TUESDAY, Jul. 7 2009 — Tennyson title hero * Arden / Region of pre-Roman Italy / Slave entombed with Radames / Star of changing brightness

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Late Arrivals — famous people whose last names represent periods of time are clued as "late-arriving," and are represented in the grid as having last names that are one step "later" than their actual names

Word of the Day: ETRURIA (56A: Region of pre-Roman Italy) — An ancient country of west-central Italy in present-day Tuscany and parts of Umbria. It was the center of the Etruscan civilization, which spread throughout much of Italy before being supplanted by Rome in the third century B.C. (answers.com)

This was shaping up to be a very cool puzzle. An original and amusing concept, with different periods of time represented in each theme answer. But. But. SATURDAY is a discrete period of time. One of seven. What comes before Saturday? Friday. APRIL is a discrete period of time. One of twelve. What comes before April? March. AUTUMN is a discrete period of time. One of four. What comes before Autumn? Summer. EVENING ... EVENING ... EVENING is at best a vaguely defined period of the day. Here's a question. When does EVENING start? I know when SATURDAY starts. Same with APRIL and AUTUMN. And what comes before EVENING? Well, AFTERNOON, right? And before that, MORNING? Or ... is it DUSK? MIDDAY? In short, DORIS EVENING is disastrously out of place here — which is sad, because the rest of the puzzle is vintage, solid, joyful, early-week Lynn Lempel.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Late-arriving TV detective? (Joe SATURDAY) — from Joe Friday, character on "Dragnet"
  • 28A: Late-arriving actor of old? (Frederic APRIL) — from Frederic March, Oscar- and Tony-winning actor
  • 44A: Late-arriving singer/actress of old? (Doris EVENING) — from Doris Day, icon and legend (see "Pillow Talk" with Rock Hudson and Tony Randall)
  • 59A: Late-arriving disco singer? (Donna AUTUMN) — from Donna Summer, who sang "Last Dance" and "She Works Hard for the Money," among many other songs.



At least the DORIS EVENING answer brought some hilarity into my life last night. I finished puzzle in good time. As I was marking up the puzzle for my write-up, my wife finished and she said "I didn't know two of the theme answer people" to which I replied "well, Frederic March is a famous actor, I've heard of him, but ... who is this Doris person? Is there some olde-timey actress called DORIS AFTERNOON? DORIS MORNING?" Wife: "Doris NOON." Me: "I have no idea. Those all sound wrong." So I went to Google some of these names, with no results, then just googled [Doris actress] and there was the very very familiar DORIS DAY staring me in the face. Why is she clued "of old" when Joe Saturday is not. She is still alive, which is more than I can say for Friday. I was imagining some obscure or long-ago famous silents actress like Mabel Normand or Nita Naldi or one of the many, many such names I've had to remember for crosswords. But no. It's just Doris DAY. HA ha. Still finished puzzle quickly and accurately, but ... yikes, good thing I didn't have to show my work.

Bullets:

  • 10A: Panty raid prize (bra) — wife: "shouldn't this be 'panty?'" me: "you take all kinds of underwear, I guess ... but why is 'panty' singular? You can't take just one 'panty' ... is there such thing as a single 'panty?'" "Panty" speculation went on from there.
  • 16A: It might make a ewe turn (ram) — my daughter would love this kind of joke. Punny!
  • 41A: Harrison of "My Fair Lady" (Rex) — I prefer this clue to the film critic or generic dog name. REX Morgan, M.D. is the ideal clue, I think.
  • 2D: Tennyson title hero _____ Arden (Enoch) — abso@#$#inglutely no idea. ENOCH is in the Old Testament somewhere. That is what I know about ENOCH.
  • 7D: Source of a hippie's high (LSD) — this seems ... well, accurate enough, in some contexts, but odd. Lots of different kinds of people drop acid. I didn't know any hippies in high school or college, but I knew some people who took LSD. And most of the people I knew who looked like / acted like "hippies" just smoked pot.
  • 10D: "A little dab'll do ya" brand (Bryl Creem) — just looking at the spelling of this answer makes me feel like I'm on LSD ("It's sending me a secret message, man").
  • 25D: Monster defeated by Beowulf (Grendel) — great answer, right in the middle.
  • 26D: Slave entombed with Radames (Aida) — July is AIDA month in puzzle world, apparently.
  • 32D: Jock's counterpart (nerd) — I ... guess. Homer certainly thinks so when he returns to college.




