SUNDAY, Aug. 23 2009— Transmitter of nagana / US rebellion leader 1842 / Pitcher Reynolds of 1940s-50s Yankees / Author/poet Bates

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Constructor: Phil Ruzbarsky

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "E.U. Doings" — familiar phrases have an "E" switched to a "U," creating wacky phrases, which are then clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: Nagana (18D: Transmitter of nagana => TSE TSE) — also n.

An often fatal disease of African ungulates caused by various species of trypanosomes and transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly. Also called tsetse disease.

[Zulu -nakane.]


An easy and somewhat lackluster Sunday. A single letter change seems an insufficient basis for a Sunday-sized puzzle theme. And just six theme answers? I feel cheated. Plus I just hate the word "DOINGS," and the phrase "E.U. DOINGS" has no currency and thus makes a strange title for a puzzle. Maybe PuzzleGirl will feel differently about the puzzle. She was supposed to do this write-up with me, but when we returned from yesterday's crossword tournament in Queens, she had what she believed was a migraine and went straight to bed. She's still sleeping. The apartment we're staying in gets the NYT delivered, but ... it was some small version with no magazine (!?!?!). What the hell? I'd say someone stole parts of the paper, but there's only one other apt on this floor, and I don't think anyone's home. I was looking forward to some good old-fashioned dead-tree solving, but no. Back on-screen again.

Had next to no problems with this puzzle (despite the usual small assortment of mystery answers). The one part that baffled me was the 5A: Logical beginning? (patho-) / 9D: Native: Suffix (-ote) crossing. I tried and failed to think of a resident of anywhere that ended in -OTE. I could think of tons of -ITES, but no -OTES. So despite the fact that I knew knew knew the prefix had to be PATHO-, not PATHI-, I wavered for a bit at the very end when deciding what vowel to put here as my final answer. What's a good example of an -OTE-suffixed word? All I can think of are COYOTES and PEYOTES.

Theme answers:

  • 23A: Used a push-button toilet? (pressed the FLUSH)
  • 40A: "I can't drink beer this late"? ("It's past my BUD time)
  • 55A: Dairy regulator? (BUTTER business bureau)
  • 77A: Baseball official gets revenge? ("The UMPIRE Strikes Back") — cute
  • 93A: "The bolt alone is sufficient"? ("works without a NUT")
  • 114A: Story of a small Communist barbarian? (The Little Red HUN)

Had a fantastic time at Ryan and Brian's "Lollapuzzoola II" crossword tournament yesterday. There were close to 80 contestants, plus an assortment of prominent constructors and other folks helping run the event. I don't know how well I did, as for some reason I didn't bother to check final results (not sure if they were even posted). Hang on, I'm going to check now ... hey, I came in 12th! That's hot. That is also, without a doubt, as close as you will ever see my name to that of Ellen Ripstein (former ACPT champ who sat next to and embarrassed the hell out of me throughout the day). O man, Poor PuzzleGirl.
She was 5 points (out of over 7000) away from being on stage for the "Local Division" Finals. I was in the "Express Division," which meant I was assured of winning nothing, but I had a blast nonetheless, and the puzzles were of very high quality. Nearly every puzzle had some added dimension (a Boggle dimension, an "act out the theme answer" dimension, etc.) — on the final puzzle, Ryan and Brian actually performed the clues for the theme answers on stage. You had to pay attention, because on paper the clues simply said "Movie 1," "Movie 2," etc. There was a version of "Family Feud" (which PG and I missed because we spent too long at lunch), and an interstitial game of Yahtzee that was won by a former student of mine, Aaron Riccio (whom I was happily surprised to see there). It was great to see some younger contestants there. Had a nice conversation with Aaron and Neville "Don't Call Me Longbottom" Fogarty and Laura Radloff, all of whom were really smart and funny. Lots and lots of familiar names and faces there too. Too many to mention. Will Shortz showed up at the very end for the Finals (I should mention that Dan Feyer was the tourney's big winner). R&B will certainly have their own recap. All in all, a wonderful, well-run, affordable tournament with a pleasantly relaxed and informal vibe. I'll certainly do more to promote it next year.


