MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2008 - Andrea Carla Michaels and Michael Blake (Ed with the 1967 hit "My Cup Runneth Over" / Kind of scheme that's fraudulent)

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: P-CK - each theme answer begins with "P-CK" letter string, where the blank is filled by a different vowel each time, with the vowels appearing in alphabetical order

Andrea was going to write the blog tonight (I've never had a constructor blog his/her own puzzle, and I thought it might be fun, and provide interesting insights), but then she got cold feet, fearing she was wearing out her welcome (what with two guest appearances last week). We decided she would blog next Monday's puzzle, which is also hers (and hers exclusively, unlike today's). So I'm doing the write-up after all ... but with a twist. I test-solved this puzzle a couple of weeks ago. In fact, the puzzles appearing over the next two weeks are all ones that I have done and commented on in their original drafts. I loooooooove test-solving, though no one should expect that I'm going to have a significant impact on the final outcome, or that all puzzles are now going to receive my stamp of approval. Sometimes I have criticisms of entries that simply can't be changed this late in the game (two weeks before publication), and sometimes Will and I simply disagree. Plus, there is a very, very experienced team of people who test-solve for him whose impact is undoubtedly far more substantial than mine. Anyway, I'm not going to turn the blog into a "here's how the puzzle changed from first to final draft" sort of comparison every day, but where I think the changes (or lack thereof) are particularly interesting, I'll let you know.

To give you an idea of how minimal my influence is at this point: the original clue for 9D, ALBERT, was Vice President Gore. What I said to Will was "that is undoubtedly true, and yet no one calls him that." So along comes Einstein - making an easy clue even easier, which isn't necessarily good, but I stand by my reasoning. Beyond that suggestion, I had zero impact on this puzzle (which didn't need much help, frankly). I missed a flat-out typo in the original clue for AARONS (43A: Burr and Copland) - the original version was missing Copland's "L." I groaned about 64A: Ed with the 1967 hit "My Cup Runneth Over" (Ames) on the basis that ... really, "hit?" But I knew that complaint was dead in the water, and I was right. The best change, I think, was the recluing of PACK A PUNCH from [Be ready to clobber] to its current [Be very potent]. Other very minor changes included putting quotation marks around "Pet" in 21A: "Pet" annoyance (peeve), changing [Pig pen] to 39A: Pig's place (sty) on account of the appearance of PEN in the grid (57D: Quill, sometimes), and the paring down of [Reeked to high heaven] to simply 5D: Reeked (stunk).

Theme answers:

  • 16A: Be very potent (PACK a punch)
  • 22A: Social hierarchy (PECKing order) - originally [Chain of command]; seems a lateral move to me
  • 35A: Very best puppy or kitten (PICK of the litter) - the very idea of "best" here makes me queasy. My puppy rules, but I have no idea if she's "better" than her brothers / sisters. My aversion to this answer is my own problem, and not a fault of the answer, clue, editor, or constructors.
  • 45A: Miscellaneous coins (POCKet change) - I thought the more common phrase was POCKET MONEY, until I Googled and found out I was wrong
  • 57A: Got ready to kiss (PUCKered up)

More comments:

  • 24A: Shout before "Open up!" ("Police!") - as I told Will on the phone, this was by far my favorite clue in the puzzle. Really livens up a very ordinary word.
  • 12D: Consumer Reports employee (rater) - oh, it's true, and yet it can't stop me hating this word
  • 21D: Kind of scheme that's fraudulent (ponzi) - if 24A was my favorite clue in the puzzle, then this is my favorite answer. Rhymes with "Fonzie." "Ayyyyyy!" My wife wondered about the etymology of this word. It's a man's name: Charles PONZI. Here's his story.
  • 26D: Like some delicate lingerie (lacy) - way better than that damned cobwebs clue we had for LACY a while back. Way way better.
  • 44D: Ripening agent (ager) - was [Wine ripener] in the original draft; here, the vagueness of the final clue actually works better.
  • 49D: "Men in Trees" actress Anne (Heche) - if you have to have her in your puzzle, I guess this is the way to go. I preferred her in "Walking and Talking," back before she was (semi-) famous.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS new article about this blog just came out in the September issue of "The Voice," which sadly is not "The Village Voice" - instead, it's the organ (!) of my union, United University Professions. The only way you can read it is to download the pdf file (see sidebar, under "Rex Parker in the 'News'")

60 comments:

jae 11:36 PM  

Nice easy Monday with a cute theme. Its fun to pick up a Monday theme while you are actually solving instead of after. My hiccups were CALF for SHIN, SPARSE for SKIMPY, and trying a couple of ways of spelling HECHE. (I'm still working on that cure for dyslexia). Nice to see LAPAZ is back as the capital of Boliva. Wonder if we will ever see EVO Morales in a puzzle?

des 11:44 PM  

Very easy puzzle, even for a Monday. Probably because there were so many theme answers and they were fairly long, but readily identifiable. (Rex - what about a new category of Very Easy or Super Easy?)

