Johnston in 2008-09 news / WED 5-26-10 / Modern educational phenomenon / Pronounced rhythm / Fearsome wooden roller coaster Six Flags Great Adventure

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Constructor: Anna Shechtman

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: GRADE INFLATION (56A: Modern educational phenomenon ... or a hint to 20-, 29-, 38- and 45-Across) — Bs are changed to As in familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: LEVI Johnston (67A: Johnston in 2008-09 news) —

Levi Keith Johnston (born May 3, 1990) is the former fiancé of Bristol Palin. He first received media attention in August 2008 upon Sarah Palin's announcement that Bristol was five months pregnant and that Johnston was the father. Plans for a wedding were cancelled after the couple broke off their engagement in March 2009. // Johnston has since pursued a career in the entertainment industry as an aspiring actor and model, and has engaged in several public feuds with the Palin family. (wikipedia)

• • •

Love the concept. Less enthusiastic about the execution. Specifically, did Not like the central theme answer, which is all kinds of out-of-whack. Every other B-to-A change in the puzzle changes a four-letter -MB word to a four-letter -MA word, and then VERA comes along and wrecks the consistency. Either make them all the same, or mix them up completely. Don't give me three perfectly consistent answers and then a big, fat clunker, right in the middle. Further, both "verb endings" and "VERA ENDINGS" are weak — weak base phrase, weak "funny" phrase. This answer is especially glaring given that the rest of the puzzle comes off so well. Really like the other phrases, though GOES OUT ON A LIMA is very poorly clued (20A: Chokes after bean eating?) — "GOES OUT" = "chokes" in what universe? You could pass out, or die, from choking, but choking is synonymous with neither of those things. [Chokes to death], maybe. But just "chokes," no.

Otherwise, this puzzle was fine. Mostly uneventful. Very smoothly filled. Also very easy. Enjoyed BAD MOODS (11D: Peevish states) and really loved WET ONE (2D: Sloppy kiss). Did not like VINE RIPE (38D: Like some tomatoes), despite getting it off the "V," because, as my wife said when I asked her about that answer: "Well, I've heard of VINE-RIPENED..." Exactly. Only trouble spots I can see might be in and around the center, esp. if you don't know who VERA Miles is. Also, you might be like me, and have trouble getting to LAMA from "monk," despite the validity of that association. Everything else: piece of cake.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Chokes after bean eating? (GOES OUT ON A LIMA)
  • 29A: Monk's karate blows? (LAMA CHOPS)
  • 38A: Movie finales featuring actress Miles? (VERA ENDINGS)
  • 45A: Result of a sweetener overload? (HONEY COMA)
Very nice, new (to me) clue on EL TORO today (63A: Fearsome wooden roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure). Easily the most obscure answer in the puzzle, but also an answer that's easily gettable from crosses and inference. Very ungroovy clue on GROOVE (50D: Pronounced rhythm, in music). Sounds like some guy in thick glasses and a lab coat explaining the phenomenon known as "boogeying" or "getting down."

Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


fikink 8:08 AM  

An inconsistency that caught my eye was the way in which HONEYCOMA keeps the sound of the original word whereas the rest do not. But the consistent B to A transition sort of made up for it.

Favorite fill: ORDERLY GROUP, MAD ALFRED, and NAVY WETONE (which makes your photo all the more wonderful)

Agree with Sandy, proper speak is VINE RIPENed.

JayWalker 8:11 AM  

Morning Rex - sorry but don't understand your rant on "Vera Endings" at all. It isn't dependent on your knowing who Vera Miles is ("Psycho"), but that we know what verb endings are, and the B to A switch is consistent. Am I missing the point? Other than that, thought this was a so-so puzzle, somewhat easy for a Wednesday.

SethG 8:17 AM  

The South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato is the official state fruit and the official state vegetable of Arkansas. The NYT has more frequently used "vine-ripened", but they have used "vine-ripe" on occasion. VINE RIPE didn't bother me as much as VERA did, but I loved the rest of the theme.

Speaking of camouflage, I cannot figure out the Levi picture. it seems like a chunk is missing from his right arm, or the hand holding onto the rifle is invisible. Wasilla!

fikink 8:22 AM  

@SethG, Sarah picked off a chunk of his right arm from a helicopter during a family feud.

PuzzleGirl 8:33 AM  

Yes, JayWalker, you're missing the point. The point is exactly what Rex said: "Every other B-to-A change in the puzzle changes a four-letter -MB word to a four-letter-MA word, and then VERA comes along and wrecks the consistency." Later, he suggests that people might have had trouble with that section if they hadn't heard of Vera Miles.

ArtLvr 8:43 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 8:45 AM  

I loved the Grade Inflation theme, an apt one for Swarthmore student Anna Schectman who is still a teenager! (See Jim's interview at Wordplay.) Congrats to Anna on her NYT debut, and here's hoping we'lll see more from her here!


PIX 9:25 AM  

I am reading a long (boring)book on Chinese history. When I saw 57A: -Xing I just assumed that was the name of some obscure Chinese emperor or someone like that. Deer was easy to get from the crosses but Deer Xing just seemed really weird for a Chinese name...I am going back to bed and begin the day all over again.

joho 9:26 AM  

Thanks, @ArtLvr for telling us about Anna Schechtman. I thought the theme was clever and a lot of fun. I didn't have a major problem with VERAENDINGS. I didn't like VINERIPE but @SethG's information about Arkansas' state fruit answered that question for me.

Congratulations, Anna, on your NYT debut ... great job!

Tinbeni 9:33 AM  

Thought the GRADE INFLATION theme was just right.
B became an A.
Two on words at the beginning, LAMA & VERA.
Two on words at the end, LIMA & COMA.
The fact that three had an MB become MA and one was RB became RA is so insignificant, in my solving world, I can't say it would get my shorts in a wad. geez.

I DRED becoming MAD or having BADMOODS due to a clue or answer in a crossword puzzle.

Then again, I'm not that VAIN.

Here, I hear and see VINE RIPE all the time.
Thought of @Fikink's avatar when I wrote it in.

chefbea 9:33 AM  

Great debut puzzle, Anna. Took me a while to get the theme. Vera endings didn't bother me either.

Doug 9:37 AM  

I guess I liked this puzzle because grade inflation is one of my big pet peeves. Worse, when kids don't get As, they go nuts and lobby teachers. Take your damn Bs and shut up, I say. The clue for 20 across was over the top absolutely obtuse. "Risks after bean eating" might have worked better.

hazel 9:48 AM  

VINERIPE is just how I like 'em. Standard English here in the illiterate south - shows up in lots and lots and lots of Southern recipes.

Great debut puzzle - the B to A theme was clever enough for me also, didn't need to be a universal MB to A theme to make it any better. Even though wacky themes usually disappoint, thought this one was really well done.

Liked the ELTORO clue a lot, too. OLE! Anna!

joho 9:48 AM  

Just change Chokes to Croaks.

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Rex's point about the MB inconsistency makes sense, but I don't think that takes away from the puzzle at all. I really enjoyed the entire puzzle and never would have noticed had I not checked here.

This was a perfect AHA moment for me, for a wednesday. It took me the first two theme answers, I thought "hmm, B's are moving to A's", saw the education theme, and the theme came perfectly.

I also really enjoyed VINERIPE (familiar to me), WETONE, ROUGHIT and others.

Puzzle was on the easy side, but again, very enjoyable all around.

Nice work, Anna!

Ulrich 10:25 AM  

Anna apparently has been doing puzzles for a while--way to go!

Scott A. 10:27 AM  

Great puzzle today, IMO! Nice concept and fill. My review would have started with glowing praise of the theme answers, followed by a small nit on the Vera Miles answer, as being a bit clunky. I do not understand why anyone would want to see an "m" before all the "b"s in the root phrase. The "m" has nothing to do with GRADEINFLATION.

Hope to see more from this talented young constructor.

CaseAceFos 10:30 AM  

Just a wee bit sucking-up by Newbie Anna Schectman, to Will Shortz, over on the Wordplay Blog in the hope he'll give her more playing time down the road.
Funny how young people aren't fully aware they're engaging in this fawning practice unless it's pointed out to them.
Otherwise, this nifty debut puzzle was a delight and Miss Schectman's future looms brightly on the Crossword scene!

mac 10:34 AM  

I have to agree with the inconsistencies, but I enjoyed the puzzle nonetheless.

I thought we were in for a legume theme when the lentil crossed the lima answer (do we really consider a lentil a bean?), but 29A set me straight.

Congratulations on your debut, Anna!

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

But do old people realize they generalize about young people?

Van55 10:38 AM  

I enjoyed the solve. Fresh, clever and droll. Out on a Lima was my favorite.

Confidently entered SMOOCH instead of WETONE.

Superb first puzzle. Much better than today's LAT by the late, great Dan Naddor.

kenken girl 10:41 AM  

It most be easy Wednesday, since also both ken kens were a breeze....

fikink 10:42 AM  

@mac, I had the same thought about the lentil; even looked it up after the puzzle and found the lentil defined as a "pulse."

pulse 2
noun (usu. pulses)
the edible seeds of various leguminous plants, for example chickpeas, lentils, and beans.
• the plant or plants producing such seeds.

Note: "lentils AND beans"

Looks like we have an identity issue.
@Clark,where are you?

New to me! Nice.

JenCT 11:02 AM  

Love the word TWIT. Also like to see references to MAD magazie.

ROUGHIT took me way too long; was thinking of a name for camp.

Liked the puzzle.

Two Ponies 11:10 AM  

I'm still a bit jet-lagged but found this easy. The SE was the slowest because of the odd clue for groove and my refusal to acknowledge all things Palin-esque.
Always nice to see a debut.
England was grand.
An added bonus was finding that a kind woman at work copied all of the puzzles I missed while I was away. What a good friend she is.

foodie 11:21 AM  

Fun theme! Definitely true in some places. Others nicely hold the line. I particularly liked the LIMA/LAMA combo.

I too had trouble accepting LENTIL as a bean. I put it down because it seemed to fit, erased it, worked around it and was compelled to re-enter it. BTW, has any of you had lentil soup made of yellow lentils? It's lemony, garlicky soup and it's very different, and delicious.

For 2D, I had SMOOCH for a long time and it certainly blocked the NW until I gave up. I guess smooch is not particularly sloppy? I need to refine my kissing nuances.

Anonymous 11:34 AM  


XING is the sign you see on country roads indicating that there are deer crossing. XING wasn't meant to be a Chinese name in this case.

matt 11:35 AM  

I guess GLOVER makes a lot more sense than Aiello...

archaeoprof 11:39 AM  

Perfect time of year for this clever theme. Congratulations, Anna.

I agree with Rex, though, that the execution was uneven. Fill like INN, RPI, TEL, DST, SRI STE, etc was tedious.

I'd give it a B.

dk 11:50 AM  

DEER Xing,

Are not some ironies Poetic?

Is LEVI photoshopped?

Will I ever catch ONTO the theme before I come here?

Why is it whenever I think of Andrea I go into a HONEYCOMA?

Yours truly,

dred k

ps. I use a LENTIL (green) in my pea shooter against the bird feed eating squirrels.

syndy 11:52 AM  

was watching JEEVES AND WOOSTER before going to the puzzle so really liked the first word being TWIT-Favorite answer "honeycoma" Isn't it natural for a young puzzle artiste to venerate that of the puzzle oracle that is Mr.Shortz? BE KIND TO THE YOUNG ONES!!!!!

jesser 12:02 PM  

I did this puzzle -- and a few more -- while waiting to see if I'd be chosen to serve on a jury. I wasn't. Yay! And today is the last day of my two-month stint, so I'm pretty much over the moon. :-)

I thought the theme was cute. OUT ON A LIMA and HONEY COMA got audible chuckles out of me. I wasn't offended by VERA ENDINGS, although I'm not sure I've ever heard of Ms. Miles. I remember Vera Lynn (Lynde?) from Pink Floyd lyrics.

Only writeover was at 59D where I slapped down duEt. Didn't take long for that to iron itself out, though.

My across-the-street neighbor is named AVIS, and she's a biology PhD, specializing in (what else?) birds. Also fruit flies. She sometimes squeals loud enough for me to hear her from my porch, so I'll go over there and she'll point out a Cooper's hawk, or a great horned owl or a phenopepala (sp?) that has come to visit the 'hood. She's a hoot.

Shouldn't Arkansas decide already whether their state tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? I always thought tomatoes were fruits. I like them. In the puzzle, just to make myself feel better about 38D, I let the NED drip down off the grid. Much more gooder.

You can't go very far in NM without seeing a DEER Xing sign, but still I was looking for some Chinese dude. Getting that one contributed to by non-BAD MOOD.

LEVI. God help us all.

Strialis! (I'm pretty sure you take it while sitting in a tub on a hill.) -- jesser

HudsonHawk 12:07 PM  

Fun Wednesday, and I loved the theme. I have to concur with Doug--GRADE INFLATION is a pet peeve of mine.

I thought 20A might be a shout-out to Jose LIMA, the all-star pitcher who died last week at 37 of an apparent heart attack.

pezibc 12:10 PM  

"Funny how young people aren't fully aware they're engaging in this fawning practice unless it's pointed out to them."

I find it unlikely that she is not well aware of what she says and why.

Nevertheless, it's sound business, especially in a monopolistic niche where one burned bridge (even simply perceived in some way) could be the end of the line for ever again getting anything published in the very few respectable outlets.

I did think that VERA(B)> was the weakest theme entry but didn't care about the MA RA business. I'd rather have this puzzle than not. Loved VINE RIPE.

HumorlessTwit 12:14 PM  

What the hell is an "apparent heart attack"? What is wrong with saying "he died, apparently of a heart attack"? I mean, you've got one additionaly punctuation mark and one additional letter, but seems worth it to me.

I only popped my head up because of the shoutout at 1A

Martin 12:29 PM  

bean 1b: the seed of any of various erect or climbing plants (as of the genera Phaseolus and Vigna) of the legume family other than the broad bean.

Lentils are Lens in Latin. The optical lens is named for its lentil shape.

FWIW, 85% of zinfandel wine is the sweet alcopop called white zinfandel. But the dictionary gives 19-Across air cover too. That one bother me more. I've learned to order "red zinfandel" because the default it the sugary abomination. Yes, lexicographers need to get out more often.

dk 12:55 PM  


My land is bare of chattering folk;
The clouds are low along the ridges,
And sweet's the air with curly smoke
From all my burning bridges.

d (parker) k

Also this puzzle gets:

** (2 Stars) I liked it for a Weds and love it for Tuesday

Secret word-barsu: Alaskan knife that can cut a VINERIPE tomato and saw through....

retired_chemist 1:01 PM  

Enjoyed it - not enough of a purist to fret over -RA vs. -MA. Hand up [sic] for AIELLO, MAR @ 37A, RAD @ 65A, and having, mercifully, forgotten LEVI (whom crosses revealed readily).

Thanks, Ms. Schechtman - more please.

Doc John 1:46 PM  

I liked the puzzle just fine. Of course, any puzzle that features a great rollercoaster (EL TORO and not Rolling Thunder) is OK in my book! Fun fact- while technically a wooden coaster, El Toro is in fact made of a wood composite that's formed in sections at the factory and then assembled in place at the park. Leads to a smoother ride and easier maintenance.

Clark 1:50 PM  

@fikink -- Here's what I've got on Identity on this busy day. For the analytically inclined, ruminations on what Popeye said, and for those of a more continental bent, a two minute excerpt from an interview of Erich Fromm. (Cool music and pictures of Locarno if you go back to the very beginning of the clip.)

And the puzzle?
1. Lentils. I love em. Red, yellow, green, orange -- they're all good.
2. Sex on skates. Who could ask for anything more.

Shamik 2:07 PM  

Easy at 5:27...congrats Anna on your NYT debut. And it was an ok puzzle at that. Not brilliant. Not bad. Not meh. Ok. And ok is good enough!

Am I the only person who wanted to jam Sarah Miles into those endings...which of course made no sense since there isn't a phrase called Sarb Endings.

And I'm right up there thinking that 57D might be Chinese even though i put the correct answer in.

comen: captcha that I'll allow all others to define as it just seems a bit too risky

foodie 2:28 PM  

@Citizen Dain from late last night

"How subjective are these relative difficulty rankings??"

I've been tracking Rex's ratings, versus the formal statistics run by SanFranMan (who posted yesterday that the puzzle was EASY based on his very thorough system of analysis), versus a quick measure I'm trying to validate (more about that at some later date). And Rex's ratings are amazingly good at predicting the difficulty level of a puzzle for that day of the week. The reference population is of course the online solvers, which may not be representative of the solving population at large, or certainly someone who is just getting started. But whatever system Rex uses, and I think it's a mix of objective and subjective, it is remarkably predictive. Very interesting.

sanfranman59 3:24 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)

Wed 9:55, 11:49, 0.84, 13%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Wed 5:31, 5:49, 0.95, 40%, Medium

Tinbeni 3:41 PM  

Today the LAT was a Dan Naddor and it had a surprise.
Not for you, but for me.

I'm off the Avatar soapbox.

CrazyCatLady 4:10 PM  

Really enjoyed this puzzle and the GRADE INFLATION theme. Didn't really notice the VERA inconsistency, so wasn't bothered by it. Had a little trouble in the SE also because of the clue for GROOVE and because I have a mental block when it comes to that TWIT LEVI. Had the same thought as others about LENTIL, but threw it in there any way. Thought this puzzle was a little easier than today's LAT, but very impressive for a college student's debut. Swarthmore is a great school and also my home town. Nice job Anna!
@Martin - Friends don't let friends drink white zinfandel. Try ordering an old vine zin. Maybe they'll get it right.

chefbea 4:17 PM  

@tinbeni I saw the scotch mentioned (I do drink dewers). Havent had time to finish the LA times puzzle. Busy making Granita di lemone. And we are going to have Lucy juicy burgers for dinner. Will report later!!!

captcha=famin!!! I doubt that. Not in this house

Anonymous 4:49 PM  

I had no trouble coming up with VERAENDINGS, but it confused me since verb endings wasn'ta phrase that readily came to mind.

That said, I liked the puzzle, particularly TWIT, which is a really great word-- you know precisely when when you're dealing with one. And it sounds so happy. It shoulda been the WOTD.

Anonymous 4:54 PM  

Would have liked it better if there was a C was changed to B, D changed to C, and F changed to D, instead of just B changed to A. And agree with the Zinfandel comment. One of the few grapes that is often sweet.

Andrea C+ Michaels 5:26 PM  

Great theme, wonderful debut...haven't read about her yet, but pleased as punch to learn this was by a teenaged, vine-ripened girl!!!!

Personally, I think Rex is dead on in his evaluation...exactly exactly exactly...betw the MB inconsistency, the obscurity of Vera (and the thought of her even if you knew who she was)ability to induce a chuckle, the bizarreness of even having VERBENDINGS as a phrase...clearly a case where one less or a different entry would have solidified this puzzle beyond reproach.

On the other hand, I would like to point out the difficulty of changing a consonant to a vowel and how hard that then is to find phrases that parse well and retain the same sound, etc. ESPECIALLY changing a B to an A!!!
It's easy to find wacky phrases where F becomes S or C becomes P or what have you...but B to A is quite a feat!!!!!!!
And then to maintain the integrity of a fun phrase...
so it may have been hard to find a fourth solid example that worked in the grid, etc etc but that does not diminish how right on @Rex's critique is!

For all we know, VERBENDINGS was someone else's phrase foisted into the puzzle...or it could have been the seed phrase and the only one young Anna made! But it did stick out like a sore thuma.

The only other thing I wouldhave avoided, and this I learned from collaborating with PB, is maybe to have avoided BOA in the NE corner, bec it's inconsistent with the theme of changing B's to A's...better to leave out other B's in the grid.

I'm pleased I can still induce a honeycoma in someone...and the fact that you quoted Dorothy Parker makes me love you that much more if that's possible!

(And I'm not just sucking up! ;)
Back in college, Andy Borowitz once wrote, "We'll burn that bridge when we get to it" and it remains the most clever thing I heard in 4 years!)

(By the way, I haven't read the other blog yet, but young Anna needn't worry that she is perceived as sucking up...Will loves mentoring, he always takes the best puzzle available, doesn't seem to hold grudges...and believe me, we have fought tooth and nail over the years and I have had MORE than my share of paranoia that I'll never get published again and yet it doesn't happen. People who point fingers about being effusive or suspecting ulterior motives when some express themselves more ebulliently (is that a word?) than others, tend to be more likely to have engaged in that behavior themselves so accuse others of said bad Jungian, no?!!

I'm loving the idea of @foodie feeling a need to refine her kissing nuances!

Not that I'm in any position to do so, but I'd give this puzzle an A- (Just to give young Anna room to grow!)

Sfingi 5:27 PM  

@Rex - always looking for the inconsistency, never the common thread.

I feel, at this point in my CW "career," - a year - that if I get the theme or any clue (excluding sports), that it is fair. I got the theme quickly. I didn't know this dude LEVI's name, nor ELTORO, but since I got 'em by hook or cross, they're OK. Obviously, after 10 years, should I live that long, I'd have to make a new rule.

I had "tRainee" for ORDERLY, off of the single clue, RPI, but recovered.

My grampa was an RPI grad, class of '09. That's 1909, which they called naughty nine. Charles Edward Merritt, Civil Engineer; or, C.E.Merritt,C.E. on letterhead. (What's a letterhead?)(What's a letter?) He was OCD, but he didn't put it on the letterhead. I guess lots of engineers are OCD.

It has often been said that Viet Nam War draft dodging caused grade inflation. Graphs show these to be positively correlated. I'm beginning to wonder if this was because the colleges/professors believed they were saving their students by doing this. Was there an actual GPA they had to achieve? Or a test? I have not found any evidence of such.
I've taken classes late in life, and find that, at least the girls are smarter, or show their smarts more. Case in point, Anna Shechtman.

@Fkink - I think it's the camouflage and background.

@ChefB - They say humans tend to obesity to be ready for future famine. Sort of like an in-house Joseph. Maybe that's the lesson the metaphor really meant!! Eat up, the worst is yet to come! Maybe American obesity is a sign of the coming famine. Maybe captcha's are interpreting the future!

Love lenticchie, books and drama Jeeves and Wooster (same guy as House!), Sarah and Vera Miles. Do not love roller coasters. My dad had a friend who made sure he sat in front so he could turn his head and puke at Coney Island.

Citizen Dain 5:27 PM  

Just successfully/correctly completed my VERY FIRST Wednesday puzzle! All the practice and daily reading of this blog has helped me come such a long way the past few weeks! Thanks a lot, Rex, never stop!

Stan 5:40 PM  

An excellent debut, with some real sparkle and subversive wit. Congrats, Anna, send more.

jesser 6:02 PM  

@Andrea: I bet your college friend was a Jimmy Buffett fan. In 1984, Buffett released his 'Riddles in the Sand' album, which features the song, 'Burn That Bridge.'

Burn That Bridge
By: Jimmy Buffett, Michael Utley, Will Jennings
I'm not sayin' I'm scared'a you
But your kinda love is somethin' new
When I hold you we're swayin' in the wind
Of all the bridges I've ever crossed
High and lonesome and wild and lost
I feel this time I'll take it to the end
We don't care what the people may say
If there's a price it's the price we'll pay

And we'll burn that bridge when we come to it
Burn that bridge when we come to it
Burn that bridge when we come to
Burn it down
Burn it down

We both done our share of runnin' around
So we know enough to know the kind of love we've found
It's the real thing and we've got to see it through
I'm a singer and a sailor on a midnight sea
(Oh captain come and take me on your fantasy)
If we're crazy that ain't nothin' new
'Cause we don't care what the people may say
If there's a price it's the price we'll pay

And we'll burn that bridge when we come to it
Burn that bridge when we come to it
Burn that bridge when we come to
Burn it down
Burn it down

Who knows how it started
Who knows it end
The point of no return is waiting
Just around the bend

And we'll burn that bridge when we come to it
Burn that bridge when we come to it
Burn that bridge when we come to
Burn it down
Burn it down

Yes we'll burn that bridge when we come to it
Burn that bridge when we come to it
Burn that bridge when we come to
Burn it down

Anonymous 6:09 PM  

Andrea graduated from college in 1980. I bet Jimmy Buffett was an Andy Borowitz fan.

Tinbeni 7:16 PM  

@Rex & @Andrea C+, etal
I cannot remember the perfect crossword puzzle.

Though I am sure when Rex constructs they are relished and sealed in a Mayonaise Jar, hidden on Funk and Wagnalls porch until Noon tomorrow, when they will be revealed.

As to the VERB ENDING ... I looked at it like a Navajo Rug and the "Spirt String" a small piece of yarn sticking out slightly from the surface. This will allow their spirit or soul a way out.
The Navajo believe that only God is perfect and that what humans do cannot be on the same perfect level.
Therefore, they will make sure some little imperfection is part of anything they create. Usually, one has to look very close to find the imperfection, so it does not detract from the beauty of the item.

But Rex, etal found the "RB" imperfection.
And soundly beat Anna, our teenage constructor, over the head with it.

Oh well, Anna I think you did an amazing job. Welcome to the party.
I'm including your debut in my daily Sunset Toast.

chefbea 7:32 PM  

I highly recommend the loosey(lucy) juicy burger!!!
un f-ing believable!!!

And the Lemon granita.....the same

Anonymous 8:23 PM  

reminded me of CHE 11/16/2007...

Bill from NJ 8:41 PM  

My daughter works at Great Adventure during the summer and since Great Adventure is just outside Philadelphia just as Swarthmore College is, it is easy to see where the ELTORO clue came from.

It is nice to see regionalism outside the New York area make an apearance in the puzzle

Matt's Bar 8:53 PM  

"Jucy Lucy".

5-8 Club 8:53 PM  

"Juicy Lucy".

CrazyCatLady 9:04 PM  

@Chefbea However you spell it, I'm making Juicy Lucys for my Memorial Day barbecue. Tuesday I diet.

Martin 9:14 PM  


I just popped the cork on a 2005 Charter Oaks Monte Rosso Zin, from 120 year-old vines, some of the oldest in Sonoma. It's huge (16% alcohol but plenty of fruit so that it's actually balanced). The plum-jam is so deep that the finish continues as I type, from a sip about 5 minutes ago. It's breathing, awaiting dinner. Luckily, my wife is cooking Italian tonight. (I did lobster Cantonese last night, and the cold fino sherry was called for.)

A trip to the cellar has been in the offing all day, to exorcise any thoughts of you-know-what.

Thanks, friend.

CrazyCatLady 9:39 PM  

@Martin you are making me drool. Those zins are so rich and layered. My daughter works in the wine business in Paso Robles. The west side has some great ancient zin vines. The alchohol content is over the top though, only to be rivaled by Super Tuscans. By the way my captcha is CORKING LOL!

sanfranman59 10:01 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 7:05, 6:55, 1.02, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 7:14, 8:50, 0.82, 10%, Easy
Wed 10:01, 11:49, 0.85, 14%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:53, 3:41, 1.06, 72%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 3:43, 4:30, 0.83, 12%, Easy
Wed 5:10, 5:48, 0.89, 21%, Easy-Medium

foodie 10:09 PM  

Wow... everyone sounds a little buzzed tonight. Some on very fancy stuff. A virtual party! Some chatter, some great drinking, some flirting, may be nuanced kissing, some spirited discussions, a few burning bridges,ChefBea swearing in delight, Jimmy Buffett... Good for the Rexites!

mac 10:19 PM  

@Martin: I like your varied diet!

I'm in steamy NY, probably for about 10 days, or until my husband is back on his feet and settled in his rehab routine after tomorrow's knee replacement. I bought "The Wrath of Klahn" to keep me company in the Hospital of Special Surgery!

chefwen 10:20 PM  

@chefbea - I knew you would love the Juicy Lucy. The recipe I printed out said juicy loosey but I just Googled it and Matt's bar set me straight.

Super late to the party tonight, well it's still early for me.

Loved the puzzle, favorite was goes out on a lima, ha!

Great debut for young Anna, thank you.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP