Explorer born 6/11/1910 / FRI 6-11-10 / Classic Bob Marley song that was 1973 hit for Johnny Nash / Easu vis-a-vis Jacob / Pharmaceutical liquids

Friday, June 11, 2010

Constructor: John Dunn

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: JACQUES COUSTEAU (31A: Explorer born 6/11/1910) — He was a MARINE ECOLOGIST (8D: 31-Across, for one); today is his birthday.


Word of the Day: RATITE (39D: Kiwi, e.g.) —

A ratite is any of a diverse group of large, flightless birds of Gondwanan origin, most of them now extinct. Unlike other flightless birds, the ratites have no keel on their sternum—hence the name from the Latin ratis (for raft). Without this to anchor their wing muscles, they could not fly even if they were to develop suitable wings. // Most parts of the former Gondwana have ratites, or did have until the fairly recent past. Their closest living relatives are the tinamous of South America. (wikipedia) [at least the word in the puzzle wasn't GONDWANAN]

• • •

Not much to this one. Guy was born 100 years ago. His name goes one direction, his job (or one way of phrasing his job) goes in the other. They cross in the middle. I would have called him a MARINE BIOLOGIST, but what do I know? Not a lot of interest in the rest of the grid. My favorite moment (in retrospect) was the very beginning, where I figured out the "Secret" of 1A: Secret target right away ... but drew the wrong conclusion. I submit that the "target" is not the UNDER ARM, as the answer turned out to be. What are you "targeting" when you put on Secret? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? That's right: BODY ODOR. Bam! What a great clue! And what a genius solver I am for nailing it right off the bat! Wait, how can Esau be anything that starts with a "Y"? ... dang! (ESAU ended up being ELDER4D: Esau vis-à-vis Jacob) I had to abandon the NW and go elsewhere for a real foothold. NW was actually the place I finished up — with the "I" in UPHILL (1D: Like an arduous battle) and ISLES (19A: 1980-83 Stanley Cup champs, in brief) being the last letter to go in. Current Stanley Cup champs, as of a day or so ago, are the Chicago Blackhawks (I know this from watching ESPN and from following (on Twitter) longtime crossword tournament champ Tyler Hinman — seriously he would not shut up! I mean, congratulations, T .... I call you "T" now, btw)



I don't think intersecting ONEs is a good idea (ONE IS crossing ONE TENTH). I don't think I mind those two answers sharing the grid, but a little space between them would be nice. Don't highlight the fact that you repeated a word.

Too bad there are no other theme answers... unless you count SAIL TO (I don't) or ISLES (nope).

Hardest answer for me to get: ONE TENTH (34D: Part given by the pious?). Hardest and bestest, because it essentially refers to a word that isn't there: TITHING. Clever. Hey, DIMES (20A: They have torches on their backs) are ONE TENTH a dollar. Nice coincidence. I also liked the clue on THANK YOU (14D: Phrase an overseas traveler should know how to translate), mainly because it was mysterious, and then, when I got it, it seemed obvious. Part of the reason it may have seemed mysterious is that I had HURRAY instead of HURRAH at first (16A: Exclamation of joy), and thought the phrase for an overseas traveler was actually going to be in a foreign language: "TYAN..." "Hmm, not Maori. Not Hawaiian. WTHell?"

Then, of course, there's this:


[53A: Classic Bob Marley song that was a 1973 hit for Johnny Nash]


[Flutes!]

I think I will go to my grave confusing SARATOGA and SARASOTA (13D: Site of Florida's first golf course), despite the fact that I live in the state where one of them is (I already forget which one). Melvin MORA (47D: Third baseman and two-time All-Star Melvin ___) is one of a handful of MORAs (MORAE?) one might see in the grid — all of them sports-related (the other two I know of are both NFL coaches named Jim). Whoa, Melvin MORA is a Colorado ROCKIE (ROCKY?) now!? Wow, I missed that one. I've still got him playing third for the (lowly) O's. I also had AQUAS as AQUAE (seemed righter—29D: Pharmaceutical liquids). And finished the puzzle that way. Only in the process of marking it up did I notice the unfathomable answer (TIAE) that it created. Andalusian aunts are, of course, TIAS. And GLUEY is, of course, the fourth nephew of Scrooge McDuck—the one he killed in order to show the others he wasn't @#$&ing kidding when he said the Money Room was Off Limits.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

60 comments:

foodie 12:40 AM  

OH BOY! For me, this was amazingly easy and I finished it IN NO TIME- Wednesday feel for me, but with fewer theme answers. I'm shocked. Stumbled into rightness at every turn...I've done this in my research once in a while- there's nothing sweeter.

