MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2009 - R J Hartman (Land of the so-called "Troubles" / Polynesian-themed restaurant chain / Word before Jordan or Canada)

Monday, February 9, 2009


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: TV SET (41A: Boob tube (and a hint to 17- and 65-Across and 11- and 30-Down)) - four theme answers are two-word phrases where the two words begin with "T" and "V," respectively

Word of the Day: Franz LEHÁR (30 April 1870 – 24 October 1948), known in Hungarian as Lehár Ferenc, was an Austrian composer of Hungarian descent, mainly known for his operettas. (wikipedia)

Solving time (on paper): 4:15

Wow, typing out that theme description gave me the weirdest sense of déjà vu. This is likely because I déjà vued a theme identical to this one - yesterday. That shouldn't count against this puzzle. Scheduling issues are hardly the constructor's fault. But the TV phrases here don't do much for me. TRIAL VENUE and TRAVEL VISA are zzzzzzzzz. Never heard of "TWO VIRGINS" (that answer should have been in the irony puzzle last week). Actual album title appears to be "Unfinished Music No. 1: TWO VIRGINS." The clear winner, theme answer-wise, is TRADER VIC'S, if only for its immortalization in the Warren Zevon song "Werewolves of London."



These theme phrases are all 10 letters long, which makes them easy to compartmentalize so that no piece of fill has to intersect more than one theme answer; this, in turn, means the grid would have been (comparatively) very easy to fill, but it also makes the grid very heavy on 3- to 5-letter words, which is why there's not a lot of zing outside of TRADER VIC'S. I like REPEATER a lot, both because it's unusual in the grid (despite all those common letters) and because it's a word solvers and constructors sometimes use to describe words that appear A LOT in crosswords, i.e. crosswordese. Examples of crossword REPEATERs in this puzzle include ASHE, ECCE, AGEE, EGRET, ETS, LEAR, ABLE, OBIT, UAE, TSAR, REDO, AMI, ARTE, EIRE, OSHA, and, of course, ENGR.

So, in preparation for the tournament (where my best advice is not to worry about time), I have decided to start solving exclusively on paper and timing myself. It's very easy to feel the speed bumps when you are speeding (as it is while driving, I suppose). Slowdowns today included:

  1. TWO VIRGINS - really sucks not to be able to throw that first theme answer across the grid easily, especially when you've got the front end done
  2. TRIAL VENUE - had the VENUE part and made it LEGAL VENUE. Not seeing the theme at all is one of the many perils of speeding.
  3. LEHÁR (47D: "The Merry Widow" composer) - I am certain I've filled his name into grids before, but I came up blank on him today. Had the -HÁR and thought "... BEHAR? That can't be right."
  4. LATVIA (52D: Riga's land) - this one stings, as RIGA (as I've said many times) is my favorite European capital. Turns out I hadn't been paying close attention to What Country It's In! HA ha. I had -VIA, and no country fitting that description would pop into my head. I just looked up the reason I have trouble placing certain countries on the map. BALTIC ... BALKAN ... BALTIC ... BALKAN ... I don't think they've ever been sufficiently sorted out in my brain ... until now. Maybe.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: 1968 album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono ("Two Virgins")
  • 11D: Courtroom (trial venue)
  • 30D: Document checked at the border (travel visa)
  • 65A: Polynesian-themed restaurant chain (Trader Vic's)

I tried (briefly) to come up with other "TV" phrases. TUNNEL VISION was the best of the lot.

Bullets:

19A: Land of the so-called "Troubles" (Eire) - sad to admit I had no idea what this clue meant. Thankfully, I filled in EIRE without ever seeing the clue. As you all probably already know, the "Troubles" is the name given to the conflict surrounding the political and religious status of Northern Ireland (mid-60s thru late-80s).



