex on ISTHMI, and giggled at 2nd straight day of DHARMA. Next they'll clue it as an anagram of amhard!

jordanboston 10:44 AM  

I can't think of Corey Hart without being reminded of the SNL skit when Will Farrell (playing Hart) has gotten into a serious car wreck because he did what the title suggests...

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

I always think of the corporate logo for The Hartford Fund when hart comes up. Lori

Pete M 11:38 AM  

I too had QUAKES instead of QUAILS; also SKIMMED instead of SCANNED -- both caught easily enough. However, I finished the puzzle with CODEYHART, which sounded just vaguely familiar enough that I let it go... Doh!

Drogulus 11:41 AM  

Mark Twin was a CUB pilot on the Mississippi.

true doe 11:57 AM  

The NE was difficult. I didn't think Canada, hadn't heard of CoreyH, had Messenger-ANT (?), and thought BEAU but couldn't cross-support it.

STAGFLATION sounds made-up. Oh, wait, all words are at some point.

I, for one, have never tasted venison rump roast. Anyone?

I loved QUAILS but threw in an E before the S just to mess around.

Does CHAS(.) get a waiver form the rule that an abbreviation should be indicated?

After Sun/Mon/Tue, today's puzzle was an abrupt elbow in this week's difficulty curve, indicating, perhaps, some really meaty challenges starting tomorrow....

jae 12:03 PM  

This seemed a little easy for a Wednesday with a couple of exceptions. I didn't know COREYHART and stumbled on the AFTA/HERETO crossing looking for more complicated legalese. I also had trouble in Central West as I put in HUN for sweetums and blocked on CHAS. An enjoyable puzzle with a lot of theme answers. Off to Moonstone Beach to see the swells from the storm that destroyed the Northwest.

Karen 12:26 PM  

I guess I was the only one who had a brain blank on UNCLE BUCK. The golfing cross was no help, and MIC didn't spring to mind either.

I did laugh when I saw the DHARMA clue today. No major problems otherwise.

Jeff 12:36 PM  

loved QUAILS for 18D. never heard it used that way but makes perfect sense now that i hear it.

i am a bit ashamed to say that i have Never Surrender by COREY HART on my Rhapsody playlist. a true crappy 80s ballad if ever there was one.

googling STAGFLATION led me to the word portmanteau which i have never heard of but will immediately attempt to work into every sentence i say for the rest of today.

enjoyable wednesday effort.

Alan 12:42 PM  

I had to google Uncle Buck and Corey Hart.This shows my weakness in popular culture,and my advanced age.

Rob G. 1:04 PM  

True Doe,

Chas gets a waiver because that's what he was popularly known as. Nickname versions of names don't count as abbreviations if that's how the person is typically known.

A great puzzle, though a tad easy for a Wednesday. Got COREYHART and UNCLEBUCK right away, which made everything fall into place quite quickly.

A couple notes:

27A: Blockbuster offering(VIDEO): Um, not really. I'm pretty sure my local Blockbuster doesn't have a single video tape.

43A: Children's Tune Starter(ABCD): I continue to hate alphabet run clues, but this one's clever enough.

For those of you who don't use Across Lite, today's puzzle had a final reminder of yesterday's debacle in the notepad: "The missing clue in the 12/4 puzzle: Bud"

Was this in the paper next to yesterday's solution?

marcie 1:20 PM  

Rob G... I betcha your local Blockbuster DOES carry DVDs (digital video discs) though. I checked and while the v can stand also for "versitile", the most common usage is "video", so the clue if fair though I did have the same momentary trip.

Mary Hart 1:34 PM  

Hey, I'm WAY more famous than COREY!!!

Doc John 1:36 PM  

Add me to the "Thanks Rex for the DHARMA tip" list! Still didn't realize it until late in the puzzle, though.

Also got hung up on MIC: had REC for a long time and I had to physically go thru all the LA-- iterations to figure out the down (fortunately M is in the middle of the alphabet or I'd probably still be at it).

Nice to see AJA as one of the fills. Steely Dan is my all-time favorite band and AJA is probably their best album. That said, all their albums are great (even the new ones).

I'll have to remember that soccer fans also say OLE!