  • 21A: House Republican V.I.P. Cantor (Eric) — House Whip (not quite as good as Reddi-Whip). I was going to post a video here, but for various reasons (not all of them having to do with Cantor himself), they were all unbearable, as most of what passes for political discussion on television is these days.
  • 27A: The Jaguars, on scoreboards (JAX) — they really do have the best scoreboard name abbrev. of any team in any sport anywhere.
  • 28A: "White trash," e.g. (slur) — this answer is weird to me. Most of what we call "slurs" would Never have been printed in a NYT puzzle clue, and yet "white trash" is OK. Could any other "slur" (particularly a racial slur) have gone here without offending the hell out of a chunk of the puzzle's audience?
  • 36A: 12-time Pro Bowl player Junior (Seau) — rhymes with "SAY Ow," not BUTTER BUSINESS BUREAU.
  • 39A: Neural network (rete) — never saw this clue, which is nice, because RETE is one of my least favorite bits of desperate crossword fill.
  • 50A: Largest city paper in the U.S.: Abbr. (NYT) — Vain much? And "largest" how? By weight? Price? (I know the answer is "circulation")
  • 63A: It was destroyed by Godzilla in "Godzilla Raids Again" (Osaka) — I would pay good money to see a western called "Godzilla Rides Again." First step, and biggest challenge: casting Godzilla's horse.

  • 73A: Cantilevered window (oriel) — just realized that two of my favorite high-end crossword words have the same vowel pattern: ORIEL and OSIER. This is interesting only to me so I'm not sure why I'm typing it.
  • 76A: Extinct relative of the emu (moa) — gigantic NZ birds and occasional prey of the equally extinct HAAST'S EAGLE (still waiting for that one to appear in a grid).
  • 83A: _____ Chinmoy (late spiritual leader) (Sri) — total guess.
  • 113A: Pitcher Reynolds of the 1940s-'50s Yankees (Allie) — they could've used him last night. That would have been a neat trick. "Now entering the game ... Zombie ALLIE Reynolds!"
  • 14D: Sister in Chekhov's "Three Sisters" (Olga) — one of those crossword-common fictional names I always forget, like ANSE and OLAN.
  • 15D: Five-time Wimbledon champ (Borg) — went with GRAF. She only won it seven times.
  • 16D: 1960s sitcom title role (Jeannie) — obvious in retrospect, but without the "J" from OBJET (14A: Curio) the answer was oddly hard to see.
  • 18D: Transmitter of nagana (tse-tse) — whoa ... thought "nagana" was some kind of martial art and was looking for some version of SENSEI.
  • 42D: U.S. rebellion leader of 1842 (Dorr) — oh, embarrassment. I have no idea who this is. Although it's possible I've seen DORR in the puzzle before and made the very same comment. Electoral reform. DORR stood up for the little (white) man.
  • 58D: P.M. between Netanyahu and Sharon (Barak) — you might know him better in his more crossword-common EHUD form.
  • 95D: Curtis of cosmetics (Helene) — wanted ELAINE.
  • 94D: Cane accompanier, maybe (top hat) — shouldn't this get-up automatically get some kind of "bygone" or "Fred Astaire" cluing? Does anyone dress this way anymore except at Halloween?
  • 100D: Gearshift mechanism, informally (tranny) — this is not the first definition that comes to mind when I hear the word "tranny." The kind I'm thinking of often lacks a gearshift mechanism ...
  • 111A: Author/poet Bates (Arlo) — no idea. Seems he was a 19c. newspaper editor and educator who rocked some fantastic facial hair.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Anonymous 9:16 AM  


chefbea 9:19 AM  

Had the puzzle done by 7:30 and have been waiting patiently for the blog to appear.

Was a very easy puzzle and a lot of fun. My only quibble is that butter business bureau has so many e's and u's and the e's don't get changed to u's.

Loved the little red hun and works without a nut

joho 9:22 AM  

Nice write-up, Rex. I agree that lackluster describes this puzzle perfectly. Congrats on your 12th place finish, too!

Michael Leddy 9:25 AM  

PATHO messed me up too -- I was certain of ITE (Brooklynite, localite), and thought that PATHI ("path one") must be a term from formal logic.

Any OTES, any one?

JannieB 9:26 AM  

The theme answers were cute but certainly lacked crunch - too easy for a Sunday, but after yesterday's smack down, this puzzle was a good confidence builder.

Congrats on your success at the tournament. Sounds like a great time.

Truman Capote 9:27 AM  

Quote, remote, denote, emote, smote, wrote.

Retired_Chemist 9:31 AM  

Congrats to Rex on his 12th place finish!

Liked the puzzle better than Rex did. Had one 2 square error: FEEL MY instead if FEEL NO @ 70D. Missed both on the (obviously cursory at best) recheck of the acrosses.

LOESS, ORIEL, RETE, MOA - all crosswordese, all gimmes. I need to get a life.

The Urban Dictionary has a different meaning for TRANNY (100D) as its first definition.

HudsonHawk 9:32 AM  

Rex, the Sunday magazine is usually in the thick section that's included in the Saturday delivery.

Thought the puzzle was OK. I had the same thoughts about TRANNY. I also briefly had SCATO for the "logical beginning" but figured there was no way that was making it into the NYT.

It seems like we haven't seen SELA Ward in a long time. I have a feeling she'll be in the grid about every other day for the next week or so.

Ryan and Brian did a great job yesterday. I hope PuzzleGirl's feeling better. Five points!

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Cap⋅ri⋅ote  [kap-ree-oht, -uht] Show IPA
a native or inhabitant of Capri.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Cap⋅ri⋅ote  [kap-ree-oht, -uht] Show IPA
a native or inhabitant of Capri.

Clark 9:48 AM  

I still don't have my crosswordese down, leaving me with a couple of holes. I'm consoling myself with R-C's comment that crosswordese as gimme means need to get a life. I guess that means I am still clutching to the remnants of a life.

Congrats to the competers, competors, cometotes.

Rex Parker 9:49 AM  

Please quit saying "CAPRIOTE." If that is your only example, then

a. that's terrible, and
b. it should have been clued, as it usually is [Suffix with Capri] — that, I know.

You need more than one -OTE to pull off the generic clue, and CAPRIOTE is not exactly a common term to begin with, so -OTE continues to feel painful.


Meg 9:52 AM  

I really don't think SPIFFY is a verb. In my neck of the woods you spiff up, not spiffy up.

Yes, a pretty darn easy puzzle. With only a D, I entered KIDNAPS for Shanghais. So proud. So wrong.

When I woke up this morning I put on my favorite Dali T-shirt bearing a fading rendition of "The Hallucinogenic Toreador" Amazingly, in St. Petersburg (famous for sand and grandparents) we have a Dali museum. This particular painting is quite intriguing.

edith b 9:55 AM  

This was one of those puzzles where my first instinct was invariably correct. Good for my ego, not so good for a puzzle experience. I saw the theme right away and was off and running.

Give me an experience like yesterday any time. Sort of asking me whats better: Eggs Benedict or oatmeal. One's better for you than the other, but still.

Anonymous 9:56 AM  


Anonymous 9:58 AM  

Biarrote - female inhabitant of Biarritz (but it's French and not doing (!) much in the name of commonality)

Meg 10:02 AM  

OK, I sort of take back my earlier comment about SPIFFY. According to my massive could-be-used-as-a weapon dictionary, SPRUCE is an adjective, as in "How spruce he looks in his finery". Maybe he looks like a his fir.

fikink 10:05 AM  

@Hudson Hawk, I think SCATOLOGY is a perfectly legit word - then, of course, I tried it too ;)

Anonymous 10:08 AM  


Retired_Chemist 10:10 AM  

Cypriote is OK - kinda similar to Capriote though.....

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

Don't like seeing "truism" and "true to" in the same grid. I don't think I can call foul, per se, but I'd like to.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:14 AM  

My one write-over was at 79 D, thought of meeting in the MIDDLE before meeting MIDWAY. Also spent a long time in the far NE, had LOESS easily, but couldn't come up with OBJET, and was hung up on SLATE as a Difficult surface for high-heel shoes: probably why you don't see many roofers working in heels. Finally worked it out.

Am I the only one who is deficient in both sports and French? I wanted to call a near Natick at the cross of 90 A, Pele was its M.V.P., and 91 D, Also, in Arles. With the "u" as the second letter of the French word, virtually any letter of the alphabet would have seemed plausible.

(I thought of Cypriote, but agree it is not a common ending.)

PlantieBea 10:17 AM  

An easier Sunday for me. My favorite themed answer had to be the one with Budtime. I didn't know that "press the flesh" meant to shake hands. Husband thought it was something else.

Congratulations on the tournament results. Sounds like it was fun.

kim 10:25 AM  

I'm still pretty new to crosswords, but I thought it was generally considered bad form to have an answer in the grid also appear in the clues. 21A was answered with "Eric" and 119A was clued as "Eric of Munich." I'm just curious about your thoughts.

XMAN 10:43 AM  

My fastest Sunday ever--which means this puzzle is a romp. Yet, I had one error, HELENa for HELENE.

Van55 10:51 AM  

Good lord. SSN is only a nine digit number.

Otherwise, I had no trouble with this one, but thought it was a bit (just enough) more challenging than Rex does.