In spite of it all, or maybe because of it, I missed the subtle fact that there was a progression of the theme clues alphabetically.

So, as always, it made it fun to see Rex's commentary. Somehow, having the puzzle author do the commentary would seem rather dry in comparison, but I guess we will see next week.

PhillySolver 11:56 PM  

In my original comment, before ACM test read the entry, I complained about PECK the PICKPOCKET PACKING A hockey PUCK. All is okay now. I enjoyed the quick puzzle and the hemi-word ladder appearing in alphabetical order. Y not.

Seriously, I appreciate the NYT having test solvers and the attention to detail that yields these fun puzzles. Good work everyone.

Omnie 2:20 AM  

A very easy Monday puzzle and a great cute theme. Nice to see a shout out to physicists and I have no idea how I knew PONZI but I did.

Super easy and a little bit of crosswordese in the mix to make it enjoyable.

HudsonHawk 6:59 AM  

Nice Monday puzzle, ACME and Michael. Was the plethora of P's (an even dozen) intentional, or just a side-effect of the theme?

jannieb 7:10 AM  

Loved the puzzle - just the right tone for a Monday. Can't mention Ed Ames without thinking of that Johnny Carson clip - still makes me laugh.

steve l 7:35 AM  

Gotta comment here--usually I complain about the problems in a puzzle, and because lately, I've been to this site every day, if I don't comment, it means the puzzle hasn't rubbed me one way or the other. This puzzle, however, is the archetypal Monday puzzle, easy and direct, not too many proper names, nothing obscure, everything easily gettable and fair. A great puzzle for a beginner. I try to liven up Monday puzzles by doing them across only, no typos (in Across Lite), and for speed (although I don't expect any records.) I was able to finish this puzzle that way in about 4:45. I thought it was a great Monday-level puzzle.

joho 7:56 AM  

Very easy and alot of fun after a seriously jampacked weekend. My only temporary glitch was like @jae, SPARSE for SKIMPY.

@rex: I've always wondered how many people are involved in testing a puzzle before its published. I also wonder: how does one get to be a tester?

ArtLvr 8:23 AM  

Rex's pretest comments add another dimension, very interesting! This was the fastest I've ever done a puzzle, yet it was fun. [Meager] could have been sparse or scarce so I just let crosses fill it out. On the rest, I hardly looked at crossing clues once I had something going. Super easy, cute theme.

SPICE was clued as [zest] or vice versa in a puzzle yesterday, otherwise I might have thought it was rind-related. PEN and INK was a fair pair, and PUCKEREDUP very funny! Thanks, ACM and MB.

∑;)

joho 8:45 AM  

@rex: forgot to thank you for the link to Charles Ponzi. I had never heard of the term before and found his story fascinating. I learned something today even on the easiest puzzle of the week.

Reynard 9:28 AM  

From today's comic pages:

http://www.comics.com/comics/fminus/index.html

mac 9:32 AM  

Perfect Monday puzzle, ACM and MB. Ran right through it from NW to SE, with a little inexplicable hesitation in the far NE: eater? cared? dater? and the i in Ponzi looked odd at first. Am going to read Rex's link right now.

foodie 9:35 AM  

One great quality of this puzzle is consistency. Most of the time, Monday and Tuesday puzzles have an area with obscure abbreviations or some weird name, as if the constructor got him/herself in a corner and we have to pay the price. This puzzle took its easiness seriously. It's made of the same cloth throughout and deserves as much admiration as a tour de force of intricate construction. If yesterday was a fancy souffle, today was fresh, delicious strawberries.

My favor answer: Cedar. It reminds me of skiing in the mountains of Lebanon, way back in my youth...

foodie 9:40 AM  

@Rex, your idea of inviting Carla to blog her own puzzle is very interesting. You seem to be taking us behind the scenes, hearing from constructors and learning about the testing process.

