2005 Survivor setting/ SUN 6-6-10 / Country that's just 8 square miles in area / Noxious atmosphere / Tarzan's simian sidekick

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Constructor: Daniel A. Finan

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "TYPECASTING" — font of theme clue becomes modifier for the clued answer, creating familiar two-word phrase

[Note: Online and AcrossLite solvers can find a .pdf version of this puzzle here.]

Word of the Day: NAURU (105D: Country that's just 8 square miles in area) —

Nauru (pronounced /nɑːˈʊəruː/ nah-OO-roo), officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island nation in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 km to the east. Nauru is the world's smallest island nation, covering just 21 square kilometres (8.1 sq mi).
• • •

A very clever idea, though one that had me wondering for a while what COURIER CANDLES were (turns out the CANDLES were ROMAN). I have only one real beef with this puzzle, and that's the DLR (72D: Abbr. on some license plates) / PALAU (76A: 2005 "Survivor" setting) crossing. PALAU sounded right (I may have still been watching "Survivor" back then), so I went with the "L," but I honest had no idea what "DLR" could mean as a license plate abbrev. When I looked it up (after I was done), I saw it meant "DEALER," which makes sense, but I've never (to my knowledge) seen DLR in a puzzle, and I really thought it was an initialism, and PALAU just isn't well known enough to be the "L" crossing on so odd an abbrev. There was a bunch of other stuff I didn't know — MELANIE, CHAPALA, NAURU — but it was all crossed pretty fairly (96D: U.S. tennis player Oudin + 2D: Mexico's largest lake + 105D: Country that's just 8 square miles in area).

Theme answers:
  • 37A: Perspectives (SLANTED VIEWS)
  • 59A: Putting in a carton (SHADOW BOXING)
  • 79A: Wordsmith (SCRIPT WRITER)
  • 101A: Birthday cake toppers (ROMAN CANDLES)
  • 118A: Couple-swapping (STRUCK OUT SWINGING) — best theme answer by a million miles
  • 16D: Assertion (BOLD STATEMENT)
  • 58D: Untruths (GOTHIC FICTION)

  • 30A: Year Attila the Hun was born (CDVI) — I wonder if you can read my penciled annotation to this one... oh, whoops, I cut off the left margin. Let's just say that it was a little more colorful than my comments in the upper right margins:
  • 33A: Chris ___, player of Mr. Big on "Sex and the City" (NOTH) — no idea how I knew this, as I find that show loathsome in every possible way. One of my great joys of the past couple weeks has been reading the scathing reviews of the most recent "SATC" movie. Ebert's is good. This one is better.
  • 44A: Tarzan's simian sidekick (CHEETA) — No "H," because Tarzan couldn't pronounce it properly. Little known (made up, nonsensical) fact.
  • 63A: Bygone name in hair removal (NEET) — NEET and NAIR, the pair that share a hate of hair (down there). NEET became VEET, which sounds like FEET, so that's a lateral move at best, as far as I can tell.
  • 73A: French suffix (-IÈRE) — one of the more unfortunate bits of fill today, trumping even DLR, I think.
  • 94A: Noxious atmosphere (MIASMA) — one of my favorite words. See also FUG.
  • 107A: Jedi foes, in "Star Wars" (SITH) — this reminds me: Happy Birthday, Wade.