I mark the puzzle down a peg for the stupid directional clue and answer "Reno to LA dir." Grrrrrrr.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

New Jersiote

sex porker 10:58 AM  

Think there shouldve been some rimshots heard, along with a few groans, everytime we solved the E.U. displacement

Anonymous 10:58 AM  


Denise 11:16 AM  

I don't know how to spell it, but natives of Cyprus?

I had a harder time with this than easy/medium -- but my brain seems to be in a low gear this week.

I googled "NAGANA" and ended up on a Japanese electronics web page.

I wanted ALAN BATES.

Ruth 11:17 AM  

I can say that there was a time we heard the word "CYPRIOTE" a lot, back when there was warring back and forth on Cyprus in (I think) late 60's-early 70's. Mostly pronounced, and often spelled, "CypriOT" however.

Anonymous 11:29 AM  

Fun puzzle!

PhillySolver 11:32 AM  

Witenagemote...good word for a medievalist. Xword info and the cruciverb database shows the rarity of OTE as a native ending greatly outnumbered by 'CAPRI ending.'

It was nice to see so many solvers in Queens and I hope more come next year.

Stan 11:32 AM  

Now have Desmond Dekker's "Israelotes" running ceaselessly through my mind.

R_C 11:51 AM  


jeff in chicago 11:53 AM  

'Twas OK. Got it done in a typical Sunday time. I don't think a telephone is a 10-digit number. ERIC and BANA are symetrically placed, and I wish they had been clued together, which would solve the problem of having "Eric" in a clue and an answer. I did like seeing BEEFEATER in the center, and THELITTLEREDHUN made me smile.

Margaret 11:57 AM  

This must have been easy because I breezed through it even after being awake for 2+ hours in the night when the intercom/radio mysteriously switched on at 3:30 for no apparent reason.

Had Joannie instead of Jeannie (wrong decade -- and wrong spelling) and so missed Loess and Tsetse but otherwise smooth sailing. I did like that the clue for "Shanghais" intersected with "Pressed."

Congrats to all on the tourny!

[Favorite caption from the Vanity Fair article on Ruth Madoff that I read to try to get back to sleep: Pic of her on the subway, "Ruth takes the F train to Schadenfreude Station."]

Norm 12:01 PM  

Had to have the TRANNY in my 1962 MGA replaced many (many) years ago, so that was a gimme (when I finally got down there). Kind of liked the puzzle. Was surprised it wasn't a Merl Reagle when I looked. Seemed like his kind of punny word play (which I mean as a compliment). Thought "E.U. Doings" was a fine title. Took it as a play on European Union Doings.

jeff in chicago 12:12 PM  

I just noticed that this is Phil Ruzbarsky's NYT debut. Congrats, Phil!

Raul 12:22 PM  

Phanar = Phanariote.

OTE as a suffix is rare and usually Grecian. In poking around, I came across Demonym.

Here are geographical suffixes for Cities.

Anonymous 12:29 PM  


I'm pretty sure, although my memory is somewhat cloudy b/c it's been a few years since I lived in NY, but half of Sunday normally gets delivered with Saturday. This enables the deliverers to get a more manageable weekend load. The crossword is one of the Saturday parts (along with other non-time sensitive pieces).


ArtLvr 12:38 PM  

If one DOES OK on a Sunday puzzle, is able to UNLOCK the catches in reasonable time and enjoy an occasional FLASH of humor, as I eventually did, it's good enough! My last fill was TIPJAR: this would contain some virtual bills for Phil R!


Anonymous 12:40 PM  

Anon @ 12:29: you are correct re the Saturday del. & great for we solvers to know we have it for Sunday!

PlantieB; I believe press the flesh was origg referring to politicians on the stump.

thought this puzzle was too easy
w/not enough of the themed answers
as our illustrious leader noted
to whom I also add congrats on 12th place win

Ellen 12:44 PM  

You were very close behind me. In fact, our whole Lolla table (also Francis Heaney, Puzzle Girl, and Mark Dixon) was pretty stellar. I always sit with Francis and used to be his "pace car" and now look at him! My little boy has grown up. :0

I'm wondering if I was hurt by the lowest puzzle being dropped, since I did well on the hardest puzzle. The scoring system was not what we're used to.

Fun day. Thanks to Ryan, Brian and their family and friends for putting it on.

Martin 12:56 PM  


"-ote" is the English suffix originally used for natives of Greek places that end with a vowel. Suliotes from Suli were popular romantic heros in the 19th century (google suliote and byron or delacroix). Sciotes from Scio appear in the Romantic canon too. Candiotes are from Candia and Cypriotes were from Cyprus, although "Cypriot" distances this native from Greece for political reasons.

Capriote is a more recent English coinage based on these earlier examples.