I'll echo Rex's lament about one of last weekend's puzzles: PAK and APIA crossing with a vowel. Fortunately, I guessed right! :)

Finally, "Messenger ____" is always RNA. There's no such thing as messenger DNA.

rafaelthatmf 1:38 PM  

I don’t mean to hold myself up to Rex’s caliber of puzzling but did identify perfectly with his work around words and bounce once I encounter road blocks solving strategy. Didn’t see this as a deficiency until now and I really don’t need any more obsessions. [turns light switch on and off 5 times rhythmically]. As much as I like ISTHMI, isthmuses would be pretty cool to. I don’t think I’ve ever seen ARREAR in the singular before (I know Orange I looked it up) but maybe that has to do with the fact that debt never occurs in the singular in my world. Enjoyed the puzzle and was somewhat surprised not to see a picture of Apu posted on Rex’s blog – guess he zigs when you expect him to zag.

Leon 2:14 PM  

Re Chas and abbrs.
The cartoon posted shows how Mr. Addams signed his cartoons :CHAS ,without the period.

The name Chas Addams, as the artist abbreviated it in thick black ink in a lower corner of his cartoons ("Just a matter of design," he explained; "it looks better than writing out 'Charles' ")

Rikki 2:16 PM  

I started this puzzle last night, and only got about half of it. I kept staring at clues I should have known and coming up with zilch. Slept on it and finished it this morning, though I did stumble in a few places. Had to take a ride in the way-back machine to pull up Elinor Donohue, but she eventually popped into mind. Not so Moesha Mitchell who was never in this mind to begin with. Nor were Apia, Pak, Apu, or the word stagflation, which just doesn't sound good to my ear... that gf combo...

I was delighted to see the Beach Boys and Beatles represented along with my all-time favorite band and album Steely Dan's Aja. For Doc John and other Becker/Fagen fans, there is a great series of interviews on YouTube with the duo discussing the making of Aja, song by song. Don't miss it!

"I wear my sunglasses at night so I can, so I can" are the only words I ever knew to that song. Anybody else? More like a one-line wonder.

Kept thinking of the desktop on my computer, not the desktop on my desk. The duh of the day.

Fergus and Jae... Elephant seals and surf... were they mating (the seals)? Were they pumping (the waves)? Choppy six-footers here in Oceanside (I moved south).

Stefan 2:28 PM  

Sigh. The Disney nerd in me wants to point out that it's no longer called EuroDisney, but Disneyland Paris.

Apparently, Euro makes people in Europe think of business and commerce, and thought it sounded cold. You'd think they have market-tested this beforehand. :)

The King of Samoa 2:41 PM  

APIA is a crossword staple, worth remembering.

Anonymous 2:49 PM  

In regards to Rob B.'s question about yesterday's puzzle. Underneath the solution today in the printed NYT it says "The missing clue: Bud"

Doug 3:11 PM  

Thought this would get a "challenging" rating. In my nine months of NYT crosswording, this is by far the hardest Wednesday puzzle I remember. I finally got it, but it was a struggle. I've done Fri and Sat puzzles quicker than this one.
Enjoyed it though.

Fergus 3:15 PM  

Was the picture of the ROBO-caller in the write-up the one that Homer Simpson got a hold of, and put into service asking everyone in Springfield to donate a dollar?

This was a real Bounce-around day for me too. It is more satisfying somehow to have all the letters bleed across the grid. Also object to SCANNED clue, for the same Rex reason of possibly being contradictory.

STAGFLATION dates from the Nixon era when mainstream economists were baffled that unemployment could coexist with inflation. The orthodoxy of the Phillips Curve dictated that there was a trade-off between the two. Maybe some of you remember the Price Freezes instituted in 1971 and the laughable WIN (Whip Inflation Now) buttons that came out early in Ford's tenure? This was an interesting era in Economic History since the academic Keynesian hegemony was being challenged by the Friedman Monetarists and the rest of the "Rational Expectations" crew at the University of Chicago. In a nutshell, they undercut the notion of the effectiveness of federal fiscal and monetary stimuli in achieving macroeconomic aims.

Rikki -- the surf was astounding yesterday: at least three blocks from the beach the air was thick with salt spray; the wave crashes were tangible once you got close to the cliffs, and there was a festive crowd of onlookers at Steamer Lane, though only a few surfers were daring enough to be out there since the wave form was not so smooth. Very invigorating, nonetheless.

Every time that SOLEMN Oaths comes up I end up putting in SILENT. We'll see about that next time.

George 3:47 PM  

Not crazy about:
Biopsy/Lab test (usually more complicated than a simple test)

Unpaid debt/Arrear (anyone ever use this word)

Happy Motoring sloganeer/Esso (can a company name be a sloganeer?)

Ready to pour/on tap (If it's on tap, it doesn't pour!)

Messenger/RNA (Give me a break)

Panama and others/ Isthmi (WTF)

Maybe I'm just in a grumpy mood today...

Le Capeur 3:58 PM  

Great blog, Rex, I just discovered it. I'm a fairly new puzzler, started after seeing Worldplay, and these Wednesday puzzles always trip me up.

I too didn't know the theme for a while. I had "beer" at one point because of the "on tap" clue.

After about 25 minutes, I had the puzzle filled, but had "stagulation" and "afta," "codey hart" and "dna," "appa" and "mpc" (dumb one), "err" and "elenor," "arnez" and "aje."

It's always frustrating for me to not complete a Wednesday puzzle. Mondays and Tuesdays are gimmes, Thursdays are the fun challenge I can complete 95% of the time, and Fridays are the 50% monster I work on all weekend. Wednesdays are the wild card. I always know I'll be able to fill in the puzzle, and that it'll come down to whether two unknown clues cross at the wrong box.

Today that happened five times, which is my worst Wednesday showing all year.

The king of encouragement 4:44 PM  

le capuer,

Stick with it, it gets easier. I used to work on a Friday or Saturday all week, now i'm under an hour.

The New York Sun also has a really good puzzle if you want more practice.

Alex 4:59 PM  

Thinking about the Corey Hart clue has me pondering at what point I consider a solve "spoiled." Intentionally avoiding the "cheat" word since, as rex so rightly says, we each define our own solving experience. It's not like doing the daily puzzle is a competition (for most of us).

I'm at best an intermediate solver so I separate them into "clean" and "spoiled" categories. Where "spoiled" means that I used something other than my brain sitting at the computer to solve it completely.

I've been pleased to see over the last 14 months that Mondays and Tuesdays are always clean (and almost always under 10 minutes, not that I care about time). Wednesdays usually are, and Thursday to Sunday almost never are (though I recently had my first clean Sunday puzzle).

But I still flirt around the edges of that. For example, on a Sunday, I somehow still consider it clean to use Google to confirm I have the right answer (though this is a gamble since if it isn't confirmed the solve will almost certainly be spoiled.

The second semi-spoil that doesn't actually spoil it in my mind is that if it comes cleanly out of my wife's mind, then it is fair game. So last night, without even thinking, when I read the clue for COREY HART I shouted it out to her, she replied "COREY something" and I put in COREY without at all thinking the quality of the solve hampered.

Anyway, this post has no real point. Just the pondering of it and wondering if those goal posts will move as I get better (assuming I continue to improve).

marcie 5:58 PM  

george... the biopsy/labtest pairing gave me pause also, mainly because in another popular puzzle (NYSun) just yesterday there was a clue/answer of invasive medical procedure/biopsy, so I was trying for something akin to surgery on the biopsy clue today.

dk 6:12 PM  

Thom Mcan used to have the foot xray device.

The Oak Room at the Plaza used to be a great place for a drink.

Stagflation used to be a common word.

"Somebody loan me a dime so I can call my old time used to be" could have been the theme.

Agree with Isthmi (wtf)

Let the good times (Thur, Fri, Sat.)roll.

Michael 6:25 PM  

I started off quickly filling in names (always a strong point), but then slowed down and ended up with three mistakes (two inexcusable).

Like puzzle girl, my iowa residence leads to many robo-calls these days. Caller id is a wonderful invention.

JenCT 6:58 PM  

I took Speed-Read as SCANNED to mean "scanning the headlines of a newspaper" to quickly read relevant points? I didn't take it to mean as using an optical scanner. Anyone else?

The king of cartoons 7:07 PM  

Alex,

As Jefferson Starship said "Do It You're own WayeEaea".

I have stopped using Google pre but still use it post and spouse answers are fair game until you know everything your spouse knows.

It's entertainment, not a test.

Howard B 7:13 PM  

grayfont - yep, Corey Hart was indeed a two-hit wonder. "Never Surrender" gets played only slightly less than "Sunglasses" on the generic commercial radio station's 80s request nights around here. He may have even had a third or fourth song actually hit the U.S. charts somewhere, but that's one for hardcore Billboard fans to look up - if so, even 80's trivia fanatics likely wouldn't know those songs anyway. I think he may have been a more popular artist in Canada.

