Navy Blue singer Renay / WED. 5-19-10 / "The Gondoliers" girl / Bibliophile's suffix / Mr. who squints / Northern terminus of U.S. 1 / Cybermemo

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Constructor: Robert A. Doll

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: 2010 Guinness world records — that's it.


Word of the Day: DIANE Renay (65A: "Navy Blue" singer Renay) —

Diane Renay (b. July 13, 1945; born Renee Diane Kushner) is an American pop singer, best known for her 1964 hit song, "Navy Blue." [...] Renay's only other single release to crack the national Billboard chart was "Kiss Me Sailor," which reached number 29 later in 1964. Subsequent singles, including "Growin' Up Too Fast," "Watch Out Sally," "It's In Your Hands," and "Happy Birthday Broken Heart," were hits in certain local markets such as Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Miami [!?!?!], but failed to break nationally. Renay moved to the Fontana label in 1969 and attempted a comeback with covers of "Yesterday" and "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me," but these also failed to chart. She did not record again until the early 1980s. // She remains active as a performer today and recently released Diane Renay Sings Some Things Old and Some Things New, a double-CD compilation album of her work (including many previously unreleased tracks) from the 1960s through the 1990s. (wikipedia)
[Forget her, go back to the organist — he's fabulous]

• • •

Well this week is off to a thud. Didn't care for this at all. Random 2010 records. Boring. Who cares? Not me. Non-theme fill—yawn, bordering on lazy. SLEWS of bad stuff (SLEWS? Seriously?) (64A: A whole bunch). Stale stuff everywhere. I don't get the appeal of this one at all. Wow, that's a heavy pumpkin. Wow, that's a long mustache. Wow, those are two really fat guys on motorcycles! (this is the enduring image of the Guinness Book of World Records for me). And then there's out-of-left-field proper nouns like TESSA (24D: "The Gondoliers" girl) ("The Gondoliers" = Gilbert & Sullivan opera, btw) and the oddly-clued DIANE (never heard the song in question). Even with theme answers that required many crosses to guess (HIGH DIVE? Again, random), I did this in just a shade over four. But then I'm someone who can go OMERTA to ERGOT with no crosses (this is not a talent—it's a tic).


Theme answers:
  • 17A: 2010 Guinness world record at 1,689 lbs. (HEAVIEST PUMPKIN)
  • 29A: 2010 Guinness world record at 11 ft. 6 in. (LONGEST MUSTACHE)
  • 39A: 2010 Guinness world record at 72 lbs. 9 oz. (LARGEST MEATBALL) — how is "LARGEST" different from "HEAVIEST" in this instance, exactly?
  • 57A: 2010 Guinness world record at 115 ft. (HIGHEST HIGH DIVE)
If ENA sends an ENOTE to ENO, and EBERT flies EL AL to ARG., how long do I have to wait before Rose ROYCE puts me out of my misery with their funky ode to the wet working man (and woman) (15A: Rose ___, group with the 1977 #1 hit "Car Wash")? Answer: not long at all.


[It's a movie theme song to boot!]


[This is the version to play loud, right now — full version, great sound, hot guitars. Wish all disco was this good. Dance!]


Bullets:
  • 16A: Bibliophile's suffix (-ANA) — Like this much better as part of "Santa ANA" or as a woman's name. Examples of this suffix include AMERICANA, SHAKESPERIANA, et ceterana.
  • 21A: Cybermemo (E-NOTE) — I used to think E-CASH was my least favorite of the recent E-coinages. Today's encounter with E-NOTE has me thinking twice about how I award my E-DEMERITs (10D: Class clown's "reward," often). I would do everything humanly possible to keep the loathsome E-NOTE out of any puzzle I was constructing.
  • 25A: 1975 Pulitzer-winning critic (EBERT) — Dude is a Twitter hero and blogging phenom. More popular (beloved, actually) now than ever, I think. Who can forget his long-running friendship/rivalry with E-ERNIE? I mean Siskel.
  • 61A: Mr. who squints (MAGOO) — He can't see well. Comedy!

["Terpsichorean endeavors!" — OK, that was funny]

  • 30D: "I Am ... ___ Fierce," #1 Beyoncé album ("SASHA") — whoa, how did I know this!? Must be ferociously "in the air" for me to know it. This album had the much played, much parodied "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" on it. On it. On it. Here is the newish, astonishing, freaky, morbid, Tarantinoesque Beyoncé video, "Telephone," featuring Lady Gaga. Whoops, sorry—got that backwards. It's a Lady Gaga video featuring Beyoncé.