I like the characterization of JACQUES COUSTEAU as a MARINE ECOLOGIST because ecology feels like a very modern branch of biology, and this underscores the pioneering aspect of his work.

lit.doc 12:49 AM  

RATITE?! Really?! Wow, google sez yeah. Rex’s WOTD I’ll bet. Yup.

Got the entire puzzle worked out in 40 minutes except for square 39. I couldn’t think of anything credible for 39A except an abbrev. of “rooms”, but I did two slow, careful alphabet runs before I gave up and entered the R.

Fav clue was 26A “Trip vehicle?” Least-surprising write-over was 6D “Be transformed?” = AGE.

All in all, a very nice birthday tribute for M. Cousteau. @Rex, thanks—I always wondered what happened to Gluey.

Martin 1:12 AM  

I live in Saratoga, CA. It's way bigger than Saratoga, NY and even bigger than Saratoga Springs, NY, which is what you probably have in mind. Sarasota, FL is bigger than all of them.

Saratoga, CA was named for Saratoga Springs, NY because they were trying to get people to come to the spas and Saratoga Springs was a major destination in the nineteenth century. A few years after Saratoga, CA was founded, a hot springs in Napa tried to sell itself as the Saratoga of California. My Saratoga pointed out there already was a Saratoga of California so the other one went with Calistoga. They still sell water. Sarasota just has a bunch of off-season elephants.

andrea murmur michaels 1:44 AM  

This puzzle seemed sort of disappointing with but two Scrabbly letters, both appearing in JACQUES...

Had to change CHIpS to CHITS and for a moment thought it was going to go for INSPECTORCLOUSEAU, even tho that's way to long.

Only other bumps changing ONEThird to ONETENTH and GooEY to GLUEY.

I didn't feel like it was bec I was on John Dunn's wavelength as much as it was just too easy.
I KNOW I wasn't on his wavelength bec it felt every other answer was sports:
MORA, NLERS, ISLES, OMEARA.

ATAD felt like a bleedover from earlier this week, slightly spiced up with JUST...
My only moments of half joy were MURMUR and, of course, STIRITUP.

I'm JUSTATAD @Rex wasn't harder on a Fri puzzle that had such easy letters as POOLAREA, LEER, INNOTIME, ERASABLE, THEATERS, TOILER, CREATION, etc. (The last four would be ideal racks to make bingos in Scrabble, but dull in crossworld.)

Wow, I can't believe I'm criticizing a Friday, something I could never create if I tried...but there you have it!

Wait! I see something I like!
THANKYOU and JACQUESCOUSTEAU end in U. That's got to be hard.

hazel 2:19 AM  

@andrea - I sent those cranky pants back to @DK yesterday, but you must have intercepted them somehow!! :)

I thought this was a nice tribute to an inventive guy who brought a lot of attention to the world’s oceans - i remember him as a marine activitist mostly. I also associate him with one of my favorite movies -The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou, a movie so beloved by our family that red hats are part of our winter wardrobe, courtesy of my stepdaughter.

Don’t really get AQUAS? for pharmaceutical liquids and GLUEY sounds like something an 8-year old would say. OH BOY as an exclamation of joy? Maybe when repeated 3 times, but one Oh Boy - that’s more like Oh Sh*t to me. A few quibbles on an otherwise, pleasant (albeit too-zippy-for-a-Friday) solve.

