Something once bundled with Microsoft products — FRIDAY, Aug. 7 2009 — Dinah's avenger in bible / Businessman/entertainer once mayor Bridgeport Conn

Friday, August 7, 2009



[Due to technical problems (I'm on a computer that is not my own...), I'm stealing crosswordfiend's grid today. Thanks, Amy]

Constructor: Manny Nosowsky


Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging 

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Mount PALOMAR (51A: Mount from which people can see far away) — A peak, 1,868.4 m (6,126 ft) high, of southern California northeast of San Diego. It is the site of an observatory with one of the world's largest reflecting telescopes. (answers.com)


Nosowsky puzzles are generally dazzling, but this one felt flat to me. Stacking fifteens certainly makes the grid impressively daunting, but there was no "wow" factor to any of the long answers, or any of the answers in general. In fact, the cluing seems particularly dry and lazy today. Lots of single-word clues. Facts. Lots of facts. Clued as facts. Trivia. It's not a terrible puzzle by a longshot — extremely competent. The grid is very cleanly filled, esp. for a puzzle with such a low word count (Mr. Nosowsky is one of the few people on the planet who can fill low-word-count puzzles in ways that don't make me wince). But there was a dryness to the whole thing that was disappointing.

Bottom half of this went much more quickly than the top. I just flailed around up top at first, with nothing coming for me at all. I finally tried FLIGHTS for 14D: Ascents, which was wrong, but the "T" got me ACETO (27A: Vinegar: Prefix), which got me started. Then I saw the 24A: _____ Fein clue (Sinn) — one of the few outright gimmes in the puzzle — which allowed me to ditch FLIGHTS (for what, I didn't know — didn't come back and get ASCENTS until near the very end). 
Got SUNBURST shortly thereafter (30A: Sudden light seen through the clouds), which, along with 'SCUSE ME? (24D: "Beg pardon," in casual talk), is one of the only answers I really liked. I botched a lot of little answers in this one. I had ABLE for ABLY and NEXT for NEAT. The two 3s flanking ANIMALS (Cracker shapes) up top were the very last answer I got, as I could not make sense of their clues. G.E.D. ended up being a nice little revelation (20A: Substitute acquired by about half a million people a year: Abbr.). I cannot say the same for TOE (18A: Important part for a jig). I tried and tried to make sense of this. Thought it might be nautical but then realized that was JIB. All I can think is that TOE is related to dancing a JIG. If so ... man, that's bad. Say it ain't so.

Bullets:

  • 1A: "The loneliest guy in town" (Maytag repairman) — per old commercials. Or maybe he's still a fixture on TV. Maybe I just zap the ads he's in. This seemed lazy cluing to me. See also 39A: "Mother of believers" (Ayesha). Quotation with no context. Prefab clue. 


  • 26A: City where Einstein developed his special theory of relativity (Bern) — I had BONN. That's a city, right? Yes. Bonn's German. BERN's Swiss.
  • 34A: 1970s-'80s sitcom setting (Mel's) — pretty much a gimme for me, though again I'm kind of surprised at the lack of context. Clue feels dull and unimaginative.
  • 35A: Using high-flown language (poetical) — the very word POETICAL is high-flown. We lesser beings tend to use the word POETIC. See also Ironic/Ironical.
  • 43A: "Bonne _____!" (French cry on January 1) ("Année") — another lonely gimme for me.
  • 48A: "Say _____" (1940 Glenn Miller hit) ("Si Si") — More like "No! No!" Pre-war "hits" are not my specialty.
  • 57A: Took flak for something one said, say (got into hot water) — my lone love among today's long answers.
  • 1D: Maximum, slangily (mostest) — know the word only from the phrase "the hostess with the MOSTEST."
  • 2D: For whose benefit "the quality of mercy is not strain'd" in Shakespeare (Antonio) — did not understand the clue. Had SHYLOCK.
  • 3D: Capital of Armenia (Yerevan) — never heard of it or seen it until today. A world capital. Doesn't anything newsworthy happen there?
  • 6D: Some raiders, informally (G-men) — terminal "s" that I put in here really messed things up. 
  • 9D: Businessman/entertainer who was once mayor of Bridgeport, Conn. (P.T. Barnum) — wanted JERRY SPRINGER, but that was Cincinnati. 
  • 12D: Stephen of "Stuck," 2007 (Rea) — a gimme, though I've never even heard of the movie.
  • 36D: 30.48 centimeters (one foot) — another lazy-feeling clue. Did a robot write these?
  • 37D: Something once bundled with Microsoft products (Encarta) — once I changed PAID to REC'D (47A: Office stamp), this one came into view. ENCARTA is an encyclopedia.
  • 48D: 1972 U.S./U.S.S.R. pact (Salt I) — so quoth the robot. [robot voice] "This Clue Is Certified Factual"
  • 51D: Bank chains hold them (pens) — now here's an attempt at cleverness. Yeah, that works pretty well. And not even the need for a "?" in the clue. Interesting.
  • 41D: Center of a roast (honoree) — was this supposed to be misdirective. Maybe it's bec. Comedy Central has been flogging their roast of Joan Rivers a lot lately, but I knew what "roast" was meant here instantly.
  • 42D: "Jeopardy" fodder (answers) — interesting use of word "fodder."  Contestants = livestock. I like it.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