And that's way more than anyone needs to know about that guy.

Oh yeah, STAGFLATION was a nasty one; heard of it, but couldn't quite wrap my head around it at first.

rick 7:26 PM  

tin foil hat on

I was part of a government program to teach children speed reading. This was during the Kennedy administration and Evelyn Wood was all the rage.

I got up to 2200 words/minute and did not like it because I am a reading fan. The speed reading analogy at the time was that speed reading is like speed driving, you don't have time for the distractions.

I like the distractions in reading.

The point: scanning is the basis of speed reading. You pick out the wheat among the chaff.

Sometimes the chaff is more interesting.

I had to unteach myself to enjoy reading again.

tin foil hat off

PuzzleGirl 7:47 PM  

@rob g.: In addition to what marcie said, check the children's section of your Blockbuster. I bet they have VHS tapes there. (Of course I could be wrong, but that's where the bulk of VHS lives at my local movie store.)

Orange 8:04 PM  

I once had a "WIN" button touting the "Whip Inflation Now" thang. I wonder what it'd be worth if I still had it.

jae 8:26 PM  

Alex -- You are describing me about six months ago, although I still rely on my wife (or sister last Saturday) from time to time I find I'm doing it less. Still its nice to have her there. I now often google post solving just to try to lock in new info. You might try getting a book of old NYT puzzles (there are lots of them), I've found the more I do the better it gets.

Rikki -- ditto fergus on the waves, the seals were fighting but not mating, alas, can't we all just get along.

Alley 10:20 PM  

I was stumped by the 80s clues and quite a bit of the other names .. must have had a a stag-nating brain.

ds 12:04 AM  

While it is true that physicians do not think of a biopsy as a lab test, most commercial laboratories (e.g., LabCorp) do read biopsies and provide reports. Still, when I am sending in a biopsy sample, I am not doing a lab test.

Also, DELT as an abbreviation or shortening of Deltoid (the shoulder muscle), is just not realistic.

PuzzleGirl 12:36 AM  

I'm not sure I've ever heard DELTS referred to as DELTOIDS. :-) A Google search of "weight training" +delts yields 30K+ hits.

Fergus 12:38 AM  

For what it's worth, the elephant seal female will mate within weeks of giving birth (from around now through February), then implant the embryo for three months in a sort of suspended animation, and then gestate the pup for an additional seven months or so, thus renewing the annual cycle.

Anyone wanting to learn more about STAGFLATION and macroeconomics in general could look to some of Paul Krugman's writings. Before he became a NYT columnist he was one of the most clear-sighted and comprehensible of academic economists.

profphil 1:03 AM  

DS

Delts as a term may not work for Drs but they are used in the gym.

wendy 6:48 AM  

Ditto profphil - my trainer says DELTS all the time.

nancy 9:17 AM  

After the fact, I googled the plural for isthmus, and these choices came up: isthmuses or isthmi. Both sound ridiculous. 'wtf' were the first words out of my mouth this morning, but I enjoyed the puzzle anyway. Interestingly enough, I seem to make the same mistakes as you do Rex, but it takes me about 10 times as long to figure it all out. I don't mind because I enjoy doing the puzzle and don't want to finish too early because once I finish, I have to get ready for work and who doesn't want to prolong that?

vasi 12:05 PM  

I got HINDQUARTER and UNCLEBUCK first of the theme answers, and then spent a few minutes trying in vain to find money-related answers to the other theme clues. Oh well.

Waxy in Montreal 8:57 PM  

6 weeks on and a surprise that no bloggers back then commented on the very strong Canadian sub-theme to this puzzle: COREY HART (born in Montreal), TRUDEAU (our only charismatic leader), UNCLE BUCK (John Candy was a Canuck) and ESSO (lives on in Canada, no EXXON here). Methinks Allan E. Parrish may be a closet Canuck.

Anonymous 10:35 PM  

There is, perhaps, a benefit of being six weeks late: with the U.S. economy being, well, what it is now in mid-January, "stagflation" has been mentioned in the news many times over the past few days. Probably would have taken a lot longer to figure out the clue if I hadn't just heard the word in the last few days.

Relatively new to the Blog; wonderful!!!

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