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

As mentioned above Ed Ames is famous in the annals of early Television.
Ed Ames teaches Johnny how to throw a tomahawk

/miguel

PuzzleGirl 9:53 AM  

Awesome puzzle, which is exactly what we would expect from Andrea, the Queen of Mondays! Back when I worked at a bookstore in NYC, a bunch of us would always put fake names on our name-tags. One day, four of us were Lucy, Ricky, Fred and (me) Ethel. And I'm always happy to be reminded of one of my very favorite movies, "Paper Moon." Both of the O'NEALs are awesome.

@Rex: You were totally right about ALBERT. Good call.

Joon 10:00 AM  

des, if there were a rating like "super-easy," it would not apply to this puzzle. the only puzzle i can remember that it would apply to would be the themed july 4 puzzle, which ran on (friday) july 4th but felt like a tuesday in difficulty. today's puzzle was easy even for a monday, but that doesn't make it super-easy; just easy.

the lingerie clue was nice, but it did make for the only tricky spot in the puzzle for me, because i didn't know if it was LACY or RACY. and the crossing POLICE clue, which was also nice, wasn't so obvious that i could fill it in immediately (which the rest of the clues pretty much were). that little hiccup was the only thing that prevented this from being my fastest solve ever.

chefbea1 10:25 AM  

as usual a fun easy monday puzzle

@rex we have something in common other than crossword puzzles...testing

You test puzzles and I test recipes for america's test kitchen.

fikink 10:26 AM  

Exactly why I read this blog, Rex. I usually do the set puzzle (and time myself) to warm up my engines and then settle in to "thinking" about the crossword puzzle. When the xword is easy, and a bit of a bore, I find something interesting in your words. I, too, didn't even notice the delicate a-e-i-o-u cascade. (And now I am freed up to get something done today - a lot of thinking can be done on a tractor!)

Crosscan 10:28 AM  

Well, our Rex ParKer, King of Krossworld is beKoming more and more famous, with articles, test solving, chatting with Will...I hope he'll remember us lowly Kommenters.

When do the King Rex t-shirts come out?

Very nice easy Monday.

KrossKan whose seKret identity starts and ends in K.

Jim in Chicago 10:32 AM  

I don't know - mabye "King" wasn't ambitious enough, perhaps Emperor would have been a better choice?

All kidding aside, I liked the commentary on the draft very much, and the puzzle was a nice normal little Monday effort. I actually got PACK and PECK right away and then went ahead and filled in PICK, POCK and PUCK and tried to guess the answers without looking at the clues.

dk 10:55 AM  

flush,
flush,
flush

a whole lotta p this morning.

..... end of lame joke section....

I find this whole KKK thing with the Rex a little disturbing. How about Aga Khan of crosswords?

I like the idea of puzzle outfits.

Experience team of solvers, bah. What are we chopped liver, put us in coach.

Thanks ACM, perfect puzzle.

Skip 11:02 AM  

Did my first ever timed submission to the NYT web site :) Name is mobybr. It's just not the same as with pen and paper.

Mimi 11:16 AM  

Thanks to Andrea and her partner in construction Michael. Still very much a beginner at crosswords, I enjoyed this puzzle immensely. It gave exactly the right level of satisfaction and light Monday challenge(yes, it was easy even for me), as I read each clue, pondered a moment, had my "Aha!" moment and scribbled the answer. Went through steadily almost without a hitch, needing the crosses only for 64A (never heard of him, though that tomahawk clip is wonderful!) and 44D (I mis-spelled ArRONS and needed the G of 45A to realize my mistake).

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

Neat Monday puzzle and all, though there's still the nit that some but not all of the words PACK/PECK/PICK/POCK/PUCK appear only accidentally as the beginning of other words (POCKET, PUCKERed). I suppose it might have been quite a feat to have all or none of the theme entries show this effect while maintaining Monday difficulty, alphabetical order, and grid symmetry.

NDE

mac 11:44 AM  

@dk @ and @crosscan: continuing the K theme, how about Kaiser Rex? I guess in February we will have to apply for an audience.....

miriam b 12:07 PM  

Easy? NATCH, it's Monday. The theme was beautifully executed. I thought first of PACKAWALLOP, but clearly needed more spaces. Thanks, you two.

Ulrich 12:23 PM  

What made this particularly easy for me was that I got the theme with the second answer, which I needed to clarify that alliteration was not the theme. I then saw the pattern, and trusting my soul mate, I filled in the beginnings of the rest of the theme phrases in alphabetical order--and I was not let down. This is "easy" of the good kind b/c it is based on (a non-foolish) consistency.