  • 34D: Government's gift to I.R.S. filers (tax relief) — it's the government, not Santa.
  • 39D: Star of changing brightness (Nova) — I've started watching "NOVA Science Now" with astrophysicist and frequent Colbert Report guest Neal Degrasse Tyson. It seems aimed at kids, in some ways, but that's about how smart I am, science-wise.
  • 42D: Manners (Ps and Qs) — had odd experience of filling in this answer w/o ever looking at the clue. Had "DQS" at the end and just knew what it was. Coming at it from other end might have proved more challenging.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

P.S. if any of you are particularly upset at having recently lost a puzzle that you used to enjoy (e.g. The New York Sun puzzle, the Washington Post crossword, etc.), I know a reporter who'd like to talk to you. Email me.

74 comments:

Ruth 8:43 AM  

Aw c'mon. I think your quibble about the time-period-indistinctness of "Doris Evening" is silly. But I am of an age where if you say "Actress Doris" I instantly say "Day." Also I thought it was cool that the answers are distributed so one was a day of the week, one a time of year, one a month and one a time of day. The beginning of AUTUMN is not necessarily so distinct--depends on if you're talking about "meteorological autumn" or "celestial autumn.

And also of an age where "little dab" is instant BRYLCREEM!

Sara 8:49 AM  

I think Rex is right. It bothered me a little. I am pretty surprised to hear that DORIS Day is still alive, though According to IMDb, she hasn't made a movie in over 40 years. She was really good, although type-cast. I guess she just aged out of her type. They started putting vaseline on the lens for her back in the 50s.

joho 9:09 AM  

I loved this theme and DORIS Day for EVENING didn't bother me at all. Leave it to Lynn Lempel to come up with a fresh idea.

My only quick misstep was TAXREfund for TAXRELIEF.

Tony from Charm City 9:10 AM  

I too thought Day/EVENING was out of place.

I really enjoyed the rest of the puzzle, though I did stumble at the start and had ANAIL for 13-A before I saw the Clue for AVERY Fisher Hall.

BRYLCREEM made me think of Jimmy Buffet's "Pencil Thin Mustache."

HudsonHawk 9:14 AM  

Fun puzzle. I started at the bottom and thought all the answers were going to be about changes of seasons. Jonathan Winters immediately came to mind.

I can recall as a kid having an argument with friends about when EVENING began. TV Guide's 5 p.m. cutoff ended up being the agreed upon definition.

I can't speak for anyone else, but the ESC key is pretty actively used on my PC.

Nice shout-out to REX at 41A.

treedweller 9:30 AM  

I agree that evening is preceded by afternoon. DAY just doesn't seem to be part of the same rubric. I also thought this was fairly tough for Tuesday--there were various places where I stared at white space much longer than I expect to this early in the week (@joho--I took longest getting RELIEF, having tried both REfund and REbate).

ETRURIA was one of those that I knew was correct because of crosses, and still wondered where my mistake was. RAJAS was deceptive (plural or not?) and I stalled in that corner trying to make RAnee work. Also got stymied with AIMat instead of AIMED for awhile. QUIPS took a few passes, which kept PSANDQS from becoming visible. But it all worked out nicely in the end. Fun puzzle.

PuzzleGirl 9:30 AM  

I totally get what Rex means about Doris EVENING, but it didn't bother me a bit while solving. I just thought this was another Lynn Lempel masterpiece.

Took me too long to come up with GRENDEL. Man! it's been a long time since I was in college.

JC66 9:31 AM  

I'm with Ruth. I was a young teenager when she changed from a chanteuse to the girl next door.

Whenever, I see her name I think of Oscar Levant's line "I knew her before she was a virgin."

Eric 9:32 AM  

Agree with Rex although it did not spoil the experience. The use of night rather than evening would not have hurt and would have been more correct.

