Missouri city whose name means broken heart – FRIDAY, Jul. 10 2009 — Old bus maker / Story-filled magazine since 1922 / Housekeeper player on Benson

Friday, July 10, 2009

Constructor: Joe Krozel

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: Broken-Hearted — grid shaped like a heart with a crack in it features answer CREVE / COEUR (7A: With 9-Across, Missouri city whose name means "broken heart") "broken" in two, as well as the magazine TRUE CONFESSIONS (I think) (44A: Story-filled magazine since 1922), which has featured various stories of broken-heartedness over the years. Maybe "PREMARITAL relations" fits in here somewhere too ... (30A: Like some relations), along with ROMANCERS (24D: Beaus)

Word of the Day: ROSARIO (48A: Argentine port on the Paraná) Rosario is the largest city in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. It is located 300 km (187 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires, on the western shore of the Paraná River and has 1,025,000 residents as of the 2001 census [INDEC]. It's the third most important city in Argentina by its population (908.163 inhabitant - 2001 census) because of the growing and important metropolitan area. It also retains the classical and ancient architecture in some residences, houses and public buildings. (wikipedia) [add this to the "cities with more than a million people that I've never heard of" list]

First thing I thought when I saw the grid: "Oh ... broken heart. Cute." Pulled CREVE COEUR from god knows where (after weirdly entertaining SACRE COEUR), and then set to work on the NW. Eventually circled the grid in fairly methodical counterclockwise fashion from THERE (22D: "All done!"), ending up in the far NE, which, sadly, was the ugliest possible place to stop. MOLS? (4D: Compound fractions: Abbr.) REO and GTO practically touching each other, and with insane clues (5D: Old bus maker / 17A: The Monkeemobile, e.g.)? Fail. Other parts of this puzzle were more lovely. I thought the whole right atrium (that's the NW, right?) was very impressive. The "E" in OVERSHOE (3D: Rubber) was my last letter up there, and I needed Every Letter. Embarrassing ("OVERSHOT?"). After the NW, there were fewer and fewer lovelier parts as I progressed through the puzzle. The 15s are nice answers, though adding waterboarding (1D: Torturous, perhaps => CRUEL AND UNUSUAL) to a puzzle that already has Hitler (19A: Greeting with a salute => HEIL) and IMUS (36A: Radio figure who co-wrote "Two Guys Four Corners") just seemed, well, CRUEL AND UNUSUAL. Am I supposed to know what "Two Guys Four Corners" is?

This seems to have all the typical pluses and minuses of a showy grid. Impressive to look at, but rough around the edges, fill-wise. An Argentine port, the loathsome ONE / A CAT (seen here in its super-ugly alt-spelling, 45D: With 41-Down, quaint sandlot game), ESTOP, ESSE, the "Benson" actress in rarely seen last-name form (as INGA she's pretty common) (50A: Housekeeper player on "Benson") ... lots of PRE- and RE- words. It could have been much worse, though, and I liked this puzzle somewhat better than I have liked previous stunt grids. If only I could lop off that left atrium and replace it with a baboon heart or something, I think I'd be close to satisfied.


  • 11A: Composition of some old crowns (laurels) — appropriate. LAURELS for the best section of the puzzle.
  • 7D: Intriguing bands (cabals) — very nice cluing. Misdirective and accurate at the same time.
  • 13A: 1941 #1 hit for Tommy Dorsey ("Dolores") — part of the NE disaster. I somehow managed to guess it, but couldn't hum it for you to save my life ... til now!

  • 18A: Former British mandate (Palestine) — turned out great.
  • 38A: Like bellwethers (ovine) — I had OMENS, ha ha.
  • 19D: It has departments named Nord, Sud and Ouest (Haiti) — cool. I did not know that. I'm surprised HAITI isn't in the grid more, what with all those vowels.
  • 39D: _____ Games (quadrennial event) (Asian) — that's one way to clue ASIAN, I guess. Not familiar to me, but highly inferrable.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


HudsonHawk 8:18 AM  
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HudsonHawk 8:19 AM  

I liked this one from JK. Closer to a medium Friday for me, but I'm guessing there will be a wide range of opinions on this puzzle.

My first entries were CFO and CREVE COEUR (I briefly lived on the Creve Coeur/Maryland Heights border, so a gimme/neon). The CR alone gave me CRUEL AND UNUSUAL and the West fell pretty quickly. The SE was a bit of a slog, but PRO and CON got things moving again.

I hadn't remembered that Bananarama's album was called TRUE CONFESSIONS. I figured the reference was for CRUEL Summer, but checked the fine print.

Robert 8:25 AM  

There's a lot of nice adjoining clues.





the puzzle contains lots of other words that have to to with the theme: elated, stir, slathers, leaps on,

JannieB 8:35 AM  

Looked at the grid and noted it wasn't symmetrical shrugged and got on with it - never saw the heart until I got here. This was a very meaty puzzle and I liked it. Agree the NE corner was nasty. Pretty much a counter-clockwise progression for me too.

Hobbyist 8:43 AM  

I got this clever puzzle in one and a half sittings so was sure that Rex et al. wld. rate it cinchy but no. So am relieved by the challenging rating. A very interesting solve. Satisfying too.

joho 9:27 AM  

@rex ... I had OMENS, too! Once I filled in OVINE I had to look it up to confirm the definition.

Seeing the "broken heart" grid at first glance really piqued my interest and I loved that CREVE COEUR was an answer.

There was crosswordese in the puzzle but, to my mind, the abundance of new, fresh words/phrases more than made up for that.

I was able to FERRET OUT all the correct answers and in the end give this puzzle a standing ovation.

Thank you, Joe Krozel, for a fantastic Friday!

Frances SC 9:31 AM  

The NE quadrant gave me fits as well. I got the MRS but couldn't place the MOLS, until I remembered somewhere in the recesses of my pea brain that molecules have some connection to compounds and fractions (science connection, not a math one), but don't ask me to explain it! The rest was fun, esp. the NW.

retired_chemist 9:33 AM  

Enjoyable – I’d say medium-challenging. Got CFO immediately and thought it was going to be easy…. Well, no. No. Few gimmes but a lot of answers that I could figure out with a few crosses. Tough slogging in places but worth it in the end.

EMANANT looks misspelled, but presumably isn't. OVINE for 38A “like bellwethers” – like @joho, had to check the dictionary, but indeed the non-metaphoric usage IS ovine. SLATHERS, IMUS, PUN, ESTOP, and A-CAT all looked like they could be something else until crosses confirmed them. I used to watch Benson so I could dredge SWENSON out of the deep recesses.