  • 121A: 1976 album "Olé ___" ("ELO") — it's a palindrome!
  • 45D: What a penguin doesn't really wear (TUX) — I loved this clue, as it's absurd yet spot-on.
  • 50D: Race that takes a northern trail in even years and a southern trail in odd years (IDITAROD) — I had no idea. Still, got it off the first "I." Booyah!
  • 55D: Warren : rabbits :: couch : ___ (OTTERS) — You will never need to know this meaning of "couch" again. Not only that, you'll forget it in 6 hours. I think you've already forgotten it, actually.
  • 57D: Home of the U.S.'s last active nickel mine (OREGON) — winner of the "least compelling reason to visit OREGON" contest.
  • 85D: Dude ranch nickname (SLIM) — wow, really? They make you take on nicknames at those places? Isn't just being there degrading enough?
  • 88D: When tripled, a "Seinfeld" catchphrase (YADA) – always want this to be "YADDA," but I think that's because of the influence of YADDO (artists' community) and YABBA DABBA DOO.
And now your Tweets of the Week (the Profanity-Laced, R-rated Edition) — puzzle chatter from the Twitterverse. Actually, these have appeared over the course of the past three weeks:
  • @1863_project My crossword puzzle asked me for a 5-letter word for 'Firth.' I almost wrote Colin. Oops.
    @OrangeXW Crossword blog comment spam: "Become an agent for Inernet Modeling & make money recruiting models from your visitors. Earn $1,000/wk!"
  • @nosleep3 Bored, so bored. Crossword puzzle bored.
  • @invurted333 My job is a joke! For the 3rd week in a row, I've sat here and napped, watched tv, did crosswords, and played brick breaker for 8 hours. Fml
  • @nickr78 Are you fucking kidding me, Saturday crossword? Get out of here and give me a call when you start making sense.
  • @NicoleInDC Just had great convo w Christopher a 4yr old from FL who thinks its cool that I do crosswords. If only all boys were so easy to impress ;)
  • @FranktheFOX Old lady just came into my store asking me to help her with her crossword puzzle- "What band does Gwen Stefani sing in?" lol cute.
  • @MarkieMalarkey This white man be on his breaks doin crossword puzzles and ish on his break! #Lame
  • @adozenlies He slapped my butt when i'm doing crosswords and my butt hurts until it went abit numb ._.
  • @HappyArtichoke I am getting extremely nauseus lately because I have been doing so many crosswords (nine a day).
  • @Cloverpie I feel bad. Age 13 I stole the crosswalk guards chair and crossword puzzle and broke her pencil while she was stranded helplessly mid-street
  • @lights Let it be noted that my socks have crossword puzzles on them. #ilikethemcausetheyreugly http://tweetphoto.com/23765751
  • @millarca Fuck it. I'm doing crosswords.
  • @zeeby Failing at eng lit revision, doing the @bust_magazine crossword instead. :D
  • @StephxAftershok Fuck French crossword puzzles! I can't believe this is homework.
  • @Wordy_Anansi I don't log on for how long and then it's just to bitch about my crossword... why do I have 92 followers?
  • @higgsuk This knob just sneezed in my face. Didn't say sorry just kept on struggling with the Daily Star crossword. http://yfrog.com/0eygunj

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Father's Day is rapidly approaching, and if you know a dad with a decent sense of humor, you might consider "It's not PMS., IT'S YOU" by the lovely, talented, and (importantly) funny Deb Amlen. Deb constructs puzzles for "The Onion" (among other outlets) and is now, apparently, writing humor books. When I first read the title of her new book, I thought it was a book directed at women, i.e. "You Keep Blaming Your Bad Behavior on Your P.M.S., but Really You're Just An Asshole." But it turns out it's directed at men, particularly those who might be apt to write off women's concerns / complaints as a periodic (!) function of their menstrual cycle. I am pretty averse, most of the time, to "Women are like this and men are like this"-type books, but Deb's sense of humor is more subtle and playful than that. Plus, the book looks like a damned Hershey Bar. How can you not want one?

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


syndy 12:36 AM  

Dealer! of course! I put dnr (maybe they really did not want life support).I used to live in Pismo Beach and saw plenty of otters there ;they had a couple of old barges but i never saw no couches.I Did the puzzle in acrosslite -was there a problem? did i miss something? clues were pretty easy to figure out .overall rating- notbad

CoolPapaD 1:04 AM  

I really enjoyed this (after getting slammed beyond belief the last 2 days), but had two errors, one of which I still don't understand:

Missed the Survivor / License crossing with PAPAU / DPR. I was thinking New Guinea, and kept thinking my spelling didn't look quite right.

I still don't get 10D EGIS. Anyone?

When I saw 58D (Untruths), I immediately wrote BOLD FACED LIES, which messed with me for a good chunk of time - after a few crosses, I had to re-evaluate, and eventually prevailed.

Agree 100% with Rex re 118A!

Christina Ricci was in a wonderful movie called Pumpkin (2002) that seemed to fly under the radar - one of my favorite movies, for reasons that I don't quite understand.

syndy 2:28 AM  

aegis-agis-egis (variations to fit into cross word grid)to be under someones cape! and protected

jae 3:59 AM  

Nice misdirect for 1A. Clever puzzle. Easy-Medium for me.