Greene 9:34 AM  

I loved this puzzle which I thought was amusing and fresh and downright fun. I hate to admit it, but I don't care for the DORIS EVENING answer either. I kind of flailed around with it and even took the DORIS part out for a while because I didn't think it could be right. Didn't quite know what was wrong with it, but Rex articulated it very clearly. Still LOVED THIS PUZZLE!!

I never even saw the REX Harrison clue or answer. Go figure. I've gotta stop this speed solving business.

Oh yeah...GRENDEL in the puzzle. How cool is that?

Anne 9:35 AM  

I liked it and wasn't bothered by the theme's inconsistency as I don't expect too much logic in my puzzles. I like them to be clever and fresh which this was. I was able to sail through it pretty much with Etruria and Grendel filled easily with crosses.

Glitch 9:41 AM  

There were enough "off" clues in this one that I began circling the ones I thought would come up. Rex covered pretty much all of them, but here's some of the ones that bothered me most (based on first hand experience):

- A hippie TRIPS on LSD, gets HIGH on weed.

- Back in the pre-coed dorms era, you went on a Panty Raid and scored PANTIES. In those days, BRAS were relatively scarce.

- If my *classroom* NOTES were limited to "jottings", I probably could have slept later most of my college days. OTOH, I continue to jot down notes to myself to this day.

- Blackball means to vote against / no, not ban.

Enough for now,

.../Glitch

Ulrich 9:41 AM  

I'm waiting for the this-is-so-old-fashioned crowd to chime in any moment. And then we have a $%&* vocative--Brute: What is the world coming to? Which is another way of saying I really liked the puzzle and am willing to forgive the evening vagueness.

I gave my take on Aida as a slave yesterday. Had to look up Ps and Qs--still learning, even if my life is well into evening.

@Ruth: Good point!

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

Check out Doris Day's Animal League! Go Doris.

Had a problem with "down the hatch'. It reminds me of a toast before slinging back a shot. Definitely NOT eaten.

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

@Glitch - Blackball means to ban, it's not a vote. In a membership vote with 100 people, 99 white balls and one black ball results in an exclusion.

Aaron Riccio 9:58 AM  

Wait... The Atlantic puzzler is gone?

PlantieBea 9:59 AM  

The Doris Day/Evening didn't bother me. Que sera, sera. I did get hung up in the spelling of Bryl Creem. I've seen the ads, but never noticed the spelling.

I filled in TUSCANY, the ETRUSA, before ETRURA. Argh. I went there last fall for a cooking school--should have known better.

Took a while to get P's and Q's. Thanks for the Tuesday fun, Lynn Lempel.

PlantieBea 10:00 AM  

Well make that ETRUSCA and ETRURIA.

Jon 10:13 AM  

This puzzle definitely felt old to me. I have only heard of Doris Day and Donna Summer, and I always thought it was Sumner. It would have been cool to have Sandra Afternoon O'Connor!

Ruth 10:13 AM  

Ok, here's definite times for you: DAY shift--in hospitals, traditionally 7 am-3 pm;
EVENING shift 3 pm-11 pm; and NIGHT shift (fill in the gap). Ask any nurse.

Glitch 10:13 AM  

@Anon 9:51

I think if you re-read your post you will note your example, [in] a *membership vote*, the blackball REULTS in the ban of the candidate, by virtue of being a *negative vote*.

Try *define: blackball* in google if you don't agree.

.../Glitch

Jim in Chicago 10:14 AM  

Never having been a jock, I'm not too fond of the alternative being a nerd. I prefer "sauve" or "scholarly". LOL

I had a minor slaughter in the NE, where I started with TNOTES for the "short term securities", realized from soyBean that I needed a B, so changed it to TBONDS, then needed an L for bryLcreen, and finally settled on TBILLS. Looks like my pen exploded.

Brylcreem came instantly to my lips, but I had no idea how to spell it. I suspected it wasn't a normal spelling, but I guessed, ...creme.

retired_chemist 10:18 AM  

Again a fun puzzle. Cute theme, which I didn’t get until 44A DORIS EVENING (I solve across sequentially to start). Not bothered by 44A – I am impressed by the four theme answers in toto and, like several others, willing to forgive the use of EVENING.