64 comments:

Brendan Emmett Quigley 9:13 AM  

I find Manny's puzzles a bit on the "easy" side, perhaps I'm just channeling him when I solve his crosswords. So with that, there were loads of gimmes. Even BERN, as (check this out) a previous band of mine had sampled a line from Philip Glass' "Einstein on the Beach" ("Bern. Switzerland. 1905")

AuntHattie 9:21 AM  

Had to check my calendar to be sure it was really Friday--this was more like a Monday with all those very long and very easy clues top and bottom. So When Rex says challenging I feel brilliant.

HudsonHawk 9:24 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele 9:24 AM  

I agree with AuntHattie. I don't think I've ever finished a Friday quicker...and I attempted it at 3 in the morning, after waking up in the middle of the night.

HudsonHawk 9:24 AM  

I liked it a lot more than Rex, but maybe because this was one of my faster Fridays. I'm just old enough that 1A was a gimme. And I've become addicted to the Sporcle geography quizzes, so YEREVAN dropped in and helped get the 15 stacks rolling.

My only pause as I moved south was wanting something to do with NFL Films for 54A (kidding...sort of).

Oh, and MANGIER TOEd the line on the breakfast test.

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

I enjoyed it. I am getting really tired of the complaining blogs though. Maybe I should just do my puzzles, enjoy them, and quit coming here.

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

I had "Springer" and "Bonn" too...

I liked this one, probably because I made it all the way through a Friday's puzzle with just 1 wrong (Ledotho?Sidi?).

Cheers.

Blue Stater 9:41 AM  

A great, great puzzle, as I expected when I saw the byline. Thanks, Manny. I hope we'll see more, and soon.

Smitty 9:45 AM  

Da Mostest Hoss....

That was what lifelong caretaker Will Harbut called the mighty Man o' War, who won a record 20 of his 21 career starts

A month after Will died, Manny died at age 27, reportedly of a broken heart.

http://www.barbaralivingston.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=57318

treedweller 9:49 AM  

I had to google for AYESHA. The first page of hits universally spelled it "A'isha". I also guessed Gideon for SIMEON, and couldn't remember VEST. Took me awhile to finally finish that little block. The rest came pretty easily, and for awhile I thought I was going to blow away my few successful Friday times. Oh, well, maybe next time.

I liked it better than Rex. I guess it's still more of a thrill for me to see those impossible-looking long answers fall.

Hobbyist 9:50 AM  

I loved this puzzle and finished with a few errors such as casings for parings and cortical for poetical. These made sense in that the cortex is involved in fancy language and casings are rinds, no?
One quibble I have regards mangier. Mangy means ratty but not necessarily itchy so I think this was a weak attempt at misdirection.

Ulrich 9:50 AM  

I cannot remember a low-count Friday puzzle where 1A was a gimme. So, this one fell in standard fashion, from top to bottom. A hold-up occurred when I had ONE MINUTE PLEASE, but that resolved itself.

One stupid mistake remained, though: Didn't take into account that "well" is an adverb and put in ABLE, which gave me AEESHA, which I thought may be a variant transliteration.

Overall, I'm happy enough to have been able to (almost) solve a Friday in one sitting and won't complain about the puzzle--like the anonymouse squeaked at 9:40.

Rex Parker 9:53 AM  

Wow. I solved this at 1am EDT after 12 hrs of travel, so ... I guess my gauge was off. Sorry.

rp

Recury 9:55 AM  

Generally speaking, I much prefer trivia-based cluing like this. When I figure out the punny clues it is less "a-ha!" than "man, that was lame."

joho 10:03 AM  

My solve was the opposite of @Rex as the top fell fast, the bottom not so much. I wrote in MAYTAGREPAIRMAN practically in the moment I started. That never happens.