@Rex-- NAURU, I swear you've blogged this before. Either that or its just stuck in my head because I've missed it a couple of times. When you get a tad older memories get a bit foggy!

Bob Kerfuffle 6:24 AM  

Lovely puzzle! But I tried it at the beach yesterday and it was another Did Not Finish for me. Perhaps I should blame distraction by other lovelies?

My downfall was in Northern California, where I had LAG where DOG should have been, and I could not figure out the special offer from parking garages at 56 D (in the New York area, I doubt that day parking is any cheaper than night time - think of the mechanics of commuting), and the @#$%^ nickel mine was no help either. So I finished with a hole in my puzzle (hey, right where the mine was!) at 56, 74, and 78 A.

Only one significant write-over (other than SAINTLY before SAINTED at 93 D) was scribbling around at 44 A wondering how to make CHEETAH fit. (BTW, @Masked and Anonymous - In yesterday's comments you wrote, "Really yucked when we hit ONLEASH. Sounds like somethin' Tarzan would say... "Cheeta bad monkey -- put on leash!"" Surely you had done today's puzzle already also; that wasn't just a prescient random choice, was it?)

Finally, an old Will Shortz question from the radio quiz: What is the only world nationality which is a palindrome?

Ulrich 7:23 AM  

I agree--a very clever, original idea that was fun to discover and follow through every intricate twist and turn.

One observation: The type face for ROMAN CANDLES in the clue looks like Courier to me, not Roman--am I missing something?

DataGeek 7:29 AM  

ACK! Very smugly finished in a decent time, then came here to find SITH where I had TITH (EMT error). I should have caught that! Favorite write-over: WANKEES to YANKEES. Pleasant puzzle on a rainy Sunday.

Bob Kerfuffle 7:35 AM  

@Ulrich - On her blog, Amy Reynaldo says, "101a. [Birthday cake toppers] in Courier are ROMAN CANDLES. You kinda wanted the answer to start with COURIER, didn’t you? All but one of the clues are printed in roman fonts rather than italics."

chefbea 8:17 AM  

Fun easy puzzle. Loved it.

I had DPR - thought it stood for diplomatic and Paupau sounded ok since I have never seen Survivor.

Oscar 8:24 AM  

Cute idea, rather poorly executed. SO many partial phrases + DLR + swinging = bleah. Some original clues (at last) but still too easy (or easy breezy as the babies like to call it).

I think this was just an excuse to make people print out a KenKen (the worst puzzle type ever foisted on the public).

retired_chemist 8:49 AM  

Took me a while but it was an OK Sunday puzzle. Medium. Writeovers: ANIME => MANGA, ROCK => NOTH, ENNE => IERE, PALAU => NAURU, NAIR => NEET.

The visual of the theme was not critical, although I expect if I had seen it it would have speeded things up a bit.

imsdave 8:54 AM  

Good Sunday puzzle. Really just wanted to say it's good to know somebody prints as badly as I do.

Thanks Rex.

Oh, and I always thought it was RIJN - Mac?

Ulrich 8:58 AM  

@BobKerf.: Right, and I still don't get it. All clues are printed using the "style" instructions with which the answers start, except for this one.

I am aware of the fact that Roman (BTW I find it really ugly and never use when I can help it) is the font of the non-theme clues, which poses a problem for this particular answer, but still, I don't see how the Courier solves it.

NCA President 9:12 AM  

46D was my favorite clue and answer. "deleterious precipitation." for some reason when i got that i felt just a little better about myself.

joho 9:29 AM  

Fun Sunday which required some thinking, not just a fill-in-the-blanks exercise.

Typecasting = cute theme.

Thank you, Daniel A. Finan!

Oh, for 55D I saw a group of OTTERS sitting on a couch watching TV with drinks and dip.

eric 9:39 AM  

"slurs" for staff connections? Please help

Rex Parker 9:42 AM  

I mention the COURIER issue in the first sentence. First. Sentence.

Slurs are musical notations indicating the slurring of one note into the successive note, such that the two notes sound continuous and not discrete. I music language don't much have. Someone else can maybe help.

Wiki says "A slur is a symbol in Western musical notation indicating that the notes it embraces are to be played without separation."

Kathy Smith 9:46 AM  

The only answer I'm still puzzling over is "roman candles." Where I come from, roman candles are fireworks, not cake-toppers.

Brian 9:50 AM  

Why do you suggest that you need to print a pdf version and not do it online? The entire grid contains regular atoz?

Rex Parker 9:51 AM  


As with the rest of the theme answers, the final answer isn't an answer to the literal clue; it's an answer to the clue + font type. So ROMAN CANDLES are, in fact, fireworks, not [Candle toppers], just as [JAIL OR FINE] is decidedly *not* CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. Final answers are things that do exist and are familiar, but are not specifically answers to the words in the clue.

@Brian — it's the way the clues are presented that matters.

JC66 10:00 AM  

@Brian In the printed version, most theme clues use the typeface/font they refer to. Not the case in AcrossLite.

Also, isn't the chimp's name spelled sans *h* to distinguish him from the big jungle cat?

Ulrich 10:03 AM  

@Rex: Yes, this is also how I see it: The answer is a common phrase, reinterpreted so that the first part gives a style setting (or however you may call it), and the second part a word that can stand alone. The clue then identifies that word (like candles are birthday cake toppers or fine and jail are punishments) and the style of the clue conforms to the first part of the answer. Given that, I don't see how your first sentence answers my question...it just confirms that there is an issue

Leslie 10:07 AM  

Rex, thanks for the DLR explanation. I knew PALAU, so knew it had to be DLR, but that just didn't compute at all.

Kathy, I didn't have any problem with ROMAN CANDLES (I mean, yeah, they're fireworks, but the answer's a joke, just like GOTHIC FICTION, clued by "untruths," doesn't really refer to lies). My quibble was with STRUCK OUT rather than "strike out;" I always see that horizontal line through letters referred to in the present tense.

That's a teeny-tiny little quibble, though; I thought this puzzle was very clever.

Leslie 10:08 AM  

Oops. Sorry, Kathy--wasn't piling on; it's just that many others answered you before I hit "post!"

Jo 10:10 AM  

Not too easy for me, some writeovers, a few mistakes, a few stupid ones. Iere for French suffix stinks.
It is van Rijn in Dutch, anglicized to "y". Don't know if this is legit or not.
Don't understand 24 down. How is Bergman's role in Casablanca "lund?" It ruined Chris' somebody's name for me, although I knew it in the back of my head.
In the end got Palau, though never watched "survivor," and dlr which I did not understand but now I do. That block was the most difficult for me, got there eventually.

Ingrid Bergman 10:18 AM  

@Jo - In Casablanca, my character's full name is Ilsa Lund.

Van55 10:25 AM  

Theme was OK, but didn't redeem a bunch of crap fill for me. UGHS!

OldCarFudd 10:27 AM  

There's a Dutch letter IJ in caps, ij in lower case. It's a SINGLE letter. But in handwriting, the ij looks like a y with an umlaut - and, as we've discussed ad nauseam, umlauts and tildes and other diacritical marks are ignored in crossword puzzles.

DataGeek - I ended up with the same EMT/Tith error.

Oscar - I like KenKen! It makes you think more than Sudoku - which, by the way, I also like.

Rex - Don't knock dude ranches. Every year my wife and I take those grown kids who want to go (three out of five - the other two kids are horse-averse), their spouses and THEIR kids to a great dude ranch in southern Colorado. It's my once-a-year concession to getting on a horse. Great riding instruction, trail riding, family bonding, cookouts, campfires. The rest of the year, if all horses were renamed Alpo, it wouldn't bother me a bit - which is about how my wife would feel if antique cars were melted down for scrap.

JenCT 10:34 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle very much.

Writeovers: ACRE => ARTE, TIPSTER => RAPSTAR, NYS => RYN(?), MACAU => PALAU, SWAY => VEER, ANIME => MANGA. (Stole this from retired_chemist - thanks!)

Dean Acheson 11:14 AM  

@Ulrich - you are correct.

The typeface in the clue for 101a is Courier. We ditched it in 2004

cromulent 11:19 AM  


Slur refers to musical notation. Groaner.


raidodaze 11:21 AM  

Did the puzzle in acrosslite on paper. Why you need a pdf. version to do the puzzle on paper is beyond me on this one. I need the two page version. Couldn't read the pdf.

abonizi, as in abonizi scrooge

Rex Parker 11:25 AM  

In AcrossLite, the theme clues are not in their proper fonts. Instead, there are weird, bracketed explanations after the clue, e.g.

[Birthday cake toppers [in standard serif type]]


chaos1 11:26 AM  

@JO: I'm guessing you're relatively new to crosswords.If not, I apologize.Perhaps you just had a mental lapse?

When puzzle answers are looking for proper names, you must pay close attention to which name is given in the clue.

If the clue had read : Ingrid's Role In Casablanca, the answer would have been Ilsa, but it stated Bergman.

This misdirection tactic, is usually learned early on in crossword solving. Even though the clue crosses NOTH, it is fair.

Casablanca is a classic movie, and most NYT solvers would know that Ilsa'a last name was LUND. Therefore, NOTH should be solvable through the crosses,even though it is a bit more obscure. Way more so, if you agree with REX when in comes to Sex And The City.

Stan 11:44 AM  

Reminded me of doing Sunday NYT puzzles with my father, a printer. He would have grinned a lot at this one!

Many thanks to Daniel A. Finan.

dk 12:00 PM  

We spell out DEALER here in the mighty midwest.

Messed up the lower left as I had evilone instead of TEMPTER.

And, if my printing was as bad as Rex I would use pencil as well :).

I wonder if there is a Palmer Method School that one could take online...just sayin.

I am starting to like Sunday puzzles.

*** (3 Stars)

PuzzleGirl 12:06 PM  

Love this theme! Typography is so awesome. And by awesome, of course I mean nerdy.

As for the Roman/Courier question: Let me Google that for you!

Beadola 12:21 PM  

Loved the puzzle...pdf version makes it so much more fun.
Saw "Sex and the City" and was appalled at something most of the world would not appreciate. Carrie, the "writer", wrote an article about the terrible "two's". The movie showed the paper with the title of the article with the misplaced apostrophe. Makes me crazy. Has anyone seen any reviews that addressed this?

san serif 12:41 PM  

The point was:like the clues for Wordsmith/script, and Gothic/untruths, that "Birthday cake toppers" was leading to a specific Font, not the major family of typography.

Carrie Bradshaw 12:51 PM  

@Beadola -
Plurals of symbols and initialisms

Individual letters and abbreviations whose plural would be ambiguous if only an -s were added are pluralized by adding -'s.

mind your p's and q's
A.A.'s and B.A.'s
the note had three PS's

Opinion is divided on whether to extend this use of the apostrophe to related but nonambiguous cases, such as the plurals of numerals (e.g., 1990's vs. 1990s) and words used as terms (e.g., "his writing uses a lot of but's" vs. "his writing uses a lot of buts"). Some writers favor the use of the apostrophe as consistent with its application in ambiguous cases; others say it confuses the plural with the possessive -'s and should be avoided whenever possible in pluralization, a view with which The Chicago Manual of Style concurs.

So I was thinking Terrible 2's, and it got in as Terrible Two's. I still don't like the word "twos."

Deb Amlen 1:10 PM  

Rex, just wanted to pop in and thank you for the wonderful write-up of my book. I'm so glad you liked it, and thank you for calling me lovely and talented and funny :)

The support of my friends in the puzzle community has been overwhelming and more importantly contributed heavily to the fact that I even got to write the book in the first place. My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you.

Masked and Anonymous 1:15 PM  

Usually the SunPuz seems to drag on too long for my tastes. This one just flew by -- which must say somethin' about how much fun (and easy?) it was. Thumbs up.

Weird how different stuff trips different folks up. I pretty much stomped on DLR like a bug, without blinkin'. It was a WTF for 44. Makes me feel like 43 For a Day.

Beating a dead horse 1:27 PM  

THEME: "TYPECASTING" — font of theme clue becomes modifier for the clued answer, creating familiar two-word phrase.

The HTML code for Mr. Parker’s write-up for 101a is:

style="font-family:courier new;">Birthday cake toppers

Those “P”s and the spacing can only be Courier.

Courier , of course, did not fit, so Roman goes in. The complaint is one of consistency.

pezibc 1:28 PM  

"I think this was just an excuse to make people print out a KenKen"

It wouldn't have taken much effort to produce a crossword only PDF.

Loved the theme, though can't say that I was all that impressed with the PDF version. Except for Monday and Tuesday, I print the puzzle anyway.

Anonymous 1:42 PM  

some help with 89 across? Pool suface = felt??????

Masked and Anonymous 1:51 PM  

@Anonymous without mask... FELT = pool [table playing] surface [material]. Where I spent my misspent youth.

Shamik 1:53 PM  

Finished this enjoyable puzzle in easy-medium time for me with the few previously stated writeovers and a couple of new ones which I won't bore anyone with today.

Favorite parts of the day are: tweets of the 3 weeks and a new appreciation to what the judges must deal with when scoring the entries at the ACPT. Thanks for showing a paper/pencil version of this solved puzzle...this time. LOL...MUCH easier to check my answers against yours when it isn't hand-written.

foodie 2:21 PM  

I may be able to claim the stupidest mistake of the day, one I did correct in due time.. As a result of having AS WE instead of AS YE for 12Across, my answer to the "bat in the hat" clue was WANKERS... thankfully, the YANKEES eventually revealed themselves.

I see the tornadoes made their way up to your neck of the woods, Rex. My daughter was driving late last night from Indiana to Michigan and while in the middle of nowhere, tornadoes were literally landing right around her. Really scary until she found a motel.

@Deb Amien, a regular commenter on this blog @mac, she with the excellent taste, mentioned enjoying your book and talked about the book signing last night. Now, with Rex's recommendation (and we all know he has the highest standards), along with a rave review from someone with the initials PG, you're definitely on my hit list for both my husband and my son. And BTW, I love your blog, especially the piece about scientists-- being a member of the species who has yet to find a cancer cure but is busy discovering away.

Van55 2:38 PM  

Pool in this case refers to billiards.

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

Loved 59-A, SHADOWBOXING, both clue and answer. Made me feel super bright when I got it right away. But then, I unhappily ended up with LEAD for Bergman's LUND role, giving me SLER for staff connection and AOTH for that Chris dude in SATC, neither of which made a lick of sense. Not so super bright, after all, I reckon. Enjoyed the puzzle immensely, ne'ertheless. Polly

PuzzleNut 2:50 PM  

An enjoyable puzzle with a number of outstanding clues (pointed out by Rex and others). MANGA was new to me, but easily crossed. Did not know LUND (I'll remember it now) and thankfully did not know NOTH, so I guessed wrong with rOTH. GYM started as spa, which I think is more accurate (but clearly not what the author had in mind).
I enjoy most puzzles and KenKen is a pretty good one. I also enjoyed the Mashed P's from last week. Didn't get them all, but loved the challenge.

Tinbeni 2:51 PM  

1A is ACROSS, what a nice way to start a Sunday.

@Rex, your printing is atrocious but I only notice one write-over, the "O" in DOG.
My grid looks like it was typed, the product of starting my Accounting career in 1974. But is does have a minor Ink Blot test flare.

You did yours in what, 8 to 10 minutes.
I strooled along for an hour or so.

NEETness doesn't count, except at 63A.

otisannette 2:52 PM  

Need to bitch a little, I am one of those on-line subscribers that actually doesn't mind when there is a unique format that doesn't work well with across-lite and a paper solve is recommended but I totally missed the blurb on the website because I never scroll down that far and feel that usually there is a note in the title of acrosslite recommending the pdf version. I felt not having to suss out the typeface from its appearence led to a rather boring solve when the typefaces were clued abiut instead in across-lite. So I felt I missed out on the enjoyable part of the puzzle. Did anyone else miss that the warning that it should have been solved in a different format for her (my) pleasure?

Rex Parker 3:00 PM  

I'll admit my printing is highly irregular, even messy, but if you click on the grid (to see it something like life-size), you will see it's perfectly legible. Legible, I say!

And I had a few other write-overs (SAINTLY-to-SAINTED comes to mind), but in those cases I bothered to erase. Not so when I changed LAG to DOG.

Noam D. Elkies 3:18 PM  

Neat puzzle (local peccadilli notwithstanding), and thanks for the scanned solution — which looks enough like my handwriting that for a moment I wondered how you got your hands on my grid :-) (I even had the same "saintly" error for 93D:SAINTED, though on reconsideration "saintly" is not as apt.) The annotation style looks familiar too, though details of course differ.

Yes, 1A:ACROSS is a very nice start. The clue for 45D:TUX is surely an allusion to the slang "penguin suit". I remembered 105D:NAURU, because the demonym(?) "Nauruan" is a palindrome. Yes, 88D:YADA should be 2-D. Fortunately I knew 76A:PALAU because indeed 72D:DLR is most regrettable.

Re 125A:RYN — it's the 8th appearance of this on xwordinfo, always with a Rembrant clue. It seems legit according to the Wikipedia article on the digraph IJ; in lower-case it would appear as ÿ (which looks more like an ij ligature), but umlauts and the like are usually ignored in Crossworld.


Tinbeni 3:28 PM  

Your printing is fine, especially for someone who is solving a crossword puzzle at lightning speed.

I double clicked to check my grid, and was able to do so,

But I would say decipherable.
(Example: the 'R' in LIRAS the 'D' in NEEDS/DIPS)

Rick Stein 3:50 PM  

I put "sealed" for 54 down (made sense to me when I thought of canned tuna), which made my French suffix "iele" which seemed plausible. Oh, well.
Otherwise, I liked this puzzle a lot.

chefwen 4:39 PM  

@joho - You want to brag on your new avatar, looks like a pretty proud moment to me.

Took me a long time to get through this one, was preparing for a dinner party, but eventually got 'er done and had a great time doing it.

Off to "Taste of Hawaii', looking forward to some mighty fine munching.

lit.doc 5:09 PM  

Really, really enjoyed this one, though I had to work hard for it. Good theme, and a few good laughs. Didn’t get 1A till I started my second ACROSS pass and actually looked up—LOL. Also on my first pass, I put in 55D POTATO just ‘cause I thought it was funny.

@Rex, your write-up was as much fun as the puzzle.

@foodie, you are not alone in your 12A “…so long AS WE…” error. Before I got enough letters to figure out SEATTLE, I was seriously entertaining the thought that somewhere there was actually a sports team called the WANKERS. Hell, after NAURU I was prepared to believe anything.

Puffin 5:57 PM  

The trick to getting DLR was to remember its role in Fargo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB4PmbfG4bw#t=0m35s

Steve J 6:09 PM  

@Rex: I know you questioned "Birthday cake toppers [in standard serif type]", but I'd argue that's a case where not solving the print version actually led to superior cluing. Serif type is also known as Roman type, which leads logically and correctly to ROMANCANDLES.

In fact, I found solving this electronically to be just as enjoyable as I would have on paper. The typographic descriptions were understandable and gettable. And it's a really great concept for a theme.

@lit.doc: Glad to see I wasn't the only one who put in POTATO instead of OTTERS. I know that wasn't parallel with "rabbits," but it would have been a far-superior clue/answer combo.

Anonymous 6:30 PM  

I got the 'DLR' from the movie "Fargo" when the not-quite-bright officer says he put out an ABP for a Cierra with plates that start with DLR and Marge says something like, "I can't agree with your police work there... Don't ya think that means dealer plates? DLR? Dealer?"


mac 6:47 PM  

No time right now but wanted to answer imsdave. The y with umlaut Noam mentions is only used in script/Denelian, regular print would be IJ or ij. De Rijn is the Dutch name of the river Rhine, originally his forebears must have lived within view of that river, or had some other connection with it. He is from Leiden, which the Old Rhine courses through.

joho 6:55 PM  

@chefwen ... you are right! I am so proud of my stepson, Ethan, who graduated from highschool near the top of of his class. He's a great kid and I am so happy he came into my life.

Noam D. Elkies 7:09 PM  

@mac: the Wikipage suggests that the use of Y or y/ÿ for ij is a deprecated practice which however still survives in actual use, so it's probably no worse than variant spellings like 10D:EGIS.


[captcha = hymen, which seems to defeat the purpose, since most computer wordlists will include the word even if humans — present company excepted — often won't recognize it.]

Anonymous 7:44 PM  

A few people have written that 73A is "lere." It is "iere." Otherwise, 30D "cotton gin" (for separating machine) would be "cotton gln." Let's put it down to Rex's handwriting :)
Loved the puzzle but Rex's write-up even more.

ArtLvr 7:56 PM  

The NYT may have used all those fonts in the dead tree version, but checking the Times Union today showed that half were missing: thus the solving would have been worse than in Across Lite... I'd especially wanted to see their Gothic, but none was used! Sic transit, etc.

And bon voyage to Ulrich, who's off to Germany to see his favorite sports team in action, unless I got the dates wrong?


Martin 8:33 PM  

Courier is a roman (serif) font. Of course, since the default font is another roman font, using Courier in the clue is marginally useless. The distinguishing characteristic of Courier is that it's monospace -- designed to look like it was produced on a typewriter.

Most of this has been implied in the discussion today, but I don't think anyone has stated that Courier is a roman font, meaning that the clue is not incorrect -- only sucky. I can't think of a better way to handle the entry, unless it was to deep-six it.

Jo 9:04 PM  

@chaos 1:not new to crosswords alas, but mental lapse on Lund. Also do not care for Casablanca, classic though it may be.
@oldcarfudd: the dots on the ij in Rijn may look like umlauts but they aren't, simply a combination of dotted i and j, ij which is a vowel in Dutch, my own name has the vowel. I still am not sure this is legit.

Martin 9:15 PM  


"IJ" is often turned into "y" as an "alternative international spelling." This is done in self-defense -- how would you feel about hearing "idge-sel-meer"?

lit.doc 11:56 PM  

Hate to post this late but. Martin raises a key point. The courier issue is "kerned" vs. "unkerned" font, terms from hand-set type that survive e.g. as "em dash" and "en dash". Whatever else, the dead-tree and Across Lite versions were kearned fonts.

Steve J 1:24 AM  

@Martin: the only thing I can think of is to have used to a different serifed typeface. Courier is just too widely known, and even people who know very little about typography can pick out Courier - and identify it by name - instantly. It was inevitable that people were going to be misdirected with that choice. Whereas if they'd used, say, Georgia, only typography aficionados would have been stuck wondering what a Georgian candle was.

Perhaps a different serifed typeface than whatever the newspaper uses should have been utilized. The challenge, of course, is coming up with another serifed typeface that would have stood out in the clue and wouldn't have caused a totally different misdirection.

Otherwise, we're left with the irony that the electronic versions - which did not display the variations in type - ended up providing a superior clue for that particular item.

JMorgie 11:48 AM  

with ___OSS and the theme about types I went with EMBOSS for see above [thats what embossing lets you do -- see letters above the paper). sheeeeeesh

Anonymous 6:25 PM  

I googled and got Attila's birth at 453. Am I missing something here.


Attila the Hun 7:48 PM  

Dear Gena,

I died in 453. I was born in 406.



Anonymous 3:20 PM  

Our local paper (publishes the NYT crossword a week later) screwed up the fonts. Nevertheless, figured out the typography clues and finished in 45 minutes ... close to a personal best.

Kadh 3:43 PM  

Syndicated a week later, there were no clues as to typeface at all. Very boring puzzle that way.

Anonymous 4:06 PM  

Yes, the font styles in our paper were also overwritten, with the exception of the all caps clue. Took a lot of the fun out of it. BTW, Roman in typography does not refer to a specific font, but rather to the style of a font that is normal, as opposed to bold, italic, caps, etc.

Rex Parker 4:11 PM  

Hi syndicated folks. Rex here. I'm sorry that the puzzle is getting mildly wrecked (presentation-wise) in some papers around the country. Had a fascinating conversation recently with Merl Reagle (who syndicates his own Sunday puzzle) about how tone-deaf and inept most papers are about the puzzle—don't know what to do with it, don't understand the importance of legibility, neat layout, proper fonts, easy-to-read / solve sizing, etc. He has to fight with scores of individual papers all the time just to make sure his babies don't come out botched. It's an issue.

Can't wait to hear what you all think of NEXT week's (i.e. today's) puzzle. It's a doozy, but not in a way that should cause local papers to botch it in the layout, thankfully.

Best wishes,

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

My paper managed to keep all the theme clues in the correct font except for 118-A, which was clued as "couple-swapping". Hence, I had no idea it was part of the theme and had no idea how to answer it. I agree it was the best theme answer.

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