Enjoyed ETRURIA. Sounds like your urologist should give you something for that. Also liked GRENDEL and the shout-out to NERDs everywhere.

My LUST for the feds to ALLOT me TAX RELIEF and T-BILLS is so far UNMET. It will be an EDEN if they ever come across.

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

I'm of an age (definitely evening) that I can remember the jingle:

Bryl Creem, a little dab'll do ya,
Bryl Creem, you look so debonair,
Bryl Creem, the gals'll all pursue ya,
They love to run their fingers through your hair.

Remembering useless stuff like that, you'll forgive me for staying anonymous.

Doug 10:36 AM  

Theme is perfectly perfect in my opinion. Commonly used time periods with the next logical progression that was not a gimmee by any means, especially for a Tuesday. Well done!

The fill was highly diverse and different to early week fare. Looking back, she was all over the place -- Really fun.

joho 10:41 AM  

@Glitch ... I was thinking the NOTES were the ones jotted down and passed around in class.

fikink 10:57 AM  

I love that we are told that "mind your PSANDQS" comes from barkeeps keeping an eye on how much their patrons are drinking (pints and quarts). Maybe Daniel will return to comment.

Rex, until this morning, I thought Doris Day was no longer with us. Thanks for that.

Quality puzzle, IMO.

retired_chemist 11:02 AM  

@ anon 10:35 - PLEASE don't start us on Burma-Shave stuff -

des 11:04 AM  

Although EVENNING was the last answer I filled in, I didn't have a problem with the concept.

@HudsonHawk - I agree; I put in ALT first, even while suspecting that the answer would be ESC.

jeff in chicago 11:07 AM  

Very clever. Enjoyed this one a lot. DORIS...did not bother me a bit. By the bottom of the puzzle I knew they'd all be names and had the NNAAU of 59A. That didn't look like it could possibly be right - maybe some collegiate sports group worked it's way into the theme - but a couple more crosses cleared things up.

GRENDEL and BRYLCREEM are great fill. I'm old enough to remember Brylcreem ads, but I've never actually seen the product nor known of anyone who used it. The RAM clue is very clever.

I had never heard of the Era of Good Feelings. Googled it. Learned something. Sweet!

Excellent puzzle, Lynn.

Crosscan 11:12 AM  

Did you ever come out of a movie thinking it was great and then someone points out a plot hole. Do you then say, terrible movie?

This was a good movie.

XMAN 11:13 AM  

@Glitch: My dictionary (Webster's II) includes "to exclude socially, to ostracize" (hence ban) in its definition of blackball. It seems online dictionaries may not always be as thorough as those between boards.

I thought this puzzle was easy. The theme didn't strike me as particularly brilliant.

In fact it would have been my fastest Tues., except for one itsy-bitsy hitch: I misread "Got ready to shoot" as "Got ready for school." Combine that with the ambiguous "Down the hatch clue," and you have a genuine hair-puller.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  

Ever since the term "hippie" arose, hippies have been associated with LSD. The two terms kind of go together for those of us who come from that far back. :o)

still_learnin 11:24 AM  

A fun puzzle. I seemed to be on the same wavelength as the puzzle creator. As for today's two bones of contention...

EVENING didn't bother me. Think "Day-time Emmys" and "Evening Emmys", for example. Here DAY is used to indicate the time-of-day when there is daylight. EVENING is the time-of-day that follows daylight, so its useage in the puzzle is consistent with the other clues.

As for blackball, someone who has been blackballed is BANned from whatever group blackballed them. So, BAN seems to be an appropriate answer for the clue IMHO.

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

I got the "evening" answer, but also had a few seconds where I thought to myself, "Who the heck is Dori Sixing"? Sigh. I still loved this puzzle.

Charles Bogle 11:44 AM  

agree w specific comments of @plantiebea, @retired_chemist, @jim and @jeff in chicago..what a treat this puzzle was and Rex's core point, well-taken, is off-set by all the rest in my view

what also struck me so positively was constructor Lynn Lempel's ability to have very clever, unique clues for some recurring "fill"; eg, the "entombed w Ramades" for AIDA; "like some needs" for UNMET; "campus email letters?" for EDU; "fish w/only minute fins" for EELS...well, you get my drift

Thank you Ms. Lempel and Rex, super write-up

Ben Hassenger 11:52 AM  

Naw, I loved this puzzle, and the Doris clue didn't bother me at all. The evening starts at 5 PM and always has, and the time before that is the day.

John 11:55 AM  

Was suprised to learn that Doris Day was the First Choice for the role of Mrs Robinson in "The Graduate".

Thought the puzzle was a little hard. had some trouble with the time shift theme.

Anonymous 12:04 PM  

Anon 11:34 LOL
You're overthinking!

Daniel Myers 12:41 PM  

@fikink - By whom are we told that the phrase "to mind one's P's and Q's" relates to barkeeps and pints and quarts? Or was that just a rather successful lure for me?:-)

The OED makes no mention of it anyway - earliest quote from 1779.

I don't like evening so much either and would much have preferred twilight or gloaming---Night is altogether too pat. Let us have nuance, I say.

sillygoose 1:13 PM  

This was an absolutely awesome Tuesday puzzle. At least I have heard of Doris Day, but not Joe Friday nor Frederic March, so I was relieved to see her in there.

I stumbled in the ANVIL/AVERY/ENOCH area, and stared for a while at PSAN, wondering what was wrong. PSANDQS, I'll be confident next time. BRYLCREEM, I would have spelled this about 5 other ways first.

ETRURIA is going on my list of things I'll never remember.

Just, fun!

Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Along same lines as 'still_learnin', I thought EVENING okay because you constantly hear about schools offering 'day and evening classes'.

Until I really understood the theme, I was trying to figure out how to fit 'leonardo' in the 4 spaces leading to my partial 28A of '_____ICAPRIo'.

RT

Lisa in Kingston 1:39 PM  

If Day to Evening is quibble-worthy, how about this: three of the theme answers involve real people, while one involves a fictional character. Inconsistent?
Just sayin'...

(I liked the puzzle anyway, it was quick and fun.)

retired_chemist 1:45 PM  

I had thought "mind your p's and q's" derived from typesetting, in which p's and q's are mirror images of one another. The etymology is however not unambiguous, with the pub version usually cited as the more likely and the typesetting second. Click here for further discussion.

Andy 2:06 PM  

There's nothing wrong with Doris Evening. How often do we crack the theme and then scribble in the rest of the theme fill? I appreciate the curveball.

chefwen 2:08 PM  

Took me a tad bit longer than a typical Tuesday but really enjoyed it. Had no quibble about EVENING (cocktail time, if you ask me.) I am of the age where all names and hair products were familiar.

Great puzzle Ms. Lempel

Daniel Myers 2:10 PM  

@retired_chemist---Many thanks for the link--Quite interesting, that. Still, as you and the link lads posit, we're flogging a dead horse, as it were. If one could produce a quote from the 1600's bolstering either etymology, matters would stand differently. But nobody seems to be able to do so. Sometimes, as Thomas Gray puts it, ignorance IS bliss.

I seem to be championing nuance and ambiguity today.

edith b 2:19 PM  

Three of the four theme answers were strong enough to stand on their own but the EVENING/DAY connection bothered me some.

I like Rex's relative rating system for the puzzles as a whole and I see EVENING/DAY as Challenging: easy enough to get via crosses, not so easy interpretation-wise. This, of course, is IMOO.

As usual in a Lynn Lempel puzzle, the ancillary fill was strong. I particularly liked how BRYLCREEM/TAXRELIEF complemented one another.

EllaFitzgerald 2:34 PM  

I've told you all time and again when Evening starts. Pay Attention People!

archaeoprof 2:35 PM  

@Rex: maybe you're being a little too hard on this puzzle. It's only Tuesday; have a little fun.

@joho: I had to give back my "tax refund" too.

@Ulrich: evening? Let's don't put it that way. Late afternoon, maybe. Tea time. Kaffe und Kuchen. Or early autumn. The leaves are just starting to turn.

puzzlemensch 2:37 PM  

Can someone tell me why there is always one blue letter in the puzzle answer?

tekchic 2:38 PM  

I also enjoyed the clues for the "fill". EEL made me think, and I liked AIDA. A GRENDEL in a puzzle? Fun!

Struggled with EATEN and wanted to make it DRANK because it seems more of a drinking reference. Kept wanting BAN to be CAN too.

This was a fun one to do before falling asleep. Got stuck on DORISEVENING as well though, had to wait until this morning to get that one sorted out.

Anonymous 2:54 PM  

Maybe i'm just too young (22) but I found this puzzle more on the Wed/Thu level just because of all the proper nouns that I didn't know. Also didn't get the theme until the very end with Donna Autumn - never heard of the other three so didn't realize the names were changed ... Maybe its a generational thing but it took more more than twice as long as a normal tuesday.

Anonymous 2:54 PM  

@puzzlemensch - It's simply a residue from Across Lite. The last answer filled in is shaded grey, the last letter is blue.

Orange 2:56 PM  

@puzzlemensch, you should check out my blog. I have an orange square instead of a blue one. (Answer: In the various online/onscreen solving methods, a word is highlighted wherever the cursor is, and one square within it is in color. See Rex's FAQs in the sidebar.)

fergus 3:14 PM  

Yeah, there were quite a few oblique Clues, considering the day. Quite an entertaining puzzle, probably as a result.

The ERA of Good Good Feelings brought back a pleasant spot of naivete from 7th Grade. I've noticed with 8th Graders, though, that doubt about historical fact starts to creep in, and maybe everyone wasn't feeling so good about the forthcoming Manifest Destiny?

Shark 3:30 PM  

Very nice puzzle - day/evening didn't bother me as much since I was relishing the theme with the different time-delays!

Was I the only one who entered BRYLCREME ... wasn't it BRYLCREME? Why am I so confident it was spelled CREME?

JannieB 3:46 PM  

It's painfully depressing to learn that the stuff in my wheelhouse is unheard of to this new generation of solvers, especially given the endless supply of reruns and old movies on TV. Oh well.

This puzzles continues the trend of much-improved Tuesdays - a little bit crunchy, and yet very solvable. A most enjoyable outing.

mac 3:54 PM  

I thought this a wonderful puzzle that should have arrived on a Wednesday. I'm not complaining, I'll take a Wednesday over a Tuesday any day. Just a little harder. I had a little problem with the evening, but just because I didn't think of Doris immediately. I also had Tbonds and tax relief for a moment. I've always thought the plural of eel was eel, like deer. It looks odd to me with an s.

My husband explained the panty raid to me, unfortunately he went to a men's college so it was all heresay.

Gross: run fingers through brylcreemed hair.....

retired_chemist 4:03 PM  

@ mac - the free dictionary says either eel or eels is acceptable as a plural. I'm with you - eels sounds funny, IMO close to being crosswordese.

fergus 4:32 PM  

One of my many fine memories of Holland was out in the countryside trying to capture eels. As slippery as the cliche. But in this statement I find the plural with the ess sounds better in English.

mac 4:39 PM  

@fergus: you really did that? No s in a Dutch eel, it's called a paling, plural palingen. I love the skinny little smoked ones we buy at the market.... Getting homesick for Dutch food, another 3 weeks before I go!

Ulrich 4:53 PM  

@archaeoprof: Ah, mid-afternoon, Kaffee und Kuchen--it's the one thing I truly miss here. Whenever the lust arises, I have to tell myself: Then again, you couldn't get a lobster roll and, possibly, a decent lobster bisque at what is practically a road stand in Germany. So, it all evens out in the end...

Glitch 5:22 PM  

@Still_learnin

Agree *Blackballed* = *banned*, but the clue was *blackball* which doesn't have *ed* attached. Such is the fodder for this blog, but continue reading.


@Xman

OK, I'll accept your dictionary *includes* = *to exclude socially, to ostracize* leading to your *hence ban* conclusion, in its definition of blackball. I do wonder how far down on the list it was. IMHO, for Tues, shouldn't be far ;-)

@Xman also wrote: *It seems online dictionaries may not always be as thorough as those between board*

Agreed, operative words *not always*.

OK guys, but going back to my original post, in this group, 3 out of 4 ain't bad!

.../Glitch (3 & out, again, with corkscrew in hand)

fergus 5:36 PM  

In May of 1989, Sharon (a Kiwi -- the only nationality I've found to match the Dutch in consistent amusing amiability) and I went off to visit her farming friends near Amersfoort. After eeling we went off on a bicycle trip with most unusual Dutch pair, due to their red hair and really not being able to speak English. Effortless riding along the canals, stopping for numerous nibbles of bread and cheese, bottles of Heineken and a nap ....

Oops, reverie, back to the puzzle: the central crossing would probably not please Kofi. REX PLOD UNMET could be the title of a write-up of a particularly clunky puzzle.

mac 11:16 PM  

@fergus: I'm getting more homesick by the hour..... I also think New Zealanders and the Dutch have a lot in common. They work hard and play hard. Many Hollanders emigrated there in the late 40s and early 50s. I visited once and liked it very much.

fergus 11:39 PM  

Since Rex cites them, a visit to Ryan & Brian I will plug.

Open, well-educated minds I find to be most appealing. These traits go under cover in England, USA and Australia, but in less brash countries one might find the citizenry more readily yielding of natural intelligence.

sanfranman59 2:27 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

A surprisingly tough Tuesday (to me, anyway). The median solve times were the slowest of the 5 Tuesdays I've tracked.

andrea non-eli michaels 3:20 AM  

fun theme! inspiring!

My feeling of slight inconsistency is that Frederic March, Doris Day, Donna Summer are real people, Joe Friday is not.

Whatever. Love Lynn Lempel.

Lots of E-words: ENOCH, EAR, ESC, EDEN, ELAN, EELS, EDU, ERA, ETRURIA, ELI, EATEN, ENG, and the much disputed EVENING (sort of) yet not Easy by any means.

Definitely not for the under-30 crowd...I feel like this puzzle was a bit like a classic movie starring (not NOVA TALENT): Doris Day, Frederic March, Hedy Lamarr, Rex Harrison about the RAF.

WilsonCPU 11:36 AM  

Late note from SyndicationLand: I always assumed "Mind your Ps and Qs" was Cockney rhyming slang, as in "Mind your Please(s) and Thank-Yous". Any Brits care to weigh in here? This seems at least as likely a derivation as those given at the link above, IMHO.
- Mark, TryingToMakeHisEnglishMajorPay

Waxy in Montreal 1:45 PM  

A really fun puzzle. Thank you Lynn Lempel.

Additional candidates for answers the next time this type of theme is used:
WEDNESDAY WELD
BILLY MONDAY
MAI LAVIGNE
JULY ALLYSON
SEPTEMBERUS CAESAR

Singer 2:42 PM  

I liked the puzzle, but wanted Doris Tomorrow. But you had to mispell the word to make it fit. I knew the reference was Doris Day, but Evening didn't jump into the brain. It was a quirky curve ball, which is welcome in any puzzle in my view. I struggled most with Eel and Eng, mostly because I mispelled Brylcreem with an 'A'. Nice Tuesday puzzle. I actually found it to be pretty easy, but I am old enough to remember all of those old culural references.

FogCityGirl 6:50 PM  

As a new crossword-doer (I find it makes my hellion of a commute from San Francisco to the 'Burbs a bit more tolerable), I am glad to find your blog.

But obscure this one was, I'll say. And what the heck is Bryll Creem? (I am not of the mature age to understand this clue...), and is it bad that LSD was the first one I figured out?!

Singer 6:59 PM  

Brylcreem (yes, it still exists, and is actually making something of a comeback) is a hair styling pommade. It is made of beeswax and mineral oil, and holds hair in place with a "wet" look. Back when I was in high school, there was a crowd of thugish souls that we affectionately called "greasers" that used Brylcreem to keep their hair in place. The musical Grease references the greasy hair look. The dry look caused a huge drop in Brylcreem sales. The adds talked about "that greasy kid stuff". Now with the scruffy look coming in, Brylcreem is coming back, but is being marketed differently.

It is a little telling that LSD came to you easily, but given your tag, you must be from the San Franciscso Bay area, where such references are part of the culture. No worries!

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