Danny 12:57 PM  

Rex, for shame. Two easy Simpsons references and neither appeared. Well, I'll have to pick up the slack.

Up and At 'em!

And I can never think of a muumuu without thinking of...

I enjoyed this puzzle. Easy, but compared to yesterday's grinder and last Sunday's thoroughly humorless one, I had fun with the (albeit limited) theme.

Kinda wish "Works without a Nut" was a Lance Armstrong or John Kruk reference, but I should probably remove my mind from the gutter.

Orange 1:17 PM  

According to the WIkipedia article on demonyms, the suffix is -iote, not -ote. That lessens my tolerance for OTE clued the way it was.

Yo, Rex, tell PuzzleGirl she's a wimp. I have a migraine today. And had one yesterday. And Friday. And yet I blogged about five Friday puzzles (at one blog), three Saturday puzzles (at two blogs), and five Sunday puzzles (three posts at two blogs). Where the hell is my combat pay??

pednsg 1:23 PM  

Started off slow, but was smiling by the end. Congrats on a nice NYT debut, Phil!

My short term memory must be improving - wasn't NO EXIT in a puzzle very recently? I'd have had no idea had it not.

I've been in the neurosciences for a while, and have not heard RETE used in this manner(though Dorland's Medical dictionary says otherwise). It's generally used to describe a vascular plexus. Foodie??

@PlantieBea - I agree with your hubbie re "pressing the flesh." It always gives me an unsettling feeling in my tummy whenver I hear it!

Martin 1:23 PM  


The OED lists "-ote," but not "-iote." I love wikipedia, but it doesn't trump the OED. Yet.

Martin 1:27 PM  

BTW, "rete" has two syllables and rhymes with "Petey." I actually have to use the word at work now and then in a computer technical sense. I bet a survey of solvers would go one-syllable, as I would have once.

SethG 1:28 PM  

Not sure about -ote. Does anyone have any examples for me?

I wonder if GRAF could be clued "Five-time Wimbledon champ, once"? That would be evil, and maybe awesome. One of the officials at my local roller derby league is Umpire Strikes Back.

In addition to the ERICs, we had SCH right next to [Kind of school]. And the FLxSHes and the BxLTs and the OTEs and...

Not really sure how the clues work with the answers for THE FLUSH and A NUT, but since the answers are wacky anyway whatever. U is maybe my least favourite letter.

Aviatrix 1:29 PM  

I did okay once I stopped trying to cram the names of EU countries into the theme answers. I just couldn't make FLUSHTHEENGLISH, ITSPAINMY... or BELGIUMUS... go anywhere.

In the end I had to cheat because I had HELENA/ATAN and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't accept it. I thought I must have forgotten how to spell pathological, because I was so sure of ITE.

Deb Amlen 1:36 PM  

Not at all a bad debut puzzle. Congratulations to Phil, and hope to see more from him. I was a bit confused by SPIFFY as well, but overall a nice puzzle.

Also great to see so many people at Lolla, and congrats to Rex and Puzzle Girl for their stunning scores. Hope to see them up at the Finals boards next year!

Deb Amlen 1:36 PM  

Not at all a bad debut puzzle. Congratulations to Phil, and hope to see more from him. I was a bit confused by SPIFFY as well, but overall a nice puzzle.

Also great to see so many people at Lolla, and congrats to Rex and Puzzle Girl for their stunning scores. Hope to see them up at the Finals boards next year!

Judith 1:40 PM  

A Sunday NYT without the magazine! What a horror! Plus, the magazine is actually really, really interesting this week. One of the best in a while.

foodie 2:01 PM  

As I was solving, I was thinking that it was a smooth solve, with some amusing entries, but Rex will not love it...

@pdnsg, I fought this battle about RETE when I first started reading this blog. How could it be a neural network when it hardly ever shows up in any neuroscience parlance/journals/discussions? It turns out to be a computer modeling term. It would be nice if it said "artificial neural network" or something like that, but there's no fixing crosswordese...

@SethG, you have some wicked in you.

Native endings can be weird... I'm Damascene. How many of you rhyme with scene? (not obscene!)

@Treedweller, thanks for your response yesterday re LOQUATS. I will let you know if I ever succeed in growing them!

jae 2:02 PM  

The top two thirds were easy with the bottom more medium for me. An OK puzzle with a couple of amusing theme answers.

I too initially confused HELENA Rubinstein with HELENE Curtis, but ATAN just looked wrong. (I also vacillated on PATHO v PATHI).

To me WASABI is more horseradishy than mustardy.

XMAN 2:15 PM  

What!? Has no one else noticed that the direction from Reno to LA is SSW? Maybe Ruzbarsky/Shortz meant "Direction from Reno to LV," which is (roughly) SSE.

Lili 2:19 PM  

When I looked over the clues before starting to fill in answers, "The Umpire Strikes Back" jumped out as an obvious theme answer. I don't know why it did, but that happens to me on rare occasions. Ergo, the rest of the puzzle was pretty easy and not particularly interesting.

I did have real trouble with "nagana," never having run across it before. "Tsetse" shows up a lot, but not clued that way. I'll have to remember it.

I was so pleased to get a sports answer -- "Allie Reynolds" -- without asking my husband for help.

Ulrich 2:42 PM  

@XMAN: Not true. If you look at a map, LA appears almost due south from Reno, just a tad to the right, i.e. east. I did this b/c my initial instinct was also to shout "foul".

@Jeff in Chicago: The answer was TEL, as in a line on a form asking for the telephone no., not TELEPHONE--so, I'm OK with it.

I guess I'm defending the constructor b/c I generally liked the puzzle (thank God, I never saw OTE!)--all theme answers, to me, were clever (and some great--like THE UMPIRE STRIKES BACK), which doesn't always happen with a substitute-a-letter theme.

Shamik 2:52 PM  

Congratulations on this debut puzzle! That's an achievement whether anyone enjoys the puzzle or not.

It felt like this puzzle took forever, but then found my time to be solidly in my personal easy times for Sunday at 18:03.

@Bob Kerfuffle: I'm with you on the Natick of NASL/AUSSI although I did pick the right letter.

Wanted GRANNIE for JEANNIE and KIDNAPS for ABDUCTS. Otherwise, everything pretty much fell into place.

Nice to be able to get to the puzzle the same day it comes out, rather than some date in the future! Nice to blog!

Congrats to the puzzlers who won and those who merely had a great time competing this weekend.

mac 2:55 PM  

I thought it was a fine Sunday puzzle. It took me a little time to get the trick, but then it was smooth sailing. Lucky I remembered Casca from a few weeks ago, and "rete" is such crosswordese that I wrote it down without thinking.
@Martin: I've always pronounced it "ray-tuh". What do you think, Foodie?
Had olive for naive at 48A for a bit, but that was the only rewrite.
Tranny in all its meanings is new to me.

Lollapuzzola was one wonderful tournament yesterday! Seemed the creme de la creme (wouldn't that look good in a puzzle) of puzzle solving and constructing was there. Of course that put us common earthlings at the bottom of the rankings... Ryan and Brian and their wives did a great job, and our Crosscan and Phillysolver also worked for the cause. Definitely plan to go again next year. Congratulations on your great results, PuzzleGirl and Rex!

Shark 3:18 PM  

I really liked UMPIRE and BUTTER, followed by ITSPASTMYBUDTIME!

And NUT and HUN were catchy as well.

Overall a very clean and elegant debut - I hope Mr. Ruzbarsky continues his foray in construction.

Sandy 3:29 PM  

I've never heard of any of the"ote" examples you're all citing. I know, I know, that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Rex, there's a photo of you in front of a MOA statue somewhere on the laptop. I'd post it, but you have the laptop.

Hope PG is feeling better.

Elaine 4:05 PM  

I just did an OLD NYT puzzle (stack stashed at getaway house on the lake) and one clue was "Capri to a Capriote." But I agree, OTE was kinda lame.

If you have DEPOSES instead of TOPPLES in the SW, do you know you end up trying to put COIFFY in for the answer to "Spruce"...? I was going to get all indignant when I realized, oops, WERKS W/O A NUT...wasn't going to, well, work. So I had a lot of over-scribbling.

I do, however, object to TBONDS. We bought T-BILLS, and I've never heard them called anything but that.

At least I did not have to Google anything.... and my excuse for doing this puzzle so late in the day is--Gone Fishing!
Just got home a bit ago and rushed upstairs to print my Sunday fix...

Anonymous 4:07 PM  

Anyone from Cincinati here? What do you call yourselves? Please say "Cincinatiotes" so we can lay this clue to rest.

Also, is this getting nitpicky? Aren't all phone numbers 11 digits now? Is there anyplace where you don't have to dial the "1"?

chefwen 4:19 PM  

Not too hard, not too soft, Just right!


Clark 4:22 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle -- Cal me deficient in both sports and, what, botany? crosswordese? One of my problem spots was the cross of NASL and TESTA. But S did seem like the most likely candidate.

@Margaret -- Did you hear about the Maytag oven in NYC that turned the broiler on high whenever the apartment dweller’s cell phone rang within range? My mom and dad’s cable box switches on or off whenever their garage door opens or closes.

@Elaine -- T-Bills and T-Bonds are both US debt securities. T-Bills are issued with a maturity of less than a year; T-Bonds are issued with a maturity of more than ten years. (Treasury Notes fill the gap.)

@XMAN and @Ulrich -- LA is more than just a tad to the east of Reno. You need to look at a map that has longitude lines written in. Many maps of California actually have the longitude lines distorted (to deal with the problem of the curvature of the Earth) in such a way that LA appears further west than it is.

chefbea 4:47 PM  

@Clark - I read about the cell phone turning on the oven/broiler and starting a fire. Quite a story.

Guess we are Rexotes!!!

Martin 4:51 PM  

This is a trove for -ote-hunters. In addition to Sciote, Candiote and Suliote, it adds Hydriote, Ipsariote, Ilydriote, Epirote, Corfiote, Speziote, Roumeliote, Serphiote, Mainote, Vourliote and Moreote.

This last one, describing a native of the Despotate of the Morea is one reason that "-iote" is not the proper suffix.

Glitch 5:08 PM  

Most of my other points already have been covered which leaves me with:

If you do the math based on the "center of town" lat & long,

LA is 414 mi S and 58 mi E of Reno.


Clark 5:14 PM  

Thanks Glitch. Is that a tad to the right or a tad more than a tad? I am not so sure, now, Ulrich.

Brian 5:35 PM  

Hey, I'm a little late to the comment party, but thanks to everyone who posted such nice things about Lollapuzzoola!

@PuzzleGirl (if you're reading) -- those five points were a brutal reality... I'm sorry we couldn't get you up on the stage! Next year, next year...

@Ellen -- you finished in a tie for 5th (with Adam Cohen), five points behind Jon Delfin. If we had NOT dropped your lowest score, you would have still finished five points behind Delfin, but alone in 5th place (Adam would have been another 15 behind you, and in 6th place).

We drop the lowest score for two reasons -- one is because at my first ACPT, I scored a 90 on Puzzle 5, which is one of the most pathetic attempts ever in the history of the universe. The other reason is so that our constructors can compete. This year, three of our constructors (Peter Gordon, Doug Peterson and Todd McClary) all entered the tournament as well.

Thanks for all the promotion you gave us, Rex -- it was great seeing you in Queens this weekend, and I'll look forward to next year!

Elaine 6:05 PM  

@ Clark
Hmmm. We bought 2 T-Bills, one 10 yr maturity, one 11 yr maturity--at the time our best way to prepare for our kids' future college educations.
No one ever called 'em anything else, but thanks for the info. I think I feel smarter now.

@Anonymous 4:07
Residents of Cincinnati, the Queen City, feel very resentful of anyone who does not spell it right. It's been a long time since I lived there, but I think "Cincinnatian" may have come up occasionally. Like "Ohioans" it is not that attractive a word...

alanrichard 6:18 PM  

After I did this puzzzle, I kept thinking, whenis Barebara Feldon going to star in a new Medical Series called "Gut Smart"?

Ulrich 6:22 PM  

@Clark: I stand by my tad as I'm looking at it from outer space:-)

As I understand the typical Mercator projection, it does nowhere distort alignments along latitudes or longitudes or what's east/west or north/south of what. What it does get wrong are distances w.r.t. these alignments; for example, a city in Canada that is at some distance to the east from another city at roughly the same latitude looks farther to the east than it would look if both cities were located at the equator and had the same distance between them.

Clark 6:58 PM  

@Ulrich: The view from outer space was not available to me today. On a typical conical projection of the US (which is the way the US is represented in a couple of atlases I looked at), LA appears to be further west than it is because of the way the meridians are slanting inwards toward the top right on the left side of the map. But one person's tad is another person's tad more than a tad, to be sure. Looking at my atlas' appendix on map projections has been kind of fun. It would probably be best if we didn't let any crossword constructors hear about all the different names for projections!

Four and out.

Glitch 7:14 PM  


"Google Earth" --- more perspectives than you can shake a mouse at ;-)

.../Glitch (41 deg N 74 deg W)

PS: Anyone know the PC *alt* code for the degree symbol?

Arlo Bates 7:36 PM  

To input the degree symbol (0176), hold down the ALT key, type 0176 on the numeric keypad, then release the ALT key.


wayfarer 7:40 PM  

The direction from Reno to Los Angeles is a common misperception that has resulted in much discussion, and even a dissertation, in the scientific literature. The fact that Montreal is east and SOUTH of Seattle is another surprising example to most Americans. As for the S versus SSE, that is the result that crossword puzzles generally classify directions into the 8 octants. Anywhere between due S and due SE would most likely be classified as SSE by the crosswordotes.

Crosscan 8:25 PM  

And Detroit Michigan is north of Windsor, Ontario.

I am somewhere in Toronto, I think.

Lollapuzzoola was great. Let the record show that the Family Feud missed by Rex and Puzzlegirl was presneted by yours truly. Then they both beat me. Orange is my favorite blogger.

Victoriaote Crosscan

Elaine 8:51 PM  


But, but....what about ME, your Conwayote? Con-way-OH-tay

Is that not cool-sounding?
I am thinking of you on Yonge ...hopefully not in traffic.

NYTAnonimo 9:01 PM  

Rex said...
50A: Largest city paper in the U.S.: Abbr. (NYT) — Vain much? And "largest" how? By weight? Price? (I know the answer is "circulation")

Circulation figures. I can't always tell when you're being facetious.

Retired_Chemist said...
The Urban Dictionary has a different meaning for TRANNY (100D) as its first definition.

They have a different definition for BAGJOB (from yesterday's puzzle) too-rather crude and sexist.

Liked this debut puzzle but I also disliked OTE definition.

JannieB 9:07 PM  

I'm enjoying seeing all the new names in the blogosphere - welcome to the newbies. Hope many of you are former anonymice who've decided to come out of hiding, as it were.

Glitch 9:13 PM  

@Arlo Bates - Thanx

While we're on the subject:

[Bar Bet] How many U.S. states have any portion of their borders north of the southernmost part of Canada?

Ans: more than half of the fifty U.S. states, a total of 27 to be exact, are located wholly or in part north of the southernmost part of Canada, including such surprises as Iowa, Indiana, and Nevada.

Full answer at North of Canada


Glitch 9:25 PM  

PS: Nit pickers not allowed to complain about any of the 27 states :)


Stan 10:14 PM  


In my news-librarian past (Time-Warner) we always used one website for questions of distance and direction:

Here's their take on L.A.- Reno (which backs up the puzzle):

Distance between Los Angeles, City of, California, United States and Reno, Nevada, United States, as the crow flies:
382 miles (615 km) (332 nautical miles)

Initial heading from Los Angeles, City of to Reno:
north-northwest (348.6 degrees)
Initial heading from Reno to Los Angeles, City of:
south-southeast (167.8 degrees)

Elaine 10:20 PM  

Glitch, I did visit the website...with the 27 states and the incontrovertible evidence.

Someone--and I am not implying it is you yourself--badly needs to get a life!

Glitch...please!...step a-way from the map! We are all your friends here, and we believe you. Now, just come have a soothing cup of tea .... You seem very tired and in need of a rest....

Ulrich 10:33 PM  

@Elaine: Step away from maps? Step away from one of the greatest joys in life? Are you kidding? Ever saw a book that had a map in the beginning that wasn't good? (The only thing Moby Dick lacks is, in fact, a map, or two, or three!!!) Ever read a book that did not have a map in front that was any good? See, I rest my case!!!

Lee Glickstein 11:03 PM  

Unless I missed it, no one has mentioned that "The Umpire Strikes Back" is the name of an actual book by a baseball umpire, Ron Luciano. So does this dampen its freshness as a theme fill?

Aaron Riccio 4:12 AM  

While you may be a former teacher of mine (and one of the good ones), based on my performance in these puzzles, it looks like I'll be your crossword student for quite some time to come! Time for me to start looking at those Saturdays, I guess.

Elaine 4:55 AM  

@ Ulrich
Here is the sad truth: I am spatially challenged. In 62 years I have mastered the UP, the DOWN, and I can tell SIDEWAYS, but RIGHT? LEFT? Alas.
The Map Discussion was not quite as bad as the Antecedent Incident, but it was getting excruciating...

Garmin and I are BFFs now! Though I think She is a little too into herself and her mappy view of the sometimes I take another route just to upset Her. This weekend she thought I was turning off the highway and into a big empty field. Tee hee. My, She was quite perturbed!

Bob Kerfuffle 7:16 AM  

@Arlo Bates - This looks correct as I type in my comment box, but I won't know if it posts correctly until I post it: For the degree symbol, I simply use option (or alt)/shift/8: 23°, 80°, 45°.

Anonymous 12:47 AM  

The kind I'm thinking of often lacks a gearshift mechanism ...

Heh, good one.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP