Corporate raider Carl / MON 1-18-10 / Game show catchphrase / Firenze friends / Neighbor of a petal

Monday, January 18, 2010

Constructor: Adam Cohen

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Game show catchphrases

Word of the Day: Clinton DEWITT (5D: Early New York governor Clinton)

DeWitt Clinton (March 2, 1769 Little Britain, Province of New York – February 11, 1828 Albany, New York) was an early American politician who served as United States Senator and the sixth Governor of New York. In this last capacity he was largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal. Unlike his adversary Martin Van Buren, who invented machine politics, Clinton became the leader of New York's People’s Party. Clinton is an authentic but largely forgotten hero of American democracy, according to Daniel Walker Howe (2007). Howe explains, "The infrastructure he worked to create would transform American life, enhancing economic opportunity, political participation, and intellectual awareness."

-----

First of all, congratulations New York Jets for a. pulling off the huge upset over the Chargers, and b. providing football viewers with the weekend's only interesting game. For the second weekend in a row, 3/4 of the games just sucked. This one actually came down to about the final minute. I managed to pick All Four Games this weekend incorrectly. So when I say there will be a Saints / Jets Super Bowl ... well, you know how to bet.

This puzzle was wicked easy. Got hung up in two places and still finished just a hair's breadth over three minutes. Didn't know DEWITT, so that got me off to a slow start. Then at the end, I had much hesitation in the west. First with NO TIP, an answer I don't like at all, as it is not a solid self-standing phrase (40D: "Reward" for poor service). My mom used to insist that a 2% tip was the real way to let a waiter/waitress know he/she was terrible, but we never ever saw her use that maneuver, even when we were in NYC in the '80s and got treated poorly virtually everywhere we ate (tourist bumpkins that we were). ICAHN I know but forgot, so needed crosses (39A: Corporate raider Carl). And RECON didn't come easily (26D: What a drone airplane may do, for short), perhaps because our drones are now best known (or so my recent reading suggests) for bombing things, mainly Taliban and other terrorist hide-outs in mountainous areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan — drones likely controlled by some teenager with a joystick in northern VA.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Game show catchphrase #1 ("Can I buy a vowel?")
  • 37A: Game show catchphrase #2 ("Survey says ...")
  • 43A: Game show catchphrase #3 ("Come on down!")
  • 55A: Game show catchphrase #4 ("The password is ...") — that might be the hardest of the bunch for today's audience. Certainly was for my wife (who did not live in this country when that show was popular). Well, there was that attempted "Password" revival in 2008-09, but I don't think anybody noticed that.




Bullets:

  • 42A: Neighbor of a petal (sepal) — huge victory of the day was not hesitating for a moment on this one. Right off the "S," bam. I say "huge victory" because there was a time when I had Never Heard of this word (learned it from crosswords). From WTF to gimme! Love when that happens.
  • 54D: Shelley's "__ the West Wind" ("Ode to") — my wife had "ONE TO the West Wind," which sounds like some kind of ancient sacrificial rite.
  • 31A: Medieval martial art (tai chi) — never like when word "medieval" (derived specifically from European history/literature, medium aevum, "the middle age," between the Classical (European) Age and the (European) Renaissance) is used to refer to things non-European. Plus, TAI CHI originated in the 13th century, but it's a contemporary practice for millions of people, so calling it "medieval" just seems weird.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

67 comments:

treedweller 12:33 AM  

AMICI was sort of a half-guess, I didn't know ICAHN, almost missed the abbr. in the MERC clue, and ARG was eluding me as I frantically tried to figure out these others, so that area was a struggle for me. Well, a Monday struggle. I was only a little slower than last week, which was practically a record for me. But I did briefly wonder if I'd have to google on a Monday, which I don't think I have ever done.

I was a game show junkie as a kid, so all the phrases came quickly. The clips reminded me of another, from Family Feud, where a man in the speed round gave the answer "turkey" for all five questions. It wasn't even a terrible answer for any of them. But he didn't win, since it also wasn't a very good answer for any of them.

Chalk 12:54 AM  

Hey, why is there a pic of Carl Sagan?

andrea preop michaels 1:08 AM  

Loved this puzzle! Loved the theme!
Literally couldn't wait to see what the next phrase would be!