I did end up with the same mistake as @Ulrich ... ABLE/AEESHA.

I also had paid before RECD.

PALOMAR was a gimme as I'm from San Diego.

This was definitely an easier Friday than normal for me.

Campesite 10:06 AM  

Amen, Treedweller, when stacks of 15's fall in rapid succession on a Friday, it feels pretty good. This one went down without a fight.
Mark

HudsonHawk 10:06 AM  

No apologies necessary, Rex. I can't believe you solved and blogged this one at such kooky hours...while on vacation. I figured we'd have a guest blogger today.

I almost fell into the ABLE trap, but as I was writing in the E, I looked at AEE___ and dropped in the Y.

PurpleGuy 10:13 AM  

My hand is raised for yhe ABLE/AEESHA trap. My only error, so not too bad.
This was my fastest Friday ever. Did it last night.
MAYTAGREPAIRMAN came instantly,as did the other long answers.
I really enjoyed this puzzle.
Glad you're with us Rex. Enjoy Colorado.
Great puzzle, Manny !

Robert 10:15 AM  

My only error was at 16A, I had "in a moment please"

I struggled with _o_ for jig at 18A, once i parsed out toe (I agree with Rex, seems like a weak clue) that left me with mistest which I reluctantly accepted, Yerevan was unknown to me, so I never questioned yaravan.

addie loggins 10:16 AM  

I liked this, mostly because I had an easy time of it (it's rare for me to finish a Friday before work, and when I saw the grid, my first thought was "oh NO").

I'm impressed with long stacked answers that aren't impossible, especially when the crosses are quality words.

That said, I agree with Rex that there wasn't anything here that thrilled me. "Ones in control of their faculties" was cute, and I got it quickly, poetical was a bit strained (or perhaps ironic, it being a high-flown word).

The maytag repairman is still around, Rex. The new guy (Clay Jackson) actually looks a LOT like a much younger version of the second guy (Gordon Jump, later of WKRP in Cincinnati fame). But for me, the original (Jesse White) will always be the image that comes to mind.

twangster 10:17 AM  

I thought it was pretty tough and was proud to get 95% before having to google YEREVAN to finish off the top left. Also, I finished with TENS and TALOMAR.

XMAN 10:21 AM  

ABLE/AEESHA: Guilty! But, in defense of all of us who fell is the malleability of Arabic/English transliteration.

Last night, while drunk, I predicted a difficult Friday. I was wrong, since this was my fastest Friday. In vino veritas--bah!

Crosscan 10:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crosscan 10:34 AM  

Thank PuzzleGirl for the grid, one of today's 4 guest bloggers (including some Canadian named Jeffrey) for Amy, who knows what vacation means.

Quick solve, starting with MAYTAG REPAIRMAN gimme. Fun stuff.

Glitch 10:36 AM  

This is the 3rd time AYESHA has appeared since April (now a Friday, Saturday, Sunday trifecta).

The previous times clued as "Muhammad's favorite wife".

.../Glitch

Sam 10:45 AM  

I'm with Blue Stater, for a change!
I LOVED this puzzle. For once there were simple facts and not a plethora of puns to wrap my brain around. Old-fashioned maybe, but a delightful departure.
Rex, at 2D, this is Portia's famous speech in defense of Antonio, the 'merchant of Venice,' from whom Shylock wants a pound of flesh.
Thanks, Manny!

COIXT RECORDS 10:46 AM  

GRUMPY BEAR

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

I found the puzzle not hard, but moderately challenging anyway. A fair number of "Oh, that's what you meant" rather than "aha" moments. And pretty much of a bore.

retired_chemist 10:55 AM  

Manny Nosowsky NEVER disappoints. Awesome. Loved it – I was able to get a lot of the 15s with only a few crosses. For a Manny N. puzzle, it was very easy. LOVE the stacked 15s. Terrific grid – with only 21 black squares, it looked daunting but wasn’t in the end. It is a special talent Manny has – such a lively grid, interesting fill, and 4 down stacks of 3 sevens crossing the 15s. I am in awe. As usual.

Had BONN instead of BERN @ 26A but wasn’t sure. I was ready to switch as soon as either 7D or 8D emerged. RESIDE @ 7D settled it. Ditto for LAOS/SIAM for 25A, which MOSTEST @ 1D settled.

AYESHA (39A) has other spellings as I remember, so I considered both AEESHA/ABLE and AYESHA/ABLY, eventually deciding the former was a bit of a stretch and the latter was a good fit to the clues.

Stephen ??? is going to be REA, whatever the clue is. I put it in, and, lo, it was so.

P. T. BARNUM was Mayor of Bridgeport? Who knew? I remember P. T. Bridgeport in Pogo, which I knew was a Barnum send-up. It is nice to know where Walt Kelly got the name.

49A is misclued – DEANS are hardly in control of their faculties. I know, because I was one. The level of control resembles that which a cat herder possesses. Or that which a fire hydrant exerts upon a dog.

Thanks, Mr. Nosowsky. Did I say it was awesome?

Ulrich 11:00 AM  

@ret_chem: My thoughts exactly re. DEAN--although I experienced it exclusively from the cat's perspective.

I wonder if Bridgeport was as ugly in Barnum's days as it is now (at least w.r.t. the parts one can see from I95 or the train)

Elaine2 11:17 AM  

I'm with those who liked the "trivia" and facts in the puzzle -- even managed to pull the capital of Armenia out of my brain thanks to the "Y" in "maytag." And "SIAM" for the location of The Bridge on the River Kwai was cool -- because that's what Thailand was called at the time depicted in the movie...(but the 4-letter answer space led me to enter Laos at first...)

I loved it -- but any Friday I finished unassisted is great by me!

ArtLvr 11:19 AM  

Expecting guests shortly, but I have to say I got a kick out of Manny's deceptively simple construction last night.

Other than starting out with 21A as Agent rather than ENVOY and Amulets for ENAMORS, I found all went well... My first long answer was STARS IN ONE'S EYES, off only ST___, and the rest fell upward in searchlight sequence from there.

I especially liked PALOMAR for seeing stars afar plus SUNBURST, also the showplace PAVILION with showman P T BARNUM, and the POETICAL with NORSE LITERATURE.

In the SW, PARINGS could have been Toenail clippings next to ONE FOOT but neither had the anatomical cluing -- just as well with TOE up above. And in the SW, DUTY and HONOR were well paired too, toeing the line as it were....

TONIER crossing ANTONIO in the NW was cute, maybe a touch too near a no-no? And then there were crosses of G-MEN, MO-MEN-T, the REPAIR-MAN and MAN-GIEST, haha.

Really ABLY done, loved it.

∑;)

PlantieBea 11:40 AM  

A nice, smooth Friday puzzle. Love the grid layout with the long answer stacks. My only bump in the solve was with the LESOTHO/PALOMAR crossing in the lower part of the puzzle. Had to check LESOTHO to make sure it was correct.

Favorite answers were SUNBURST, STARS IN ONE's EYES, POETICAL, ENAMORS, PAVILION. I'm A OKAY with this puzzle Manny Nosowsky!

Anonymous 11:40 AM  

Initially I'm thrilled when I zip-a-dee-doo-dah through a puzzle that Rex calls challenging. Then it turns out that it's just because I am old or well-rested.

Oh well.

fikink 12:53 PM  

Manny is a favorite constructor of mine and even though I found today's puzzle to be fairly straightforward and not as challenging as most Fridays, it was solid and befitting NYT "fodder."

@Elaine2, I had the same thought about SIAM, a nice historically accurate touch.

Mr. Fik does a quirky Beyond-the-Fringe routine in which Gerry Adams redecorates the SINN FEIN headquarters according to the principles of FENG SHUI (I know, I know...he's a strange boy), so I confuse the two terms all the time. Nice to see it in the puzzle.

fergus 1:07 PM  

Yeah, I was quite surprised by Rex's rating, as apparently even he was too. Like BEQ, I get on the Nosowsky wavelength without much trouble. That's not to say I didn't have quite a few write-overs. MANGIER was preceded by Antsier and even Rashier. ENVOY by Proxy and the plausible Decoy.

The Clues did tend to be drab and obvious. Too bad, since the grid was so impressive. In the end I had a mistake with an X at the 39 square. That was a coin-flip from the correct A, since NEXT seemed more All lined up to me, and I had no idea about the believers' Mother.

Blanche 1:09 PM  

Enjoyable puzzle!

@anonymous 10:50 "And pretty much of a bore." Really? Goodness, I hope I never become that jaded.

SethG 1:09 PM  

The Iranian plane that crashed last month was headed to Yerevan. PT's first name was Phineas, and I got ANNEE from the crosses. I'm just glad this wasn't a gimmick puzzle where we got lame theme answers for [MAY TAG REP AIR MAN], [ONE MOM ENT, PLEASE], [MOST EST], exc...

One of my fastest Fridays ever. Say, did anyone else think this was relatively easier?

I think jig/TOE is woodworking, not dancing.

jae in ipswich 1:53 PM  

Easy and enjoyable for me also. First thing I put in was MAYTAG... and it was pretty smooth sailing from there on with the bottom a tad tougher than the top. Oh, and I'm with Urich, joho, and XMAN on the AEESHA error. Nice Fri.

still_learnin 2:03 PM  

One of my fastest Fridays ever. I did fall into the AEEESHA/ABLE trap, so I had 1 mistake.

I prefer more wordplay in a puzzle -- even though I struggle more on those types of puzzles.

joho 2:06 PM  

@SethG ... that's fascinating how those phrases and word break apart into usable (not great) crossword answers .

I agree with you about TOE as a woodworking reference, it's just too lame to be describing dancing. Manny?

Anonymous 2:06 PM  

@SethG - As a (crappy, amateur) woodworker, I too thought of the woodworking version of a jig. Absolutely couldn't figure a link to TOE in that context. Maybe because I gave it up because I sucked at it.

Two Ponies 2:12 PM  

I guess I'm in the small minority who did not like this one.
Everyone has their favorite constructors and Manny is not on my list. I find the straightforward clues boring. I like clever wordplay in my puzzles.
Nice stacking of long answers but not enough to thrill me. On to Saturday!
Thanks for taking the time on your vacation Rex.

Anonymous 2:48 PM  

Agree with Rex, who wrote these clues? Joe Friday?

Stan 2:53 PM  

Well, I liked the puzzle and managed to finish it after several stalls. Thanks, Manny!

Karen from the Cape 3:13 PM  

Maytag was an aha moment for me. I started out the puzzle with the ANIMALS.
SetgG, could you explain the woodworking TOE? And jig?

Doc John 3:18 PM  

Also my fastest Friday ever. Got 1A and was off to the races. Got bogged down in Oregon but SIAM came to the rescue.
Ditto everyone else's observations about the clues/fill.
Rex does seem to be complaining a lot, doesn't he? Maybe after his vacation he'll be a little nicer. :)

chefwen 3:22 PM  

Just the fact that I could finish a Friday puzzle made this one enjoyable to me.

Hand raised on the able/aeesha trap.

We could see Palomar Mountain from our first house is San Diego. The college students there maintain a large, white, letter P on the side of it. Upon arrival to our house with some visitors from Wisconsin the husband in the back seat cried out, "hey, someone peed on your mountain" funny guy!

Thanks for a great puzzle Manny.

PhillySolver 3:35 PM  

I put in 'able' and my last entry was to change the e to a y. Y? Because it looked wrong and then I re-read the clue...very subtle. Maybe foodie can illuminate us on AEESHA.

In Irish Dance there are Heel jigs and TOE jigs. Later I'll tell you how to fo a Back Five.

chefbea 3:54 PM  

Had able/aeesha also
Top was easy. Had to google a lot on the bottom

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

I wonder if an elected Republican Party official could have stayed with this puzzle long enough to finish it...I predict the label 'The Party of Quit' to emerge soon. Byebye Martinez, hello Sotomayor.

The Basotho or Basuto tribe were united by an engaging historic personality, namely King Moshoeshoe I. Perhaps, we can get a xword theme from his name.


/mee

Frances 4:07 PM  

The Maytag repairman was not the only denizen of Memory Lane. Anyone else old enough to remember when you needed an operator to make a long-distance connection, and as she disappeared into the switchboard, she would say "One moment, please"?

jae in ipswich 4:08 PM  

I asked my Irish host if TOEs were involved in a jig. He paused, did a little dance, and said yes.

Aviatrix 5:02 PM  

Wow! My goal for a "perfect" crossword puzzle is not a fast time, but to write in an answer to every clue on the acrosses such that when I get to the end there are no downs to do. I wrote the first three, those long ones in just like that. I didn't quite achieve my goal because I hopped back and forth a bit to downs on my way through. Six minutes in I had completely filled the top of the grid, and was thinking that this was either going to be the easiest NYT crossword ever or that there was something really frightening lurking in the south. I didn't get the rest as instantly, but I spent more time trying to activate the proper cell on my ipod than I did thinking of answers. I thought I had finished but the app said it was incorrect because I had ABLE/AEESHA. While googling found me Aiesha and Aaisha I finally guessed at AYESHA for the win.

I guess it's not that so much that it was ridiculously easy as that I was in tune with the constructor, and that the only obscure-to-me American cultural reference was MELS. Now I get how doing crosswords feels if you know things about US sports, politics and entertainment.

I'm surprised at Rex not knowing Yerevan. He links to a site that has great geography quizzes, and does well on them, too.

edith b 5:40 PM  

PTBARNUM was one on those factoids that my father accused me of "clogging up my head with" but it was my entry into this puzzle and, after filling in several downs in the North, got me the triple stack across the top.

I did roughly the same thing in the South and after 15 minutes or so, I was reduced to picking up the pieces, so to speak, on my way to victory.

I find myself less and less intimidated by these kinds of stacks as they seem to be accompanied by three and four letter answers that are relatively easy to uncover.

Thank you Mr Nosowsky for an enjoyable puzzle and remnding me of the early days of computers by cluing ENCARTA.

carmen 6:19 PM  

hell, i had such a hard time with this puzzle i had barely filled in the SW corner before i came running here to get the answers. maybe it's my age (i'm 22 and don't remember any maytag commercials)? but i'm with rex on this one.

pednsg 6:24 PM  

I loved this, especially since I looked at the grid and said to myself, "No way you're going to finish this one in less than an hour, if ever," and then proceeded to knock it out, with the exception of the ABLE/AEESHA trap.

I've never seen The Bridge on the River Kwai, but after whistling the tune relentlessly one day a month or so ago (after hearing it on a commercial) and asking someone where it was from, I read about the film on Wikipedia. Now, I can't get the damn tune out of my head! Thanks, Manny!

fikink 6:56 PM  

@pednsg, I do hope you get a chance to see Bridge on the River Kwai at some point. Alec Guiness was given an Oscar most notably for the way he walked when he emerged from a cramped hot box he'd been tortured in for a number of days. It was one of the most remarkable performances!

@Seth, do woodworking jigs have toes to anchor them in some way?

Michael Leddy 8:29 PM  

I'm relieved to find that so many people had ABLE for ABLY -- I zoomed through this puzzle online last night, only to be told I had something wrong. But what?

AEESHA is a variant, and "well" is also an adjective (and noun, and verb), so I'm just gonna go sit in a corner and fell sorry for myself.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:55 PM  

Although it happens with some frequency, I'm still surprised when I read Rex's blog and find that his last fills (the far north this time) were my first, and his gimmes (SINN Fein) included one of my two write-overs. Somehow I managed to put in SIEN first (no excuse) and had SAMSON before SIMEON.

Since I did the puzzle pen on paper at the beach today, I didn't realize I had one mistake. I had SCUSAME instead of SCUSEME (which crossed the troublesome AYESHA.) It doesn't sound off at all if you hear it in the voice of Dean Martin, if you are old enough to do that!

@SethG, 1:09 PM, ". . .[MOST EST], exc..." exc? LOL, if that is a reference to yesterday's puzzle. Can't be a typo!

michael 10:08 PM  

I'm with the majority here. I like Mannny's puzzles a lot, did this really quickly and had able/aeesha.

I think I am an individual different from other people and then...

XMAN 11:45 PM  

@michael leddy: Amen and g'night.

P.S. I never corrected my puzzle to read ABLY/AYESHA.

sanfranman59 1:20 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation.

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

Mon 7:26, 7:02, 1.06, 68%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 7:44, 8:29, 0.91, 28%, Easy-Medium
Wed 10:47, 12:32, 0.86, 19%, Easy
Thu 20:09, 18:47, 1.07, 72%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 19:50, 26:34, 0.75, 6%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:53, 3:44, 1.04, 68%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 4:06, 4:22, 0.94, 38%, Easy-Medium
Wed 5:16, 6:07, 0.86, 15%, Easy
Thu 9:37, 8:58, 1.07, 74%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 8:34, 12:33, 0.68, 4%, Easy

Given the late hour, I doubt that anyone will see this, but ... The relative difficulty of today's puzzle was the second easiest of the 53 days I've tracked for the top 100 solvers and third easiest for all solvers. Boy do I feel like a dummy! It took me over a half-hour to complete this one and I needed to look up YEREVAN to finish it.

SheilaG 7:55 PM  

I seem to have made a totally new and original mistake on this puzzle (well, my husband helped). He suggested LED for 20 across, replacement lights...sounded OK to me. This Gave me MANLIER for more itchy...We both laughed at Manny's wacky sense of humor, and wrote it in! Ah, Well..

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