Realm of Tolkien's Middle Earth — TUESDAY, Aug. 25 2009 — Dugongs manatees / Conqueror Valencia 1094 / Beav's big brother

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Constructor: Bob Johnson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: HYBRID VEHICLES (56A: Cars suggested by 20-, 26- and 48-Across?) — theme answers are two-word phrases where the two words are both car models

Word of the Day: ROHAN (34A: Realm of Tolkien's Middle Earth)Rohan is a realm in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy era of Middle-earth. It is also referred to as Riddermark or The Mark. The realm is of significant importance in the author's most famous book, The Lord of the Rings. (wikipedia)
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Liked the concept and the answer, did not like the cluing. Made-up phrases like these should have "?" on their clues. Is there an urban MALIBU, such that SUBURBAN MALIBU would make any sense? It does not appear so. Thus SUBURBAN MALIBU is not a viable phrase. Neither is ACCORD ELEMENT or MUSTANG ESCAPE. This doesn't mean they're not good theme answers — they are. Just put a "?" on the end of each one, and then the car make name in brackets, and you're there (not sure I like the "think" part of each theme clue, but that's a minor detail). Outside the theme, the puzzle was extremely easy — sub-Monday. This made ROHAN stand out like an extremely sore thumb. Saw all those "Lord of the Rings" movies, but did not remember this. Never read the books, but I have to believe that even some people who read them couldn't dredge this one up easily. ROHAN has never been in a published daily crossword puzzle. Not in the past 15 years or so, anyway. ZERO instances of the word in the cruciverb database. I often look up what I think are odd or weird words when I see them in grids, and I have never, ever looked one up that had no grid cred at all, especially on Tuesday. Seems an OK answer for a Thurs-Sunday puzzle, but here? Compared to everything around it. It's out-of-place. Jarringly so.

Feels like this whole puzzle could have / should have been made into a decent Wednesday with some tougher cluing.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Residential area of California [think Chevy] (Suburban Malibu)
  • 26A: Start of a stampede [think Ford] (Mustang Escape)
  • 48A: Part of a peace treaty [think Honda] (Accord Element)

I like that the pairs are all odd-ball pairings — car + SUV. Accentuates the whole idea of HYBRID. Nice.

Tore through the puzzle with only a couple of hiccups along the way. I wrote in SULTAN where MULLAH was supposed to go (51D: Islamic leader). I was cutting a diagonal through the puzzle, from NW to SE, and tried to get 51D off the "U" from TAU (55A: Letter-shaped cross ... aren't all crosses, by definition, letter shaped?). FAIL. I also floundered a bit in the southern section with 50D: Bring back, as a fashion. No good reason. Just couldn't see REVIVE. In fact, I needed five letters (!) before I got it. I mean, even REVI-- wasn't helping. Weird? I think of "Wide Load" as being a sign on a home that is being moved, which is not exactly the same as a MOBILE HOME (11D: It might have a "wide load" sign). I think I'm conflating MOBILE HOMEs and RVs/campers and trailers (i.e. in trailer parks). Some homes are more mobile than others. I like the answer, just as I like its symmetrical counterpart, SUNDAY BEST (28D: Going-to-church clothes).

Bullets:

  • 14A: Georgia Music Hall of Fame city (Macon) — read this as "George of the Music Hall of Fame"
  • 16A: Fashion line named for a sport (polo) — weird that a sport hardly anyone in America plays or understands should be the focal point of an extremely popular apparel brand. Why is there no JAI ALAI brand competing for this "mysterious exotic sports we don't understand" market?
  • 43A: Locale of many outsourced jobs (India) — POLO makes me think of INDIA, and now I know why:
The modern game of polo, though formalized and popularized by the British, is derived from Manipur (now a state in India) who played the game known as 'Sagol Kangjei','Kanjai-bazee', or 'Pulu'[9]. It was the anglicised form of the latter, referring to the wooden ball which was used, that was adopted by the sport in its slow spread to the west. The first polo club was established in the town of Silchar in Assam, India, in 1834. (wikipedia)

  • 64A: Colonel North, informally (Ollie) — I like the stacked 5s in the SE because together they sound like a ridiculous dance: The OLLIE WALLY SHAKE.
  • 69A: Rose who surpassed Cobb (Pete) — surpassed him in base hits. Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Rose's lifetime ban from baseball.
  • 30D: Conqueror of Valencia, 1094 (El Cid) — Wonder if anyone is sitting there wondering "what's an Elcid?"
  • 46D: Dugongs or manatees (seacows) — thank god "manatees" was in this clue. Can't remember ever hearing of a dugong before.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

95 comments:

Bob Kerfuffle 8:28 AM  

Pleasant little puzzle.

When I looked at 46 D and had only the "S", I thought Sirenia but didn't put it in.

spyguy 8:29 AM  

I must have been right on the wavelength with this puzzle, as I breezed through it. I am a self-identified Tolkien nut, so I am not the best judge, but I would disagree strongly that Rohan would be obscure to anyone who read the LOTR books. It is not only in the book, it is fairly central to the development of the story (I could really bore you with details about the King Theoden and such, but I will spare you). Just my opinion.

joho 8:32 AM  

I definitely liked this puzzle better than Rex did. I thought the combinations of car names fresh and fun.

I had a few minor blips: Atad for ABIT, TApaS for TACOS and raP for POP but these were easily fixed.

There's a shout out to Rex at 52D!

This puzzle made me want to do the OLLIE WALLY SHAKE ... thanks, bob Johnson!

fikink 8:34 AM  

This puzzle is lovely, especially if you do it from NW to SE, as I did. I imagine that someone who starts from the bottom and unveils HYBRID VEHICLES early on, has half the fun.

I thought the Middle Earth realm was RAHAN, which made "much Top 40 music," PAP. PAP is a great word. Works for me!

Speaking of fun, Retired Chemist's late comment reminded me to give props to Seth:
@SethG, I regaled my dining companions with your Quixote quip last night. Were your ears burning? Too funny!

Elaine 9:06 AM  

Like JoHo, I put in RAP, then started to put in TAPAS, but already had an O in place-- saved me the trouble of over-writing.
Although I never read LOTR, ROHAN filled in from crosses; and although I am from Georgia, never heard that we had our very own Music Hall of Fame in MACON-- (once you had M, it was the natural guess.)

So--learned something new while whipping through the puzzle. Never a bad way to start the day.
(Rex, on the other hand, may have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed? I enjoyed the car clues--slow to get the Ford part even though we just bought an Escape hybrid. And, ha ha, I mis-read Rex's "odd-ball pairings" as "odd ball-bearings.")

So, something new AND something funny-- Happy Tuesday to all!

Jim in Chicago 9:11 AM  

I also found this puzzle fresh and fun, and didn't mind the lack of a ?, since the bracked hints sort of served the same purpose.

My only question is the use of MAHI by itself, isn't this fish usually called Mahi Mahi on menus?

retired_chemist 9:16 AM  

Easy. Nice Tuesday fare, good theme. Simple cluing. Not especially memorable, but solid.

ABACI @ 1A, APU @ 32A, were gimmes. They would have given me fits a few months ago. ROHAN (34A) – WTF, but post hoc I Googled it and it was right. 63A was COIN at first, but LIRA was at the ready if needed, which it was. Some other answers also had options – 19A A BIT (not A TAD), 45A IDOS (not VOWS), but I guessed right on those.

Like @joho, noted the nice shout-out to Rex @ 52D.

Had to go to Wikipedia to understand @Bob K’s Sirenia comment – taxonomically, that is the order of dugongs and manatees. I have heard of dugong (cf. 46D) but think it is a very strange word. Apparently comes from Tagalog (another strange word). While the latter is evocative of the Tagalong Girl Scout cookie (which, interestingly , is a Blizzard flavor @ DQ), the former sounds more like stuff I have to go pick up in the dog yard soon. Or maybe a sound effect in a Three Stooges movie.

Rex Parker 9:17 AM  

I need tech help. Apparently people are getting "THIS SITE MAY HARM YOUR COMPUTER" messages when they try to log on to my site. I have no idea what this means or how it happened or how to fix it.

Thx,
rp

mmorowitz 9:20 AM  

You saw all three LOTR movies and you don't remember 'Rohan'? They must not have left much of an impression on you.

ArtLvr 9:22 AM  

Lovely puzzle for me too! No problems, though I tried Push before POKE with the elbow.

I don't know much about cars, but crosses worked and I was glad Rex elaborated on the hybrid idea. Ditto for the origins of the game of POLO: there's big interest here in upstate NY around Saratoga.

Fresh fill -- KYRIE, MULLAH, CHINOS.. Nice!

∑;)

Alex 9:35 AM  

Can't help with the site warning but can confirm I am getting it.

Not sure if this link works independently but when I get it provides this link to an explanation, which is very uninformative.

http://safebrowsing.clients.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?client=Firefox&hl=en-US&site=http://rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com/

On that page is this info for site owners:

If you are the owner of this web site, you can request a review of your site using Google Webmaster Tools. More information about the review process is available in Google's Webmaster Help Center.

PlantieBea 9:36 AM  

A fairly easy puzzle with some cute answers. Dugongs are relatives of the manatee. An ancient species used to swim in Florida--we have found their rib fossils in sandy spring beds that run through the middle of the state.

I tried A TAD and Motor Home, but easy enough to fix. MALIBU makes me think of a spiced rum that smells like sunscreen. Bleh. Definitely remembered ROHAN.

Elaine2 9:40 AM  

Hi: I agree that the car clues needed "?;" otherwise liked this better than Rex.

I didn't get Rohan right off, but should have -- I didn't quite understand the clue (which would have made more sense to me if it had been "realm in Tolkien's Middle Earth." (I'm not sure why the change in preposition makes the clue feel so different!)

Anyway -- just because it's never been in a crossword before shouldn't make it ineligible! Every word had a first time...

Fun...

Rex Parker 9:41 AM  

I have "calls" out to several Google folks now. It may take some time, but I assume all will be well shortly. Thankfully, it's Tuesday, the lowest traffic day of the week, so ... sew buttons. I hate this.

Thanks for your help/patience.

The curse of John and Yoko returns ... it's been just over 6 months since THAT fiasco.

Anyway, carry on, those of you who managed to break through the scary warning wall.

rp

Norm 9:48 AM  

Problem seems to Firefox specific since I got no warning when I used Windows Explorer instead, which reassured me that I could just hit the "ignore this warning" link in the lower right. Good luck straightening it out, Rex.

Susan 9:54 AM  

I got the warning but ignored it, thinking that I would heroically risk damage to my computer to let you know what was going on. But you know already, so carry on.

Oh, yes, I use Firefox.

I did this puzzle very quickly right when it came out but somehow the connection to the NYTimes got gummed up (technical term) and it reported my time as over a minute slower than it was. I should have been in the first ten to finish. Sniff.

Thomas 10:05 AM  

ROHAN could have been avoided if only AFAR had been ARAL instead. But don't we spend enough time remembering which foreign body of water is which as it is? Besides, I'm guessing most people would rather see a fictional place name than a reminder that Lindsay Lohan is still somehow famous.

retired_chemist 10:06 AM  

Using Mac OS 10.5.8, I am able to access the blog normally (no error msgs) with Sea Monkey 1.1.17, Firefox 3/5/2, and Safari 4.0.3, all pretty much the latest versions.

poc 10:09 AM  

ROHAN is trivial for Tolkien fans. Finally some retribution for all those obscure sports references we keep getting :-)

PurpleGuy 10:10 AM  

I really liked this puzzle and finished very easwily and fast.
My only writeovers A TAD for A BIT, and SMART for SHARP. Easily fixed with the first crosses.

I have a Mac and use Safari,and I still have a message at the top that this blog has been flagged for content. I have no idea where it came from, or how to get rid of it. Any help ?

How could I not like a puzzle constructed by a fellow "Bob" ? Thank you Mr. Johnson !

-Bob

Elaine 10:14 AM  

@chemist
Tagalog-- Tah-GAH-log is a major Phil. Islands dialect (there are many)...one of my long-ago adult reading students spoke this. The similarity to the (dreadful) GSA cookie is a coincidence, no real relation betw/ Tag-a-long and Tagalog. thank goodness!

If you are a fan of Patrick O'Brien's sea novels, the dugong makes an appearance....

Wormtongue 10:15 AM  

Forget about damaging my computer, this site wrecked my mind eons ago.
:)

Charles Snobishness Howell III 10:25 AM  

Hey, no dissing POLO, it's hugely audience friendly. We have a little amateur league here in Central NJ and it makes for an excellent Sunday afternoon outing. Back your car up to the field, pull out the cooler and watch crazy people do crazy things on horseback. All for free.
Sure, you'll not understand the rules, anymore than I understand the rules of hockey or soccer, but I know when the puck/ball/whatever goes in the net.

JannieB 10:28 AM  

Read all the books, saw all the movies but still didn't remember Rohan. No Natick though as the crosses were very easy.

Thought this was a nice, solid Tuesday. The theme seemed fresh. Is Malibu considered a suburb of LA? If so, then I have no problem with referring to it as suburban. That's what I thought when I first read the clue anyway.

I got no warning using Mac/Safari. Hope all is soon back to normal.

Corby 10:29 AM  

As someone who has read LOTR every year, since I read it the first time, Rohan was MUCH more welcome than all the random pop culture clues from years decades before I was born (One of the many problems with being a "young" solver at 22)

I also played POLO in college - its really not that hard to understand - Basically, its soccer, on horseback, with mallets, and no goalie. OODLES of fun, too. Try it sometime!

foodie 10:32 AM  

Rex

I wonder if this is of any use: When I google Rex Parker, right in the listing that it gives me it has a warning line and if I open it, it has the large warning panel. This is true whether I use Safari or Firefox on Mac OS 10.58. HOWEVER, I also have you on my toolbar and if click on that, no warning. So, I'm thinking it's Google related, not search engine related.

Oh, and I loved the puzzle. Being from Michigan, I felt it's was a nudge to American automakers to think hybrid!!

mac 10:39 AM  

Easy Tuesday puzzle, where I got the few words I didn't know from the crosses without trouble. I like combat, Sunday best and chinos.

I also think 26D should have "when repeated" in the clue, too. Started out with "a tad" for "a bit". Nice write-up about the origin of Polo. I just finished a book that tells me more about Cricket, another difficult to understand sport, than I ever wanted to know: "Netherland". Good writing, otherwise.

By the way, I had no warning on Windows.

Rex Parker 10:43 AM  

Could inline linking (i.e. hotlinking), which I used to do very early on before I knew you weren't supposed to, cause a security flag to go up (all of a sudden)?

The one page Google's Webmaster Tools listed as a potential problem was from Nov. 2006. I have removed that single page. We'll see what happens. Still waiting on Google techs to get back to me. Thanks all. RP

PlantieBea 10:47 AM  

Just to add another data point to the mystery problem set, when I use the AOL search function enhanced by google I get no warning. If I go directly to the google site and search Rex Parker(with AOL or IE), I get the warning. Strange. I was just thinking of the Yoko/John problem this morning when NPR ran a piece on their "bed ins". Hope you can get the google problem resolved.

Glitch 10:52 AM  

Agree that the [Think ...] had the same meaning as a "?" to me. Adding a "?" would have ben rendundant, "?" w/o the [Think ...] probably would have moved the difficulty up a day or two.

No objection to ROHAN. Although I didn't know it, all crosses were super easy. Like many words I don't know, after the fact Googling confirms.

Also re: warning, same as @foodie on PC with FFox, IE and Opera.

Bookmarks often refresh not reload, and the warning prpbably involves a redirection, might explain why some see it and some don't.


@Rex

Just saw your note & checked, warning still there. Once there, might not "self clear" when you removed the link, if this was the problem. It would be a Google "feature".



.../Glitch

Noam D. Elkies 11:08 AM  

As a non-driver I had a harder time with the theme entries than with 34A:ROHAN (though I too was surprised to see ROHAN in a Tuesday puzzle). I vaguely recognized the six brand names but have no idea who makes (say) Malibus or what kind of cars they are. I imagine that most solvers in the car-saturated USA would get more mileage out of this theme than I did.

Of course I agree with fikink that 31D:POP = pap, but you won't find that definition in the NYTimes :-(

Is 52D:SHARP a shout-out to RP?

NDE43

Norm 11:11 AM  

@ wormtongue: Double LOL -- name & comment. Very good.

Nullifidian 11:17 AM  

Are you aware that your website is listed as an "attack site" on Google? Either Google's got something wrong, or there's malware on one part of your site.

I checked the info and it said that one page on one occasion that Google crawled resulted in a download of malware, which is why I'm not worried about posting here at the moment, but I think you should be made aware of the problem anyway.

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

I got no warning.

Loved this puzzle! Great fun! (for a nerd like me)

retired_chemist 11:20 AM  

I confirm PlantieBea's observation.

Alex 11:28 AM  

Methinks firefox had some trouble with the Friday puzzle. What it means to say is that the site may harm your ego. Firefox isn't quite sophisticated enough to understand the ego/computer distinction yet, but it'll get there...

Anne 11:53 AM  

I did not get a site warning.

I am out of sync again today because I thought this was easy and kind of blah, even for a Tuesday. Could be me however.

joho 12:11 PM  

@Noam D. Elkies ... Rex Parkere a.k.a. Michael Sharp.

joho 12:12 PM  

Whoops! Parker.

Fred 12:18 PM  

@Rex
Maybe they put up the warning after reading some of your scathing reviews? :)

"Apparently people are getting "THIS SITE MAY HARM YOUR COMPUTER" messages when they try to log on to my site."

jeff in chicago 12:27 PM  

Liked this one. Clever theme, which I did not get right away with SUBURBANMALIBU. But the answers just kept on flowing, and when I got to 56A I had a genuine AHA!

I did wonder who that George Macon guy was! Ha! Was glad ROHAN came through the crosses as I have never read any LOTR nor seen any of the movies. I tried reading "The Hobbit" many moons ago and just couldn't get into it. But it is one of those books/series that I think I should give another shot.

Speaking of ACTI (wow...I'm really stretching a connection here to post something personal!) My "Henry V" closed Sunday with 220 people enjoying a beautiful day outdoors. 220! I made a custom puzzle for my castmates. How wonderful that I came up with three 15s for the main theme. OFORAMUSEOFFIRE (the first words of the play), WEFEWWEHAPPYFEW (from the famous "band of brothers" speech) and "a little touch of HARRYINTHENIGHT." I also used the character names ALICE, EXETER and GOWER. With some cheating by using 80 words and more than the usual number of partials I got 24 theme answers! 24! It's unselleable (clearly) but they liked it.

Noam D. Elkies 12:27 PM  

@joho: I know that Rex's real-life surname is Sharp (and was reminded of it again at Lollapuzzoola), but I missed your and retired_chemist's earlier mentions of the shout-out (or coincidence?) by searching for "SHARP" rather than "52D" in the comments.

NDE43

poc 12:57 PM  

People seeing the "blocked site" warning are using Firefox. This is a FF security feature, not a feature of this site itself (though of course the feature is triggered by something on the site, as determined by Google).

See for example http://support.mozilla.com/tiki-view_forum_thread.php?style_mode=inproduct&locale=en-US&comments_parentId=309021&forumId=1&s=attack+sites

Rex has already said he's in touch with Google about this. Note that FF can turn off this behaviour in their Preferences. Unfortunately it's an all-or-nothing setting, so I don't recommend it in general.

As far as I know, users of other browsers are not seeing this. There's no need for people to keep reporting "I'm seeing/not seeing the block".

Z.J. Mugildny 1:06 PM  

Took me an embarrassingly long time to fill in the V in REVIVE and EVIL, other than that, smooth, decent Tuesday.

Hey Rex, not sure if you know this, but I got an "Attack Site" warning when I came here. You might want to check that out.

(I'm joking, I just think the obviously-didn't-bother-to-even-skim-any-of-the-previous-dozens-of-comments comments are hilarious. See the "-ote" discussion from a few days ago for more examples.)

edmcan 1:22 PM  

I got the warning using Chrome, developer channel

Rex Parker 1:32 PM  

I will assume that people are getting warnings until someone at Google tells me the problem is fixed.

This problem, it turns out, is my own damned fault. Stupid hotlinking issue from 3-yr-old write-up. No one is in any danger, and I've removed the f'd up post. Now I'm just waiting on Google to put me back in its good graces. Could take a while.

rp

still_learnin 1:35 PM  

I thought this was an enjoyable, average Tuesday puzzle. Dugongs will be my word de jour... I wonder how I'll casually slip it into conversation.

This puzzle was just the thing to come back to after a week of scuba diving in the Keys -- not too hard and mildly interesting. By the way, I didn't encounter any dugongs on my trip. :-)

Now I've got to go back and catch up on all the puzzles I missed last week.

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

Below is my detailed message from FireFox. Seems suspiciously like sabotage. best of luck.

Safe Browsing Diagnostic page for rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com
Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this web site may harm your computer.
Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 1 time(s) over the past 90 days.
What happened when Google visited this site?
Of the 68 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 1 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2009-08-25, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2009-08-24.
Malicious software is hosted on 2 domain(s), including ake.kz/, esli.tw/.
2 domain(s) appear to be functioning as intermediaries for distributing malware to visitors of this site, including rareads.com/, ake.kz/.
This site was hosted on 1 network(s) including AS15169 (GOOGLE).
Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?
Over the past 90 days, rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.
Has this site hosted malware?
No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.
How did this happen?
In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.
Next steps:
* Return to the previous page.
* If you are the owner of this web site, you can request a review of your site using Google Webmaster Tools. More information about the review process is available in Google's Webmaster Help Center.

/mee

chefbea 1:39 PM  

I have a mac and got the warning using safari. Tried firefox and got thru.

Loved all the theme answers.

Usually on a menu the fish is mahi-mahi. You never say to the wait staff "I'll take the mahi"

Stan 1:48 PM  

Really liked the puzzle: good fill and clever theme. And not an ERN, ENT, or ETUI to be found. Jes' my opnion.

Nice work, Bob Johnson!

Aviatrix 2:19 PM  

I think it's contradictory to complain that ROHAN doesn't belong in the grid because it's never been there before. If having appeared before is the criterion for inclusion then you ought to love my OLLA-themed crossword.

"Riders of Rohan" was not only a phrase used in the movie, but was the title of one of the pieces on the soundtrack and was the name of a spinoff video game.

I think if you took it to the street ROHAN whould get more recognition than ABACI -- I only knew it because someone mentioned it in the comments not long ago.

chefwen 2:41 PM  

We always order Mahi, it just saves time.

One of my best friend's last name is Rohan, must email her and tell her that she is the "word of the day", she won't know what the hell I'm talking about. Read the books a very long time ago and didn't remember that name, got it from the acrosses, mentioned it to my husband and he remembered. Such a smart boy.

Easy, breezy puzzle, no write-overs.

poc 2:45 PM  

OK, it looks like some other browsers also use the Google malware check. In any case, there's nothing any of us chickens can do about it.

Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that this site (www.blogger.com) actually belongs to Google?

sanfranman59 2:49 PM  

Tuesday midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Tue 8:15, 8:30, 0.97, 46%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:25, 4:24, 1.00, 51%, Medium

Emeril 3:02 PM  

I think MAHI is the child-sized portion of Mahi-Mahi

pednsg 3:16 PM  

Count me among the fresh and fun crowd! I thought the clues and answers were quite clever, and one of the more enjoyable dailes in a while. I, too, would never had gotten ABACI a few months ago.

It is a feather in Rex's cap that so many people who got warnings chose to risk infection just to be able to read this great blog, myself included!

william e emba 3:26 PM  

I blanked on the blue shade S-Y crossing "-YRIE eleison" for waaay too long. I kept trying vowels, "SOY blue?" and then the whoel alphabet (a bit too quickly) and then finally (about a third of my puzzle solving time in all) remembered KYRIE out of nowhere (and it most definitely was nowhere--I'm Jewish!).

What's it called when the obvious proof of your brilliance and great memory is simultaneously the obvious proof of your complete lack of the same?

jeff in chicago 3:51 PM  

@wm elba: It's called doing crossword puzzles!

foodie 4:14 PM  

@william e emba, I kept waiting for someone to bring up the KYRIE Eleison bit. It's not in my everyday parlance either and SKY was slow in coming.

@chefwen, someone in our family wanted to name their kid ROHAN if it was a boy (it turned out to be a girl). It's both of Irish and Sanskrit origin (!) and the Irish name is thought to derive from Rowan and means red-haired. Rowan is also a tree with red berries.

Anonymous 4:37 PM  

Google warning screen came on when I went to go this site. I usually visit every day. Just wanted to let you know

Anonymous 4:39 PM  

Just thought I would mention the warning came with using Safari so its not Firefox specific. Sorry

Charles Bogle 4:41 PM  

Liked TACT, RISK, OODLES, REVIVE...didn't care for theme set-up..recommend to all you try today's LA Times!

chefwen 5:23 PM  

@foodie - Thanks for the information, that was interesting and quite fitting as my friend is very much a red head. Out of a bottle, but very red indeed.

mexgirl 5:25 PM  

I have Rex's site bookmarked and, so far, Firefox has given me the warning twice. When I click "ignore" the site appears but with a top margin where you can click "get me out of here!" or "This is not an attack site". When I click on the second one, I got redirected to here:
http://www.stopbadware.org/home/reviewinfo?hl=en-US&url=http%3A%2F%2Frexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com%2F

Hope this helps, Rex.

retired_chemist 5:42 PM  

I presume we each have our own individual browser malware detection settings and either we as users or our respective isp's can control them. Other than this, i.e. the possibility that we all have different rules for what is malware and what is not, I cannot make sense of the overall non-reproducibility in the data reported.

fikink 5:52 PM  

@foodie, Rowan also was half of a comedy team.

Elaine 5:54 PM  

@Wm Emba:

I had the same stutter-stop with S-Y blue, but had run into it recently, so it clicked more quickly. (Re a recent discussion: I *always* try APEX first, so when it's ACME I get snagged every time; I may not be able to overcome that one!)

Re KYRIE... I think this comes under General Knowledge--much like knowing Seder, Mullah, minaret, apse, shofar, Talmud, St./Ste. --but this shows up much less often. Next time you will get it in a flash.
Until, that is, you get OLD and your memory starts to go. Then you'll have the fun of blanking multiple times each day. Guess how I know this....

Karen from the Cape 5:56 PM  

The bright red warning kept me away from this site, until I checked the comments on LACC. I can't believe I missed reading the ROHAN clue, or even seeing it in the grid! I sailed through the down clues in that section. I did get stopped by REVIVE. And SOLTI.

Here's a website with pictures of a DUGONG and forty-nine other weird animals, including an axolotl. (The dugong is between the soft-shelled turtle and the dumbo octopus.) Some cuss words in the post, and lots of creepy critters.

This theme is making me a bit sad today because I just found out the appraiser declared my trusty HYBRID VEHICLE to be totaled after it was rearended two weeks ago. I'm very likely to get another one.

edith b 6:13 PM  

Got all the cars pretty much right away and plowed right through this one. Liked WALLY and OLLIE stacked on top of each other.

Easy puzzle but enjoyed doing it. Haven't seen KYRIE in a long time so I guess we'll keep seeing it off and on for a while

Glitch 6:40 PM  

@r_c

re your: "...I cannot make sense of the overall non-reproducibility in the data reported."

My years in IT often came to a similar conclusion, but as a fact rather than a puzzlement.

If you look at today's "reports", and consider the sources, you might find an interesting content "pattern", especially from authors we "know". We have the analytical, the opinionated, the me too, and even the conspirists (sp?). All trying to help in their own way. (I mean this in a positive sense, really).

Bottom line is "Google will fix", reason as debatable as ANTECEDENT... and I mean THAT literally ;-)

.../Glitch

poc 7:23 PM  

@foodie: Irish has two words for red. rua and dearg. The first applies to red hair, hence the name Ruari (in English: Rory). The second is more generic, and could usefully be translated as crimson or scarlet (but not Scarlett O'Hara :-)

I'm not aware of Rohan being an Irish name, or of the connection with Rowan, though both could be correct. OTOH I can say that Ronan definitely is Irish. It's my brother's name, but is not related to any meaning of "red".

retired_chemist 8:04 PM  

@ Glitch - fascinating. I take your point.

Norm 8:09 PM  

final "alert" comment (from me) of the day: subject to Rex saying otherwise, I bet it's easier on him if we post such general problems here rather than all emailing him?

Glitch 8:31 PM  

@Norm

Other than general comments that a problem exists, based on my time here, I'll bet RP would rather have the email.

Same for errors in his write up.

Keeps the blog "on topic", especially in the archival sense.

Rex?

.../Glitch

Laura 8:40 PM  
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Laura 8:40 PM  

Hey Rex,
I just wanted to say it was very nice meeting you on Saturday, and I just got to reading today's blog, and I thought, I should look to see what he said about Lollapuzzoola! So, I scroll down to Sunday, and I see my name! Thanks for the shout-out! It made my day.
P.s. I timed myself for today and had it in a little over 10 minutes. Accidentally had "a tad" on 19A instead of "a bit" which messed me up.

mac 8:54 PM  

Another couple of "bollix" occurrences. Seem to show up only on Public Television.

Clark 9:00 PM  

"And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains. Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!"

One of my favorite moments.

Rex Parker 9:26 PM  

Hello all,

Update: this is the most recent "malware alert" msg I am getting from Google:

"Status of the latest badware review for this site: A review for this site has finished. The site was found clean. The badware warnings from web search are being removed. Please note that it can take some time for this change to propagate."

I appreciate your patience and help. I got what felt like hundreds of emails today alerting me of the problem, and much as I would have liked for them to stop at some point, I'd rather have vigilant readers over-alerting me than negligent readers under-alerting me. So thanks.

rp

Ulrich 9:38 PM  

I'm late as I'm taking warnings about malware very seriously (via Safari, thank you very much). Two points that have not been made as far as I can see: The puzzle has 2 Olafs as I understand them:

1) Those who remember the old R.C. Latin mass will know that the kyrie eleison was the only Greek part in it--they wouldn't need the additional "Lord have mercy". Conversely, for those who do not remember the old mass, "Lord have mercy" will be of no help.

2) Those who remember the "Ode to Billie Joe" (as I do, fondly) do not need the additional "1967 #1 hit". Conversely, for those who do not remember the hit, the additional info will be of little help.

To me, this looks like a futile attempt to make a puzzle somehow more Tuesday-ish--just a waste of ink IMHO.

Crosscan 9:52 PM  

Sorry guys. The hex I tried to put on Rex at Lollapuzzoolla seems to have kicked in a little late.

Finally home after too much TARMAC from AFAR. Today’s flight had plenty of OLLIE WALLY SHAKE. Read Lord of the Rings. Didn’t know ROHAN. Nice Tuesday puzzle.

Crosscan 9:58 PM  

@Ulrich - I know Kyrie Eleison as a hit song by Mr. Mister. Not sure it is exactly an Olaf.

"ODE To Billie Joe" is definitely an Olaf. You know it from the song or you don't know it.

Noam D. Elkies 10:11 PM  

To Ulrich, re Olaf: even if the extra information is useless within the puzzle, it can be instructive — the solver might say "neat, I didn't know that" even if the additional tidbit can't make the clue any easier. Compare "Hakuna ______" with "Hakuna ______ ('no problem', in Swahili)".

NDE43

Ulrich 10:16 PM  

@Crosscan: Yes about kyrie eleison. There's another reason why I was wrong: People who know ancient Greek, but never attended a Latin mass, may be helped by the additional info--exactly the people Tuesday puzzles are geared to:-) Not former altar boys like me...

andrea corolla michaels 10:26 PM  

Harrumph! on the one day I could get here early, I couldn't get thru...
all well now! But where is John's penis??

Could NOT parse Accordelement for the life of me.
(Did the puzzle at 2 am, but still!)
I kept thinking ACCORDE Lement, so I thought maybe I was wrong and it was lemans...and bec lement sounded like Lament/lemon it seems a terrible name for a car...and on and on!


Loved the idea of hybrid names...
Tho agree somewhat clunky cluing (clues were clunkers?)...they should have been traded in for cash.

I know zero about cars, but something about naming so at least some of the names rang a bell but I didn't get they were two different car names...I just thought they were bad names
(See Lement Lament).

TO me, SuburbanMalibu seemed right up there with the Chevy Nova and the Fit (ick!) and the Aspire, as in "I aspire to one day have a nice car, but right now I have this piece of sh*t...".

But as far as a theme went that I didn't fully understand, I still thought it was quite fab!

@aviatrix, @pednsg
ABACI was in Patrick and my Sunday puzzle 2 weeks ago clued as "Summers" a clue I didn't get and had to ask both Patrick and Will to explain it to me...in my own puzzle!!!!

@Elaine
Shocked folks know KYRIE Eleison which I only know from Greece 25 years+ ago...bec Kyriaki is Sunday (I think) Still had zero idea how to spell it...or eleison, for that matter.

@Ulrich
I'm with NDE...I like the extra info, you never know what is going to trigger the answer...this whole what-is-or-is-not-an-Olaf thing seems a bit forced.
(insert the word malapop gratuitously here!) ;)

@Bob Johnson
Nice to have RAIL as a "commuter's option", esp with all those SUV's mentioned...


@Rex
Your polo pic was reminiscent of the old (insert beleaguered ethnicity here) joke about why they discontinued
playing polo... bec their horses kept drowning...

@Rex, @joho, @crosscan
OLLIE
WALLY
SHAKE
as a dance! Ha ha ha! That's why I love this blog!!!!!!!!!
(Except of course when there is a scary warning!)

Ulrich 10:28 PM  

@END: You have a point, especially since it's these accidental tidbits of information that I often enjoy on this blog (and which I myself so readily put forth).

@acme: Just noticed you made the same point--so, we all are one happy family!

HudsonHawk 10:36 PM  

Rex, I apologize for being one of your under-alerting negligent readers. I was able to get into the site pre-warning message, and based on the volume of diligent comments, I self-edited. ;)

dk 10:37 PM  

So are they polar opposites: A Suburban vs. a Malibu, a Mustang vs. an escape etc.

Hi @evil doug a shout out to you as well at 67a, maybe you should come back.

The Riders of Rohan are a Lord of the Rings favorite so.. happy to see that clue. SEACOWS is a hold over bit of knowledge from when I got the Weekly Reader and WALLY was cool but Eddie Haskell... now there was stand up guy.

I used to tease my sister that she should have a wide load sign, alas Cynthia did not fit in the little boxes.

Just a Tuesday puzzle not to hot not to cold.

foodie 11:21 PM  

Yeaaa Rex! No more malware, that I'm aware...

@acme, thank you, I felt like an idiot since kyrie eleison only rang the faintest of bells...

sanfranman59 11:43 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:18, 6:58, 0.90, 25%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:22, 8:31, 0.96, 49%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:25, 3:42, 0.92, 30%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:13, 4:23, 0.96, 45%, Medium

liquid el lay 3:53 AM  

Rex is dead right about SUBURBAN MALIBU, it's redundant at best and not even that.

No one thinks of Malibu as a suburb; rather a rural (more and more less so, though, and sadly at that) section of LA County.

They named cars well in the '60's, would have liked to see a VALIANT COUGAR, for instance. Or a.. well, make and model sometimes form a good (?)clued answer- MERCURY COMET, DODGE DART, PLYMOUTH SATELLITE. Poetry in steel and glass and going like FURY.

Bob Kerfuffle 8:35 AM  

Earworm, anyone? It was only this morning, reading the late-night posts, that I was reminded of the movie of "Lord of the Flies" (that's flies, not ring) and the boys marching around the island chanting, "Kyrie, kyrie, kyrie eleison" as they sank deeper into chaos.

Claire 11:21 PM  

Did anyone notice how a few days ago "El Cid" was the answer to the Jeoparady "clue of the day" that they place right next to the puzzle? Weird coincidence and the only reason I got 30Down.

Crosscan 12:20 PM  
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Crosscan 12:21 PM  

Attention Canadians in syndication:

The "Dinner Impossible" episode filmed at the 2009 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament will air on Food Network Canada this Sunday Oct 4 at 3:00pm, repeated at 10:00pm and 2:00am Monday (all times Eastern).

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