Favorite clue and my last fill: 4D MOLS. Was trying to make an arithmetic answer for _OLS, ran through the alphabet, ….. et voilà! MRS in retrospect for 4A is so obvious, but wasn’t at 10 last night.

Thanks, Mr. Krozel.

fikink 9:50 AM  

Is it a bellwether that today is our anniversary and the grid is a broken-heart? Ah, Mr. Fikiink, the ache of my life!
Speaking of bellwether, what a marvelous clue for OVINE, as the word comes from the bell on a sheep's neck.
SURGEPROTECTOR broke it open for me, but I was flummoxed in the NE.
Like Hudson Hawk, we lived in St. Louis, so that was my looper of the day.
@ Ulrich, I remembered SCENE used in this sense from your blog - tip o' the hat to you.
Very nice, Joe Krozel.

Norm 9:56 AM  

Did not like. Very forced cluing in so many places.

Denise 10:10 AM  

Make that VERY challenging -- I didn't see the broken heart until Rex, my guide, took me there. My last fill was changing the O to an A in "One-o-cat."

I did it all without googling, and enjoyed the challenge very much. My idea of a super deluxe puzzle.

PhillySolver 10:10 AM  

I just wanted to stop by and say I think Joe Krozel is one of the most entertaining constructors this year with each addition pushing the edges so that the solving experience has new angles. I think variety (puzzle diversity) is an admirable trait. Not all different things are worth repeating, but constructors are going to look back on these efforts as seminal in changing the nature of crossword puzzles. Keep them coming, Mr Krozel and thank you. Oh, I found this one pretty difficult beyond the molecular level.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

Great puzzle! Thanks Joe, and Rex too!

jae 10:43 AM  

I too thought this was a tough one. Add me to the OMENS contingent. And, like R_C I ran the alphabet to get the M in MRS/MOLS. I really liked the puzzle overall but balked at filling in HEIL thinking "would the NYT really use this?"

Re: yesterday. I ran out of time yesterday and so couldn't comment. When you are retired time seems to get filled quickly, unlike when you're working and you often find yourself with time to kill (at least that's the way it was for me). Anyway, 2 comments. First, Jake GARN was in the news with a nickname "barfin Jake Garn" which made him somewhat memorable. Second, with all due respect to Rex, I'm almost positive I used easy-challenging to describe a puzzle within the last six months, or so.

imsdave 10:44 AM  

@fikink - Congrats! My wife and I have had 4 wonderful years together. Of course we celebrated our 25th last year, but...

(DK isn't here yet and I wanted to steal his line)

Wonderful puzzle that beat the crap out of me. I finished, but it was a good hour and a half. I spent way too much time getting MRS into the grid. Very clever and entertaining.

John 10:45 AM  

had to google the Missouri city and what do I get??? 7,000 crossword blogs! I hate when taht happens!

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

Very ambitious. Perhaps too ambitious...

Two Ponies 10:54 AM  

I'm off to the kitchen to find something to wash down the humble pie I just ate.

still_learnin 10:58 AM  

I'm vacationing in exotic Nebraska City, Nebraska (birthplace of J. Sterling Morton) and this puzzle was a perfect way to start the day. Hard enough to make me stop and think several times, but easy enough to finish in one sitting.

The NorthEast was the first to fall for me and I finished the puzzle going clockwise. I did have one mistake -- EMANENT. I've never heard of ONE ACAT.

Answers I liked: ABERRATIONS, FERRETOUT, SPITTED and OVERSHOE. I think MOLS refers to MOLES which is a unit that contains Avagadro's Number (6.022x10^23) molecules of a substance. Of course, I'm sure you all remember that from high school chemistry, right? :-)

Sam 11:02 AM  

British mandate: Praetoria. This fit and it didn't help.

Ulrich 11:10 AM  

The heart was, in fact, the first thing I saw, plus the cheater squares at the top, and thought, well, this one started out as a diagramless. My expectations were not too high as a result, and I was pleasantly surprised in the end, after having met every challenge, if haltingly.

Strangely enough, I found the western half the most difficult, even with the gimme TOSCA and the crossless guess PALESTINE in place. There they sat, waiting for me to return after I had slowly filled in the east. I still have no idea what MOL stands for (oops, just saw the last comment in preview--but who uses an abbreviation to drop hust one character?) and, getting back to the west, I also do not understand the LAURELS clue. Still, I got it all w/o outside help.

and @fikink: Thx--now, if I could remember where I used the word!

Crosscan 11:17 AM  

I love Joe Krozel puzzles but not this one. Didn't get the broken heart grid and still don't think the payoff is enough to justify the non-symmetry.

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

Thanks for the challenging rating. I got about half on my own and 5/6 with google. If I had come here and found an easy rating I would have jammed the pen in my eye.

PlantieBea 11:32 AM  

Wow! I got it with no cheats so I'm happy. Took a while--1.5 hours off and on while doing algebra with youngest son. I saw the broken heart right away, but plunked in COEUR in the the CREVE spot thinking I'd wait out the second part of the heart from the crosses. Somehow got that worked out and COUER was moved to its rightful position.

I really liked the way the themed answers fit the grid pattern, but appreciated Friday feel with the 15letter phrases.

I'm embarassed to say that my last answers were DOLORES and MOLS. I figured the compounding had to do with interest or pharmacies and chemical compounds and MOLS for MOLES didn't come to mind until the very end. DOH for this chemist.

XMAN 11:32 AM  

Oy, vay! I googled everyting in sight and still had a tough go--but it was fun. I must say, I really hate to see HEIL in a NYT puzzle; it angers me some. Hitler is the opposite of a MENSCH.

PlantieBea 11:35 AM  

@Ulrich--think of a crown made with bay laurel leaves--didn't they do this in the Athens Olympics?

Jamie 11:40 AM  

@Phillysolver: Today's puzzle was nice, but non-symmetric grids have been published for years.Hardly seminal.The NY Sun puzzles 'pushed the envelope' in 2003, and onward.

the independent bloggers-like Rex- aren't paid by the NYT,and offer a valuable alternative voice. the NYT puzzle blogger is paid by the NYT,and that 'pushing the envelope' mantra is part of the NYT blog lexicon, but not necessarily historically accurate

retak 11:40 AM  

I also didn't see the heart in the grid until I read Rex's post. And that was after staring at it for a while trying to make something out (I think I was too focused on finding some hidden symmetry).