Having been on almost every game show there has ever been (having come to the conclusion early in life that money is so bizarre and arbitrary you might as well just win it) I was thrilled with all the memories this evoked...
and guess what! I will spare you them!
(Tho I look forward to reading everyone else's! Love the Turkey story already...and it's only amatter of moments before someone posts the "in the butt, Bob" urban legend!

As for fill, I never saw SEPAL, wouldn't have known it if I had seen it...I was too busy despairing over CAPOS again! I really still don't think it can be anything but CAPI unless it's the guitar fret thing. Who do I have to have killed to make that point?

I remembered ICAHN but find that way obscure for a Monday, even tho I knew it, so am I being a hypocrite? That's just one of those names I don't think I would have gotten away with...esp with GRAMM, the odd MERC and the not great abbrev for ARG, I might have tried to redo that corner...just saying...

Love the little BOX, ORZO corner tho.
Oh! And I didn't know the word POME in English, but am assuming pomegranate is from it and somehow related to the French pomme and pomme de terre, etc?

@joho
If you do a narrative on the little racy subtheme of CHEATEDON and breaking VOWS, will you leave me and @dk out of it? We are "just good AMICI".

One "minah" write over for MACAW. Didn't notice till I saw I had written ELIL (which is what I guess their little air sickness bags are called)

chefwen 1:09 AM  

It was a medium Monday for me as I did not know GRAMM or ICAHN, I guessed at grimm but icihn looked all kinds of wrong, so I did end up Googling GRAMM, which is something I have never done on a Monday. Also, got off to a bad start by slapping down Mynah as the obnoxiously loud bird instead of MACAW. The Mynah birds really get into some crazy screaming matches here, sounds like two or more cats going to war.

Thanks for all the B-day wishes, it was a blast.

des 1:17 AM  

I agree that the ICAHN area was the toughest.

ps - Rex, you misspelled ICAHN as ICHAN in your writeup.

lit.doc 1:38 AM  

Wow, I guess this is inexperience re CW expectations, but I was surprised to see a themed Monday puzzle, plus a cross-ref’d clue. Came in just under 15, expecting to come in just under 10. Is the NYT maybe responding the the LAT’s efforts to ratchet up their difficulty?

The main slow-down here was the fact that I type dylsexically. Other than that, nearly all the fill was perfectly Monday. And, again, the cavil that I think just came up a day or two ago re DONS being the mafia bosses and the CAPOS being their subalterns.

BTW, what Show I’ve Never Watched uses “SURVEY SAYS”?

andrea capi michaels 1:58 AM  

@litdoc
Survey says is Family Feud!!!!

OK one story...Richard Dawson says "Name a state that is two words" and this gal says, "Nevada?" and then adds, "Oops! I guess that's three words".

@chalk
My guess is Rex had "- - - A N" for the Raider Carl question and thought of SAGAN.

OK, enough...
Who am I? Noam d. Elkes?

CoolPapaD 2:29 AM  

ACME!!! Not really an urban legend at all! - check out just after the 2 minute mark!

http://www.break.com/usercontent/2006/8/Newlywed-Game-145528.html

and this, from Snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/newlywed.asp

Loved the puzzle - my favorite game show moment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmPB0MSZ5t0

Elaine 3:36 AM  

POME is a specific sort of fruit, I think-- having to do with the seeds in a core inside the "flesh"... There are drupes, and, and...oops, File Not Found.

Except for trying to put in BRAzil for a second, no real hesitations, though I had to get XMEN on crosses.
I don't think MINAH is a variant, and MA_ gave me MACAW, but it looks like that will be a common stumbling block.

Where are my 1:30 Club members? Where are the Andrea Contestant Michaels stories? Can't someone help this poor Monday?

rebecca 3:51 AM  

I had a Natick moment at the crossing of AM[I]CI and [I]CAHN. The rest of the puzzle went easily and pleasantly.

Chalk 5:22 AM  

@ Andrea - thanks for the Sagan hypothesis. My friend and I were rather amused to see Sagan, after watching Cosmos the night before and discussing how crosswordesey the word SAGAN is.

Greene 5:41 AM  

This must be the kind of puzzle that makes Eugene Maleska turn over in his grave. Nonetheless, I found it easy and fun and I initially thought I would finish in less than 5 minutes. Then I hit that western section with ICAHN and GRAMM. I kept putting an H in GRAMM and that kept me from seeing COME ON DOWN for a bit. Really had no clue about ICAHN, but I finally pieced it together; totally wrecked my time.

Kept waiting to see a catchphrase from Jeopardy: maybe something like THE ANSWER IS. Lastly didn't Dawson usually say SURVEY SAID as opposed to SURVEY SAYS? I might be wrong about this because he really used to bark this phrase out and contort his voice. He could be really hard to understand.

You Tube and HULU are blocked sites at my workplace, otherwise I would have posted a link to the hilarious Family Guy episode where the Griffins go on The Family Feud. After Lois has an arresting makeout session with Richard Dawson, Stewie provides hilarious answers in the lightning round (he was being held by Lois, who was also answering):

Something you sit in? – My own feces.
Name a popular fruit? – Clay Aiken.
Something in your closet? – Scary monsters.
Favorite holiday? – 9/11.
What do you do on weekends? – Black guys.

When his answers weren’t used he said, "Wait a second, I said feces! Where’s my answers? Oh, you’re just going to pretend I’m not here just like Robin William’s agent pretends he’s still funny."

Hmm...shoulda posted the clip.

foodie 7:54 AM  

Medium for me, but I just landed after flying for 12 hours, and did the puzzle while awaiting a connecting flight... So, may be it's easy if you have a brain.

But it was great fun to see the game show phrases. When I first came to the US, I watched a ton of TV to get used to everyday language (my English was good but academic). And I totally fell in love with game shows. Password and Superpassword were favorites, along with Pyramid...

This really makes me feel I'm back home!

Crosscan 8:01 AM  

I needed to buy a vowel at AM-CI/-CAHN and asked for an A. Buzz!

SOLID puzzle otherwise.

Here are some Andrea on game show clips:

Final answer

tptsteve 8:15 AM  

Nice theme, good fill, Happy Monday.

@Greene- I nearly spit out my coffee reading your FF lines. Not sure those pass the breakfast test.

Scarlet-O 8:21 AM  

Too funny. This week's lookin' like a breeze. I'm actually trying to comment on Sunday's but the time difference shut me right out...

"Lost Ales) — no idea what "Book of Lost Tales" is. Ugh, some Tolkien crap. Should have known. Adds to the nerdfest begun by the twin "Star Wars" "opening crawl" clues."

HA! Exactly. I'm glad Safire is incorporating pop culture these days but why's it all gotta be Muggwarts and Hobbits and RJD2s. I don't know this rot. I only learn it for these dang puzzles. Ooooh and your comment about last week's having to jump into a time machine for "Soupy Sales" was another one that had me chuckling like a madwoman in the computer lounge. ;-)

xx
Scarlet-0

Bob Kerfuffle 8:24 AM  

So where was IDLIKETOMAKEITATRUEDAILYDOUBLEALEX?

All the referenced shows were ones I have avoided, but, sadly, I knew all the catchphrases.

Just one write-over: Working on the B from BIKE and the W from CANIBUYAVOWEL, foolishly put in BREWERIES before BUDWEISER.

Nice Monday puzzle,

joho 8:43 AM  

Fun, frothy start to the week. Loved the theme.

@Andrea ... there are some words in the puzzle that lend themselves to telling a tale of you and dk, but I will not go there. AMICI it is!

Thanks, Adam Cohen for brightening up a dreary Monday morning!

Oh, @chefwen ... a belated happy birthday!

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

REX: i think the picture is not Carl Icahn but Carl Sagan the astronomer. He also spoke about billions and billions but was referring to stars, not dollars!

JJ

nanpilla 9:39 AM  

@JJ You mean that's not a picture of Percy Bysshe Shelley either?!?

@acme: I still can't get ELIL out of my head. That's going to have me laughing all day!

Cute Monday puzzle, but as usual, the commentary is the highlight.

Aaron Burr 9:43 AM  

Clinton was DE WITT but John Greenleaf was the Whittier.

the redanman 9:50 AM  

Why the picture of Sagan (few days ago)? Must be for ICAHN? Gordon Gecko's inspiration.

