2003 hip-hop hit by Fabolous / THU 3-4-10 / Fiesque composer / Eponymous scale developer / Villainous member of Serpent Society Marvel Comics

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Constructor: David J. Kahn

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: MIXED METAPHOR (14D: Answer to each of the six starred clues, literally) — six theme answers are anagrams ("mixes") of "METAPHOR"


Word of the Day: ASP (47A: Villainous member of the Serpent Society, in Marvel Comics) —

The Asp (Cleo Nefertiti) is a former supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe, most notably a member of the Serpent Society and B.A.D. Girls, Inc.. She was created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary, and first appeared in Captain America vol. 1 #310. // Intelligent yet soft-spoken, Asp was born in Tanta, Egypt. It was there that she earned her reputation as an exotic dancer, being able to charm snakes with her sensual movements. Her ability to generate blasts of energy which cause paralysis intrigued the leader of the Serpent Society, Sidewinder, and he invited her to join the group. // Asp has the ability to generate an unique form of radiant bioelectricity that she can channel as lightning-like blasts. This energy does not affect inanimate matter, but upon striking a living being causes a rapid paralysis of the nervous system similar to the effect of the neurotoxic bite of certain venomous snakes. Her body constantly generates and stores this energy, but it can be temporarily expended after firing several "venom-bolts" in rapid succession, requiring her to recharge. Asp can accelerate the speed at which her body regenerates energy by engaging in physical activity that increases her heart rate and metabolism. (wikipedia)
• • •

I may be one of the few people on the planet who finished today's puzzle faster than he did yesterday's. Really enjoyed this one. I think I've seen the same theme concept somewhere before, but it probably wasn't executed this well, so it hardly matters. I was surprised to find the cluing so easy for a Thursday, especially since the gimmick wasn't that hard to uncover. I think the idea was that, since the theme answers aren't solid, self-standing phrases that one would normally find in a grid, they would be hard to get (this is somewhat true), so the crosses needed to be easy to uncover. Only the non-theme stuff was so easy that the central answer gave itself up right away, and then the theme answers weren't tough any more. In fact, once you know you are looking for an anagram of METAPHOR, things get real easy real quick.

The only place I can see someone's having trouble is in the SW, where non-football fans are not going to have a clue who Adam Vinatieri is — EX-PATRIOT (56A: Football's Adam Vinatieri, e.g.) is a tough answer to infer, and that section gets a whole lot tougher with the 2003 Fabolous song "IN TO YOU" in it (63A: 2003 hip-hop hit by Fabolous). I'm guessing there's *massive* overlap between "People who don't know much about football" and "People who don't know much about hip-hop." Throw in a bygone senator (EXON51D: Nebraska senator succeeded by Hagel), and some people are likely to have issues. Not me. My issues were in the SE, and they didn't last long. Didn't know LALO (though I'd heard of him) (55D: "Fiesque" composer), and had DRAMS (!?) for DOSES (64A: Pharmacy units). Also didn't read the NHL GOALIES (29D: Masked men with blades) clue very well and thought only of hockey players generally, not GOALIES in particular (overlooked the "masked" part of the clue, though ... those face guards players wear are *kind* of masks, aren't they?).



Theme answers:
  • 14A: *One who dislikes unruly hair? (MOP HATER)
  • 21A: *Alternative way to get directions? (OTHER MAP)
  • 34A: *Better, in hip-hop slang? (MORE PHAT)
  • 38A: *Kitchen or living room? (HOME PART)
  • 45A: *Via Veneto? (ROME PATH)
  • 61A: *Be funnier than comedian Bill? (TOP MAHER)
I started this one so fast that I thought I must be walking into a trap. Got AD LIB (1A: Proceed without notes, say) instantly, and then four Downs in a row off those letters, including the ridiculously easy LITTLE LAMB (3D: Mary's charge). You only need the initial "L" for that one (if that). I destroyed the NE corner in the same fashion. Got a couple Downs, threw TOO FAST (6A: How kids grow up, it's often said) across, and then put the remaining Downs in instantly, in order, bang bang bang bang. I'm sure I'll get beat up TOMORROW (6D: Song sung by an orphan), but today, I am the puzzle-slayer.

Bullets:
  • 15A: Spy satellite's acquisition (INTEL) — isn't that an abbrev.?
  • 32A: "Molly ___," popular Irish song ("MALONE") — never heard of it. Apparently it's about a fishmonger who dies young, of fever. She may or may not have been a prostitute. Read more here.


  • 35A: Spanish waves (OLAS) — whoa. Never seen that before. I thought maybe this had something to do with greeting "HOLA!" but ... it's literally the Spanish word for "waves."
  • 4D: Retail giant founded by a 17-year-old (IKEA) — I had it at "Retail giant." 17?!
  • 30D: Big blow? (GALE) — I had GUST.
  • 36D: Devotional bench (PRIE-DIEU) — which gets a churchy vibe by crossing PEW (36A: Church perch), and an ironic vibe by crossing MAHER.
  • 32D: Eponymous scale developer (MOHS) — I know everything I know about this guy and his scale from crosswords (he sometimes gets used in clues for TALC).
  • 40D: 1972 treaty subj. (ABM) — I had IBM ... not because I thought the computer giant was involved, but because I thought I was abbreviating Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

66 comments:

fikink 7:26 AM  

What a boob I am! I was looking for actual metaphors.Thanks for the heads up, Rex!

Elaine 7:29 AM  

I was slowed by the fact that MIXED MESSAGES fit very nicely in the 14D spot...
Did anyone else use the N at the beginning of 29D to enter NINJA?

For some reason, E_PA___gave me EXPATRIOT right away despite my non-football-fanity.

Nebraska senator? An ultra-obscure person from a state that...well, doesn't show up in the news too often. For every boo-hiss clue, though, there was a crossing (as with 36A/D) that made me smile.

joho 7:47 AM  

I thought this was a lot of fun if a little easy for a Thursday.

Loved the PRIEDIEU/PEW cross as well as AMO/INTOYOU.

Only bump was TOOsoon before TOOFAST.

I'm thinking TOMORROW will be a killer.

Oscar 7:57 AM  

Yes, this theme has been done before (at least twice that I know of), but not with so much interlock. Kahn is a master, and the grid's wide open enough to qualify as a themeless.

Ah, yes, here's one: an LAT puz by Will Johnston from 2002
RASHTEMPO 9 Novice conductor's overzealousness?
HARTPOEMS 9 Verses from Rodgers' partner?
MOTSHAPER 9 Writer of witty remarks?
POSHMATER 9 Well-to-do Paddington parent?
MOPHATERS 9 Grousing swabbies?
POSTERHAM 9 Miss Piggy as a pinup?
MATHPOSER 9 Tough numerical problem?
METAPHORS 9 "Mixed" word forming this puzzle's them

There have been similar themes with mixed drinks, vegetables, martial arts, etc.

edith b 8:12 AM  

I missed the central comceit of this puzzle by not realizing that the "mixed" part of MIXEDMETAPHOR signalled the cryptic nature of the puzzle by indicating anagrams were central to the solution.

I did solve this one pretty quickly but failed to see the elegance of the construction. I saw that all the theme answers crossed the revealing clue but didn't appreciatethe signifigance of Mr Kahn's artistry.

I filled in the blanks, yes, but missed the artistry of the construction. I guess it is the downside of doing the puzzle in the middle of the night.

PGubanc 8:13 AM  

I share your boobishness, fikink. I, too, was looking for actual mixed metaphors, and I found nary a one. That I could ID. Got the puzzle easily enough, but was ... clueless. ;-)

Zeke 8:14 AM  

For an anagram puzzle, extremely well done. Problem is, I've never appreciated anagrams. "Oh, look - MOPHATER is an anagram of METAPHOR" leaves me worse than cold. My reaction is "Did you know that 'I don't give a f***k' is an anagram of 'I don't give a f**k'? See what I did there, how I swapped the I in the personal pronoun with the i in give? Amazing!"
If anagrams aren't your thing, you're just looking for made up phrases with a smaller pallette. Not such a fun way to start my birthday.

dk 8:40 AM  

Easy for a Thursday and not that much fun. The theme fill is just lame. I appreciate the construction, but as I have opined in the past form does not trump function.