Regardless, it was a fun puzzle. I have no idea what "one acat" (a-cat? a cat?) is. I wanted "(kick) the can", but that clearly wasn't going to work.

I'm a chemist and I really dislike the "mols" clue. "Compound fractions" seems waaaay off base. (I actually kept looking at it to make sure sure it really didn't say "compound fractures" (I do the puzzles on an iPhone, so the writing is small). I also kept trying to remember the terms for fractions where the numerator is greater and fractions written with a integer and a smaller numerator and demoninator).

Anway, a mole is essentially an amount of a substance, just like a gram, say. And would anybody call a gram a "compound fraction"? Maybe "atoms" would have been an ok answer for that clue, but not "mols". This is possibily one of the least plausible clues I can remember seeing. Somebody please tell me what I'm missing!

Ulrich -- I don't know why "mol" is used as an abbreviation, but
"ml" is already taken for milliliter and maybe "mo" would be confused with molybdenum...

foodie 11:40 AM  

Rex, I would add DOLORES to your description of the broken-hearted theme... sorrow, right at the top of the heart...

And part of the theme for me was my first entry, PALESTINE, where broken hearts abound, on both the PRO and the CON sides.

I started slow, with CEO and YES in lieu of CFO and MRS, but actually filled the heart itself with no trouble. It's the two southern corners outside the cardiac outlines that gave me trouble, until TRUE CONFESSIONS revealed itself.

BTW, CREVE (from the verb Crever) sounds more visual and more (melo)dramatic than "break". It means to burst, but not with joy, with sadness.

I agree with @Philly that, beyond it being a terrific puzzle, this construction is notable in that it pushes the envelope for the genre, especially for a Friday.

@fikink, Happy Anniversary! May your heart burst with joy!

Glitch 11:47 AM  

Found this puzzle just about right for my Friday outing. My only pause was, having mols, finally d'oh-ing it was molecule, not mole that was abdr.

@finking --- ditto on the congrats

@imsdave --- after 35 years, my line is, "I wouldn't trade marriage for all the happiness in the world."

@dk --- your turn


Clark 11:57 AM  

The heart jumped right out at me, and that was a good omen. I was actually able to finish this, though I had never heard of ONE A CAT, and the MOLS, REO / DOLORES crossing was pure guess work.

@Ulrich -- Prizes in ancient Greece were often crowns (crown or wreath = stephanos) of leaves. At the Pythian games in Delphi, the crowns were made of laurel leaves. (@PlantieBea, I think the olympic games used olive leaves.)

Stan 11:57 AM  

This one really challenged me, but in a good way. Much staring at blank space and searching for just one more (correct) letter.

TRUE CONFESSIONS was wonderful, and about the last thing I got.

Anonymous 12:01 PM  

I was broken hearted in Creve Coeur many years ago. But happy today when i could fill in 7 & 9 across easily!

Stan 12:03 PM  

@foodie: Great comments.

Doug 12:15 PM  

Saw the heart immediately, but didn't help at all especially after throwing in 2A. YES (not MRS) and then stepping in doo-doo right through the grid. (If Orange is reading--See, I can spell!)

Anyone else have AMALGAM for LAURELS as "old crown material?" I know a guy who is a SURGEPROTECTOR sales manager. I guess someone has to do it.

poc 12:15 PM  

@Retak: I think your background as a chemist may have been a hindrance in the case of MOLS. It has nothing to do with 'mole' and everything to do with 'molecule'.

A loved this puzzle. Every clue was spot-on, with no dodgy fill. I even laughed at CRUELANDUNUSUAL. What a great answer :-)

PlantieBea 12:18 PM  

@Clark--you are correct. Wreaths at the modern olympics were made of olive leaves. Interesting, though, that the laurel wreaths in the Pythian games had their roots in the wreath that Apollo wore after his beloved Daphne was changed into a laurel tree. Another broken heart!

ArtLvr 12:18 PM  

I was glad to get almost all the puzzle solved without a google, but at the end had to come here to see what was wrong with the teeny NE bit. Missed the MRS/MOLS, and I had Hail rather than HEIL which didn't help, but must say it was a super challenge anyway.

Loved the fresh fill such as FERRET OUT, SLATHERS and HUMOR ME... Kudos to Krozel!


edith b 12:21 PM  

Thanks to @fikink for noticing the WWII feel that this puzzle had and congratulations to you and your mister (to continue the WWII metaphor) on your anninversary.

I managed to piece together the NW through the LAPS/LAURELS cross and dropped the 15 at ID and swept into the SE and, through SWENSON and a couple of good guesses (ESSE SOW ESTOP ACTA) got the other two 15s and moved steadily northward into the NE and had the same problems that others had at the MRS/MOLS cross which was my last entry.

Slow but steady was the name of this one and, curiously enough, I enjoyed the grid more than the fill.

I always seem to be inspired by an odd shaped puzzle.

Clark 12:23 PM  

@PlantieBea -- I also just realized that LAURELS is a theme word as a symbol of Apollo's broken heart. (Daphne would have a different story, along the lines of the cruel and unusual.) For those who don't know the story: Daphne, trying to escape the advances of Apollo, appealed to her father, the river-god Peneus, who turned her into a laurel tree. "Apollo watched the transformation with dismay and grief. 'O fairest of maidens, you are lost to me,' he mourned. 'But at least you shall be my tree. With your leaves my victors shall wreathe their brows. You shall have your part in all my triumphs. Aplollo and his laurel shall be joined together wherever songs are sung and stories told.' " (Edith Hamilton, Mythology)

mccoll 12:24 PM  

I found it more medium than challenging but I had one spelling mistake and had to google Dolores. You'd think a guy would remember Tommy Dorsey's 1941 hit, but no. What is wrong with me? I saw the heart and that got me CREVE COEUR.Nailing surge protectors and cruel and unusual right away really helped. RP is right about the 15s. Was there any doubt?
@Fikink There sure is a WW II feel to this one, from snood (Rosie the Riveter Saturday Evening Post cover) to Dorsey, ONEOCAT and overshoe. Good puzzle JK! Thanks all.

Greene 12:26 PM  

This was one strange Friday for me as I'm not often on Joe Krozel's wavelength, but wow, I just flew through this puzzle! It helped that I saw the heart-shaped grid immediately and knew CREVE COUER. I also lucked out and got SURGE PROTECTORS with no crosses. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL came with just the CR and I was able to guess TRUE CONFESSIONS off the 1D and 6D crosses. This gave me traction all over the grid and I got this thing done in about 22 minutes!

Trust me, I'm not saying this to brag (well, maybe a little). It's an absolutely freakish happening and I feel quite confident that Saturday will put me back in my usual mode of scanning a blank grid helplessly looking for one blasted thing I actually know.

@Glitch: I'm with you. I think MOLS is an abbreviation for molecules and not moles.

@Fikink: A very happy anniversary to you and Mr. Fikink!

@IMSDave: You, sir, are a scallawag. Can't wait to spill the beans to Julie about your anniversary crack! :)

And thanks to Joe Krozel. Great puzzle and you made my Friday.

Retired_erg/mol_chemist 12:30 PM  

@ several - permit me a modest ramble here.

Indeed for all your good reasons, MOLES and its abbreviation MOLS is not a very good answer to 4D, IMO of the level of ERG yesterday. However, if MOLS is taken as an (unusual, I grant) abbreviation for MOLECULES, it IS at least a good and clever answer. A molecule is a (tiny) fraction of any macroscopic sample of a (molecular) compound. I believe that to be Messrs. Krozel's and Shortz's intent.

An example of the problem with this, though. In spectroscopy, one wave number (cm^-1) is 1.99X10^-16 ERGS/MOLECULE. Abbreviated ERG/MOL would be ambiguous as to which MOL is meant. MOLE is the usual referent and would lead to a value different by a factor of Avogadro's number.

So, if the word abbreviated is molecules, the clue is clever but awkward. If it's moles, it's cute but not on target. having been forced to think it through, I am less impressed by the clue than I was before this blog got me thinking.

Anne 12:37 PM  

When I was about 12, I was sitting on the porch reading aloud to myself from - oh, lord, how do I say this - True Confession. I was apparently mesmerized by some lurid tale, because when I looked up, my mother and older sister were standing in the doorway listening to me. They laughed so hard I can still hear it.

But no confessions are needed today, because I did not google and I finished with no errors in about two hours, working on and off. I thought it was just loverly (going with the theme here which I did not even notice).

SethG 12:37 PM  

I agree with @blue stater.

imsdave 12:42 PM  

@Doug - ditto on YES and AMALGAM
@Glitch - good line
@Greene - there must be some rules regarding blogging and upsetting my lovely wife - oh well, que sera, sera :) And kudos for getting the caps right on my name (which I ignored) many have asked why the ims and it is in fact Information Management System Dave - well done!

Ulrich 12:51 PM  

@plantibea et al: Now I get it: I took "old" to mean "no longer in use", as in "old socks", and thought, who would compose no-longer-in-use crowns?. But it apparently means "in ancient times"--tricky!

@foodie: I like how your brain works!

@fikink: Forgot to add my best wishes!

PhillySolver 12:53 PM  

@ Jamie
I think you miss read my post or I wasn't clear enough. I think Joe Krozel's body of work in the past twelve months is decidedly non-standard. He has done many things that are unusual and opening the doors for other constructors to submit puzzles that previously would not be developed. If I worked for the NYT, my motives might be suspect, but what I wrote would still be accurate.

retak 1:01 PM  


OK, I buy that (sort of)... Makes a lot more sense. I'm still not 100% on board, though, perhaps again because of my inherent biases. I associate the noun "compound" primarily with molecules (and would generally use them synonymously). Here's the most relevant definition I could find from Merrian-Webster's website:

"something formed by a union of elements or parts ; especially : a distinct substance formed by ***chemical union*** of two or more ingredients in definite proportion by weight"
[Emphasis around "chemical union" added.]

So, in the sense of of a chemical substance, I would say that, again, a "division" of a compound is an atom, not a molecule.

Now, I know that the verb "compounding" can refer to the blending of two or more different substances (e.g. molecules), such as in pharmaceutical compounding or polymer/plastics compounding. However, in the latter case I don't think I've ever heard of the resulting composite material referred to as a "compound" (a composition, maybe, but not a compound). I'm not sure about pharmaceutical compounding, but a quick search hasn't shown me any examples where "compound" is used as a noun in this context.

(And upon a bit more thought, I'd say that "composition" is what would generally come to my mind when thinking about compounded materials. Here's the most pertinent MW definition for that term:

"a product of mixing or combining various elements or ingredients")

So, I'm probably still missing something or not giving enough latitude to the definitions here, but I'm still not close to being sold... I'll think about it some more, though.

PlantieBea 1:02 PM  

@R_C: Ah, I see now. One molecule out of many IS the best way to look at it. And yes, I think most chemists who see MOL automatically think MOLE, and MOLE in this puzzle is like yesterday's ERG--a cute way to clue a common phrase but not accurate in the technical sense. I was also thinking of molecules being parts of chemical compounds the way the molecule CO would be part of the compound Mo(CO)6, however, the word fractional was not right there either. At any rate, fractional part, meaning a very SMALL part seems to hit the nail on the head in an amusing way.

@fikink--Happy Anniversary!

@clark--thanks for the better synopsis of the Apollo/Daphne story.

retak 1:09 PM  

@ Retired_erg/mol:

Gosh, I don't think I ever knew what a wavenumber really was! It was always a slightly odd unit, but I just kind of accepted it, I'm ashamed to say. Thanks for that tidbit -- it's amazing the things you can learn by doing crosswords!

(I'm also not used to thinking in ergs... joules, or better yet, kJ (or kcal) were always on a much more useful order of magnitude for this physical organic chemist. In fact, until I starting getting back in crossword puzzles, I also associated the word "erg" with large swathes of sand dunes in Morocco.)

joho 1:12 PM  

@fikink ... add my best wishes to your list!

PuzzleGirl 1:13 PM  

Definitely challenging for me. And I finished with a wrong letter at the ACAT/TOSCA crossing. Like Rex, I wanted SACRE COUER but thought, "I'm pretty sure SACRE doesn't mean BROKEN." I had some definite "aha" moments while solving this puzzle (SURGE PROTECTORS, DOE, DELETES, SNOOD, HUMOR ME), but also some slogging that just wasn't fun (EEC, ACTA (which, by the way means what exactly???), the previously mentioned ONE A CAT).

I was happy to (almost) finish it and the grid does look pretty cool.

mac 1:14 PM  

So happy Rex called it challenging! I enjoyed this puzzle a lot, although I ended up not filling in 4 and 5. I should be patient enough to go through the alphabet, I would have gotten the Mrs.

I had omens, too, at first, and had to dig very deep for the Creve part of the town. Liked the clue for Doe a lot! Almost tried to put in "masseuse" for 3d. This was one puzzle where I got the long answers with very few crosses, which helped a lot.

Oh, Imsdave, are you in trouble!

@Fikink: congratulations to you and Mr. Fikink.

retak 1:23 PM  


Now that's an interesting take! Most chemical compounds aren't made up of stable sub-molecules, but certainly many transition metal complexes are. So, I think in view of this interpretation, I'd be quite ok with it if the clue had been: "divisions of **some** compounds". (I think the "some" would be pretty crucial here, given the fairly obscure path we've gone down.) That said, how much do you want to bet that Joe and Will were *not* thinking about about the finer points of coordination chemistry when they put this one together? :)

Patch 1:30 PM  

One a cat? What is THAT? Also overshoe. I just have no idea. Other than that, a fun one! I [broken] hearted it. Definitely challenging but with a lot of fun "a-ha" moments over clever cluing. I hope there are more fun shapes in the future to mix up the usual symmetry.

HudsonHawk 1:41 PM  

I'm surprised by the number of comments on ONE A-CAT (aka ONE O-CAT), since it seems to me that it appears in puzzles pretty frequently, although usually only as a partial.

Here's the definition: a form of baseball in which there is a home plate and one other base, and in which a player remains at bat and scores runs by hitting the ball and running to the base and back without being put out.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  


For OVERSHOE, think of putting on rubbers over dress shoes when it is raining.

ONEACAT is a variant of an early form of baseball, usually spelled ONE-O-CAT. I think it deserved a 'var.' in the clue.


retired_chemist 2:27 PM  
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retired_chemist 2:29 PM  
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retired_chemist 2:32 PM  

Ummm.... last time a big chemical discussion happened, we got a shout-out from Rex that long off-topic stuff was not the point of this blog. Suggest y'all send me an e-mail (caldwel2@airmail.net) and expand the (so far kinda non-functional) crossword chemist's e-mail group. We have PlantieBea, Lisa in Kingston, ChemProf, and myself. Today would have been a good one to be active there.

You don't need to be a chemist to join - just interested in discussing chemically related NYT (or maybe other) crossword clues at more length than is appropriate for RP's blog. But you might be forced to hear more about golden retriever puppies.... ;-)

Daniel Myers 2:34 PM  

Congrats @ fikink en famille

A CRUEL AND UNUSUAL puzzle, but I fancied it anyway EXCEPT...

To add my two atoms worth to the MOL.=MOLE/MOLECULE controversy: If MOL stands for MOLE, then it's a rather strained abbreviation, but accurately clued; if MOL stands for MOLECULE then the abbreviation sits nicely, but what a small fraction one would have! In either case, I find myself hard-pressed to RELATE.

CREVE COEUR came easily to me because the first thing to pop into my mind was the book Hunting Mr. Heartbreak: A Discovery of America(1991) in which contemporary Anglo/American writer Jonathan Raban follows in the steps (sort of) of Hector St John de Crevecouer, author of Letters From An American Farmer (1782)--I read it just before jumping over the pond.

chefbea 2:46 PM  

Creve Coeur was my first fill in as I lived there for a long time. Maybe I met Hudson Hawk and the Fikinks back then

Happy anniversary to Mr and Mrs Fikink

I realized the puzzle was a weird shape but didn't see the heart til I got here. Was a very challenging puzzle that needed a lot of googling.

chefbea 2:47 PM  

Also Happy birthday to our very good crossword puzzle friend Nikola Tesla.

Anonymous 2:47 PM  

Memories of plain old High School basic chemistry are yellowing in my mind, but AFAIR, an atom was considered the smallest part of a single element, and a molecule was the smallest part of a compound. Granted this may have been an over-simplified definition, but it would make it a 'fraction of a compound', to reword the clue slightly.


Anonymous 2:48 PM  

The highlight of the day is when Rex says the puzzle was challenging.

Anonymous 2:50 PM  

Let's just try Definitions:

Let's look up Molecule: (Dictionary.com)

1: Chemistry, Physics. the smallest physical unit of an element or compound, consisting of one or more like atoms in an element and two or more different atoms in a compound.

So, Molecules are fractions of Compounds.

What a small fraction? Alcohol CH3CH2CH2OH - has 4 molecules. Is 1/4th too small?

archaeoprof 3:01 PM  

@Foodie: loved your observation about PALESTINE and broken hearts, PRO and CON. Plenty of good and bad on both sides over there. It has broken my heart, more than once.

Orange 3:05 PM  

@PhillySolver: Ah, but Jamie is right in pointing out that the Sun crosswords embodied more innovation and envelope-pushing than the NYT puzzles. And it did so despite receiving far fewer submissions than the NYT. How? Peter Gordon was known for fostering creativity and for liking puzzles that break the rules, that puncture convention. Asymmetrical themeless grids. Asymmetrical themed grids (one Sun puzzle by Peter G. had the zodiac signs all wedged in there, departing from symmetry to fit them in. Huge amount of theme squares!). Unusual rebuses. High-concept gimmicks that had not been seen before. Patrick Berry's 5x15 word ladder interlocked with regular fill. Henry Hook had this crazy HEART transplant theme that was twice as hard as a tough NYT Saturday puzzle. And wasn't it a Sun puzzle that had that hidden middle 15 sandwiched between two 15s? Crazy-hard brain work to unwind that puppy.

I like innovation in crosswords and we do see it in the NYT, but I like it served up with stellar fill and entertaining clues. Here, the fill felt a little clunky and the quasi-thematic material was too wishy-washy for the puzzle to wow me. Plus, like Rex said, the Hitler/waterboarding evocations detracted from my enjoyment, too.

fergus 3:06 PM  

Dolorous that I couldn't quite finish this bastard. Off and on for two hours, but still never came up with MRS and MOLS crossing. I'm not sad, really, that I failed to complete this ABERRATION.

After PALESTINE, CRUEL AND UNUSUAL was actually the insight that delivered almost all the answers for me, eventually. Major write-overs were with Relations, where CONSENSUAL gradually gave way to PRENUPTIAL and then the right answer. Typical.

Dear Joe, by the way, you're a killer constructor, and I mean this mostly in a nice way.

Glitch 3:07 PM  

@RT and @Patch

My grandfather (ESL) always called the calf high things with the buckles *overshoes* (we called 'em snowshoes).

The low ones that covered just your shoes were called *rubbers* by all of us.

Perhaps regional (North East)?


fergus 3:38 PM  

I kept doubting CREVE COEUR, probably because the term was implanted not as "broken heart" but as a heart-breaker, like a Roue or the dude in Hogarth's Rake's Progress. COEUR CASSE? (Je me rapelle qu'il y'avait un heros dans une nouvelle qui s'appellait Richard Creve-coeur ...)

Anyway, doubting the French, I was wondering about some Native American terms for the same thing. There are doubtless numerous forgotten placenames, even from before the arrival of the French fur trappers, that evoke the broken heart.

Lee 4:04 PM  

In re: innovations, the NY Times puzzles have been behind the curve for years, and it may be systemic to the company, which only last year(?)set up a puzzle blog, years after Orange and Rex. In its self-cloister, the NYT claims to push envelopes that were blown off the table years ago. And re: the ever-diminishing inclusion of women constructors-----it's NOT innovative to exclude half the population. Shame on the men at New York Times!

apologies for the screed,I'm a recovering civil rights lawyer. still enjoyed Joe's puzzle..

Daniel Myers 4:22 PM  

@anonymous--Actually, I'm inclined to your point of view, if only because dropping the mute "e" does not an abbreviation make, IMO. But, I'm not a chemist, and the OED has the following term defined thus:

Mole Fraction - the ratio of the number of moles of a component in a solution to the total number of moles of all components present.

I think it's fair to say that this is what intended by our constructor today.---But, I don't like it any more than you do.

What I meant is that in a compound of the nature described above, the ratio one molecule of any of the components to the number of molecules in the whole solution would be quite small indeed.

ChemProf 4:25 PM  

+1 on the practicing chemist who didn't get MOLS list.

Didn't understand it until r_c's explanation, actually. I guess that works, though I find it clunky. Perhaps because I never use or encounter the word compound... :) [I don't teach Gen Chem]

an aside @Anon 2:50:
"alcohol" is a general term (the one you gave is n-propanol), though in popular use it tends to refer to ethanol (stuff in booze, one less CH2 than you had). Not sure where the 4 molecules bit came from, but I haven't had my second coffee yet today, so it's probably me. ;)

Susan 4:27 PM  


"Crève coeur" -- I don't care what the official Creve Coeur, MO website or Wikipedia says -- does not mean "broken heart." It means something more like "heart breaking" or "heart breaker"(hence your hero M. Crève-coeur, who, I'm guessing, was some kind of lothario). But we don't say "le coeur cassé" either, it's "le coeur brisé" for a broken heart or broken-hearted. Which was, of course, the first thing I wrote in the grid. The first of many wrong things!

If the chemists can fuss over mols, I can fuss over this...

Ulrich 4:49 PM  

@Susan: Thx for clarifying this--my French is not good enough for me to take the lead in such a discussion. Still, I was very uncomfortable with the adjective preceding the noun (the exception in French AFAIK), whatever the meaning, and you confirmed my suspicion.

fergus 4:58 PM  

Susan -- the primary reason for my hesitation was the present tense of the verb, not the past participle. (We know that if the latter were the case, the words would be reversed.) I am slightly smugly pleased to have seen your confirmation. I still, however, don't know how to apply accents to vowels, or put the squiggly thing under a c, and I would wager that the NYT Crossword Editor thinks
such detailed matters are beyond his duty, if not consideration. And rightly so, I would probably have to say.

And to ranter Lee -- is this the same amiable fellow from the Alameda gathering? Yo comprendo, mi amigo.

Raul 5:20 PM  

Yikes ! The word police are out.

The eighth amendment uses it, why not crosswords.

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

retired_chemist 5:21 PM  

@ fergus - google the term, then cut and paste to get the accents and cedillas etc. right. Truth be told, I do just exactly that....

jeff in chicago 5:21 PM  

Crushed. Again. Alas...

In the end I did like FERRETOUT, ROMANCERS, SNOOD, HUMORME, SLATHERS. But I found it tough. Very tough. Lots of Googles (that often didn't help!) tough.

In other news, a non-profit I did some work for recently treated me to lunch and I had the following:

Yellowfin Tuna Crudo-style, Beets, Avocado, Mango; Tatsoi Greens, Sesame Tuile

Grilled, Herbed Rainbow Trout, Ratatouille Vegetables, Pine Nuts, Raisins, Black Olives

Passionfruit and Mango Sorbets, Lime Marshmallow, Hazelnut Cake, Caramelized Meringue

Best lunch in a long, long time. (Chicagoan: Give North Pond a try. Good stuff!)

Congrats fikink!

fergus 5:30 PM  

My failure to use accents and other diacritical marks, in the vain hope of clarifying meaning, has now been been quashed. Now I'll feel obliged to use umlauts to obscure everything.

Crosscan 5:33 PM  

Hey, I like it.


Brendan Emmett Quigley 5:36 PM  

FWIW, I've been to Rosario. Back in 2003 in my whirlwind tour of Argentina. I'm not bullshitting. It's a little nothing of a town.

If anybody is thinking about a trip down there, do not, I repeat DO NOT miss the Iguazu Falls. My mind was blown seventeen ways to Sunday.

Rétirèd_Chëmîst 5:44 PM  

I confirm the glory of Iguazu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu, Portuguese; Cataratas del Iguazú, Spanish) and second BEQ's encouragement.

Daniel Myers 5:59 PM  

@retired_chemist-lol--I just noticed the accents, acutes and graves and whatnot embellishing your moniker---Very droll indeed!

andrea humor me michaels 6:48 PM  

Saw the broken heart immediately and wondered why it wasn't saved for Valentine's Day...but then remembered for many Valentine's Day is less about broken hearts for some than others!
(Congrats fikinks!)
I was, um, projecting!

I thought the grid was pretty!

I was with you about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.
I had Casse COEUR in there for-ev-er even tho I felt that must be wrong.
Between the adjective preceding, the lack of accents...you name it.

I've always heard creve as in "je suis creve, like, I'm totally tired/fatigued..." but I guess it must come from broken? And do you suppose craven is from that, considering it's roue connection?

Thank you for the lovely story about Laurel/Daphne...triggered old memories about learning Greek mythology in highschool where my best friend was named Laurel. Wonder why we never hear more about her father Peneus! ;)

(Which reminds me, thinking rubber was either a prophyllactic (sp?) or an eraser, I had to go thru the alphabet for OVERSHO_.)

Only one eyebrow went up for HEIL and I'm usually oversensitive...same for PALESTINE, but, then again, I had tried HAIFA for HAITI!

Right on! Good point out!
Cruel and Unusual I use practically daily, so the waterboarding didn't even come up for me... but I have terrible memories of Inga on Benson!

(Kidding...have never seen the show)

I don't get Boradcast=SOW. I had AIR! Then slowly STENSON as SOT seems just as likely as SOW. Oh! Does Broadcast have to do with spreading seeds widely? Is it a farming term?)