Love MURMUR, the word and the album. In fact, wish I was having some REMs right about now. Can't sleep!

syndy 2:42 AM  

OH dear I had step it up -litre-so lopa was my third baseman,but it didn't really matter 'cause I had gooey and a big hole in the middle.Aco e just sat there right below s es. BIG FAT FAILURE.

jae 3:58 AM  

Nice tribute but way too easy for a Fri. Only problem was JUSTAFEW. Filled in NW pretty quickly and with MARIN in place for 8d got the theme. I did have a similar experience with 39a as lit.doc, needing to be sure of RMS.

Greene 4:54 AM  

Strangely, I have nothing to say about this puzzle except that I finished it.

Oh, and ANTIGONE is a cool answer. It's one of those classical plays in which every major character is dead by the end. Well except for King Creon, whose incredibly bad judgement created all the trouble in the first place.

Oh, and MARINE ECOLOGIST sounds like a completely made up title. It's not of course. It's just unfamiliar to me.

Oh, and SARASOTA is a lovely community just south of where I live, right over the Skyway Bridge. It's actually much nicer than where I live. I think the people are better there too...and richer.

Okay, I'm done now. Happy Friday all!

Sam. 7:25 AM  

IMHO, Jacques Cousteau is a MARINE BIOLOGIST, which, while a better word than MARINE ECOLOGIST, fit so well that it tripped me up for several minutes.

PanamaRed 7:31 AM  

Hand up for SARATOGA before correcting it. Also had JUSTABIT at 31D - that made the SW the last to fall.

Liked the clue for LSD - never tried that stuff and glad I didn't.

Watched "Compulsion" last night, where NOOSES were much discussed at the trial.

bookmark 7:46 AM  

There's a nice tribute to Cousteau in the NY Times today by Andrew Revkin, "Here's to Jacques-Yves Cousteau!" on his 100th birthday anniversary.

joho 8:09 AM  

Where is JACQUESCOUSTEAU the MARINEECOLOGIST now when we really need him?!

The best part about this puzzle was @Rex' write-up.

And @Martin's saga of the Saratogas.

I whipped through this in less than ONETENTH the time it would normally take me to finish a Friday.

Hopefully I'll find myself in an UPHILL battle tomorrow.

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

I think with this puzzle, you either get it (Savvy) or you don't. I didn't. I stubbornly stuck to oozey for gluey, that gave me odors for dinner signals, then TR's for classic cars and coils for slues....sigh. Oh yeah, and poolside for pool area. Again, another long sigh.

Jo 8:20 AM  

Fine puzzle since I completed it in 45 mins, but puzzled at a Friday one going this fast. Put out because when wondering out loud about the explorer born in 1910, spouse exclaimed Cousteau! From then easy sailing. Simplest as always religion and Bible stuff, so ELDER, ONE TENTH, CREATION, came first, no perhaps it was CASK. Then ANTIGONE and GAUL. Took longest over the kind of COLOGIST Cousteau was and first had OCEAN where MARINE went.Mistake in DIMES, still catching up with the culture it seems.

jesser 8:23 AM  

No writeovers and no hang ups. That's unusual for a Friday, but I thought the fill and the theme were pretty cool. Loved seeing Mark O'MEARA in the grid. He's a classy guy.

Thought the clue for 9D was about the best way to discover SHOES since someone pried open Imelda Marcos' closet.

The NE was last to fall and I could have had writeovers if I'd trusted my first impulse to plop down by the sEA at 15A. But I studied the downs and ran down UPHILL (which is hard to do), and that put me happily by the POOL, which gave me ELDER, which flushed out HOLD DEAR, and from there, the NE was smoking hot as my pen flicked through it like an MG through SARASOTA on the way to an UNRULY weekend.

Will restrain myself about HUMS.

Happy Friday to one and all!

Spolobl! (The missing piece of equipment that is preventing me from playing Spolo) -- jesser

Little darlin' 8:28 AM  

Johnny Nash had a Reggae Album.

Average White Band was the back-up on I Can See Clearly Now.

Van55 8:33 AM  

Ratite is a word I learned from crossword solving years ago. Usually it seems to appear as part of the clue, "ratite bird" for kiwi, Rhea, emu etc.

