Johnny who used to cry Come On Down / TUE 4-27-10 / Penny-pincher slangily / Seoul-based automaker / Means of staying toasty at night

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Constructor: Oliver Hill

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: SWITCHBLADE (62A: Street weapon ... or a hint to the circled letters in this puzzle) — consecutive circled letters in each theme answers are made up of the rearranged ("switched"?) letters of BLADE


Word of the Day: SAE (55A: Major coll. fraternity) —

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ, also SAE) is a North American Greek-letter social college fraternity founded at the University of Alabama on March 9, 1856. Of all existing national social fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only one founded in the Antebellum South. Its national headquarters, the Levere Memorial Temple, was established on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1929. // Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the largest college fraternity by total initiates, with more than 300,000 initiated members and more than 11,000 undergraduates at 300 chapters in 49 states and provinces at present. The creed of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, The True Gentleman, must be memorized and recited by all prospective members. New members receive a copy of The Phoenix, the manual of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, for educational development.

• • •

Amazingly easy for a puzzle with a whopping seven (7!) theme answers. Easiness is probably largely attributable to the fact that the grid is something close to 40% three-letter words. Not sure I counted properly, but I've got 30/78 words at 3 letters. And with none of the clues particularly tough today (exc. SAE, what the hell? I never saw the clue and figured it was simply the "self-addressed envelope" abbreviation I've come to know and ... tolerate), I methodically chomped through this one from NW to SW with hardly a hesitation. The puzzle is all theme ... and it's a good theme. Nice use of circles (contiguous, useful in solving). BED LAMP and HEATED BLANKET both seem like basic phrases, but I don't think I'd say either. I'd probably throw "SIDE" into the "BED LAMP" answer, and all the HEATED BLANKETs I've known have been heated by electricity, making them ELECTRIC BLANKETS. Maybe folks are heating blankets other ways these days (or on the prairie in olden tymes).

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Genesis duo (CAIN AND ABEL)
  • 21A: It's found on a nightstand (BED LAMP)
  • 29A: Certain mustache shape (HANDLEBAR)
  • 38A: Means of staying toasty at night (HEATED BLANKET)
  • 50A: American symbol (BALD EAGLE)
  • 57A: Made possible (ENABLED)
All of the very short fill makes the two Long Downs stand out, and I like them. Oddly homey, familiar implements. Fittingly, I got CAN OPENER (6D: One use of a Swiss Army knife) off the CAN and it opened the puzzle right up. Are there HOES that are not GARDEN HOEs (36D: Tool you can lean on)? Oh, wait, BACK HOE. That's a HOE. A HOE you can lean on, too. I would like to make the point now that a pimp can lean on his hoes, too, just so we can get that pun out of our systems. There. I feel better.


Bullets:
  • 11A: MP3 holders (CDS) — this is pretty cheap cluing. People listen to MP3s on iPods and iPod-like devices, not CDS. You can record MP3s to CDS, it's true, but ... :(
  • 73A: Darcy's Pemberley, e.g., in "Pride and Prejudice" (ESTATE) — Hesitated here trying to untangle the grammar of the clue. Had a brief moment where I imagined Pemberley was a person. Then thought, "wait, I've actually read this novel. Several times." And brain said "Oh yeah. That's right. Here you go: it's ESTATE."
  • 69A: Bond girl Kurylenko (OLGA) — Apparently being a Bond girl is like winning a gold medal — automatic puzzle eligibility. The only Bond girl I know is Ursula Andress. And I like it that way.
  • 11D: Penny-pincher, slangily (CHEAPO) — that would be a good name for a disposable lighter. Zippo is for the elites — try CHEAPO, the working man's lighter!
  • 37D: Snick's partner (SNEE) — These guys need an animated show, like Tom and Jerry or Chip and Dale.
  • 53D: Johnny who used to cry "Come on down!" (OLSON) — me: "Uh ... CARSON didn't say that, it was Ed McMahon! Oh wait, wrong show."

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

76 comments:

Anonymous 7:08 AM  

um.. is anyone else's puzzle clued wrong in the NW corner?

Bob Kerfuffle 7:21 AM  

I groaned inwardly when I saw circles again, had my doubts as the puzzle surrendered so easily, but finally had a smile at the reveal of SWITCHBLADE. Not great, but somehow redeeming.