(Pls don't tell me to go Google, I already had to TWICE to get TOSCA, much to my chagrin, and CREVE)


For radio writer I put in AMOS. AMOS/IMUS. (insert Kevin Der-esque: "interesting") Plus it didn't help that I spelled ABERRATIONS with two B's one R!

For what it's worth... not much in Scrabble! This is the least Scrabbly puzzle ever... no J, K, Q, X, Z (nor sometimes Y!)

The only thing Scrabbly was Joe Krozel's byline!

retired_chemist 7:01 PM  

@ Andrea - SOW is indeed to broadcast seed. Pronounce it with a long O. As ye SOW so shall ye reap.... paraphrase of passages in Job (OT) and Galatians (NT).

andrea so? michaels 7:13 PM  

I was pronouncing it right, but fooled by the broad-cast bit (and the spelling as I can see from rereading my s(cr)eed!)
SO, SOW, SEW...I feel a puzzle coming on!
For the francophiles (merci encore, @Susan!) I'll throw in ROUSSEAU...
and for the ASIANs, maybe even Tso!

fergus 7:16 PM  

Drink deep, or taste not ...
for drinking largely sobers us again.

The French thing was a sufficient complaint to the editors, much as I've done with art criticism on these pages in the past. I withhold (there's a nice double h) criticism on math and physics, because I know that now I'm derelict in knowledge.

Clark 7:42 PM  

@andrea -- Craven does indeed come from creve. Quoting from Skeat's Etymological Dictionary: "The termination in -en is a mistaken one, and makes the word look like a past participle. The word is really cravant, where -ant is the regular French form of the present participle.--OF. cravant, pres. part. of craver, by-form of crever, to burst, to break; and hence, to be overcome. . . . See further the uses of F. crever; thus, OF. le cuer me creve means 'my heart is breaking;' OF. crevé means 'dead;' and Walloon se krever de rire is denounced by Remacle as being not a polite phrase."

foodie 8:23 PM  

I agree with @Susan about "Crève Coeur". If it referred to a broken heart it would have been "Coeur Crevé"

@Andrea you are right about crever being used to mean very tired. In general, the expression "crever de" in slang is like "dying from"... fatigue, hunger, fear, etc. Crever, which officially means bursting, is also a less than polite word for dying, like saying "croaking" in American slang.

@Stan, Ulrich and Archaeprof, thank you. This blog gives me hope that someday we humans will grow up. Meanwhile, we're all work in progress... breaking each other's hearts.

@Orange, you make me want to go find a bunch of Sun puzzles. Never even knew they existed until I started reading this blog.

the man with the longest telomeres in the world 8:28 PM  

I absolutely hate 95% of Shortz's science-related clues (or at least 95% of those that stray from strict definitions). Calling a mol (which is short for mole, not molecule...if I asked someone over email for .5 mol of some compound, and he told me it was impossible to give me half a molecule, I'd laugh in his face!) a fraction of a compound is such a weird thing to do. It's not clever or cute or what have you. It's just dumb. And weird. If it's supposed to mean molecule, then I hate to tell Shortz but the abbv.'s taken. Either way the clue sucks. Not nearly as bad as some of his other science clues, but pretty durn bad.

fergus 8:29 PM  

Linguists abide.

Clark gave us a fine etymology, but now we need an account. The word is Crever, as Susan pointed out, a verb in the infinitive form.

But what to make of all its inflected forms?

foodie 9:09 PM  

Sorry for the redundancy with @Clark's post re "crever" and death... I wrote my comment, got interrupted by a phone call and posted without seeing his... but at least there is a convergence of information, unlike the mole/molecule debate.

@the man with the longest telomeres in the world... I guess congratulations are in order? You're going to live a very long life?... Anyhow, I agree with your assessment about the science clues in the NYTimes puzzle. They are often just near the edge of wrong.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:10 PM  

Before I read a single clue, I looked at the grid, saw the broken heart, and said to myself, "Oh, no, not another Michael Jackson-related puzzle!" But it turned out to be very much a fun solve (at the beach today).

Daniel Myers 9:20 PM  

The OED - again - begs to differ or, rather, suspend judgment, on the etymology of the English CRAVEN. Here is the OED's take on Craven's etymology in full:

"In early Middle English crauant (rare), etymology obscure----Mr. Henry Nicol (Proceedings of The Philological Society, Dec. 1879) suggested its identification with Old French cravante, crevanti crushed, overcome: see Cravent v. But the total abscence of the final e from the word, at a date when English still retained final e, makes a difficulty. Others have considered it a variant in some way of creant (Old French creant, craant), which is a much more frequent word in the same sense in Middle English. The difficulty here is to account for the v(u), for which popular association with crave v. and its northern past participle craved has been conjectured."

Now I'm knackered. Carpal atrophy beckons. I'll never make a philological typist.

Clark 9:44 PM  

@Daniel Myers -- I don't read Skeat because I expect it to be 100% accurate. I read it because it is this very cool old etymological dictionary from the late Nineteenth Century and because James Joyce used to read in it for hours at a time and because it is a work of art in its own right. Always happy to hear what the OED has to say.

Twice two and out.

Susan 9:55 PM  

The Creve in Creve Coeur is not an adjective but a verb. It should correctly be spelled "crève" with an accent grave, because it's a "spelling change" verb, which otherwise conjugates like a regular verb of the first group (-er verbs).

It means a lot of things. "I'm dying of hunger: Je crève de faim." "I'm totally exhausted" : Je suis crevé." "It's heartbreaking: C'est à crever le coeur." And you'll hear its past participle in a current Stella Artois ad on your TV where the French cyclist says "On a crevé!" = "We have a flat."

To type accents, you can set your keyboard to some European setting and then use the Alt key.

/insufferable pedant

fergus 9:57 PM  

The verb Croire requires some reconsideration.

Daniel Myers 9:59 PM  

@Clark---And it dashed well sounds like I should be interested in what Skeat has to say also. Anything that Jimmy Joyce read for hours should fall within the confines of mine own bailiwick.

This might interest you: It was brought to my attention some time ago (I've forgotten the name of the book.) that Finnegans Wake has no apostrophe in the title. I can still remember the author's take on this fact, verbatim: "Thus the point is that the Finnegans are waking, whoever they may be."

Ulrich 10:12 PM  

@Susan: I hate to go on beating a dead horse, but I feel misunderstood: My point was that the clue implied it was an adjective (or a participle used as such)--broken, and that seemed wrong to me, given what I know about French--OK?

Anonymous 10:46 PM  

Where has artlvr gone?

Orange 10:49 PM  

Sometimes we crossword bloggers miss something obvious. A friend of mine noticed something today—that the problematic HEIL could so easily have been changed to HEIR, crossing SORE. I wonder why this wasn't done.

michael 11:38 PM  

I was wondering about the mysterious opera "Tosco"...

Susan 11:43 PM  

@Ulrich, I see what you mean now. Wouldn't want you to feel misunderstood!

I've seen this same off translation of French before in American place names. There's a street in a formerly French-speaking part of Maine that is now known as "Broken Pants Rd." The original name was Rue de Casse-Culotte, or pants-breaking road.

Aleman 11:43 PM  

Sometimes censorship is just that.
Heil was used before the Nazis and has its own meaning. Just like the swastikas. Other NYT uses:

Sunday, February 18, 2007 86A Greeting with a salute David Kwong and Kevan Choset
Monday, October 06, 1997 39D Greeting to Hitler Barbara Campitelli
Saturday, May 13, 1995 24D Word to Hitler Nancy Joline

Blue Stater 11:53 PM  

At 12:37 p.m., SethG said he agreed with Blue Stater. But *this* Blue Stater, anyway, hadn't even done the puzzle yet and is just posting now, some 11 hours later. I assume this is SethG's way of predicting I wouldn't like this puzzle, and he was absolutely right. Many Natick areas, curve balls galore, obscure *old* popcult (as well as obscure *new* popcult), archaisms like EEC, which is long gone from the scene. Ick.

Anonymous 11:56 PM  


I agree 100% with you on gender bias. An interesting study would be computing the gender ratios of
Margaret Farrar, Will Weng, and Eugene Maleska. A good way to see if it is indeed NY Times policy to favor men over women.

Orange 12:18 AM  

Anonymous 11:56, I'm not sure a comparison between Farrar's '40s-'60s and the current era would be so revealing. If the same 80/20 split held true then, well, women's rights were considerably less advanced then.

Perhaps more useful is a comparison to other newspaper puzzles, such as the L.A. Times, Newsday, CrosSynergy/Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal crosswords. Those have averaged closer to a 73/27 split of late, which was the NYT's split a few years ago. The NYT looks to be trending in the opposite direction you'd expect.

sanfranman59 2:17 AM  

This week's numbers ... the numbers in parentheses are the number of solvers.

Mon (all) 6:38 (879) prev 4 week avg: 6:51 (898)
Mon (Top 100) 3:24 prev 4 week avg: 3:43

Tue (all) 9:25 (848) prev 4 week avg: 8:32 (844)
Tue (Top 100) 4:50 prev 4 week avg: 4:21

Wed (all) 8:17 (795) prev 4 week avg: 13:58 (652)
Wed (Top 100) 4:26 prev 4 week avg: 6:19

Thu (all) 16:58 (611) prev 4 week avg: 16:33 (580)
Thu (Top 100) 7:46 prev 4 week avg: 8:01

Fri (all) 29:55 (381) prev 5 week avg: 27:36 (426)
Fri (Top 100) 14:44 prev 4 week avg: 13:06

Given the hour, I doubt that anyone will see this, but this was certainly a more challenging Friday than the standard of the previous 4 or 5 weeks. I found it nearly impossible to solve and needed to resort to lots of Googling. I was surprised that the solve times were actually a little faster than last Friday's.

mac 8:01 AM  

@Blue Stater: after SethG posted, I went looking for your comment. I almost asked him for my minutes back!

Wayne 11:48 AM  

What am I missing about Records > ACTA?

poc 12:18 PM  

@Wayne: ACTA is a Latin term used for the records of some learned societies, among other things. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acta

liquid el lay 1:31 PM  

Hi There.

I completed the puzzle this morning, had started it last night at the seaside bar with a glass of absinthe and was unable to finish it in the first sitting.

MOLS / "Compound fractions: Abbr."

Is the first science clue/answer I've ever really agreed with. It was also my last entry.

My favorite clue! Diffficult to see, but accurate and obvious.

A Mole is a number (a pretty big one.) Its proper abreviation is Mol.

Water is a Compound.

Water is comprised of Hydrogen and Oxygen.

One Mole of the Chemical Compound Water is comprised of the Compound Fractions of two Moles of Hydrogen, and one Mole of Oxygen.

One advantage of not being a chemist is that you remember your high-school chemistry.

The phrase "he's forgotten more than I've ever learned about..." probably applies here.

liquid el lay 4:27 PM  

I could have said it this way:

The molecular fractions of water are two moles of hydrogen and one mole of oxygen per mole of water.

the concept of the mole was in use long before anyone tried to figure out the actual number. It's roughly the number of molecules in one gram of hydrogen, I think. But it's not defined that way.


I had a number of write-overs including ALTERATIONS for ABBERATIONS for, finally, ABERRATIONS..

And HONORED for SPITTED "Stuck at a roast"..

Was aided in part by The Abominable Surfman of Point Dume who provided ELATED and PREMARITAL.. and was possibly working some sort of theme of his own.

Anonymous 1:53 AM  

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Singer 1:28 PM  

I found the west side to be relatively easy, and had no overwrites. I found the east side, particularly the NE to be a pain. Got MOL/MRS from Mrs, but didn't have a cluse how MOL was a compound fraction until reading the blog. I can see how Mole is a fraction of a compound in a roundabout way, but think a fraction of a molecule is an atom. A molecule is one unit of a compound, but it is in fact a compound still.

Singer 7:49 PM  

I have been thinking about the mole / molecule controversy some more and have the following thoughts:

An element is made up of individual atoms, i.e. Carbon (C) or molecules, i.e. Hydrogen (H2).

A compound is made up of atoms of different elements bound together by a process than can't be broken apart physically. A single unit of a compound is always a molecule.

So a molecule can be a fraction of some elements or of a compound.

A mole is Avogadro's Number of units (molecules, atoms, ions, radicals, etc.) as appropriate to the substance involved. A mole of water has the same number of molecules as a mole of carbon has atoms. A mole of oxygen has twice the number of oxygen atoms as a mole of carbon since oxygen consists of molecules with two atoms per unit.

A mole of oxygen and two moles of hydrogen can be combined to get two moles of water. This would lead you to conclude that a mole of hydrogen would be a fraction of a mole of water, but the whole connection there is very tenuous.

Since MOL is an abbreviation for mole, not molecule, I would agree that the clue is cute, but isn't accurate.

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