I found the puzzle to be easy. Melvin MORA is pretty obscure, though. I don't get AQUAS as clues. NLERS is lame. Otherwise it was unremarkable for me.

Leslie 8:59 AM  

What is with all these shouts of joy lately? HURRAH and OH BOY! for Rex's explanation of what happened to GLUEY. Little rug rat should have listened, dammit.

Yeesh--got ISLES from the grim NOOSES (yes, they are "some chokers"). At 33D, I was thinking though all the events in the Book of Genesis, going "Man, Genesis is really a highlights reel--how do you pick just one?" Head-smack reaction when the answer was CREATION. Doy.

Poor Jacques Cousteau--he must be spinning in his grave over the BP oil spill.

Golfballman 9:21 AM  

Isles might be a good answer for islands briefly, but not when clued to the hockey team. NO ONE calls them the isles. Loved 1A and got it the moment it came off the printer. Loved your comment about gluey.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:33 AM  

I wasn't looking for outside help, but: My normal morning routine on the computer takes me to the Google homepage. When the Google logo is something fancy and not obvious, I mouse over it for a quick explanation. Today's logo said it was in honor of the 6/11/10 birthday of JACQUESCOUSTEAU, so when I got to the puzzle I had 31 A instantly.

Of course, working on the "J", I put in JUSTABIT instead of JUSTATAD, my only write-over.

@joho - Not Cousteau, but one of his (sons or grandsons) was testifying or commenting to a Congressional committee regarding the oil spill this week.

So, hands up, how many have been summoned to dinner by a GONG? (24 A)

duaneu 9:34 AM  

A Friday puzzle in 23 minutes has to be close to a record for me - some weeks I don't even finish. Guessing JACQUESCOUSTEAU with no crosses in place helped with that, I'm sure.

ArtLvr 9:37 AM  

Mnemonic: Sarasota has the extra S as in sun and sea, Saratoga has the Trunk for Going to springs.

Like Andrea, I thought of chips before CHITS, and also pearls for a choker, but those were easily fixed. Relatively easy, overall...

Super to have ISLES and a SCULL that SLUES in a high wind, and SAIL TO on top of COUSTEAU. I had a friend who worked for Cousteau years ago -- and he was married on the ship in his diving suit! Wow. No, I wasn't there, but enjoyed the photos.

∑;)

Lanier 9:37 AM  

Also had "BODY ODOR" right off the bat too and I also felt like a genius! Got DOLLED next and that only confirmed it for me. However, RADS tipped it off right away after that as I just didn't think there was anything comparable starting with O. Still think BODY ODOR is better than UNDER ARM.

HudsonHawk 9:52 AM  

Other than the NW, this was a pretty fast Friday. I also wanted BODY ODOR at 1A, but the Y cross also dissuaded me from dropping it in.

Following up on EdithB and ACME's comments yesterday, the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about the South African rugby team was called "The 16th Man". The movie "Invictus" told a similar story. Good movie, but I prefer the documentary, as it is only an hour long and you hear from the actual participants, not actors. Incredibly moving.

dk 9:58 AM  

What @duaneu wrote.

I can't think of anything to say as I am laughing over Andrea trying to get in my pants (all be they cranky). Yes, yes men are pigs and it is creepy the way I LEER at poor Andrea through these posts sooo... take two 26A tablets and call me when you get to Neptune. Thou, to stem the MURMURS and not STIRITUP. I will keep my UNRULY comments about the constructor I HOLDDEAR to myself.

I just filled in the blanks on this one, spelled ANOINT as anoits for a minute or two and only got RATITE in the crosses.

** (2 Stars) 2 easy

Rex, there were many clues as to GLUEY's murderer, they just wouldn't stick.

OldCarFudd 10:16 AM  

Easy and pleasant. Wanted body odor, put didn't write it in. ELDER, RADS and ARE gave me the NW. Only writeover was biologist.

Someone could, but probably won't, clue MORA as a car built from 1906-1911. The factory was in Newark, NY, a bit east of Rochester, a long way west of Saratoga, and a VERY long way north of Sarasota. A guy in Rochester has the only surviving 6-cylinder Mora, and it's a monster.

Tinbeni 10:19 AM  

TCM is doing a whole day on
JACQUES COUSTEAU. Had it on.
Karma I guess.

My Dunedin is a bit North of SARASOTA. As @Greene pointed out, just across the Sunshine Skyway. Liked that it crossed with SAIL TO since it is a fine destination.

Knock on wood, but our beaches here on the West Coast of Florida are still perfect.
No OIL except on the beach bunny's.

BigSteve46 10:34 AM  

"...The fledgling Islanders, who were soon nicknamed the "Isles" by the local newspapers..."
I don't know where Golfballman comes from, but down here in greater NYC, they have always been called the "Isles."

Two Ponies 10:42 AM  

I must have been right on John Dunn's wavelength as this one fell in Wed. time.
It sure has paid off this week to know your birds.
Underarm came to me immediately. I mean, where else would you spray your deodorant?
@ Bob K. I agree about the gong. A dinner bell or maybe one of those iron triangle things but never a gong.
Denude is a funny word. It sounds like just the opposite of the meaning. It seems more like putting clothes on rather than off.
I used to love Jacques' TV specials. He was a hero of mine.

joho 10:50 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle ... that's good to know. Maybe he/she will be able to help.

I think it's interesting that all the commenters who wanted body odor are male. I actually used to work on Soft 'n' Dri and underarm came to me immediately. I wonder if it's a gender thing?

Smitty 10:55 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
HudsonHawk 11:08 AM  

@BigSteve46, I agree. I hear "The ISLES" with relative frequency (although not as much given how bad they've been in recent years).

mac 11:38 AM  

Easy Friday, but enjoyable. My first entries were body odor and lsd (there goes your theory, @joho;-)).

When you're in my business, chockers might be pearls or chains, just any shortish necklace.

For dinner signals I thought of "pangs". Slues was my new word of the day, or at least a new meaning. Wouldn't please be more helpful than thank you for an overseas traveler?

PuzzleNut 12:18 PM  

Finished this with no real problems and figured Rex would rate it super easy. OMEARA was my first fill and that was enough to finish the NE in no time. The EAU led me to J.C. and moved over to the SW. Wasn't sure what JC was going to be called, but figured that it must end in OLOGIST. Struggle A TAD with SE as I was thinking liTRE instead of METRE. We have a ranch near MORA New Mexico and was told that MORA is Spanish for berry. Wonderful raspberry farm just down the road from our place.
Not a fan of GLUEY or AQUAS. Liked DIMES (at first thought there was no possible answer for the clue). Wild guess at READOUTS gave me UNDERARMS and the rest fell in place nicely.
Liked the puzzle, but very few ambiguous areas (either that or I just had a lot of lucky guesses).

lit.doc 12:52 PM  

@hazel, right you are re OH BOY. I just can not hear someone saying it only once either as you interpreted it, or archly to mean "yippy".

@lots of y'all, lucky me. I'm still new enough enough at puzzling that an unusually easy Friday is a good thing to me--I actually get to finish! Oh yeah, and me too re BIOLOGIST.

@Bob Kerfuffle vs. the gong, the only reason it was easy for me (and half-assed reasonable) was that I can so clearly still see and hear Lurch's basso summoning the Addams family to dinner on TV back in the '60s.

JayWalker 12:56 PM  

Actually, I had a good time with this puzzle. I always start both the Friday and Saturday puzzle with great trepidation and my complete blank experience in the NW seemed to prove the point. But because I am methodical (plodding?) I kept moving right and got into the NE - and suddenly it all opened up to me. I did finish the NW last - and I too entered the "I" in Isles as my last letter, but all in all I had a nice Friday time and a great Friday solve. Nice puzzle Mr. Dunn. Happy Birthday Mm. Jacques. I, for one, miss you a lot. You left a great void in the ecological universe.

Noam D. Elkies 1:13 PM  

16A:HURRAH for a theme Friday — even if the theme is only two crossing grid-spanners, unlike last Saturday's (of which 16A and 28A:OHBOY seem like leftover theme answers).

Finished without much difficulty but wit one error: didn't think of 47D:METRE, so had LITRE making 44D:GITIT (seemed like reasonable slang) and 47D:LORA (random b*seball player = W/E).

Thanks to Rex for the enlightenment concerning 24D:GLUEY :-)

Never mind Saratoga vs. 13:SARASOTA — when will we see Sarasate in the grid?

I did guess 34D:1/10 correctly from just the final H. Indeed 20A:DIMES comes from a root meaning 34D:ONETENTH (as in the decem of December, decimal, and decimate); the cognate French word dîme means "tithe" for the same reason (and "tithe" originally meant 1/10 too).

@Bob Kerf: Where's that tribute logo for Cousteau? Thanks for mentioning it, but all I see now is a Doodle celebrating the World Cup.

NDE

[captcha = grecol = unfinished Olympic wrestling match?]

Doc John 1:19 PM  

Easy Friday for me, too, even though I got tripped up in the GLUEY (gooey) area for a while.
Sorry Rex, I had UNDERARM right off the bat!

Bob Kerfuffle 1:20 PM  

@NDE - Damn, you're right, the Cousteau is gone, soccer has taken over. But here is a link to what it looked like (I hope):

http://socialmediaseo.net/2010/06/11/jacques-cousteau-google-logo/

retired_chemist 1:24 PM  

Hand up for a very fast (for me) Friday. Interesting that others felt the same but still others had a rough time.

Had 27A as ROLLS (among pitch, roll, and yaw, it's the only word of proper length). SLUES (<=> YAWS) is fine but it took me a while to give up on ROLLS, which twists about a different axis. Oh well.

JUST A BIT was easily fixed, as was REMS (5D).
The rad is a largely obsolete unit of absorbed radiation dose, equal to 1 centigray. Tried REMS first, another obsolete unit but less so.

aaronb 1:48 PM  

Thinking politically on 29 across I had ACORN at one point, though it seemed unlikely.
- Aaron

Jim Mora 1:48 PM  

Playoffs? PLAYOFFS???

Noam D. Elkies 2:13 PM  

@Bob K.: Thanks for the Doodle link!

NDE

Sparky 2:21 PM  

Liked this because I was able to fnish it. Have been unhappy for two weeks in a row when I couldn't even get an eyelash hold. Started with bits here and there: tias, agt, gaul, casks and dropped in esses. Had to leave. Came home and Cousteau leaped off the page. That made chips chits (had antes before that). By the sea for pool area. Anyway, little by little it revealed. Coming to the blog is really helping my solving. I think now, how can you slue this around to get it? Just yesterday I looked up the Volvo commercial song "Oh Boy." Now there's a girl who jumps for joy. Thanks Rex, for the Gluey story. Poor thing, where is Unca Donald when you need him? Have a good weekend punsters.

Doug 2:28 PM  

Super easy Friday. Add 1 more to Male + BODYODOR. Had the exact same miss as NED: GITIT etc. Figured it was wrong, but I had to get a move on this morning.

Looking forward to the US v England game tomorrow at 2:30 EDT. Hopefully the US keeper has learned a lot about English strikers over the past couple years there!

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

Very similar solving progression to PuzzleNut, from NE clockwise to NW. Neon OMEARA got me started, and THANKYOU and SARASOTA gave me JACQUES off the AU.

Cleverness of bodyodor as an answer to 1A ignores one thing, deodorant is used to try and prevent BO. If you are already reeking, a little Secret is not going to help, so it would not satisfy the target of the clue - IMHO.

RT

Jo 3:25 PM  

Fascinated by the body odor thing. That never occurred to me, but then I never "got" it either, even when I had underarm; just thought that there was a secret target with this name in the military or something weird from the Pentagon. Brand names are always hard for me.

donkos 3:59 PM  

I loved this puzzle - first Friday puzzle I nailed in a long time. My favority clue has to be "Be Transformed?" Followed by "It's never right" Loved the word play.