35A: Word before Jordan or Canada (Air) - "Canada?" Really? After "Jordan" you're going with "Canada?" OK.
53A: Luxury Toyota make (Lexus) - a bit deceptive, this clue. It's not called the "Toyota Lexus," after all.
56A: Coffee, slangily (java) - mmm, I can taste it now. First thing I'm gonna do when I finish this write-up is make a pot.
71A: Norman who created "All in the Family" (Lear) - I wonder if people born after 1980 have any idea who this guy is. Very common name for anyone who watched TV in the 70s (guilty).
6D: Silly Putty holder (egg) - I remember playing with this stuff when I was 5 or 6. We would stick it to the funny pages, and the image would transfer to create mirror image replicas. It got old very quickly. Even for a six-year-old.
28D: _____ Motel ("Psycho" setting) (Bates) - Mmm, I love this movie something awful. The conversation between Tony Perkins and Janet Leigh (you know, right before she dies) is one of the most brilliant, hilarious, uncomfortable, and memorable scenes I've ever seen on screen. Taxidermy!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS Tyler Hinman has a great puzzle in Wired Magazine this month. It features exactly the kind of tricksiness you're likely to see in at least one ACPTournament puzzle (even if the theme of Tyler's puzzle is a bit too geek-specific for an actual tournament puzzle). The puzzle is called "Data Corruption" - check it out here.


MusicPlaylist
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Bonus section - The Westport Crossword Tournament, 2009

Here are some photos and a brief write-up of this past weekend's tournament (provided by "chefbea"):

We all met at the Westport library around 12:15. We Rexites congregated around chefbea wearing t-shirt with imdave's puzzle imprinted on it. We registered and were given a slip of paper with our number which we had to put on each puzzle. We did three puzzles and had 20 minutes to do each one. While the judges were grading the puzzles Will Shorts entertained us with fun xword puzzle facts and a few word games. The three winners then came forward and they did the final puzzle, where Joon was declared the champion.

[Rexites from left to right : Ulrich, Mac, Karen, IMSDave, and chefbea in front wearing t-shirt with Puzzle constructed by IMSDave]


[Will Shortz entertaining us while the xwords are being scored]

Then the real fun began. We went back to Mac's house (some people got lost as you have heard). Had coffee and Beet brownies - then cocktails and good danish cheeses. Then off to dinner in Westport for good food, good wine, good beet salad and good friends.

[Beet brownies]


[Beet salad at dinner]

Everyone is looking forward to Brooklyn

60 comments:

allan 8:43 AM  

Sorry Rex. This one was way easy. Had the theme before filling in 41a. Groaned and wondered if tomorrow's theme would be 'pc' or maybe 'bs'. Was very happy that venue ended 11d, as my first thought was place.

My least favorite puzzle answer was in this puzzle. 39a tsar. You can never fill this answer in without at least having the first or second letter. Our friend 'engr' is back.

My favorite answer today was bates at 28d. Psycho remains one of the great films of my day. I believe that it changed our movie going habits. Prior to Psycho's release, the public walked into a movie at any point in the film. Double features were the rave, and they played continuously (with newsreels, cartoons coming attractions). You just stayed until you got back to the point in the first movie at which you entered.

Then Psycho came along, and "No one will be admitted during the last 8 minutes of this film" was one of its advertising themes. So we learned to see movies from start to finish. Hope I have the right movie after all that.

I always remember Latvia because of this.

And I see our friend Billy Joel is referenced.

Thanks for the Werewolves track. It's one of my favorite songs. Cat Stevens ain't bad either.

JannieB 8:47 AM  

This puzzle actually made me angry. No fault of the constructor's to be sure, but seriously -- Is Will so strapped for theme ideas that he's now running them back to back? How about tomorrow we have a BS theme?

I was surprised by the "medium" rating. This is one of my fastest Mondays ever. I'd have been under 4 minutes if my keyboard were full-sized.

Andrea hurry back from wherever the hell you are. Mondays just aren't the same without you.

FWIW - I can't stand to look at John & Yoko clothed - today's blog really really really flunked the breakfast test. Ewwwwww

Greene 9:01 AM  

Agree that today was an easy Monday, everything was straightforward and nothing really sizzled. Oh, except MEWL. I love that word. I didn't even see ECCE until I went back over the grid and reviewed all the clues.

Count me among the lovers of PSYCHO. The film completely destroyed the career of Tony Perkins, who was actually a fine juvenile actor before this shocker was released. Afterwards, he just seemed forever typecast in these strange roles. Don't under any circumstances watch either of the 2 sequels starring Mr. Perkins as they are uniformly terrible.

It's hard to believe, from our contemporary vantage, just how popular the msuic of Franz Lehar was in the early 1900s. The Merry Widow score literally swept the world and had no fewer than 7 Broadway outings over a period of 30 years. Of course, musical styles change and The Widow and her quest for a husband hasn't been seen in a Broadway house since 1944, although the light opera companies still seem to love it.