In short talc on the MOHS scale

This is my week to gripe I guess. Hoping tomorrow is moh phat... as we say in this hood.

** (2 Stars)

ArtLvr 8:48 AM  

Well, congrats to Rex for a zippy solve, and to @Zeke, Happy B-Day! I'm not swift with anagrams either, so I got the puzzle finished and scratched my head... I hadn't noted where asterisks were, and those across and down answers longer than theme answers confused me.

@ Elaine, yes, I thought of Mixed Messages too, but my stumbling block was in wanting HOME ROOM for HOME PART. A guess at SUBURBIA took care of that. No problem with EXPATRIOT, since the YETI was lurking in the corner yet again (heh).

I did like the PRIE-DIEU and POSEUR... Kudos to Mr. Kahn!

∑;)

deerfencer 8:53 AM  

Cool compelling puzzle IMO.

Great Rex observation re Bill Maher, Mr. Religulous, getting crossed by God (at least it was a French God) LOL! Kudos Mr. Kahn.

Side comments:

INTEL stands on its own as a word IMO.
HOMEPART is really lame.
EXPATRIOT and NHLGOALIES were my favorites.

JannieB 9:00 AM  

Definitely the week of hirsute Himalayans - isn't this a 3-day bleedover? Must be some sort of a record.

Puzzle was just okay for me. I was also looking for things metaphorical rather than mixed so had no help from any of the theme answers - not that I needed it. Sort of tore through it and said, "Huh?". Very easy for a Thursday.

Happy birthday Zeke; and happy Parade Day to all.

CoolPapaD 9:04 AM  

I hereby, as of this moment, give up on trying to guess whether Rex will like or dislike the puzzle!

No mad props for me - just bad flops instead. The SW killed me. Did not know EXON, TAY, or DIEU, so my answer to 63A was anything but FABOLOUS, even with all of the other letters in place! LO-PHAT indeed!

I guess I never knew what a firth was, but there is a MOST excellent early Genesis song (Peter Gabriel era) called Firth of Fifth, from the album Selling England by the POUND.

jesser 9:07 AM  

Happy Birthday Zeke!

I'm with Elaine in trying to find Ninjas in 29D before the light bulb came on.

For 58D, I had TAm, for a long while, which really held up the SW.

I never saw the anagrams until Rex so kindly pointed them out. I blame this on a head cold that's just getting started and on a caffeine deficit that I'm working to address.

My son turned 22 last week. TOO FAST, indeed...

Perina! -- jesser

DrGaellon 9:08 AM  

"Molly Malone" is more commonly known as "Cockles and Mussels" or "Alive, Alive-o!" It's quite commonly heard at Irish bars and at Renaissance Faires...

Orange 9:41 AM  

Rex, I can't believe you copied text from Wikipedia about Asp. What, you didn't know all that off the top of your head? I was surprised to learn that this supervillain's female...and I wouldn't mind having her superpower. It would really help out when one is stuck in a long line.

lit.doc 9:45 AM  

Brain still smoldering, but done in just under an hour. Wow, way tough puzzle for me, though NW is what really ignited my neural net. Got AD LIB, LITTLE LAMB, ESL, and LOTUS right out of the gate. Yes, 17A LOTUS. Tentatively keyed in 1D “A TALE of…” and moved on.

Worked slow and hard through the rest of the puzzle, no thanks to getting MOP HATER and then OTHER MAP. Getting a general sense of what was going on helped only marginally figuring out MORE PHAT, HOME PART, ROME PATH, and TOP MAHER, despite figuring out MIXED METAPHOR about halfway through the list.

I’ll decide whether to curse myself or the constructor and editor after Rex gets a shot at explaining how the theme answers come from the same planet as any definition of mixed metaphor I’ve ever seen. Off to bed now, muttering vile imprecations to myself.

Morning addendum: Argh. Anagrams. [embed video clip of Gilbert Gottfried yelling “Sonofabitch!”]

tptsteve 9:47 AM  

Started fast, like RP, but got bogged down south. Yet, I still managed to finish a tad faster than my usual Thursday time, give or take.

I wanted Forth to be my Firth, but alas, it wouldn't fit.Had to guess at Priedieu- never heard of it.

Like @ArtLvr I, had Homeroom, but got rid of the room when nothing else would fit.

archaeoprof 9:48 AM  

Another "too soon" ahead of TOO FAST here.

Never heard that before about IKEA. Wow, 17. I feel like a failure.

The Via Veneto is indeed a ROME PATH, but would anyone be offended if I said that I don't really like that area of Rome very much?

HudsonHawk 9:53 AM  

J. James EXON was Governor of Nebraska for eight years and in the Senate for 18 years, so he's fair game. I liked that we had both EXON and ESSO in the grid. Apparently, Standard Oil asked for his permission to change its name to Exxon.

I had the same "hey, that's not a mixed metaphor" reaction at MOP HATER, then said D'oh!

Like Rex, my only hiccup was in the SE. I had ASH____ to start 42D and got concerned, since ASHENED would seem to be an antonym for red-faced. MAINS set things straight.

edith b 10:02 AM  

I meant CONCEIT not comceit. Sometimes I can't tell my m's from my n's.

Elaine 10:03 AM  

@HudsonHawk
I had FLUSHED for [red-faced]--with rosacea, one is always quite pink.

@lit.doc
I had to take out all kinds of good answers that fit perfectly but were not right. When I finally tumbled to the anagrams (mostly stinkers) I said a bad word. You will be happy to know that took revenge on David Kahn (see WordPlay.)

retired_chemist 10:09 AM  

Just OK. Got the theme midway through. Filled in the starred clues uneventfully but with surprise at how hokey they seemed. All fell straightforwardly then. Agree with Rex that the cluing was easy - I thought more Tuesday-ish.

Trying to make an anagram of I LIKE ANAGRAMS to amuse you - not yet past the stupid chemist tricks and have a busy day, so maybe I will fail. A quand(ary) - quand is my captcha.

PRIE-DIEU I knew, but only from crosswords. Thrown briefly by OLAS - thought the Spanish word was ONDAS. It is, but for a different kind of wave (e.g. MICROONDAS). Diamond family was nice - DeBeers didn't fit, so it's ALOU.

Isabella di Pesto 10:13 AM  

Like the others here, I didn't get the mixed metaphor anagram until late in the puzzle.

Via Veneto a "path?" The Via Veneto is one of Rome's most elegant and famous vias--the American Embassy is there. Hardly what I'd call a "path." That was a real stretch.

SethG 10:18 AM  

Yup, more than twice yesterday's time. A choppy solve.

Thought MOHS was Moh's. Couldn't think of what I thought would be the American Beauty town. Didn't know the song, somehow parsed it correctly even with the Senator, the Scottish river, the religious thing.

Took me a long time to parse TOMORROW, too, 'cause I was thinking of the wrong orphan. I played Fagin in Oliver, my sister played Annie. Without a wig.

twangster 10:24 AM  

It took me an absurdly long time to get the gimmick ... I must have had 80% of the letters filled in before I finally got it.

For I while I was thinking there was a hat theme, since hat is in MOPHATER and MOREPHAT, and there's TOP in TOPMAHER (top hat).

PlantieBea 10:29 AM  

Slow and go. Add me to the group of those who couldn't see the anagram until the end. And a yes to trying NINJA. Making the SW even more difficult, I first entered YES. Changing the S for YEA was my last entry.

Favorite answers: SUBURBIA, NHL GOALIES, and the church seating combo.

Two Ponies 10:30 AM  

This was a tedious solve that varied only from boredom in the north to frustration in the SE.
The Greek letter, the firth, an ex-senator from BFE, and a hip-hop song? Give me a break. Didn't know and at that point truly did not care.
We are being over-run with hairy Himalayans!
@CoolPapaD, Once again I agree with you. I still play Selling England by the Pound.
In the vernacular of the sport only the goalies wear the masks.

PanamaRed 10:33 AM  

Hand up for Ninja at 29d - but corrected it pretty quickly.

Had TOPCOSBY for a while at 61a until crosses eliminated him.

Never saw the anagram thing until I got here.

Van55 10:42 AM  

I side with those who find the theme answers to be a bit weak. I can see how the lower left might have given fits to some, but for some reason I breezed through the whole puzzle. Not enough resistance for a Thursday IMO.

nanpilla 10:45 AM  

I got the anagram theme pretty quickly, which made this a much easier than usual Thursday. Very impressive that all six theme answers cross the reveal. That said, I didn't like the end result. The anagrams weren't interesting or funny - just there. HOME PART is just ugly.

Hand up for trying Ninja first, and I put in TOO and waited to see if it would be FAST or soon.

retired_chemist 10:50 AM  

Parsing MOPHATER as MO PHATER makes it a slangy synonym of MORE PHAT, no? Just sayin'....

I get quand agin. whassup?

Bob Kerfuffle 10:54 AM  

With PlantieBea, my one write-over was YES/YEA.

Really wanted to like the puzzle, even before it was pointed out that every theme answer across contributes to the central theme down. But it was just so . . . sticky (?). . . and the anagrams seemed so far-fetched. Still, brilliant construction.

(I think the Times is getting a kickback from the Himalayan Tourist Board.)

Stan 11:05 AM  

I'm with the dolts who never saw the anagrams. Is this the appropriate time to say "Oh, snap"?

Zeke 11:08 AM  

@R_D - MO PHATER is the correct form. MORE PHAT is William F Buckley trying to sound all ghetto.

chefbea 11:33 AM  

hi all - about to unplug the computer and pack it away. no time for puzzle or blogging today. "see" you on Monday or Tuesday when I get back on line from sunny warm wilmington NC

JF 11:45 AM  

Breezed through all but the SW. I'm one of the "non football fan + non hip hop fan" folks that Rex predicted would be solving this puzzle. The only saving grace was that 61A came to me before I even knew the theme.

And I kept trying to get some sort of SURGEON to fit in 29D before the crosses lit up the answer.

treedweller 11:47 AM  

I had problems in the SW for all of the reasons Rex mentioned, plus the Firth of TAY. Did not help that I was trying for phi instead of RHO. Googled to finish.

I did not expect such a rave review here today. I thought the anagrams were forced and clunky and I wondered what was the point (Metaphor Day?). I think it's another example of my enjoyment being contingent largely upon my success.

Rex Parker 12:06 PM  

What "rave review?" I spent half a sentence indicating that I thought the theme was well executed, but that's the only qualitative evaluation I offered. Nothing close to a "rave."

Parshutr 12:20 PM  

@Zeke, thanks, bro...u b stylin.
And, up there in the NW, mighty Laika rose! (another song, to go with into you tomorrow, Ella).
All those songs and pipers, obviously the theme was musical...
Anagrams? Moh's the pity.

Doc John 12:26 PM  

PRIE-DIEU crossing INTO YOU= four missed squares.
TAY?
Definitely Natick-y for me!

Charles Bogle 12:44 PM  

Hand up for not seeing anagram. Also willing to put hand up for not being able to complete...despite wearing out google. I wiffed on the hip-hop slang, hip-hop hit by some guy I never heard of, too-clever-by-half IMO things like ROMEPATH, NHLGOALIES...will anyone else fess up? From googles, and numerous ones where Rex and some bloke appear one and two, I sense I've got some company. Not my day; not on anything close to constructor's wavelength. Better luck TOMORROW?

fergus 1:23 PM  

Usually whenever I think a puzzle is crap I'll be missing something -- and boy did I neglect to perceive, just liike Ms. Fikink. The straightforwardness of the Clues really did deny my appreciation of the puzzle. Nevetheless, I've got to ask myself why a MOP HATER or a ROME PATH could ever masquerade as a metaphor, much less a mixed one?

George NYC 1:52 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 1:53 PM  

Caught on to the the theme after I finished. But, as most of you said it was pretty easy (with the exception of SW), so it went smoothly. I'm on the positive side for this one. I thought it was cleverly done.

George NYC 1:56 PM  

I was helped by the fact that I had the NH in place when I got to the MASKED MEN clue and since our Olympic goalie star Ryan Miller had a wild crazy mask.
I also happened to have the X in place when I got to Vinatieri. Wanted some sort of kicking answer but got the EXPATRIOT quickly because I'm a fan.
Misread the opening quote mark of "American Beauty"as an asterisk so wasted some time trying to get the METAPHOR letters in there. I could only think of SUBURBIA as the setting for that movie, so I re-read the clue for about the fifth time and ta-da.

David 2:20 PM  

I'll join the group that liked this puzzle, overall. There were a few areas that I had to come back to repeatedly, to figure out things fit together, but it was still a fun solve.

Never heard of PRIEDIEU, but managed to piece together enough of it for an educated guess, which then gave me enough to finish up the SW. That whole corner was a land of best guesses and late epiphanies.

MOPHATER was my first theme answer, based on getting those NE clues. At first I thought it might be going for some sort of letter-changing pun at first, but ended up relocating to the SW, where TOPMAHER gave me the anagram. Was probably lucky that the first two I really looked at had similar forms, it helped highlight the connection.

Even with that, though, I kept using the anagram theme to fill in the wrong letters---if the cross with a theme answer had one of those mixed-up letters, I gave it more credit than it probably deserved. So I got caught up trying to make POSEUR end in a P for "up," which seemed plausible for the anagram. Lots of little delays like that. Still probably an all right time for me on a Thursday, but yesterday's was quicker, so Rex is on his own for that.


Since the puzzle and Rex already opened the door on comic book tie-ins, by the way, the theme actually really reminded me of an issue of a fun comic from a few years back, Promethea. In this one issue, every page included an anagram of the book's title that (sometimes pretty obliquely) referred to what was happening at that moment. Some of them were forced, of course, but it was still an impressive attempt across 21 pages. And this puzzle really reminds me of it because, appropriately, the issue was called METAPHORE.

Clark 2:35 PM  

I caught on not to early, not to late, which made this a fun solving experience. I had MIXED METAPHOR, then got MOP HATER and wondered where the two metphors were supposed to be. A bit of puzzling got me the aha, and the rest fell into place. I always had just enough cross stuff to see answers that I absolutely did not know: EX-PATRIOT, INTO YOU, LAIKA. Thumbs up.

sanfranman59 3:17 PM  

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

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

Thu 17:26, 19:30, 0.89, 23%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Thu 7:18, 9:20, 0.78, 10%, Easy

Noam D. Elkies 4:04 PM  

Much better than yesterday's — and for me easier too since I guessed 14D:MIXEDMETAPHOR soon enough to get on the constructor's wavelength. (Though it did lead me to confidently enter "mo phater" at 34A even while I wondered why the comparative wasn't spelled "phatter" — I didn't even notice the duplication with 14A.) But yes, the SW is a big blot on an otherwise lovely puzzle. Presumably it was forced by the combination of the theme entry 61A:TOPMAHER with the final U of the otherwise lovely 36D:PRIEDIEU. At least clue 51D:EXON as "intron's counterpart" or somesuch rather than Former Senator Whoever. I guess Shortz would no more countenance "___-Sachs disease" for 58D:TAY than he would allow "cancer" to be clued as anything but the constellation... (And even that only once according to xwordinfo.)

NDE

Moonchild 4:31 PM  

So if I want to pray to god I kneel on a pay-to-god? How handy.
Or I am not tramslating that well?
I sorta liked the concept here but the payoff fell short for me.
I agree with whoever said it should be Mo Phat. Anyone who would say Phat would not say the complete More.

Moonchild 4:33 PM  

Of course I meant pray-to-god.

Anonymous 4:39 PM  

@Moonchild - I liked your first version better.

JenCT 5:19 PM  

OK, I pretty much bombed on this puzzle, despite knowing Vinatieri as an EXPATRIOT (football fan here). Had MIXEDMESSAGES at first, also.

Was also looking for actual metaphors. Didn't get the theme until I read Rex's blog. D'oh!

My captcha is feccacu, which pretty much sums up how I feel about my solving today.

the redanman 5:26 PM  

Got the NW in a snap, then I could not get on the wavelength of the constructor's slanted clues and struggled mightily. Took a quick pee k here and then the puzzle went OK at best, slowest this week - probably all three so far in less than this one. Different strokes...

Super-easies vs. super dense me. Stuck with ONTHE WEB then ONTHE NET forway too long at 21A, work made it hard to concentrate and see my folly.

hazel 5:50 PM  

@Treedweller - I'm with you on the clunk factor and the correlation between success and enjoyment. Alas, though I actually succeeded at this one, there was no joy...

Elegance in the construction, but the anagrams were just lame - and they made up a large portion of the grid. Not my cuppa, as my favorite Scottish detective would say.

chefwen 5:57 PM  

@stan - LOL on Oh Snap. Sure felt stupid last night searching for metaphors. Feel even more stupid after reading the write up. Some you win some you lose, and boy did I ever lose this one. Finished it correctly, but DOH!!!

Andy 8:06 PM  

And they totally missed out on another one, actor Tom MOPATHER. Though I guess that's too obscure and you can't make it funny.

mac 8:38 PM  

Wow, those Dubliners look old... I've been on several busses with lots of Irish people singing that song.

Even though sports and rap and pop are not my strong suit, I raced right through this one, AND I didn't get the anagram bit! Actually like the mop hater. I even got the ex-Patriot with just and x and a p.

No complaints about the cheater squares??

@archeoprof: I have to agree with you. Shopping streets seem to look the same the world over. Even in Tokyo it looks like Rome.

I've been doing a lot of Scrumptious Thursday crosswords edited by Peter Gordon this week in Florida, maybe that helped. Actually did 2 Kahns, and you've heard it before, he's a master.

Elaine 9:18 PM  

@mac
David Kahn's a master with a bad rash right now; it was my first exposure t oone of his puzzles, and I'm afraid I sent a little 'contact dermatitis' his way. Hey, David--it's called a 'murrain'...and you'll be feeling much better in a couple of weeks, I swear. I guess I'll be seeing more of you....just subscribed to Fireball! Hmmmm, there's a hex idea!

fergus 9:58 PM  

Mac -- any intended correlation between Thursdays and Florida?

During my recent week in the Sunshine State, I visited quite a few of the publicly-funded Parks tagged as "the Real Florida" and only skirted what I guess was draw of the artificial.

(The user fees associated with most anything one does there did strike me as a fairly good form of capitalism.)

sanfranman59 12:21 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 7:39, 6:55, 1.11, 76%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 10:22, 8:48, 1.18, 88%, Challenging
Wed 9:37, 11:50, 0.81, 10%, Easy
Thu 17:27, 19:30, 0.89, 23%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:18, 3:41, 1.17, 85%, Challenging
Tue 5:23, 4:30, 1.20, 88%, Challenging
Wed 4:27, 5:48, 0.77, 10%, Easy
Thu 7:02, 9:19, 0.78, 7%, Easy

andrea noT-REX michaels 2:01 AM  

I LOVED this! thought it was terrific.
DOing this puzzle was like (insert funny mixed metaphor here, but I'm too tired to think of one)

@JannieB
Yesterday's YETI was actually YAKS, we just all THOUGHT it was going to be YETI, so it was sort of a bleedover malapop. ;)

I tried to post this exactly twelve hours ago but there was no captcha thingie and it ate my entry.
Sort of surprised so many disliked or didn't get the anagrams and looked for mixed metaphors...how literal can you get?! I thought this was FABOLOUS!!!!!!

Beenana 4:27 AM  

OMG. Its fun. Duh, btw it's fabulous. Not fabolous. LMAO. Are you a kind. You kinda young. Hmmm. Self tagging much.

WilsonCPU 12:34 PM  

With the "e.g." after Adam Vinatieri hinting "abbreviation!" I confidently plopped down NEPATRIOT, giving me _NTI, so I knew that was gonna be "ANTI", when that Hairy Himalayan lumbered in! Gack... total write-over after several minutes of run-the-alphabet. Foo. But fun overall, and a good time was had (and achieved)...
Captcha: colud = roiling cloud?

David 3:34 PM  

So I am the only one to put musketeers for masked men with blades. I needed a ladder to climb out of that hole.

Anonymous 10:58 PM  

MOHS was MACH for so long...

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