Rube 4:18 PM  

We had SLUES a while back. Made me think of Slue-Foot Sue at the time. Did I remember it? Of course not. I was fixated on GooEY.

I have to take exception with READOUTS. IMO, readouts are on paper, preferably extra wide and with perforations on the sides. They were printed with "chain" printers in the 60s and early 70s, and showed the results of your "run" that you had submitted on punch cards. You young'uns probably don't know what I'm talking about.

A Naif Here 4:41 PM  

Anyone think the Bob Marley song had something to do with the sex act?

Two Ponies 4:54 PM  

@ Rube, Your comment brought me back to a recent discussion here that @Greene somehow started re:
The Yearling.
Ole Slewfoot (or Sluefoot) was a bear that was killing their stock and hunting him was a side plot of the story.

sanfranman59 5:10 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)

Fri 18:08, 26:19, 0.69, 6%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Fri 8:55, 12:43, 0.70, 8%, Easy

This one's definitely toward the easy end of the Easy spectrum. Both groups of solvers are handily beating their typical Friday median solve times.

Steve J 6:08 PM  

Either Fridays have been easy lately, or I'm finally getting better at working late-week puzzles, as I got pretty far in this before having to resort to Google.

Somehow I picked up JACQUESCOUSTEAU straight away with nary a cross, until I put it in and came up a letter short. Frustrating, until I realized that, yes, JACQUES has a C in there.

Getting that provided a good foothold for the SW, or so I thought, until I realized that BIT wasn't working for the last three letters of 31A.

Loved "Secret target" (I think UNDERARM works, since that's where you aim the can/stick) and the clue for LSD. Would have loved to have seen cluing for 40A reference what was REM's first full-length, and arguably best, album. Regardless, I love that word.

been there done that 6:56 PM  

@Rube

Back in the punchcard days we called 'em PRINTOUTS.

OTOH, to me, a READOUT is a display of measured data, today typically in digital form.

The readout on my themometer indicates its 73 degrees outside.

Therefore, I guess sometimes computer screens can be READOUTS.

P>G>

michael 7:09 PM  

Not hard, except I had gooey. I knew this was wrong, but I think I could have thought all day without coming up with gluey. But I should have gotten acute and scull.

mac 7:48 PM  

Does anyone think the way the two artists pronounce "stir" is unusual?

your average blank 8:32 PM  

not for nothin...underarm is a target; body odor does not have to be underarm only.

shrub5 9:51 PM  

@mac: it sounds like they are saying "steer it up." I've noticed that before when listening to this song. Don't know if it's the Jamaican influence or regional (USA) pronunciation differences. I also had PANGS before GONGS for dinner signals!

Agree with those who thought this was relatively easy for Friday although when I look at my grid, it's pretty messy with write-overs. I had FLAIR before FORTE, NYU before LIU, and, as others have mentioned, BIT to TAD and BIO to ECO...among others. Loved the clues for DIMES, ACUTE and LSD. Most troublesome for me: SLUES, RATITE, ERASABLE.

Sports talk around here: soccer is a snooze (a 0-0 tie? OH BOY.) I can't watch it.

mac 10:02 PM  

Oh Shrub, I couldn't disagree with you more about soccer.... Walked around the West village this afternoon and there were hundreds of excited people watching the game, yelling and screaming and singing. Mostly in French and Spanish this time! It will be English tomorrow, and Dutch on Monday.

sanfranman59 11:40 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 7:08, 6:55, 1.03, 69%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 8:53, 8:49, 1.01, 59%, Medium
Wed 12:25, 11:48, 1.05, 72%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 14:17, 19:09, 0.75, 13%, Easy
Fri 18:06, 26:19, 0.69, 6%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:49, 3:41, 1.03, 69%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 4:39, 4:31, 1.03, 67%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 5:35, 5:47, 0.96, 44%, Medium
Thu 7:11, 9:10, 0.78, 25%, Easy-Medium
Fri 8:54, 12:43, 0.70, 8%, Easy

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