Oh, yes: Paper Moon, one of my all-time favorites, too. "I want my 200 dollars" is still a phrase spoken in our house.

des 12:50 PM  

joon,
in spite of your protestations, notice that you yourself stated it was almost "my fastest solve ever," mimi said "it was easy even for me," and ulrich used the phrase, "particularly easy for me.." In other words, Super Easy (but fun, anyway).

Joon 1:10 PM  

des,

all of my fastest solves are on mondays, of course. (not counting this puzzle.) this one was squarely in the middle of my 5 or so fastest monday times, but not exceptionally fast--only about 15-20 seconds faster than my average. for a monday to be "super-easy," ... i don't know, but it would have to be somehow much easier than this, because the difficulty rating is relative to other mondays. pretty much every monday you'll find people in this comment box who will say "this puzzle was very easy for me." that's almost the raison d'être of mondays. the fact that this puzzle is rated "easy," and it's a monday, means that it is very very easy relative to NYT puzzles in general. but it certainly isn't so easy relative to other mondays that it needs its own rating. that should be reserved for a friday puzzle that solves like a tuesday.

Rex Parker 1:45 PM  

Once again, I have to say that arguing over half-steps in difficulty rating seems pointless.

rp

markus 2:04 PM  

Maybe the new puzzle ratings should be determined by enjoyability.

Thus, my puzzle rating system would be:
Mon: Enjoyable
Tue: Enjoyable
Wed: Enjoyable
Thu: Enjoyable
Fri: Enjoyable
Sat: Enjoyable
Sun: Enjoyable

I like crosswords.

andrea carla michaels 2:15 PM  

OK, feet thawed, I can feel my toes...so...
here's my mini-blog:

It's so funny! I just tried to solve it and got stuck at 9A
"Come from ___"
I thought, "Come from behind? Come from Nothing? Come from Hunger?" and I wrote the damn thing!!!!!!!
(I am SURE that was not our original definition of AFAR!)

@NDE
at one point, none of the P*CK was a stand alone word, I started with PICKLEDHERRINGS across the middle! and PACK was PACKED or PACKAGE (PACKOFLIES at one point) but PACK A PUNCH was so lively and then we couldn't just have one stand alone, so we went for a mix.

Plus, not to bore you with construction issues, but there was the word length balance issue...
It had to be A-E-I-O-U (in that order, Will will not accept any less)
PACK had to match PUCK in entry length, PECK had to match POCK, and PICK had to be odd.

(All to say that it's harder to make than to solve...add to that doing it on spec, splitting the payment, the credit AND getting no reprint rights...it's amazing I haven't shot myself!)


I also share Rex's queasiness about PICKOFTHELITTER...
Personally I have always gone for the RUNT.

Hmmmm, RANT, RENT, RINT (Rintintin?), RONT
(RONT? RONT?!!! see! It's not as easy as it looks!) RUNT

@puzzlegirl

Thank you for the sweet note...
Fitting in five themes, not my customary three (it's Paula who is the real Queen, I'm just the pretender) is very very tricky (for me), which is why I had to call in the big guns
(Michael Blake and his magic compiler to help make the grid, something I could not have done on my own in a million years)

BTW, it was his PONZI that everyone loves so much (I'm sure I prob even argued it might be too hard for a Monday) and so many wonderful suggestions that it became both our puzzle in toto.
Yes, toto too)

Before I met Mr. Blake, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a word count or a limit to black squares!!!

(I'm still gonna go for the anti-Manny/Kevin record of the MOST black squares...damn them and their prolific brilliance!)
:)

Wade 2:21 PM  

Hey, since this is Andrea's puzzle (and a fine one, I might add), I'll play the Andrea game and tell you my famous-person connection to "Paper Moon": Floyd "Rattler" Mahaney, who played the deputy Beau. Rattler lived out in the pasture near Bunger, a ghost town along the Brazos River south of my hometown where I spent a lot of time when I was growing up. Rattler's not an actor; he's a former rodeo guy and retired several years ago from a job driving a weights and measures truck for the state. Bogdanovich found him in the Dairy Queen when he was shooting "The Last Picture Show" and made him the Oklahoma highway patrolman who pulls over Jacy and Sonny afther they've eloped. Bogdanovich was so taken with Rattler (who's a famous bull-shitter and practical joker and funny as hell) that he put him in "Paper Moon."

Best joke Rattler ever played was on my friend Will Burgess, who was planning to go fishing at the river and having a hard time catching grasshoppers. Rattler told Will that if he put on some panty hose and waded through the broomweeds, the grasshoppers would jump on him and wouldn't be able to extract their toes (or whatever grasshoppers have) from the mesh. Will tried it, to the delight of everybody driving down the highway. I wrote a regionally famous song about it.

mac 2:44 PM  

@Wade, that was the funniest comment ever! I've got to see Paper Moon again to see this character.

@Andrea, that is exactly where I got stuck this morning! The one and only place! I also go for the runts (in pets).

dk 3:00 PM  

@markus, perfect.

Consider if you will a Rattler rating system: 1-4 grasshoppers.

Great story @wade.

ACM, something for your toes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmJt-31ZzX8

Jane Doh 3:00 PM  

NDE: Themes like this are always in alphabetical order, so they're instantly constrained, especially since there are five entries required to make it work. I also noticed the combination of stand-alone and syllables of a longer word. Further examination reveals a mix of verb phrases and noun phrases, so the rule of consistency here is that the theme answers are a balanced mix of all of the above. If there had been only one of a kind in either category, there would have been an inconsistency. The resulting liveliness of the phrases, given this flexibility, is what made this such an enjoyable solve.

Nice work, Andrea and Michael!

--JD

Doc John 3:06 PM  

A fun puzzle with nice fill. Way to go, Andrea!

I picked wrong every time: calf for SHIN, rage for RANT, thought of but didn't put in Quito for LA PAZ

@ Andrea- re: RONT. Makes me think of Bart Simpson only finding Bort nameplates at Krustyland.

Fave clue: ["Open up"] = POLICE.

Crosscan 3:13 PM  

I'd rate this an average-semi-demi-quasi-moderately-unhard-easy-
Monday-level puzzle.

fikink 3:45 PM  

Andrea: Obviously, my boredom was born of my own ignorance of the intricacies of constructing these things. Did NOT mean to offend. Very clever, actually, after Rex told me what to look for.
deborahiniowa
p.s. Mr. Fikink thanks you for my morning mowing, tho.

joho 3:49 PM  

@marcus: Yours is the best and truest rating system yet!

@ACM: The more I learn from your perspective, the more interesting the puzzles become. Especially this one after reading your commentary. I am really looking forward to next Monday ... both to your puzzle and your blog.

foodie 4:06 PM  

@Rex, Wade's hilarious story is the best argument for not imposing a limit on post length. Every detail was essential!

@Wade, check out
grasshopper with toes
Also,would you kindly post the lyrics of the Rattler-Grasshopper song?

Rex Parker 4:13 PM  

Well, a. there is no post length limit, and b. Wade has special dispensation to do pretty much whatever the hell he wants, as he's one of the most gifted, natural storytellers I know. He sickens me, really.

I think it's funny that I once deleted a Wade comment, causing him to call me a "chickenshit" and boycott my blog for god knows how long. Good times.

rp

Michael 4:38 PM  

Everyone should know that Andrea was being her usual over-generous self by sharing a byline with me, plus half of the pelf (no place else I'd use that word), for a puzzle that's really hers. That's because the theme idea is really the heart of what makes a great Monday puzzle, and she already had Will's approval of that before I ever got involved with this puzzle. I love nothing more than going through iterations to find the fill that's least icky, and would have done it gladly just to see her puzzle get into print. But she insisted that I really changed it enough to get shared credit. And now I can't go out in public without getting mobbed. Thanks a LOT, acme!

MB

fergus 5:00 PM  

In haste I dropped in PLC for Inc. in England under the PAZ instead of the LA of the the Bolivian capital. (By the way, doesn't Bolivia have two capitals actually? SUCRE, as well; one of them operating as administrative center and the other for stately duty? I'm thinking HS Geography, circa 1972, though.) Anyway, I'm wondering whether LTD isn't a bit archaic, and that Public Limited Company is now more of a true legal counterpart to the American Incorporated. Possibly an editing error, using a slightly outmoded reference source? I doubt it, but at least my information is more up to date here than it is in Bolivia.

This puzzle presented a few more complications than normal due to the unusually high number of alternatives that could be entered. FLUME for CHUTE is another one I didn't see mentioned.

andrea carla michaels 5:00 PM  

@wade
it's gotten so I try and get a puzzle in the Times not for my dad's approval, but for Rex's!
(Yes, father issues; why do you think today's puzzle had FIVE K's?)
and THEN I hope and pray that it's a day you write in!

@fikink
Absolutely no offense taken!

Speaking of which, I'm hoping my presence here is not stopping anyone from completely expressing how they feel
(unless of course it's the slightest bit mean!) ;)

@joho, et al
no more compliments or I'll get freaked out about guest-writing next week...(But then maybe I can get Wade to fill in!)

joho 5:31 PM  

@ACM: you will not disappoint, no doubts.
@wade: forgot in last post to say that your story was hilarious ... am scatterbrained today.
@rex: this is my 4th post (due to scatterbrainedness) but I also forgot to say today I that I miss Barry's comments. I'm new to this site, but not a day has gone by without his "Good Morning, Folks." So, while you said we should all just shut up as he's a grown man, I say, maybe he's sick and hurting. And not from being pissed off by comments about him. I don't think Barry gets pissed off from what I can tell. I truly hope he's doing OK. The best news is that he's on vacation without access.

Ashish 5:51 PM  

@acme:

Re: "Speaking of which, I'm hoping my presence here is not stopping anyone from completely expressing how they feel(unless of course it's the slightest bit mean!) ;)"

I hated the puzzle. Only took me a record 3:32 to finish. Please start working on a 17-block Saturday which I can enjoy over several hours.

Thanks.

Yours truly,

Ashish

;-)

Ulrich 5:53 PM  

@wade: never mind the lyrics--I want to see you perform it with your banjo, or whatever you use these days.

miriam b 7:14 PM  

@Eliza Doolittle:

There are two other Bide-a-Wee locations: one in Manhattan and one in Wantagh. They are no-kill shelters, as I'm sure you know.

Wade 8:38 PM  

Rex, thanks, we've progressed far since those days. I deserved deletion. And foodie, thanks for the grasshopper pic. Of all the damage I've done in my life, none has suffered more than the grasshopper. (I don't have the capability to record and post the song, but for anyone interested, the lyrics, or the non-offensive ones I can remember, are posted on my blog, or as I like to call it, "Rex's Factory Second Warehouse." The song loses something without (a) familiarity with the parties, (b) music and (c) alcohol.)

Joon 9:32 PM  

Morning, folks!

mac 9:58 PM  

Don't joke, Joon! We are really worried. Not a lot of activity this evening, we must all be watching the convention.

fikink 10:14 PM  

Got that right, Mac!

Anonymous 11:28 PM  

Ok, I wasn't going to get involved in this, but Barry was seen alive and well today over at C.C.'s blog. She blogs the TMS puzzle. I used to lurk over there when I used to do the TMS puzzle in the Star Tribune. Sorry for injecting myself into this, but there seems to be genuine concern for Barry so I thought I would try to ease some worries.

Cinedina, who is now going back to watch CNBC and do Tuesday's puzzle. By the way, EXCELLENT puzzle today ACM!!

Anonymous 11:42 PM  

&^%%^&&*& typos! I meant MSNBC and kudos to Mr. Blake as well.

Cinedina

sasesqretd 11:50 PM  

Hi, everyone,

I have been reading Rex's blog and your comments for a few months now without commenting, lurking. I've been doing the Times puzzle for decades (in fountain pen on paper) and more recently on-line, but never thought about the construction or underlying process until now so I'm a novice at the kind of thing you all seem to know so well, but I'm going to try to participate. Lurking is so rude.

I really enjoyed this Monday puzzle and did think it was easy, but not overly so. I got the theme, but didn't notice the alphabetical order part till I'd finished. It's really reassuring to know that all you pros make mistakes, too!

Nice to meet you all (oh, and I read all the time, too),
Susan

foodie 1:59 AM  

@ Susan, we're glad you've unlurked yourself.

(I hope Rex will forgive the extra post, since it's meant to welcome a new commentor.)

And Rex, I admire your mix of limit-setting and laissez-faire on this blog (including the lack of limit on post length, especially Wade's). It takes a while to appreciate the genius behind it.

Wade, I will definitely go check out the lyrics, and bring along the requisite alcohol.

Orange 4:58 PM  

Andrea, RONT kinda works...if you know it's [South African currency, slangily]. Why they sometimes call the rand "ront," I don't know.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

Hi Andrea - there's always RONTGEN(The röntgen (symbol R) is a unit of measurement for ionizing radiation (such as X-ray and gamma rays), and is named after the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen).

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