@Anonymous, 7:08 AM - It would help to answer your question if you specified what are or seem to you to be wrong clues.

Gubdude 7:22 AM  

Easy and enjoyable. I honestly didn't see the theme until the revealer.

Only hold up was a misreading of 'layer' in 16A. Kept wanting layer as in a layer of clothing. Took me a minute to catch my mistake.

theaken 7:30 AM  

I also am curious about the alleged wrong cluing in the NW. what?

I take issue w/11A on the same grounds as Rex...ditto for HEATEDBLANKET and BEDLAMP: both seem a bit forced.

all in all, felt like a monday puzzle.

DrGaellon 7:40 AM  

Was Olga Kurylenko the actress or the character? Besides, Rex, how could you not know Pussy Galore? :D

CHEAPO bothered me; I've seen cheapskate, but never CHEAPO.

ArtLvr 7:49 AM  

Yes, very easy and yet fun... SAE is probably the only frat I know of besides the Sigma Chi of song. I expect someone will come up with one having LAMBDAS?

I also got a kick out of the HANDLEBAR mustache, since I'd mused that it should have appeared in a hair-themed puzzle recently! A BALD EAGLE isn't exactly hairless, but a nice echo of our wild turkey sightings the other day. Good one, Oliver Hill...

∑;)

p.s.11D EL CHEAPO reminded me of smelly cigars!

joho 7:54 AM  

Seemed fine as most Tuesdays go and the circles work well here.

I had the same problems with BEDLAMP and HEATEDBLANKET as @Rex. Electric blanket is not only a better answer, it's more interesting. What happens when you move your BEDLAMP to the livingroom? Does its name change?

I'm off to buy a CHEAPO lighter.

Anonymous 8:05 AM  

I was annoyed by "let a" and "let in the same grid.

mac 8:11 AM  

Smooth puzzle, but I agree with Bob Kerfuffle, the theme really needed the switchblade. This sort of thing is so much nicer when the letter series actually mean something.

I remembered my parents calling their electric blanket "the warm blanket", sort of a household term.

Cheapo is have only ever heard as an adjective, and "game on" doesn't sound familiar.

dk 8:13 AM  

Read mustache as muscle, not enough caffeine, otherwise a workingman's Tuesday puzzle.

MP3 holder was the only strained clue for me as MP3's hold tunes/songs not CDS.

Rex, I think what you were referring are known as hos, They used to grow like Cockle Shells in my old neighborhood.

Andrea, may I be your 38A?

** (2 Stars)

tptsteve 8:21 AM  

I wasn't sure where this one was going, but the circles made the answers easy, and when I got to 68A, it all made sense. At that point, my ire at the puzzle melted away.

But, I'm not sure about bedlamp- does any one call a lamp on a nightstand a bedlamp?

Re:66D- I thought half a colon was a semi-colon, which reminds me of the joke about a guy who had his colon removed, so now he punctuates in a bag.

@DK- a CD holds many mp3s

Parshutr 8:22 AM  

The grid contained self-referents BORE and SOSO, as well as the abhorrent AROD.
STOPIT, already.

foodie 8:23 AM  

I liked the placement of the circled letters undulating down the middle.

PIX 8:47 AM  

I am a big fan of electric blankets and have never heard of heated blankets...but a little Googling shows that companies sell things like the "Sunbeam Fleece Throw Electric Heated Blanket" so I guess Heated Blanket is ok.

Fun puzzle.

chefbea 9:00 AM  

Easy puzzle.I too would like to know what is wrong in the NW. No problem for me.

@Sparky Sorry I forgot to welcome you yesterday with a big bunch of beets. Hope you come back today

nanpilla 9:06 AM  

Glad this one didn't go over like a LEADBalloon. Would have liked to see ALDEBaran, too. There must be a lot of possibilities with such great letters to work with. Math whizzes?

Electric Blanket would have been a nice 15 letter middle word, but I'm sure it just wouldn't work with the crosses. Seven theme answers is very impressive.

And I don't say it often enough - thanks, Rex, for the great write-up.

spyguy 9:11 AM  

I had for 1A: ANEMIC, which made my prefix to duct EVI, which frankly is just as well known to me as OVI; and the very obscure but had over 2mil google hits "Nia Maria".

Ulrich 9:16 AM  

I had the same experience mac and BobK had: Saw all these rearranged letters in the circles none of which was a proper anagram (anagrams have to be real words, right?) until I got to 62A and all was forgiven. I also share foodie's observation about the placement of the circles--not symmetric, but in some informal order nevertheless.

I think the main function of a garden hoe is to provide something to lean on--to form what we used to call a "worker's monument"--they are so damned awkward to work with otherwise.

dk 9:22 AM  

@tptsteve, right you are. I think of MP3 as the player not the file type. Now where did I leave my Ediphone and those wax rolls?

jesser 9:28 AM  

I didn't find this one easy, and the circles didn't print (I dunno what's up with that, but it only happens on my office printer; my house printer prints them), so I never saw the theme until I came here.

ATOMIC was a weird synonym for 'tiny', in my brain, and when 1A won't fall like a dead tree in a hurricane on a Tuesday, I can't rank the puzzle easy.

At 15A, I wanted BOOR. I switched to BORE only grudgingly. That was a writeover, and I resent it, by damn.

I s'pect 42D is a shout out to Andrea. I initially misread the clue as '10-point IQ, e.g.' and was trying to come up with a four-letter word for Really Stupid Person. Bush?

Wait. I lied. I also had a writeover at 46D, where I started with I see IT, and had to morph that to I GET IT. Maybe Jess for 42D?

Jimmy Buffett wrote a song titled "I Wish I Had a Pencil Thin Mustache." I used to sing it while riding my bicycle, while holding the HANDLEBARs. Stretch.

Back when it was safe to go to Juarez and meander through El Mercado, you could pick up a real honest-to-Abe SWITCHBLADE for five bucks. You probably still can, but I'm not going shopping down there anytime soon to verify it.

The very last night that I slept in my parents' bed as a child was the night the electrically HEATED BLANKET shorted out and burned a deep hole in my leg. I still have the scar. I was 5. They replaced the damn thing, and they lost their son to his own damn room. Never again with the HEATED BLANKETS.

Why is it that only the lesbians get coming out parties? Damn ol' lucky DEB.

Avolucle! (something I suspect goes well with beets) -- jesser

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

I'm gonna come to the defense of heated blanket. I'm not gonna look it up on google to test how amny hits, because, well, you can find hits for NIA maria, as someone pointed out.

In my family (east coast, major city), we have a heated blanket. It is electrically-powered and we call it the heated blanket.

I also didn't think BEDLAMP was too bad, either.

I think this was definitely a Monday puzzle, could've been made a Tuesday by making the theme clues more difficult. I try to get the theme as early as possible, and today I saw 17A, got it, looked at 62A, made the reveal connection, and then answered all of the theme answers blank. I don't think that should be possible on a Tuesday.

hazel 9:58 AM  

Not that this is mainstream, but I've gotten many a heated blanket while in the chemo room. They come out of a warmer cabinet - and they are downright awesome. They're referred to as warm blankets though - but still they're heated, not electric.

Initial reaction to seeing circles was [groan], but he pulled it off admirably - though it remained kind of a humdrum puzzle for me. Pelican flying inches above the ocean - no ups no downs. Well executed construction, just no pizzazz. Though I can stare at those pelicans for a while.

Tinbeni 10:15 AM  

Even with the plethora of 3 letter fill (most I've ever seen in a NYT) this offering didn't feel DRAB or SO-SO.
NOR would I say it was inspired.

Searched out the theme reveal, and 62A, SWITCH BLADE got me the duh moment for the circles.

I GET IT, now ... GAME ON!
Half-a-Cup later, done.

IN RE: HEATED BLANKET didn't seem forced. But what the hell do I know about these. They're probably not big sellers here in Fla.

NYSE in a second puzzle today. Funny how you don't see something for a while then IN A day it pops up twice.

@Rex I wouldn't say a Zippo lighter is for the elites (though I do have, damn, 13 of them) more like a flame for those with style.
The CHEAPO is better for the beach or anywhere else you're likely to lose one.

Gregory House, M.D. 10:18 AM  

@hazel - May you live a hundred happy years. No jinx intended, but you remind me of a case I solved, wherein a cat was thought to have supernatural senses because it would lie on the bed of the patient next to die. I finally realized that the cat was merely responding to the heated blankets which were provided to the failing patient's bed!

JC66 10:27 AM  

What do you call a nightstand during the day?

retired_chemist 10:32 AM  

This was a Nike puzzle: Just Do It. Nothing tricky, nothing special.

First clue to the theme was CAIN AND ABEL, the order confirmed by getting the C from ARC (1D). said I GET IT.

The SW, esp. 52A and 46D, was my one problem. First 46D was I SEE IT, then that was abandoned to make 52A COME ON, then changing EOI (clearly not a French pronoun) to TOI led rapidly to the correct solution.

SAE is well known in almost every southern college town. To me it is not a "What the hell" kind of answer.

Nope 10:42 AM  

@r_c wrote: "SAE is well known in almost every southern college town"

Never been there

Never did [attend] there

Never bought the T-shirt

To me it is a "What the hell" kind of answer.

tes918 10:43 AM  

First time as a commenter but long time fan of Rex Parker. Puzzle was fairly easy, need to learn my French pronouns, when the puzzle is easy I never even check the circled answers. Is that just me?

Two Ponies 10:51 AM  

I really wanted to love this puzzle but I have to agree with
@Parshutr and add 18D to the self-referential list.
As is often the case with early week puzzles Rex saves the day with some humor.
@ hazel, thanks for the lovely mental image of the pelicans.

DBGeezer 11:07 AM  

The ease of this puzzle startled me. I finished in ten minutes, and ever needed a single google. A record for me. Seemed easier than most Mondays. I hesitated in the SW as some of you did, but TOI helped utangle it.
Thanks Oliver. Thanks Rex. And thanks all of you regular commentators.

lit.doc 11:10 AM  

@Rex, thanks for the preemptive strike on “hoe”.

Same reaction as several others. “Circles again. Hmmm. Hope there’s a clever reason for them”. Then 17A DABEL. “Ack! It’s not a word. Please don’t just be arbitrary pseudo-anagrams” (I was thinking of that tremendous rotating earth puzzle we had recently). Then 21A BEDLA. “NOOOOO!!”

I was as delighted as relieved when SWITCHBLADE fell into place without bloodshed. Nice Wednesday outing after all.

lit.doc 11:11 AM  

Wednesday? Really? Geez.

archaeoprof 11:14 AM  

Like Ulrich, I didn't see the theme at all until 62A, and then it brought a smile.

Tuesday puzzles so often disappoint. Not today!

retired_chemist 11:33 AM  

@ nope 10:42 -

Just because an answer (in this case, SAE) is outside one's frame of reference does not make it a "What the hell" answer. We from the rest of America put up with cheerfully with the countless answers that are only NYC/east coast friendly and learn them so we get them next time.

Or should I interpret WTH as simply a statement that you don't know it instead of denigration of the answer? That wouldn't have pulled my chain....

Rube 11:49 AM  

Had a helluva time in NW corner. I've simply got to learn how to spell CAIN and ABEL, who killed whom, and who was the farmer and who was the hunter. With CAne in place, 3D was conDUCT, and I was in trouble. Got it eventually, but really dislike having inky messes on my Tuesday puzzle.

After the first three circle sets, DABEL, BEDLA, and DLEBA, saw the theme as various combinations of the letters in BLADE. However, knowing how many combinations there are of 5 letters taken 5 at a time, (120!), I figured that this wasn't going to help and soldiered on.

Wanted IsEeIT also... grrr. Also had a write over at SNEE. Could only think of snicker-snack as in the Jabberwock, so had SNak at 37D. Double grrr. Googled SNICK SNEE and got only 3,000 hits, the first ones having to do with fighting with knives, or BLADES! IGETIT, Double theme clue!

It's a nasty day here in the Bay Area, and it's almost May.

Rube 11:54 AM  

Thinking about it a little more, the snicker-snack was a vorpal BLADE, so my first guess wasn't so bad after all, just misspelled.

Van55 11:55 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle today. It fell easily, but without groan-inducing fill. The theme isn't spectacular, but it's better than serviceable.

As gorgeous as Ursula Andress is/was, she's not the only Bond girl worth ogling.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_RqFhu7CWo58/R1MlPjiBMNI/AAAAAAAAAlk/mPBWK9jJo_8/s1600-R/olga-kurylenko.jpg

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

I connected the circles in alphabetical order, but I'm not sure what I've drawn.

Stan 12:01 PM  

Agree that "electric blanket" would have been better, but 'heated' fits the theme so what the heck.

My mother grew up in a farmhouse where each of the kids had a heated soapstone to warm up their beds.

53D is my last name (Hi there, PuzzleGirl and PuzzleSister!)

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

I don't understand 49D for the life of me. Why does DEB get a coming out party and not the rest of us? Life's just not fair.

CoolPapaD 12:06 PM  

Nothing but love for this puzzle. Again, I bow to the construction skills of those who make these for our entertainment.

This may be stupid, but do all Shakespeare plays have 5 acts?

Toi, moi, oui - love that French!

Thanks Oliver and Rex - fun and fun.

Paris Hilton 12:11 PM  

@Anonymous, 12:05 PM - Have you fer real never been to a DEButante ball?

Sparky 12:16 PM  

Groaned at the circles and then saw they didn't make a word. Got the point at switchblade. Ambled along in 15 minutes, which is good for me. Never timed self before reading this blog. I've been lurking for a couple of months. Thank you, chefbea, for the beets. Thank Rex and the others for interesting fun.

lit.doc 12:26 PM  

@anon 11:58, I think what you've drawn is I. M. Pei's glass pyramid, right after a disgruntled CW solver heaved a brick through it.

your average blank 12:29 PM  

@tinbeni I agree with your zippo comment. I have a bunch of them from my "joe camel" coupon on the pack days. Every truck stop I have frequented has a big zippo display case; most of them do not look like elitist to me.

Rex Parker 12:32 PM  

CHEAPO — "You can have your fancy 'truck stop' lighters, I'll stick with my CHEAPO!"

rp

your average blank 12:49 PM  

@rex I respect your choice of cheapos; however disposable lighters are a sign of a throw away life style filling up land fills. I have a zippo with USN logo I got in boot camp in 1965 and it still fires up with one spin of the wheel.

Vincent L. 12:56 PM  

Rex, we already knew that your knowledge of Bond girls was limited. Only a few days ago you acknowledged not knowing of the breathtaking, gorgeous Eva Green. :)

Tinbeni 1:10 PM  

@your average blank
The great thing about Zippo's is they light
"in the wind" and don't blow out.

Also. if the guts or anything doesn't work correctly, you just send it to the Zippo factory where they will fix whatever is not perfect, insert 'new guts' and send it back to you. For FREE, for nothing !!!

I love the smell of Zippo lighter fluid in the morning.
It smells like ... Victory!
(I made it to another day)

Anonymous 1:12 PM  

I often burn backup copies of MP3 files to CDs, so I consider "MP3 holders" to be a perfectly legit clue.

Clark 1:19 PM  

Nothing like Monday and Tuesday puzzles to make it easy to keep up while traveling. We'll see about Wednesday.

@Rex, if you really don't want to know, stop reading. Here are the other bond girls whose names are familiar to me:

Diana Rigg
Jill St. John
Kim Basinger
Grace Jones
Teri Hatcher
Halle Berry

Being blond is not a prerequisite. But, I suppose, being a girl is.

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

If I then copy my cd to a flash drive or hard drive, those can also hold mp3s. How does this change Rex's point?

Doc John 1:24 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
HudsonHawk 1:29 PM  

On my campus, the SAEs were more commonly referred to as "Stink And Eat". I've heard Sleep And Eat also from alums of other schools (I was just a GDI).

Doc John 1:45 PM  

Looks like Clark beat me to the punch but here's a more complete list of other notable Bond girls:

Dame Diana Rigg
Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore)
Barbara Bach
Halle Berry
Tanya Roberts
Jill St. John
Jane Seymour
Denise Richards (playing a nuclear physicist)
Teri Hatcher
Britt Ekland
Kim Basinger

So you see, they're not all forgettable people in quickie roles. (Thanks, IMDB) Also, Grace Jones wasn't exactly a Bond girl but she was a sexy female in a Bond movie so I guess that counts. (Yes, she's sexy.)

bluebell 1:46 PM  

I started with Ave Maria and Viaduct, couldn't think of Rivera and moved on to another part of the puzzle. Eventually came back to atomic (duh!) and got the thing right.

I don't necessarily equate Bible study with religion. I've taken a course in Bible as Literature where religious study wasn't the focus.

chefwen 2:02 PM  

Friends kept dropping by last night so I didn't get to the puzzle until after I had consumed several glasses of wine. That is usually enough to put my brain in rest/sleep mode, but I was able to zip right through this one so it must have been Monday easy.

Heated blankets are a blessing while in the out patient department of a hospital. Why they keep those places so damn cold, I'll never know.

Elaine 2:07 PM  

@mac
CHEAPO can be an adjective, but as Rex illustrated, it can be a noun...and with me, it usually is. I'm a real cheapo when it comes to some things... but in fact when it comes to towels I want the cheapo-s; the thick ones won't get you dry!

@Rube
Bzzzzzt! Wrong again. Neither Cain nor Abel was a hunter; herds of goats and sheep were common in those times--milk, meat, skins, hair, and so forth--so one was a farmer, the other a herdsman.

As someone pointed out on WordPlay, this puzzle just cries out for the inclusion of Zorro, the Gay Blade.
Found it quick and fairly simple to solve, though (again) don't accept that these scrambled things are anagrams.

BEDLAM 2:37 PM  

The nighttable clues "bedside lamp," not "BED LAMP," which is usually behind, over, or even in the bed. Many examples here.

Sigh...

Martin 2:40 PM  

There's more to it than just burning files in MP3 format onto a CD. It's no accident that you can put that CD in a CD player and it will work. There's a standard for something called an MP3 CD. My car stereo plays DVDs burned with directories of MP3s. Makes for a cheap iPod replacement.

JenCT 3:00 PM  

Liked this very much, although hand up for AMEMIC before ATOMIC.

Love Queen Latifah.

In honor of all the turkey talk, I changed my picture to a hen that's been frequenting my yard lately - I think she has a nest nearby.

sanfranman59 3:43 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)

Tue 7:59, 8:51, 0.90, 25%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:29, 4:31, 0.99, 53%, Medium

fikink 4:24 PM  

@JenCT, my turkey is coming over to see your turkey :)

I thought the puzzle was fine for a Tuesday. I first thought it was going to develop into a play on ABLED, oddly a back-formation of "disabled," so I was quite happy to see SWITCHBLADE.

(I still think the graphically rotating E A R T H saved that puzzle from the anagram constraint.)

william e emba 4:44 PM  

I memorized which Biblical brother was which way back when via the phrase "CAIN was ABEL". Presumably you've also heard of the phrase "the mark of CAIN"?

You could also read Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN. Highly recommended on general principles along with the many miniseries followups, and the two spinoff series, but as a side effect, you will forever know which is which.

dk 5:09 PM  

@sparky, your slipping ever closer to the edge. Timing yourself....hmmmm. Now the important question: Pen or pencil?

@doc john, Terri Hatcher was a Bond girl - neat.

Rube 5:11 PM  

Just read an article in today's NYT you may enjoy, especially you ladies who remember the 60s. A little humor in the otherwise usually dry Business Section.

Nope 5:17 PM  

@r_c

I was prompted to write by your line that I quoted.

If I (on some other occation) had written "Anyone who has lived in NYC knows ..." the first part of your response would mirror my feelings ;)

As to SAE being a WTH answer, I just mean I had it, didn't understand it and had to look it up (for next time).

Thus, your second assumption is correct.

MikeM 5:22 PM  

I remember it from Springsteens "Adam Raised a Cain"

"In the Bible Cain slew Abel and East of Eden he was cast.
You're born into this life paying for the sins of somebody else's past"

bookmark 5:22 PM  

@CoolPapaD: Yes, all Shakespeare plays have five acts.

Sfingi 5:22 PM  

@JenCT - We have these gobblers all over Upstate NY. My inmates thought they were rats, since they are often grazing and have their heads down.

These words such as BEDLAMP and CHEAPO seem OK to me since we get the answer, don't we?
As far as HEATEDBLANKET, there are 2 reasons hospitals use them rather than electric BLANKETs: There could be problems if they got wet and they need to be washed after one use, unlike mine at home which is full of happy dust mites. A BEDLAMP could be one of those over the bed or clipped on to the headboard.

@RetiredChemist - Tell the Northeasterners there are SAEs at Cornell, UVM and Bard, and of course Syracuse U which has every combination of any 3 Greek letters.

@Artlover - El Ropo Stinko was my Dad's cigar. Actually, I liked the smell of seegars which filled the office buildings in the 40s-70s.

@Jesser - BOor and BORE have much in common.

@Gubdude - watch out for prayer, drawer, sewer and a few other choice homonyms. The idea is to throw us off.

@Emba - Remember, the mark of Cain was also a protection for Cain against being murdered, as well as a signal to others. Like checking in with his parole officer.
The Old Testament pretty much reflects the beginning of agrarianism, with all this talk of locusts, storage of wheat, talking donkeys.
@Rube - it snowed here today. But it didn't stick.

retired_chemist 5:40 PM  

@ nope 5:17 - glad you cleared that up. Thanks.

andrea igetit michaels 7:03 PM  

@bookmark, CoolPapaD
Thanks, I wondered about that too!
Five acts it is! THAT's what I learned today...
and that there are other kinds of HEATEDBLANKETS that are not electric!
(@Hazel, thanks for keeping it real and stay well!)

@jesser
If you do it right, EVERY party is a coming out one! ;)

@tptsteve
not that it's a contest, but fwiw I thought your getting it from the crosses (!) comment yesterday took the cake!

@anonymous 7:08am
I think maybe s/he was referring to how hard (relatively) the NW is...I know I got many answers wrong initially...
Had VIAduct instead of OVIduct, AVE Maria instead of TIA Maria, etc. so it's possible s/he left those mistakes in and couldn't get past that...

@Oliver
I thought this was really clever...and seven themes!!!!!!
Even if there ARE 120 possibilities for BLADE this was smoooooooth.

And I'm so happy no one really complained about the circles... there are only so many variations on a theme NYT accepts and this was a nice fresh SWITCH.

@stan, puzzlegirl, addie
53D TOTAL shoutout to you!!!!!!

@van55
You made me realize that ogling is 75% of googling!

@Clark
If they were all blonds, would they be renamed Blond Girls?
Looking forward to tomorrow in more ways than three!

mac 9:35 PM  

@Andrea Bedlam(p) Michaels: looking forward to your puzz tomorrow!

This was one of those great puzzle, Rex and comment days. Learned quite a lot!

The most amazing heated blanket I ever encountered was last year, when before a medical procedure a sort of sheet was put on me, and almost immediately hot air was blown into it, warming me beautifully!

Elaine 9:38 PM  

@JenCT
One afternoon I was driving home from my son's orthodontist's appt, and we saw an odd 'projection' from the side of the roadway...so I slowed down...and ...out popped a turkey's head, followed by the turkey...and another...and another (for twelve turkeys!)...an entire brood of young wild turkeys, who crossed the road and disappeared down the gulley toward the Chagrin River. It was truly wonderful to see them like that. The resurgence of the wild turkeys in Ohio has been a huge success story...and it's echoed in other areas as well. Wonderful! (BTW, Ben Franklin bitterly opposed the selection of the 'thieving' Bald Eagle as a national symbol; he much preferred the Wild Turkey. He had a point.

sanfranman59 11:28 PM  

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

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

Mon 6:00, 6:55, 0.87, 20%, Easy
Tue 8:02, 8:51, 0.91, 26%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:19, 3:40, 0.91, 26%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:23, 4:31, 0.97, 48%, Medium

william e emba 3:36 PM  

Remember, the mark of Cain was also a protection for Cain against being murdered, as well as a signal to others.

That's the point of it being offered as a mnemonic. If you know what the phrase means, you'll remember which brother lived and which one was killed. And if you don't know what the phrase means, find out, and then you'll forever remember which brother is which.

My point was that everyone already knows the phrase "mark of CAIN". It's often difficult to remember which name is which in any story, but stories themselves are pretty memorable. The mnemonic is simply to make sure you attach one name to the story correctly.

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