  • 47D: Northern terminus of U.S. 1 (MAINE) — yeah, it's up there. Never been. John MAINE is a pitcher for the N.Y. Mets. I feel that bit of info may be important to you someday.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

58 comments:

des 12:31 AM  

Rex - I thought you might make some comment about MAINE being the "terminus" of Rte 1 (kind of large that, maybe a Guinness World record for a terminus).

I got momentarily derailed by OCTET instead of OCTAD, but when TEMERITY was one letter too much for 10D, it became DEMERIT.

I do agree that LARGEST if used with weight could be HEAVIEST, but most of the time LARGE refers to size, so it was the clue that was off (we should have been given the dimensions of the MEATBALL, not its weight).

PurpleGuy 1:04 AM  

@des- excuse me, i don't think I would want to kn ow the dimension of the meatball. TMI and would definitely NOT pass my breakfast test :)
Agree with REX about the overall feel of the puzzle. Left me stranded on the HIGHDIVE.
ERECT crossing PANTS gave me a smile. Made me remember my PUMPKIN, but he wasn't the HEAVIEST !

Wanted to comment yesterday, but things went ASEA.
Rex, my 102yr old mom wanted to make sure I wished your grandma Inez a very Happy Birthday. She would like to meet her. I think they are from the same mold.
As I would toast my mom(with a shout to Tinbeni)
A VOTRE SANTE !!!
I've had my MUSTACHE since VietNam, but I can't imagine letting it get to be the longest.

Rather a "meh" puzzle, but fairly east to complete.

shitt - Sure Happy Tomorrow's Thursday !

Thanks for a great write up, Rex.

syndy 1:15 AM  

If only 52 across had been clued "d'oyle" i would have forgiven all else.(to go with the gondoliers doncha know). even ovens operated by dials. but no! Not much cruncky goodness here. ousno-snow inside your mittens

chefwen 2:44 AM  

Totally agree with our leader on the dullness of the puzzle, once you get heaviest the rest was easy to fill in, longest, largest, highest, etc.

My only mess up was the same as @des at octet before OCTAD at 6A.

O.K. but looking forward to Thursday

andrea chattiest michaels 3:26 AM  

Hmmmm, I thought this was rather fresh and fun theme...Maybe bec I just walked in from playing trivia.

I actually had fun anticipating each answer...
HEAVIEST what? P-U-M... Puma? Pump something? I was so fixated on it being the heaviest person, I couldn't make the mental switch!
Same with LONGEST M-U-S... Mustang? Mustard? Musical? Nothing made sense but it was fun guessing...

PlusI had HIGHESTHIGHjump and kept wondering how that was possible.

SO, in other words, my slight dementia made this puzzle rather exciting for me!

Things had to unfold s-l-o-w-l-y
(I mean, in relative terms, I'm no speed solver, but do these in ten or fifteen minutes, I guess)

For -SANA I ran thru the alphabet and nothing rang a bell. PSANA? TSANA? Luckily I began to run thru it again. :)

Lloyd NOLAN rings a dim bell, I want to say he was some sort of doctor circa the Marcus Welby era?
I can see his face. More trivia!
Was he the white boss on "Julia" that groundbreaking black nurse show? Diann Carroll (Dihann? Dihanne? Dianne?) Caught sight of her on the news about Lena Horne's funeral. In any case, not to be confused with DIANE Renay.

Toughest corner for me: I thought suspenders held up belts, so BOP was hard for me to see.

My other writeover was TRIpoli!!!
I actually thought, "Wow, Tripoli is on the Adriatic? You learn something new every day!" (except I was wrong)
and it's bizarre bec I go to Cafe Trieste in North Beach EVERY Wed night (and have for the past 3 years) to hear my boys in "Cafe Americain" (they won't let me rename them) play Django-inspired jazz.
(Insert video here, except I still don't know how)

If you live in SF, come on down tonight! Free! 7-10pm. Wild, friendly scene, complete with singalongs of "La Bamba" and "You're just too Good to be True"!

Loved Rex's rant about E-BERT and E-Ernie and am already worrying which of my puzzles in the queue might have ENOTE in them!

Falconer 3:48 AM  

My grid was more exciting than the official grid because it unveiled the world's largest "Maltball."