Shin Kokin Wakashu 9:09 AM  

Ah yes, ENGR again.

The mysterious word for me was DRAY; that's not one I've heard before. I also have never heard of TRADER VIC'S before.

chefbea 9:19 AM  

Boy I did this in no time flat!!! Oh, I guess that's because We did this puzzle in Westport!! Speaking of which.. thought maybe my fotos would appear. Hopefully later

archaeoprof 9:24 AM  

I must not have slept well, because this puzzle leaves me grumpy. Lots of complaints, but I'll share just one: since when is a CURVE a "sneaky pitch"???

Rex Parker 9:25 AM  

re: Westport,

I was expecting some kind of short recap. I did not think I'd just post photos with no context. Can't show pics of the victors as the puzzle is in the background, and I think it's a NYT puzzle we haven't seen yet.

rp

Ulrich 9:28 AM  

Well, if my time for the puzzle on Saturday in Westport was about double that of Rex's, I may be getting better at this. [Actually, the other friends at my table all left before I was done, but still, progress is progress].

@Allan: Interesting (if true):) Psycho is one of the movies one cannot imagine in color, and with color being the norm now, this type of film will never come along again. Yes, there still is the occasional b/w movie being made, like George Clooney's "Good night and good luck", but they are so far and inbetween that they don't even constitute a sub-genre. Of course, when a writer or director thinks in color form the outset, the result will be a movie that cannot be imagined in b/w, like "Blade Runner" or "The Last of the Mohicans" (by two of my favorite directors when it comes to visual splendor)--so, I'm not in any way nostalgic--I just wish some people would "think in b/w" a little more often.

SethG 9:35 AM  

Fine, just not very interesting.

I did the first row, then started with the downs. There were...a lot of plurals and possessives. AMIS, RENTS, AESOPS, LYES, ISLES, PASTS... The list keeps going, but that was a lot to hit in short order and a few seem like cop-outs. But feel free to use STEELERS every day!

TOM VILSACK, former governor of Iowa and new cabinet guy (and a Pittsburgh native). THE VATICAN. Those would have been nice. But TRIAL VENUE especially seems pretty random--might just as easily have used other random phrases like THIRD VERSE (Where Henry VIII may start to vary?) or TIRE VALVES.

the redanman 9:38 AM  

Takes all kinds. Theme was easier to get than TWOVIRGINS. Monday has to be falling off a log easy for everyone to be called easy. MEWL, DRAY, ECCE, and of course TSAR/CZAR take it out of FOAL.

Aside: Call me a heretic, Psycho is mildly entertaining camp, just as Silence of the Lambs is not scary, just plain dumb. IDECLARE, oh, never mind ... :-0

PuzzleGirl 9:42 AM  

I didn't love this one. Thought of SethG at 51A and "The Color of Money" at 65A (thanks for the clip!). RENTS as a plural? Ugh. IT'LL? Double ugh. I did like DUSTED, STAVES, and BATTER UP. Like archaeoprof, I couldn't think of anything particularly sneaky about a CURVE ball.

Orange 9:49 AM  

Good call on THE VATICAN, Seth. The name TOM VILSACK makes me snicker, though. (It's my inner 14-year-old boy.)

@Allan: Au contraire. Go ahead and put TSAR in, because that'll be the spelling 80% of the time in the crossword. If the rest of the puzzle has a lot of uncommon letters (as in many of Barry Silk's puzzles) or if the crossings don't add up, then consider CZAR.

treedweller 9:59 AM  

I assume the STEELERS clue was changed to reflect the outcome of the recent game. That's about as deep as my thoughts went while speeding through this one. Never heard of TWOVIRGINS, but it was obvious enough with a few crosses.

fikink 10:00 AM  

I second Seth's nomination of Vilsack. He would have been fun to see in the puzzle.

toothdoc 10:24 AM  

Well after a year of doing syndicated paper puzzles, I finally broke down and ordered the puzzle online so I can stop "lurking" (although is it really lurking if you are 5 weeks behind). Anyway, not thrilled with this puzzle as my first to comment on and very weird working on computer instead of paper but thanks to all for the education on crosswordese over the past year.

Crosscan 10:24 AM  

Back TO VICTORIA.
3:45

Last letter was LEHAR/OSHA. I had heard of TWO VIRGINS and I thought - there's one album cover Rex won't post. Reminded for the millionth time never to predict what Rex will do.

Lingering Disney tie-ins:

John Lennon signed papers officially ending the Beatles while at Disney World. American IDOL experience new show at Disney's Hollywood Studios. AIR Canada would have been a better choice than Alaska Air. Needed to bring a passport but not a TRAVEL VISA. TWO VIRGINS - Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Don't worry, this will wear off soon.

Parshutr 10:38 AM  

Fellow solvers: when something starts out this easy, I try to see if I can go through it by doing all the long fills without crosses, starting with the beginning of a long fill and then moving to the next one from the end of the one I've just done.
Today it was AESOPS / STAVES / STEELERS / PASTS / BATTERUP / BATES / SEEPED / DUSTED /DEANS / ETS...That left me in the middle of Trader Vic's (not a bad place to be if you like Mai Tais, then I took ASHE down to AGEE, up to LATVIA...You can see how it works.
It's a bit more challenging that way.

PhillySolver 10:39 AM  

I thought this was a very good Monday challenge and while it did seem easy enough, I understand it might be a little harder under tournament conditions.

There is something new in the puzzle section of the NYT today. My subscription appears to let me play these online as well. Here is the announcement about Ken Ken

william e emba 10:42 AM  

I am Joe Canada. Check. I am Joe Jordan. Nada. Okay, it must be AIR.

TodayToday, the NYT introduced KenKen, right next to the crossword puzzle. That's right, BarbieBarbie has a boyfriendboyfriend, also known as YuckYuck. I won't say seeing the KenKen ruined my crossword solving experience, and at least it isn't SudokuSudoku, but stillstill.

Paul 10:45 AM  

I used to confuse BALTIC and BALKAN until I linked the latter to BALKANIZED. I always know it's the former Yugoslavia that was BALKANIZED.

Also, the LEXUS clue is indeed deceiving, though accurate. Cars have a make and a model. Like a Toyota (make) Camry (model) or a Lexus (make) RX (model).

All that being said, this puzzle fell slower than usual for me. Nothing stands out as too tricky, but it didn't all come together like it sometimes can.

Anne 10:47 AM  

In honor of the Westport contenders, I timed myself this morning for the first time. Since the puzzle was not hard, I finished in about 12 minutes. The interesting thing to me was the effect it had, even though I was not pushing myself. I immediately developed a feeling of dread in my stomach and my brain felt blocked. Last night I found some pictures of the Westport contest, which gave me a general idea of what went on. I can't imagine solving in front of others. Congrats to whoever participated.

As for TV, a recent article reported that in spite of the new types of media and in spite of less reading, people are watching as much TV as ever. I wonder what they are watching as I seldom find anything I want to see. All in all, I thought today's puzzle was okay for Monday with some nice clues.

mac 11:08 AM  

I thought it an ok Monday puzzle, of course easy after having done it on Saturday. As Rex pointed out, all theme answers are 10 letters long, which limits the alternatives. Thanks for the Cat Stevens clip!

The paper has a new puzzle from today on: KenKen. I'll check it out over lunch.

deerfencer 11:54 AM  

Agree with those that called this puzzle easy and somewhat boring. Nothing here really piqued my intellect. Had more fun with the new KenKen numbers puzzle than with this.

Rex Parker 11:58 AM  

Someone needs to start a KenKen blog now, because I'm already tired of hearing about it

rp

jeff in chicago 12:07 PM  

This was probably a very normal Monday, but seemed a tab more boring because of Sunday's theme. On the other hand, I agree that TRIALVENUE and TRAVELVISA seemed pretty random. I had circled around the center, and hadn't seen the TVSET clue nor locked in on the theme, so I had TRADERJOES for a moment. That mistake kept me from being sub-5 minutes today.

Did like "IDECLARE" and its clue.

@toothdoc: welcome to "Real Time with Rex Parker!"

PlantieBea 12:21 PM  

I was a bit surprised to see the "initial theme" again, but I didn't mind this puzzle at all. It was very easy, but without the title, I didn't see the theme until I was halfway through--an improvement over yesterday's which was immediately obvious to me. Really like the music--nice Cat Stevens clip. I did not remember this Lennon/Ono album--probably intentional result on my parents' part.

I bet that like chewing gum, Silly Putty is not sold at MCO.

Nice photos ChefBea. Congrats to all!

joho 12:23 PM  

Thanks for the pics! Much more fun than the puzzle. Decided to change my avatar to me for today, will put my dog, Riley, back up tomorrow.

That cover photo of John and Yoko is not too flattering of either.I think Yoko was overdue for a quick trip to Elizabeth Arden!

I got my stepsons to watch Psycho with me last year under duress because it's in black and white. But, they did, and they loved it I'm happy to say.

Not so happy about the repeated theme today. In fact, I was really surprised to see that it happened. It seems like there should be some kind of control of these things.

Greene 12:34 PM  

@Ulrich: I hate to break this to you, but Psycho has been remade, in color yet, and released in 1998. Directed (?) by Gus Van Sant and starring (of all people) Vince Vaughn as Normon Bates and Anne Heche as Marion Crane, it is a nearly shot per shot recreation of the 1960 Hitchcock original. It even uses the original, highly visceral film score by Bernard Hermann.

Not surprisingly, this was an incredibly synthetic movie which fell completely flat at the box office and was roundly ridiculed and critically panned. I've seen it occasionally on cable TV and always wonder "Why would anyone bother to make this?" The obvious answer seems to be that somebody thought they'd make a lot of money. Fortunately, the result was enough red ink to supply the special effects for several additional shower sequences, so hopefully we'll be spared this type of travesty in the future.

Karen 12:46 PM  

I agree that this was a medium Monday, there were several clues that I did need the crosses to get. For some reason, I had PLAY BALL to start off the inning. Luckily, the BATES motel made me quickly rethink that answer. And I also hit all of Rex's speed bumps.

I didn't even notice the picture of the Lennons until someone pointed it out at the top of the blog. No thanks, Jannie.

Ulrich 12:51 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crosscan 12:57 PM  

Fear not. My KenKen blog is here.

Ulrich 12:58 PM  

@greene: Actually, I've known about the remake, but as soon as I heard it was in color, I lost all interest, b/c it meant, to me, it was not the same. And Anne Heche in the Janet Leigh role? Are you kidding me?

It really boggles the mind: They try to be literally faithful to the original and miss one of its most important characteristics, b&w--it's like trying to produce a historically correct Shakespeare play--theater like the Globe, historically correct costumes, women played by men, the bit--but have the text spoken in translation!

None of this really negates my general point, that we won't see movies like [the original] Psycho again--the reaction of Joho's stepsons is revealing here: B&W is perceived a box office poison..

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

When did Electricity become Current? Did I miss the memo?

[I thought Current was measured in Amperes, Voltages in Volts, Power in kWh, Capacitance in Ohms, Conductance in Mhos, Inductance in Henry, some kind of field in Tesla or Weber, etc. ]

JohnG <-- where the G stands for grumpy, as in grumpy old engineer

mac 1:14 PM  

@Crosscan: I bit.....

jeff in chicago 1:18 PM  

@Crosscan: Me, too...

CrossKen 1:25 PM  

And that goes for the rest of you too!

Doug 1:34 PM  

Thought Word of the Day would be: MEWL. I knew it had to be correct because of the crosses, but still googled it. Would be a good homonym answer.

Actress/answer TIA CARRERE now has a new clue: "Grammy winner" so be on the lookout for that. She won Best Hawaiian Album with Daniel Ho (no relation.) The same goes for Al Gore--Add Grammy Winner to the bio.

Thought it was a perfectly fine Monday with some old favs and respectably different fill. Glad TWOVIRGINS came up as I read about it just now, and am now glad I passed up buying it for whatever else was interesting over the years.

Stephen 2:03 PM  

Will Shortz is standing in front of my puzzle! I'm going to steal that photo for my blog, Rex. (I'll give you credit.)

Victor in Rochester 2:21 PM  

Love the word MEWL, and remembered it from Shakespeare (As You Like It):

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
.........

Glitch 2:22 PM  

@anne,

... if this blog is any indication, they better be watching "The Simpsons" --- anything else tends to get trashed.

Rex keeps an example of his wrath handy --- his Operation:Stop "Ally McBeal" in the "Important Posts" section on the right side of his main page.

We've been warned!

.../Glitch

allan 2:38 PM  

@ Phillysolver, WmBem, Mac, Crosscan & the very quick thinking CrossKen:

Did you learn nothing from Rex' comment yesterday, he asked cryptically?

I bit too, but will wait til later to comment there.

Does anyone else have recollections of Psycho changing film viewing habits in the US? As I said earlier, I think it was Psycho, but it may have been a different movie. Where are my fellow old people when I need them?

Bill from NJ 2:44 PM  

Enyoyed this puzzle more then yesterday's, mainly because it was smaller. I get catalogs from TRADER VICS periodically and still order from them.

Nice tight little puzzle, typically Monday.

Those of you who enjoy commenter Greene's asides on Broadway should check out his new blog at Everything the Traffic will Allow. I, for one, always find what he has to say both fascinating and informative.

kathkin 3:14 PM  

Just a quick note from the 'weeks behind' group.Do the puzzles most days and then pop in to see what Rex and the Blogettes have to say. (some of you really need to work on your dance moves)Always like the puzzles, and everyone's comments truly make my day. Some of my co-workers are beginning to wonder about me, thought, as they walk by during the lunch break and I am sitting here chuckling away at someone's cranky comments.
This is one of the best blogs ever.
Kathkin

fmcgmccllc 3:36 PM  

Everyone in automotive knows Toyota kept their name away from Lexus to compete with Mercedes and BMW. Toyota-pedestrian, Lexus not associated with Japan. But here in Detroit they still say "you're driving a Cadillac" when its top of the line.

Black and white films remind me when my son was in a very expensive private school they were required to watch Mel Gibson's Hamlet, well he forget until the night before and we had to rent Olivier's Hamlet. He got extra credit.

green mantis 3:43 PM  

You guys look great, all cute with your beets and your smiles.

Thanks everybody for the birthday wishes, the videos, the articles. I was unable to check them out Saturday because I was occupied by an important experiment to see if I could turn my blood into mostly alcohol. (It worked!)

Today's the real day, so it was nice to see those things now.

I liked seeing virgins in the puzzle. After all the sex, drugs, and rock and roll, it makes me feel fresh like a tiny larva, still blind and soft before a colorful future of killing for food.

Doc John 4:04 PM  

I never could understand the "scene-by-scene" remake. They did that with The Omen, too. I mean, if you don't have anything fresh to add, why bother?

And for those of you that have seen Milk, Gus van Sant is capable of much, much more than Psycho.

Oh, and the puzzle was OK. Count me as another one who hated the ampere clue. I'm not gonna go all TIA on it, though!

fergus 4:06 PM  

Just to keep you on your geographical toes, you'll find the Gulf of Bothnia up by the Baltic, and Bosnia as part of the Balkans. Now that I've got that straight, there's the Moldova/Moravia confusion to clear up. I thought LATVIA was going to play an important TV role, but I guess not.

How many times I've seen DRAYAGE on a truck, thinking that Dray was just a verb. And just from the sound of Drayage I thought it was the supply of that foamy steel coating you see applied after the big beams are welded in place at a construction site (as long as OSHA's watching).

imsdave 4:07 PM  

One of the most interesting things to me about competing in a tournament, is the things that I didn't do. First thing I look at a puzzle is the constructers name - didn't do it on one single puzzle. Next, in early week puzzles, I look for the theme - didn't do it, it was explained to me in the anteroom by the solvers who noticed it.

Mr. Shortz explained after the first puzzle that the clue for STEELERS was indeed changed from the one we did.

I encourage you all to participate in these kinds of events, not for the competition, but for the comradery. I must have talked to twenty people I'd never met before (even online), and we had a ball.

joho 5:53 PM  

@green mantis ... today's your day! Happy Birthday!!! Catch lots of prey and enjoy!

fergus 6:24 PM  

I happened to have the current Wired sitting around. Interesting, a little devious, but that's all I should say on this off-topic.

Kelly 6:29 PM  

@anonymous circa 1PM, amen!!!

Amperes are not units of electricity, they're units of current. Even an ENGR should know that! ;-)

Leon 7:24 PM  

Nice Monday Puzzle Mr. Hartman.

Great write-up RP.

I did the puzzle last night and read the blog this morning. Big mistake. All day at work, looping in my mind:Aaahoo, werewolves of London, Aaahoo.

Just as it faded at around 5:30, I drove home and what is in the sky but this big-ass Full Moon: Aaahoo, werewolves of London, Aaahoo. I guess I need a Pina Colada.

fikink 7:28 PM  

@Leon, have one for me.
@fergus, thanks for the geeky challenge.

Jane Doh 10:45 PM  

Such grumpiness. Clearly the Sunday preparation sked is out of sync with the weekly sked, and WS can't be bothered to keep track ... still, each work stands on its own.

I thought this theme was fine for a Monday. Not the best, not the worst.

"Two Virgins" was a good choice vs. THE anything, which would be totally cheap for TV.

John and Yoko showed their normal, ungod|goddess-like, not-at-all-sexy bodies which, at the time, was very moving. Kudos to Rex for publishing the cover!

Maybe if the constructor were a regular participant in the blog he would have been given higher marks ....

Ken-Ken is awesome if you're a former fan of sudoku and tired of it -- or if you aren't. Thinking differently is good for the elasticity of the brain. Are beets good for the brain -- I hope so.

--JD

Orange 11:40 PM  

@jane doh: I heard that beets contain elemental mercury and cause brain damage. And broccoli has arsenic in it.

elitza 1:24 AM  

Oooh, someone reported Rex for "objectionable content." Probably for the Two Virgins cover; its completely non-sexualized nudity isn't for the faint of heart, evidently.

*sigh*

Puzzle--meh, although Two Virgins did make me smile (having the same birthday as John Lennon makes me smile at references to him). I wanted Trader Joe's but obviously it didn't work for the theme. TJ's is pretty much the best grocery store ever.

allan 1:58 AM  

@ elitza: I think it must have been Crosscan getting his dastardly revenge for the earlier chastisement regarding KenKen. But then again, maybe it was Tia Consuelo Margarita Sofia aka BarbieBarbie. OOOh, he said evily. <:0)

Nighty night.

andrea carla michaels 2:56 AM  

@rex
Thanks for the "Trouble" video...love early Cat Stevens, loved "Harold and Maude" (which played every night for like 7 years at the Westgate theater in Minneapolis (is that still there Sethg? Dk?)
I think I've already written in about crashing the writer's funeral, as an homage to the film.

Agree Tunnel Vision is nicer, tho maybe some trouble with the V in "TV" is the same word...

As for competing, it ain't for me...it was the First Time Ever I didn't notice a theme due to trying to rush thru...(5 minutes!
Not bad...I coulda been a contender but I pulled an Al on the third puzzle and inadvertently left a square blank :(
Byron was a judge and broke the news to me otherwise I would have been killing myself trying to figure out what I got wrong!)

(Will try and send pics of the Silicon Valley Puzzle Day, but I took with a non-digital camera...)

LEAR is a wonderful tie-in for the TV Set...He changed television, even for the after '80 set (people were born after 1980? And are old enough to read? Yikes!)

@JannieB
Thanks for the shout out!
I haven't gone anywhere (unless you count Morgan Hill for the Silicon Valley Puzzle Day.
As I said, just have spent more time on this blog than on writing puzzles, so you will see fewer and fewer from me, alas!
(Altho one of mine was in the syndicated version today :)

@chef bea
a million thanks for taking pics and to Rex for posting them! Love seeing what everyone looks like and Mac must be quite the hostess.. what a wonderful and generous woman!

@elitza
How dare Google give this blog a warning! And over John Lennon!!!
:(
Would like to echo Jane Doh's comments about John and Yoko and that picture being very moving in its time and esp poignant now...
unless she meant that snide remark (about getting high marks on a puzzle only if you are a regular on this blog) in anyway to be directed at me...then I want to cry.

@Doc John
I will go to bed chuckling over "I'm not gonna go going all Tia on it"!!!!!!!!!
HA!

@CrossKenKen
I bit big time! Funny! You remain my favorite KenKen blogger!

Anonymous 3:52 AM  

Did anyone notice that chefbea uses the words 'beet' and 'good' a lot in her 'wright' up?

Anonymous 4:21 AM  

I got an "objectionable content" warning from Google when I came to the site to check the chat.

Was it the beet salad? ;-)

It was unfortunate that this TV puzzle came out on the heels of the PJ puzzle, I think I would have liked it more if it didn't remind me of something else.

When I told my husband that CrossKen's comment on the CrossCan KenKen blog was funny he looked at me as if I had just had a stroke. All attempts to explain elicited further concern.

Thanks so much for the pictures Rex and chefbea, it is nice to put faces to the blog names of so many interesting people.

-sillygoose

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