PIX 9:53 AM  

i don't like tv shows in the puzzle; i really don't like tv game shows in the puzzle

There is a DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx so that's an easy one if your're from the area.

Steve J 9:59 AM  

Being a news junkie for the last three decades paid off, as both GRAMM and ICAHN fell easily (fortunately GRAMM fell first, as that put the A in the right place; I want to spell Carl's surname as ICHAN).

I was never a comic book guy, so I had no idea the XMEN were once the Merry Mutants. I so wish that name had stuck. I can only imagine how that would have changed the marketing and, especially, the merchandising of the movies.

Nice Monday puzzle overall, even if I blew through it. I thought there was some nice fill that rose above the often pedestrian fare of a Monday. (Note: I say "pedestrian" with tongue firmly in cheek. Wasn't that long ago where Monday was the only day I could finish consistently.)

OldCarFudd 10:01 AM  

This was weird. I found the puzzle very easy, despite never having heard of a single one of the catchphrases, and having no idea what shows they're from. It may be I'd never have heard of the shows if you told them to me. I think I may have watched a game show once or twice in my life, on a small black-and-white screen.

Carl Icahn was a gimme. He was a college classmate. He ended up richer than I did, but I suspect I live better.

@ACME - LOL for Elil!

ArtLvr 10:01 AM  

Billionaire Carl ICAHN is totally timely today in the business world, as I noted in the wee hours over at Amy's CrosswordFiend blog. And he's not the typical "corporate raider" in the tradition of buying up big companies in order to sell off the pieces -- He is an "activist investor" who spots ways in which a going concern can be improved and buys just enough stock (often as little as 10%) to get a voice on the the board of directors. A shake-up may ensue, or his views are rejected and he moves on...

Visionary Gov. DEWITT Clinton tickled me too, as his major accomplishment was our well-known crossword staple, the ERIE canal -- first advance in the US's opening of the West to commerce and settlement.

∑;)

Van55 10:05 AM  

I guess it is a sad commentary that I knew all the catch phrases.

Cinchy puzzle for me, even wiht the AMICI ICAHN cross. They were in my wheelhouse, I guess.

Hey andrea -- where's the stangest place you've had sex? LOL

PlantieBea 10:06 AM  

Game shows...knew these even though I haven't watched one in a long while. I too wanted an H in GRAMM, but knew it wouldn't fit. I don't know ICAHN. I hesitated at the answer KEEL. Is it really a boat bottom or just a component of the bottom? I know keel as the finlike projection from the bottom of a sailboat; the keel acts as a counterbalance--often made of lead-- and prevents the sailboat from capsizing. It also prevents side drift. Or, the keel is the central part, the spine of a large ship. Is the spine considered the back of a body or part of the back? Just wondering.

Meg 10:25 AM  

I thought maybe there was an order to the game shows, but no. "The Price is Right" is the earliest, debuting in 1956.

@Van55: That was a rather odd question.

@Rex: Sometimes guessing why you posted a particular pic is the best part of the write-up. That didn't come out right....You have a fascinatingly weird brain!

retired_chemist 10:38 AM  

What everybody said.

SEPAL and DEWITT were in my wheelhouse. Had IkAHN at first. Wish I knew which Shelley odes were ON and which were TO.

A SOLID Monday puzzle. Hardly any TRAPs. A DONUT would be nice about now.

Two Ponies 10:53 AM  

Best part of the puzzle today was Andrea's comments (how did you know I would be thinking of you and dk?) and Greene's Family Guy transcript. Very funny way to start my day.
Never heard of the corporate raider but was fairly sure the senator wasn't Grimm.
Rather sporty puzzle today with billiards, bowling, bike racing, football, and game shows.
Agree with Rex about the clue for tai chi.
In England Merc is the nick name for Mercedes.
Welcome home foodie.
Now I'm off to see what Crosscan has dug up.

Denise Ann 11:23 AM  

Great to see Dewitt Clinton honored -- he was a great New Yorker (so far above the present political structure in my back-home state). You have to love the Erie Canal!

OldCarFudd 11:27 AM  

@PlantieB - Loosely speaking, a boat resting aground on its keel is called resting on its bottom. There are places in England with very shallow tidal estuaries, where it's popular to have a boat with two shallow parallel keels, called bilge keels. Whichever tack the boat is on, one keel is low enough to counter drift, yet the keel doesn't stick down far enough to hit bottom. When the tide goes out, the moored boat can gently settle into the mud on its two parallel keels and remain upright. It will refloat itself when the tide comes back in. Such a boat definitely rests on its bottom/keel(s). This is a longwinded (sorry 'bout that!) way of saying I think the clue/answer are OK.

darkman 11:28 AM  

Easy as a (what day comes before Monday?).

sfingi 11:29 AM  

Very easy, as was LAT today, though I liked the theme here better. It was so easy that hubster, a non-cwer, finished it (west strip). I didn't even notice the sports.

@Andrea Capo di Tutti Capi Michaels - CAPOS, plural of capo is actually "capi," but the clue was in English, so...I slink away. Thou Shalt not Kill, but consider a couple kneecappings.

Wight and Man (ISLES) mean the same thing - they are their names for humans as most tribes call themselves.

Carl Icahn was (to me) a monster. His buddy, Asher Edelman, bought out Mohawk Data Sciences which pretty much killed employment in the Herkimer Co. of the Mohawk Valley and lost him money. The 2 of them are the inspiration for Gordon Gecko.

Gov. Dewitt Clinton is not forgotten here. If you drive into Rome, NY, you pass a sign for "Clinton's Ditch." 7/4/1817, and digging for the Canal was officially begun in Rome. The Erie Canal seriously took business from Louisiana to NYS.
There's an Erie Canal Village in the north of Rome. You get a ride on a packet boat and visit historical buildings moved in from the area. Remember the mule named Sal? When he was a kid, hubster thought it was Salvatore.

There's an antique painting at the DeWitt Clinton HS of the Gov. pouring water from the canal into the ocean or vice versa.

Remember keelhaul? OMG what a punishment.

Steve & Sarah Travel the Long Way Round 11:30 AM  

Finished the whole thing in 5 minutes then spent another 10 figuring out that rts should have been sts. Doh! Easy puzzle, even for a Monday.

Dave in California 11:36 AM  

Took less than 5 minutes, had no problems. I so wished the clue had simply been "NY Governor Clinton" without the oldtime modifier--wouldn't have slowed me, but I bet someone in radioland would have tried to make HILARY (sic) work...

Glitch 11:36 AM  

Both my memory and a quick web search feel that catchphrase 20A should be, "I'd like to buy a vowel" rather than "Can I ..."

But that's 17 letters.

.../Glitch

fikink 11:38 AM  

Well, Andrea, you have forced my hand, if not joho's. DK has accepted my invitation to COMEONDOWN. I have chilled the WINE to accompany our Cheerios and have broken out the Oil of OLAY. I will SPARE you the TIVO.

Welcome home, Foodie and Happy Birthday, Chefwen.

@OldCarFudd, thanks for the story on the bilge KEEL. Fascinating.

@ChefBea, doesn't KEEL make you think of breatbones? Or should I say "sterna"?

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

right nanpilla, didn't catch the shelley long picture.

JJ

PlantieBea 11:42 AM  

Thanks OldCarFudd. Your explanation for the double keel boat makes sense. If a single keel boat is aground, I would call that resting on "the bottom" where "bottom" refers to the sea floor and not the bottom of the boat! Again, a boat bottom in my mind is the whole bottom, under the water line, but I can rationalize the keel use, too, I guess.

fikink 11:43 AM  

correction: "breastbones"

PlantieBea 11:50 AM  

@fikink: I think you were addressing the other Bea who'd be thinking more about the food...but no, I hadn't remembered that the KEEL was a bird breastbone. Must be the shape of the bone. Going to look it up.

Charles Bogle 11:59 AM  

Learned two new words; SEPAL, POME...enjoyable theme, fun fill: highly enjoyable Monday

Doc John 1:09 PM  

A fun puzzle today. Loved the Betty White clip- she's such a gem. Interestingly enough, I use "Survey says..." all the time when I'm asking someone about an answer. Sometimes they are even aware to what I'm referring!

Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought that Buenos Aires was in Brazil.

Finally, add me to the "almost Natick" list with the ICAHN crossing. Finally inferred the I in AMICI from knowing "amigo" in Spanish and "amity" in English. (But not from the spelling of Don Ameche's name.)

mac 1:33 PM  

Just about the easiest puzzle I've ever done: pome, sepal, Icahn and Gramm were gimmes, and the theme sentences fell into place. I didn't know the password line, must be one game show I missed.

I also know Merc better as a Mercedez in England.

@OldCarFudd: I saw a boat situation like that in Honfleur, France. Very odd sight, to see them sprinkled in the mud for quite a long distance.

Anonymous 1:42 PM  

very useful read. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did any one know that some chinese hacker had hacked twitter yesterday again.

bluebell 1:44 PM  

@glitch--thank you for the comment on that phrase. I left it and came back to it, because I don't remember ever hearing "Can I?" "I'd like to" is much more familiar. (Although I haven't watched for a long time because I got really really tired of the juvenile screaming and jumping.)

I guess I'm a news junkie, because Gramm was easy. But I'm apparently not a business news junkie, because Icahn was not (got it with crosses). I'll have to widen my horizons.

Also not a comic book junkie, and messed up Xmen. D'oh. On a Monday!

chefbea 1:58 PM  

Easy fun puzzle. Use to watch all those game shows and more. Tried out for Wheel of fortune once - met Vanna. Was not picked because I didn't jump up and down enough or yell big money!!! Big money!!!

@fikink - I did not know that keel is the breast bone!!

Tinbeni 2:04 PM  

J.E.T.S. !!!
@Rex - Please pull for a Colt-v-Saint game.
I want the JETS-v-Vikings to COME ON DOWN to Miami for the Super Bowl.

@Chefbea - The real reason you were not picked, You forgot CAN I BUY A VOWEL to buy an 'E' for that "th_" word.

Barely was into my second cup of coffee, w/DONUT, at my finish.

After the weekend puzzles, Monday reminds me to don't over think the clues.

andrea name michaels 3:41 PM  

Rainy days and Mondays...stuck inside so you're stuck with me today, tho I promise 3 and out!

@Foodie
WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!!!

@Meg
Don't worry about @Van55, I guess I set myself up for those kind of queries now and then...I took his LOL with a grain (pillar actually) of salt! Oddly enough, the strangest place I've ever had sex was in a '55 Van!

@Sfingi
Kneecapping it is! I'll get Tonya Harding right on it. (Would that be an ice-cap? We prob haven't heard about her since the whole global warming thingi)

@nanpilla
:)

@crosscan, @elaine
Alright, if you are going to dig up my (sore) losses (I didn't even get into the hot seat...twice! My finger wasn't fast enough) you might as well post the crowning moment of my life when I win a motorhome...
(As punishment tho, it's buried somewhere in the middle of a little doc I was part of: http://www.manygoodideas.com/2009/05/27/business-with-passion-andrea-carla-michaels/

If you can figure a way to upload only the "Wheel of Fortune" part to YouTube, I would be forever grateful!)

Rube 3:53 PM  

Added sepal and orzo to my xwd vocab.

There was an early 19th century steam locomotive called the DeWitt Clinton. It had a big boiler, smokestack, 4 wheels, and not much else. I had a model of this when a kid and didn't know who DeWitt Clinton was until I went (back East) to school in NY.

PhillySolver 4:02 PM  

Liked the puzzle but loved the ACM video...it is on the second page of videos in her link.

Thanks Andrea

Steve J 4:06 PM  

Hey, there's a captcha now. I guess we can thank the "hey, did you hear some Chinese guy hacked Twitter" poster for that one.

@lit.doc: you're right that we went over CAPOS a couple weeks back. Today's clue was marginally better (more generic "leaders" rather than the previous clue that had a heavier connotation of heading a family), but it's still wrong. Capos are below the heads of the families (commonly referred to as Dons). To dredge up the analogy I used before, calling them leaders is like calling colonels leaders of the army.

Elaine 4:07 PM  

@Rube
It was a locomotive? Somewhere in the dim recesses of my mind, "The DeWitt Clinton" was a steamboat--on Lake Erie! (Maybe just everybody got in on the DeWitt Clinton name game. Maybe Andrea can name something DeWitt Clinton! Or not.)

I watched You Tubes of the crossword game-- that Matt guy was a killer! And there was a shot of a mysterious, brown-haired Angela not jumping up and down about her motor home somewhere, too. This proves I will do ANYthing to keep from cleaning my quilt studio; I was going to learn Chinese and hack into Google, but I had to watch Andrea Michaels clips....

Glitch 4:16 PM  

@Steve J

I get it, like Libya's leader, Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi ;-)

.../Glitch

Steve J 4:36 PM  

@Glitch: Touché. :)

mac 4:45 PM  

Very funny, Andrea, the rain becomes you! LOL!

Meg 4:59 PM  

@Andrea: Thank you for sharing that little tidbit. What I really want to know is what you have to do to get on all those shows. Do you know somebody?

Entropy 5:04 PM  

As easy as it gets for me.

@ArtLvr.
Icahn timely? The Markets were closed today for the MLK Holiday.
But you're right, the Kraft-v-Cadburt-v-Hershey merger/takeover fight is interesting. Great buying opportunity, provided you select the right one.

At least the Word verification is readable!

andrea come on down michaels 6:52 PM  

@meg
Quite the opposite, you are not allowed to know ANYONE, which is why I never ask friends who write on gameshows what they are currently working on and you have to wait about 3, 7, 10 yrs between appearances!
If it's a serious question, (I couldn't find your email on your blogger page to answer offline...and I'm breaking the 3 rule to post this bec I think EVERYONE should be on a gameshow at least once, it's a blast and can be life-changing...
Go to their websites, find out when they are in your area, take the tests, be perky (no sob stories about what you'd do with the $, and do it!

Meg 7:28 PM  

@Andrea: OK!!! I'll doer first chanct I git! No, seriously, I think I could do some serious damage on Wheel. I can jump up and down with the best of them.

#SteveJ: I bit. Looked up "captcha" on Wiki. Very interesting. It is a contrived acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". Actually it's a reverse Turing test. Great word!

sfingi 9:37 PM  

Did anyone read Ken Jennings book, Brainiac? Quite good at describing the real life behind being on Jeopardy! and winning. For instance, he practiced hitting the button while standing, and they did a week's shows at once and had to bring 5 changes of clothing.

sanfranman59 12:33 AM  

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 6:47, 6:54, 0.98, 51%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:39, 3:40, 1.00, 54%, Medium

Van55 4:35 PM  

@meg and Andrea -- I am sure that Andrea understood that my question related to the urban legend Newlywed Game answer that she posted in her first post. It wasn't personal in the least. Odd yes, but not personal or intentionally offensive.

Nullifidian 2:14 AM  

Today (Feb 22nd) is my 30th birthday, so I'm in late from syndication-land, tired, and somewhat intoxicated.

Despite all these handicaps I managed to finish the puzzle all in one go, without ever pausing to puzzle out a word.

I did know DEWITT Clinton, despite being a West Coaster almost all my life. I just pulled his name from some obscure recess in my memory.

Didn't know IRENE Cara, which strikes me as a rather obscure person to pick for a Monday puzzle, though not a Natick because it was obvious from the crosses. Surely I can't be the only person to remember Irene Papas or Irene Dunne. (Irène Joliot-Curie, while well-known to us natural scientists, might also be too obscure for a Monday.) There's also the fictional characters Irene Forsyte (The Forsyte Saga) and Irene Adler (from the Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia"), plus Lead Belly Ledbetter's song "Goodnight Irene".

All the fill seemed solid, with not too many partials or abbreviations. The theme struck me as a bit uninspired, but not even close to being among the worst. It was just rather average. Still, a nice way to start the week, and I give it a 4/5.

Now I'm off to bed. I hope I will be in a fit state to knock out the Tuesday crossword tomorrow morning. Good night!

MikeinSTL 8:29 AM  

Easy but fun Monday. My one nit-pick: Krispy Kreme offers DOUGHNUTS, not DONUTS. Yes, I know it's the same thing, but in their corporate logo (Korporate logo?) and all their signage they use the word DOUGHNUT, so hey.

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