Kind of a fresh, cool theme. I didn't feel I needed to "care" about pumpkins or high dives to enjoy it. Only complaint was that it had a very Monday/Tuesday feel to it, with nothing very challenging except for obscure references to fictional characters, which doesn't count.

Liked "nohow," "daunt" and "ergot," but agree w/ Rex that most of the fill was dull as terracotta.

I give it the world's largest B-minus.

Doris 7:27 AM  

SAL was my favorite entry. Really made me chuckle:

I've got a mule, and her name is Sal,
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal.
She's a good ol' worker an' a good ol' pal,
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal.
We've hauled some barges in our day,
Filled with lumber, coal, and hay,
And we know every inch of the way
From Albany to Buffalo.
Chorus:
Low bridge, everybody down!
Low bridge, for we're comin' through a town!
And you'll always know your neighbor,
You'll always know your pal,
If you've ever navigated on the Erie Canal.

ArtLvr 8:10 AM  

I agreed with Andrea, this one had its amusing side... and unknown people like the DIANE and ROYCE were gettable with crosses. It also made me sad, since a longtime friend whose hobby was the growing of super-pumpkins has just passed away. He'd enjoyed an extra ten years with a successful heart transplant though, so that was good! And how he enjoyed the growing climate in Norway was always a bit of a mystery...

Speaking of mysteries, -ANA was neat, as it brought to mind Holmsiana, all things Sherlock.

Now off to investigate the question of whether my van passes inspection, having a DAUNTing dash light that resists fixing. Pfui.

∑;)

jesser 8:10 AM  

SLEWS. YUCK.

Also, Las Cruces is the southern terminus of I-25. New Mexico is roughly 580 miles from north to south, so to say New Mexico is the southern terminus of I-25 is just lazy and meaningless. I am guessing there is a town in Maine (although I'm too lazy to look up which one) feels like 47D is the HEAVIEST, LONGEST, LARGEST turd in today's substantially polluted punchbowl.

It took me way to long to figure out DAUNT. I had _AUN_, and was thinking sAHL might be good for 1D. I looked a long time at that corner before the Duh Moment occurred.

Can we please pick a way to spell eons?

Those are my observations. Now I gotta do the work thing.

Happy Humpday, Rexites!

Tiore! (When I'm drunk I can never remember which one come after la) -- jesser

joho 8:11 AM  

While the OVEN was heating I took the HEAVIEST PUMPKIN ever homegrown in MAINE, which had been ON ICE, from the refrigerator and set it on the counter next to the LARGEST MEATBALL ever BAKED this side of UTAH. At that moment, my neighbor who bears more than a passing resemblance to Mister MAGOO and who sports the LONGEST MUSTACHE ever measured in Minnesota, entered the kitchen wearing his OCHER PRADA swim PANTS that had miraculously stayed on when he executed the HIGHEST HIGH DIVE ever attempted at the last world Olympics held in TRIESTE. His words heard right before his feet left the platform were either, "Hi, MOM" or "NO HOW!"

SethG 8:18 AM  

I once finished 4th in the state in Metric Estimation, so I have no excuse for thinking that 72 lbs could be the size of the world's LARGEST SNOWBALL. For a long time.

But seriously, with DIANE and NOLAN you went Diane Renay and Lloyd Nolan? This puzzle was clearly not made for the likes of me.

tptsteve 8:26 AM  

Lots of guesses. Lots I didn't reall care about- my head just wasn't in the game today.

So now I see that 39A isn't the largest mothball? Damn.

PIX 8:56 AM  

Had some fun trying to figure out the theme answers...but otherwise certainly not one for the record books.

chefbea 9:04 AM  

Fun puzzle. But the most fun was watching Mr. Magoo.

Maine is beautiful. Rex, you should take your family. You would love it

JayWalker 9:05 AM  

I must admit that lately I've been concerned about whether or not Rex's bed had TWO "wrong sides." But I have to admit, I completely agree with today's write-up. BOOORRRINNGG. I also found it needlessly . . . uh . . . boring. Hell - I'm even boring myself!

edith b 9:12 AM  

Didn't care much for the meatball and pumpkin stuff but it was nice to see Lloyd Nolan in my puzzle as I followed his career from his war movies in the 40s to Peyton Place in the 50s with Lana Turner to the Woody Allen movie Hannah and her Sisters with Mia Farrow in the 80s.

So, all in all, I liked it.

mac 9:20 AM  

Just saw a Shrek movie cat trying to caugh up a hairball. No, I thought mothball as well, but "trashed" prevented it.

I thought it was a nice idea, some Guiness records, 4 15s and some good words like daunt and octad (started -et).

Nolan and Diane, and Royce for that matter, had to come through crosses, but no problems, no googles and pretty quick. More a Tuesday for me.

dk 9:30 AM  

Mr. Doll's shout out to himself at 1D is the puzzles biggesthit.

The terminus of Rte One is in Fort Kent (I think). If you go -- hike up Mars Hill and wave to dk's ancestors. Many great diners on Route One.

I liked the Guinness record theme, the inclusion of Bambi's aunt ENA (ultimate crosswordian knowledge) and obscure stars of old. It seems to me to be a homage to all one needs to know to solve.

Son and his spouse are off to find the largest oil blob.

** (2 Stars)

Sparky 9:43 AM  

It was a bit sedate, wasn't it? I got stuck in the NE with octet and on tap but after a while erased them and tried again. I always liked Lloyd Nolan. Part of the Paramont stable I think. I thought it was sixteen days onthe Erie Canal. But maybe that was tons of coal. I enjoyed singing along. Have a good day.

fikink 9:47 AM  

"this is not a talent—it's a tic"
"et ceterana"
"E-ERNIE"
ha! Your writing delights, Rex.

Also, thanks for the "Telephone" video - I feel I needed to see it. OUCH!

Superlatives made a fast dent in this puzzle.
@purpleguy, I'm with you on the meatball TMI.
@andrea, didn't Lloyd Nolan to Icy Hot commercials?
@Falconer, the FIL is "gaga" over malted milkballs, so he would have loved your grid.

Once again, this blog redeemed today's puzzle for me. Off to mow.

porspht - a sputtering sports car

foodie 9:49 AM  

Rex, I don't know if it was intentional but your Lady Gaga/Beyonce video combined with this theme gave this whole experience a bizzaro world feeling. Imagine this person with the longest mustache eating the largest meatball in that diner where the two astonishing (great word BTW) ladies are doing people in...

@Andrea, I too got stuck on wanting the heaviest to be a person. HEAVIEST-UM---N: HEAVIEST SUMO MAN? SUMO SAN?
In that way, the left hand side of the grid was a lot easier than the right.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:04 AM  

As @foodie said just above, the left hand side of this puzzle fell so much more easily than the right! I found it fun to keep guessing what could have the noted property. And then I got hung up solving the right hand side because I had ONTAP at 12 D instead of ONICE, which kept that 1689 pound PUMPKIN hidden a bit longer!

mitchs 10:04 AM  

Boy, I thought I really enjoyed this puzzle until I came here...wait a minute, I DID enjoy this puzzle! I thought it was a lot of fun. Not even SLEWS could ruin it for me. Still loved the write up. "...it's a tic" was great.

Tinbeni 10:09 AM  

I think it was back in 1985 at Rick's, Negril, Jamaica when I made the HIGHEST "HIGH" DIVE.
Granted it was only 40 feet, but the emphasis wasn't on height.
Aah, the good old days of having fun, getting TRASHED!!!

@Purple Guy
Liked seeing MOM in the middle, along with all the Grandma's out there I will toast you at Sunset, neat, not ON ICE.

@MAC
Yeah it felt more like Tuesday, but tomorrow will probably feel more like Friday.

Glitch 10:16 AM  

@jesser

Maybe this will help you keep them straight:

Definitions of AEON on the Web (NB: the first 2 define aeon as eon):

1)eon: the longest division of geological time
2)eon: an immeasurably long period of time; "oh,that happened eons ago" [wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn]

3)Aeon is the second studio album by the Norwegian blackened death metal band Zyklon. It was released in 2003 through Candlelight records. [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeon]

Then again, maybe not ;)

..../Glitch

Howard B 10:19 AM  

In agreement with Rex over the fill - some rough stuff. As I have a soft spot for world records, though, I did enjoy uncovering the theme answers.
For some reason I was picturing Linus anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, then suddenly having the world-record entry drop from the sky onto him, ala the Monty Python foot. Well, it is a great pumpkin after all.

This is about when I decided that I needed to get to sleep.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

someone please explain ana as bibliophile's suffix. thanks

archaeoprof 10:51 AM  

I agree with Rex. Odd, slow, cumbersome puzzle. Even the shoutout to country music at 40D didn't really help.

Speaking of 15A and car wash songs, how about Jim Croce's "Working at the Car Wash Blues."

MikeM 11:32 AM  

ENOTE? that's awful. Reminds me of my late mother-in-law who used to refer to emails as "e-letters".

Ana and the King of Siam 11:33 AM  

@anonymous -


Ana suffix
Unique Tag: [ Ana-TheSuffix ]
Aliases: [ Ana suffixes, Iana suffix, Iana suffixes ]
The suffix ana ( iana ) means something like *representative of, collection of items representative of, associated with*. It converts Nouns to Nouns, generally to MassNouns. Example: (Derived Using Suffix Americana-TheWord ana suffix).

* Ana suffix is an Example of:
* Denominal abstract noun suffix
* English derivational suffix
* Individual
* Suffix

edith b 11:42 AM  

@andrea-

Lloyd Nolan was on Diahann Carroll's sitcom Julia in th 60s. I think he played her boss.

Masked and Anonymous 11:53 AM  

Thumbs up with ACM on figurin' out the end to each Guiness record; that was a blast. Was really hopin' 32-D=dad so that 39-A=LARGESTdusTBALL. Thought I could have a new personal record on my hands!

Thumbs way up for 44's selection from the House of Gaga. I don't exactly get it, but it's got serious imagination vibes goin' for it.

I am now forced to type "vabbomit". (Def: What 44 did when he saw this week's puzzes?)

Van55 12:40 PM  

Hmmmmm.

By my count there are 17 proper names of people in this puzzle and seven other proper nouns (I think Chai is a proper noun). No wonder the puzzle is boring to some, including me.

Van55 12:41 PM  

Ooops. I failed to count Utah as another proper noun. So it's eight, unless Chai doesn't count.

Dave 12:43 PM  

so dissatisfying. i guess they all can't be winners.

poc 1:01 PM  

Nitpick of the day: a TYPE is not the contents of a font. It's the other way around. A type(face) consists of one or more fonts. Disappointing that a newspaper crossword should get this wrong.

Clark 1:07 PM  

@joho -- Thanks for explaining it all for us. The puzzle makes sense now.

I was having trouble in Texas until semi-puzzle partner came along and gave me MOLES, SAL and SLEWS. I was trying to think of real menaces to a yard. Didn't think of MOLES cause where I grew up it was too cold for them. They were like unicorns or mastodons. (I've lived for many years now in places where moles are purported to live, but I haven't had a yard . . . .) Didn't remember SAL; and SLEWS is just wrong. ;)

Where's Martin? 1:08 PM  

@ poc - But the answer isn't A TYPE, It's just TYPE, where the characters created for a particular font are collectively called TYPE.

poc 1:19 PM  

@Where's Martin: maybe, though I'd regard that interpretation as obscure. To be really pedantic, the font doesn't "contain" type, it consists of glyphs which become type when actually printed. So there :-)

dls 1:36 PM  

It didn't trip me up, but ENA and ASANA is a horrible crossing.

Also, is it acceptable to have both ANA and ASANA in the same puzzle? Not to mention the ANA-ENA-ENO triple. Hey, the word chain is even longer: ARG-ANG-ANA-ENA-ENO.

Oxford Dictionary 2:30 PM  

Oxford Dictionary says a "font" is "a set of type of one face or size", so "font contents" are, in one usage, TYPE. ;))

PuzzleNut 2:36 PM  

So-so puzzle, IMO. Wanted heaviest PERSON, but couldn't get it to fit. NE corner was the last to fall. Lots of answers that I couldn't confirm, but the crosses led to reasonable guesses. Agree that MAINE is not a terminus, ROYCE, NOLAN, DIANA, SASHA and TESSA were a bit obscure for a Wed. Started with OCTET, but the ACUpuncture changed my mind.
Really good clues will leave me puzzled at times, but they lead to that "aha" moment when you realize how clever they are. Most of today's left with with a "huh - I guess so" feeling.

Howard B 2:46 PM  

Chai indeed does not count in the proper name category. It is simply an Indian (I do not remember the correct language, sorry) word for 'tea'. It is not used as a brand name or proper name here either (although maybe at one time might have been), and chai is now an accepted general term for spiced tea, and related drinks and/or flavors.

Either way, still lots of names, yes. Didn't know the singer DIANE and actor Lloyd today, so swerved around the potholes.

CrazyCatLady 2:53 PM  

What ever sizzle the puzzle lacked was more than made up by the Lady Gaga Beyonce video. Wow....

Joe 3:16 PM  

No, no -- it's the world's largest MOTHBALL.

sanfranman59 3:25 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 11:20, 11:51, 0.96, 40%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Wed 5:48, 5:50, 0.94, 55%, Medium

Lurker0 6:18 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lurker0 6:29 PM  

Re the discussion last week on MOHEL and "moyle," I was surprised by this article in today's SF Chronicle:

"... he reached into a 2,100-degree furnace to gather a moile of molten glass on the end of his steel blowpipe."

So Auntie Google finds:

Glossary of Furnace Glassblowing
Moile
The name for the blob of glass at the end of the pipe before it has enough done to it to call it
the bowl, or stem, or body, or something else.

A must-read circumcision joke (one of many, indeed).

Moile, n. [F. mule a slipper.] A kind of high shoe anciently worn. [Written also moyle.]
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

A recipe for "duck moile".

So at best, an obscure word with several meanings. At worst, another variant spelling for "circumciser" that constructors can torment us with.

Sigh...

Lurking Larry

6:18 PM

PurpleGuy 6:55 PM  

@Tinbeni- thanks for pointing out the MOM in the middle. Totally missed that.
Mom said she will also toast you at our sunset(about 3hrs. later in AZ) with her scotch of choice. I keep her supplied with her favorites.

"A Votre Sante !" and "Skoal !"

Time for a dip in the pool, no HIGH DIVE, then on to drink time, then gather to watch the Suns game.

Horse Games 8:10 PM  

damn i didn't get mr magoo.... my comic knowledge has dropped drastically.

Mary Candace 8:26 PM  

@poc

“The physical embodiment of a collection of letters, numbers, symbols, etc. (whether it’s a case of metal pieces or a computer file) is a font."

In early printing, each individual (usually metal) character was the face of a block of type (thus, "typeface"). In this case a font would contain (or perhaps comprise would be a better word) blocks of type, or, collectively, TYPE.

Anyone?

andrea e-michaels 8:34 PM  

Here's a puzzle where I think being a slower solver pays off...you have a moment or two to contemplate is it mothball, dustball, Sumo man, highjump, mustang, etc.

@mikeM
COndolences about your late mother-in-law, but e-letters, that's funny in a super annoying sort of way.

Speaking of super annoying,
@Van 55, if you will simply accept that proper nouns are a huge part of contemporary puzzles, your enjoyment level will go WAY up!

@edithb
Thanks for saving me googling re: "Julia". I knew you would know! First time a black woman was the lead of a show!
Diahann...wow, I don't think I even guessed that variation!

Stan 9:52 PM  

Son-of-a-printer (Monotype) says:

Without time or energy to really look this up, I'm leaning toward the @Mary Candace position: a font is made up of type (group noun).

Interesting that fonts of foundry type came with different numbers of each letter, according to how often they would be used. This relates to both Scrabble and crossword puzzles, where statistically rare letters get more points or carry more information value than common ones.

But @poc is right that a 'typeface' proper (like Optima or Bodoni) is made up of many different fonts (all the different sizes, bold, italic, etc.)

sanfranman59 10:42 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 6:39, 6:55, 0.96, 44%, Medium
Tue 8:17, 8:52, 0.93, 34%, Easy-Medium
Wed 11:33, 11:52, 0.97, 47%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:34, 3:41, 0.97, 48%, Medium
Tue 4:15, 4:31, 0.94, 38%, Easy-Medium
Wed 5:28, 5:49, 0.94, 37%, Easy-Medium

syndy 11:27 PM  

becareful how loud you say "ang-arg-ana-ena-eno" youknow who will show up

Van55 1:03 PM  

@ Andrea, who will probably never see this as it's a day late.

I assure you that I do accept that proper names and proper nouns are in integral part of puzzles these days. No objection from me -- ususally. But I do think that there's a point at which reliance on proper nouns becomes excessive, particularly here, where they are clued somewhat arcanely. I do appreciate good (and bad) puns and misdirection, and it seems to me that there's little a cluer can to do make puns out of most proper names.

But as they say, each to her own.

Anonymous 6:04 PM  

No comments on the seeming tense problem with BAKED ("Lay in the sun")-- perhaps should have been "laid" in the sun . . .

MikeinSTL 8:55 AM  

I thought the BAKED clue was a problem too -- maybe it was just a syndication thing.

BTW, here's the World's Largest Meatball on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I thought this puzzle was boring too.

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