Concordia University locale / SAT 7-17-10 / British home of Cow Tower Dragon Hall / End of tile game's name / I.B.M. event 1915 / Visionary 1921 drama

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Constructor: Mark Diehl

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: W. C. HANDY (41A: Father of the Blues) —

William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 – March 28, 1958) was a blues composer and musician, often known as the "Father of the Blues". // Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a not very well-known regional music style to one of the dominant forces in American music. // Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers. He loved this folk musical form and brought his own transforming touch to it. (wikipedia)

• • •
Yesterday I said that it seemed like I said the same thing about puzzles all the time, esp. the late-week ones—got off to a slow start! Well, that was *not* true today. Got off to a fast start, demolishing the NW at a Wednesday/Thursday clip. Problem: I couldn't get out of the NW. Threw some feelers out, but nothing. If I'd only surmised at first (as I did later) that the "coach" in 5D: Short coach signified a BUS, I'd have gotten into that SW much more quickly. As it was, I had to reboot in the Far SE, and while that little bit went down quickly, the rest did not. It took nearly everything I had to make those long Acrosses behave. Literally had -EA CANISTER before TEA came to me (49A: Its contents may get strained). I steep my tea. I don't even strain my loose leaf green tea. Bah! Stupid me. O'DARK THIRTY (55A: Very early morning, in slang) is completely new to me. Inferred the THIRTY and then ... waited. GET A LICKING feels quite off (53A: Be shellacked)—TAKE A LICKING, sure (via Timex commercials). GET one? You could, of course, but the phrase wobbles. Bigger problem was (embarrassed admission) never having heard of W. C. HANDY (41A: Father of the Blues). When I was done, I actually googled [W. CHANDY]. OREO OS (43A: Former chocolaty Post cereal) were also unknown to me. Forgot CERF completely (feel like he was in the puzzle once before at least—or maybe he was in "You Are Not A Gadget" or "The Shallows," books about the Internet I read recently) (42A: Vint ___, Father of the Internet). Guessed on NORWICH (37D: British home of Cow Tower and Dragon Hall) after I got the -WICH part. So in the end, despite the fast start, the puzzle leveled off at Saturday-normal and pretty much stayed there (though the pace picked up again at the very end, one I got STIPPLE into that NE (24A: Pointed artwork?), which revealed HOLD, PLEASE (12D: Call waiting line?), which pretty much finished things off. "F" in WOLF/CERF was my last letter.

Soooo many question marks today. I find that when that total gets about, say, half a dozen, I start to get annoyed. Today: a full dozen "?" clues by my count, some good (7D: Shell collection? PUMPS — finished the puzzle before I understood that one); some just OK (39D: Way of the world? TAO); some obvious (51D: Runner given the boot? SKI); and at least one a crossword cliché (35A: Is for more than one? ARE). Kind of liked the odd double-Gymnastics school supply / supplies clues (CHALK / MATS), even though my go-to answer, TALC/S, was wrong in both cases. JIVEY is jive (30D: Swinging) and JONGG looks wrong, but isn't (30A: End of a tile game's name). Nursery stuff was new to me in both cases: TREE TAGS (10D: Nursery IDs) and ROSE LEAVES (13D: Bouquet greenery), though the latter wasn't unheard of, just ... not a coherent, crossworthy entity in my mind.

  • 15A: Bauxite or cryolite (ALUMINUM ORE) — "-ITE" suffixes tell you ORE. A few crosses tell you the rest.
  • 17A: One whose shots reveal lots (BIKINI MODEL) — was thumbing through a beautiful book of Gil Elvgren pin-ups before starting in on this puzzle. An American Treasure, that man. He and Rockwell are the yin/yang of mid-century American illustration. Fantastic.
  • 25A: Concordia University locale (ST. PAUL) — see, once I finally got BUS, this answer leapt forth. Before I knew it ended -UL, I wanted ... ISRAEL. I know, Concordia is Latin, whatever.
  • 32A: Hydroelectricity providers? (EELS) — kind of obvious. The "?" here reveals more than it conceals (anomalous).
  • 45A: ___ Poke (candy on a stick) (SLO) — neeeeever heard of it. Before my time, but like much retro candy, available from online specialty shops.
  • 48A: Visionary 1921 drama ("R.U.R.") — another short gimme. A 1920s play in three letters. I can think of only two plays in three letters, and TRU is much later.
  • 22D: I.B.M. event of 1915 (IPO) — and another short gimme, though I did have the "I" before I saw the clue, so maybe that made it easier than it might have been otherwise.
  • 26D: 2003 spy thriller starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrell ("THE RECRUIT") — can't even remember seeing ads for this. "THE ... something FRUIT?"
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


retired_chemist 12:23 AM  

I found this hard but doable. Nailed PAJAMA PANTS and ALUMINUM ORE right away but the rest was a slog. The number of clues with question marks (9) seems high, and this added to my difficulty. Writeovers: 7D PUKAS (ignoring the question mark – my bad) => PUMPS, 18A DET => LSU, 30D AT BAT => JIVEY, 44A AGEE (my go-to 4 letter playwright) => SHAW, 25A NEWARK => ST. PAUL.

The latter deserves a comment. A typo made 6D ANIMAK and I couldn’t think of any other 6 letter cities ending in a K. Later, I was left with __PA_K, wanted an R for __ PARK, and tried (Seriously!) to fit MINIBRA to the 5D clue. But all eventually came together.

SethG 12:39 AM  

Knew O DARK THIRTY as "zero" dark thirty, so that threw me off a bit.

More trouble in the center--had SELLers, didn't know STIPPLE, didn't know JIVEY, and the rest stayed hidden. My biggest issue: Amontillado is not a cherry (though it was in 1913!). There are a lot of Concordia Us, so that's why it took me a while for ST PAUL. Some people call me Short Bus.

I like the question marks and the generally tricky cluing. This took me a while, but I enjoyed the thinking the whole time.

boots mcconnell 1:13 AM  

I still don't quite get the clue for Tao. I understand that Tao means way (or something like that), but what does "of the world" have to do with anything, even with a "?"?

Do not like Do Not Go for "Stay." Who in the world has ever said that? Don't go, sure, but do not go? Sometimes these clunky phrases make me wonder whether Shortz is a human or a robot with synthetic skin a la the Terminator.

Ami for Sweet strikes me as a bit off. My recollection of French is that petit(e) ami(e) is boy(girl)friend, whereas ami is just a friend. I don't think friend and sweet are synonymous, unfortunately.

People count noses for attendance? Again, is Shortz a human, because most humans count heads, or possibly butts if it's a sitting affair, but not noses.

Vint Cerf was mos def in a puzzle recently. I remember his being clued as the father of the interwebz, but that helped me not at all since all I remembered was that some guy with a strange name is apparently the father of the innertubes. The clue not only didn't help, but served only to frustrate and tease me.

Two days in a row with weird/extraneous double-letter endings in Wookiee(pedia) and Jongg. Weirdd.

Trummy Young 1:53 AM  

"Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy" is one of Louis Armstrong's best albums. The first track, "St. Louis Blues" is (Swinging), but I wouldn't call it JIVEY.

chefwen 2:50 AM  

Started out with some minor Googling to get a toe hold, took off like crazy and finished with a flourish.

There is a Concordia University just up the road from my parents house in Mequon, WI. Right amount of letters and I thought if that fits, we have a new Natick. Alas, it was not to be.

PIANO LEG/SELLING were my last two fills bec. I had SELLers in first.

Good puzzle, a little easier than yesterdays.

O DARK THIRTY will be my new phrase the next time the big guy gets me up at 4:30 A.M. to catch a flight to anywhere. It happens a lot. Grrr. don't mess with my sleep!

begla - Don't get me up so damn early.

Anonymous 5:07 AM  

The Concordia clue threw me off for ages. We Canadians have a relatively well-known Concordia University in Montreal; thought there was some sort of rebus to fit it in (it ended in L as well!)

pauer 7:07 AM  

3-letter plays:

RUR (1921)
LUV (1964)
TRU (1989)
WIT (1995)
ART (1998)
RED (2009)

What am I missing, Greene?

Ben 7:11 AM  

Nice tough puzzle, and isn't that what we want on a Saturday?

I also thought of "Wit" and "Art." Then I thought of "Boeing-Boeing," then I thought, wait, that's way more than three letters.

r.alphbunker 7:11 AM  

It is often the case with Saturday puzzles that there is a strong temptation to Google to hasten the completion of the puzzle. This did not happen today. Google was no help at all for the areas that gave me trouble. I felt that the puzzle kept me honest.

I liked that fact that the two fathers were adjacent to one another. Google reveals that Radia Perlman is sometimes called the mother of the Internet. Google is less certain about the mother of the blues citing either Ma Rainey or Bessie Smith. This is unusual because fatherhood is what is usually in question.

Ben 7:12 AM  

p.s. Slo-Pokes must have been a regional thing, because we had 'em.

T-No-Money 7:35 AM  

I've lived in two different cities with Concordia Universities, Portland (OR) and Montreal. This slowed me down somewhat. "Somewhat" being the amount of time it took me to say "F it," and Google.

Leslie 8:07 AM  

I finally remembered ST PAUL for Concordia because "Prairie Home Companion" has broadcast from there a number of times.

Rex got the WICH in NORWICH first; I got the NOR first and filled in "Norfolk." This was not helpful, but it didn't last long.

Laughed at myself in the SW corner. I couldn't remember HANDY's initials, exactly; had started with W.D. and gone to W.F. That made the last word "fruit," so I was racking my brain to come up with a Pacino/Farrell movie with "fruit" in the title. (Jokes to yourselves, please.)

Could not get away from "steeple" instead of STIPPLE for the longest time, and kept trying to think of ways in which steeples are somehow architecturally artistic.

My word: "comet," which is exactly how fast I didn't finish this puzzle. Liked it, though.

Rex Parker 8:20 AM  

@boots and T-No

Good comments always make my morning.

DO NOT GO. Beep. Whirr.


Van55 8:38 AM  

A Saturday puzzle for which I needed no outside help. This suggests to me that it is on the easy side of medium if not downright easy. Very nice puzzle in my book.

foodie 8:42 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
foodie 8:44 AM  

HOLD PLEASE, it's O DARK THIRTY and WHATS her name, the BIKINI MODEL who's our HOUSE GUEST is taking off her PAJAMA PANTS but keeping on her PUMPS! (I resisted including the LICKING in this tale).

I had TEA CEREMONY in lieu of TEA CANISTER for a good while. NORWICH forced the change.

@boots, I agree with you re the AMI cluing.

And I too thought of Concordia U. in Montreal, an excellent place.

I needed a couple of googles to finish, but the experience was not totally humiliating.

Judy 8:45 AM  

Although it filled itself in, still don't get pumps. I am a little slow on the uptake sometimes...

JayWalker 8:45 AM  

Wow. I'm seriously thinking of taking up knitting as a hobby. This puzzle was NOT "medium" for me at all. Needed lots of Google help and it still took forever to finish. The NW was the LAST bastion to fall for me. I'm going back to bed.

Glimmerglass 8:47 AM  

The crosses got me "pumps," but can someone tell me why a shell collection is pumps? I thought shells were sweaters or shirts. Maybe a shelF collection? Or some other kind of pump?

JD 8:49 AM  

I had the opposite experience from Rex -- started out slow as could be, then raced through the rest. THERECRUIT broke it open for me, thanks to coming across this New York Times article about Al Pacino crazy mentor pictures earlier this week. The rest would have fallen quicker had I given up on the obviously correct PLEASEHOLD sooner...

Van55 9:05 AM  

I rationalize PUMPS as a collection at a Shell filling station. Does anyone have a better explanation?

Jo 9:09 AM  

Some stuff came easy, some took forever, some took checking in Webster's which feels less like cheating than Googling but perhaps isn't. Became very attached to STEEPLE and GET SHINED UP. PUMPS are present at a Shell station.
Find AMI somewhat odd also. Liked finding AMOS as a biblical character in the puzzle instead of the everlasting Enos or Esau, but perhaps it is an old crosswordeser after all. Wanted OEF for EAU but decided that this was too unfamiliar. And so it went. Was hung up forever on one-letter blanks. Plan to use ODARKTHIRTY although I don't really get it.

Rex Parker 9:38 AM  

Yes, filling station = Shell. I was going to post a picture of gas pumps, but ... well, just too spot-on for me.


VaBeach puzzler 9:42 AM  

Re 53A: Yes, the old Timex slogan was "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking" but, in my pre-Dr. Spockian youth, my mother used to threaten that I'd "get a licking" if I didn't behave!

p.s. loved the puzzle. Did it on paper, for a change, lickety split -- until I bogged down for a while in the NW.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

ODARKTHIRTY is a military colloquialism, i think. it's an approximation of time and i use "o-beer-thirty" similarly, as in late afternoonish to meet friends for a cold one.

i'm unclear what 11d (One side of traffic: SELLING) means.

and with regards to the plethora (yes, a plethora) of ??? clues, what justifies a ? in a clue? isn't it used when there is some kind of double meaning...which, it seems, would account for a lot of clues. there were so many today they lost all of their usual "oomph."

otherwise, i agree with an earlier poster that google was no help in a lot of areas of the puzzle, tempted though i was, and my waterloo was the NE where i nearly gave up...but finally saw the OOO and gave up trying to make "The Tigers" be DET and saw LSU and then it all came together with minimal "lines of combat."

joho 10:03 AM  

@rolin mains ... think of buying and selling in drug trafficking.

@Jo, I too, checked in Websters to confirm my guesses. It does seem less like cheating that Google, but, like you, I'm not sure.

I had prIMAL before ANIMAL and GETstInKING before GETALICKING.

I wanted expletives for SWEARWORDS and leaky for "like some rafts" just to keep the LEADY theme going this week.

All in all a really fair Saturday puzzle and a definite work out for me, no MATS and CHALK needed.

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

You're correct Rex, GET A LICKING
seems a bit off.

Why does the NY Times insist upon putting periods in words that do not require periods?
IBM is simply IBM

Two Ponies 11:02 AM  

I really enjoyed this one.
Probably because I finished it!
The CA coast took the longest because I did not know the cereal, the movie, or the musician. Somehow pulled it together with much satisfaction.
I liked the new clue for eels.
Also liked whats-his-name.
@ SethG, Are you kicking yourself for cherry and not sherry?
@ Rex, You knew Fleer yesterday but not Slo-Poke? Maybe it is regional.
Funny that you mentioned Gil Elvgren as his name came up just last night at dinner. His work is well-loved at our house. Nice example of his work but then they're all flirty and fun. That seemed to be a man who really loved women.

Two Ponies 11:05 AM  

@ rolin mains, I think you are correct about the military o dark thirty. When I was a paramedic we used military terms all the time including o beer thirty.
Glad to see this in the puzzle.

David L 11:07 AM  

Medium to hard for me, mainly because I got stalled on a lot of half-answers that took a while to complete. somethingGUEST, somethingLEAVES, somethingCANISTER, somethingLICKING, somethingSHERRY, somethingTHIRTY...

A nose count is the same as a head count, on the principle that a large crowd of people will generally have the same number of both. I suppose SELLING is the other side of BUYING, but I don't quite see how traffic comes into it.

And I'm not sure how to parse the STIPPLE clue. If 'artwork' means the process rather than the thing produced, shouldn't it be STIPPLING?

David L 11:12 AM  

@joho -- posted before seeing your explanation of selling -- thanks.

Anonymous 11:47 AM  

Still don't understand PUMPS for shell collection. Are shoes shells for your feet?

Gray 12:11 PM  

Here's a picture of a Shell collection.

Tinbeni 12:27 PM  

@Seth G
I remember it as "zero dark thirty" also.
The letter "O"(oh) = zero "0" to me.

@Anon 11:47
There are a collection of "gas PUMPS" at my Shell station.

The NW and NE/E.coast fell so fast I thought this was going to be a breeze.
Nope, there's work to do out West.

Hmmm, MOLEST and ORGY in the same grid.
Maybe that is where the SWEAR WORDS come from.

Anonymous 12:31 PM  

it's O DARK THIRTY (no apostrophe), a play on military time. (the argument could be made that it should be *oh* dark thirty, but whatever.) my former army-brat friend says the funnier/more transparent "o dark hundred," which i kept trying to make fit.

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

Wiki has Amontillado as a sherry darker than fino (pale) but lighter than Oloroso. Not that it matters, as somehow I had Amontillado as a PILESHERRY, because at 3AM, the only word I could come up with for WH_TS was WHITS.

Wade 1:03 PM  

I learned about W.C. Handy (a/k/a The Convenient Toilet) from the great Mark Cohn song "Walking in Memphis."

Slo Pokes were common when I was growing up and I think they're still around. They're one of those dusty bottom-shelf candies, with the orange circus peanuts and Mike and Ike, except they're really good. Prepare to surrender a couple of teeth eating one, though.

There's also a Concordia University in Austin. When I first lived in Austin and heard of it somebody said it was a Lutheran school and I misheard it as "luthier" and thought they made guitars there. I thought the name was some sort of pun on "chord." Actually I just made that up. I thought they made supersonic airplanes for church missions.

I liked this puzzle because it had lots of compound words but my crossing knowledge didn't break along the lines of the two words making the compound. I hate it when I have half of every compound word and can't get a foothold in the other half. You neologists can get to work on that phenomenon.

chefbea 1:22 PM  

Tough puzzle. Tried to do it while having a yard sale. Finally had to put it down and wait til sale was over.
Still DNF

There is Concordia Seminary in St. Louis

Jo 1:54 PM  

Somhow my mind quite quickly went to "drugs" when I saw the word traffic, so selling came eventually. Will not explore the tendencies of my mind.

purplepam 2:01 PM  

One more 3-letter play:

him by e.e.cummings (1927)

syndy 2:49 PM  

One is an HRH because one is a member of the royal family;one may then also be awarded a title,like duke;a duke may coincidentally royal-Tried to fit Earl(fatha)HInds in as my jivey HRH-didn't Tom Sawyers cousin always tell him "you're gonna get a lickin'still some really nice stuff-piano legs swear words-o dark thirty (yup military brat)will forgive OOO and OREO Os

retired_chemist 2:55 PM  

re counting noses - pretty much any of my Japanese colleagues, when in Japan, touches his nose when asking if he was the one I was referring to. Counting noses is IMO about as universal as counting heads.

FWIW they seem not to use this gesture in foreign countries, I would guess because they are not sure it isn't some kind of insulting gesture they might inadvertently be making.

Anonymous 3:17 PM  

Please explain OOO = Winning lineup. Is it like a slot machine win?

For me NW was the hardest -- had PRIMAL for 6D and was trying to fit PLANTS into the end of 1A (plants go in garden beds....)

I liked the puzzle. Glad to learn 0 dark thirty and its beer variation.

I enjoy RP and the comments so much!

--Chrissy the school librarian

Clark 3:49 PM  

@Anonymous 10:35 -- IBM's name is "International Business Machines Corporation". That is the name on its charter. How anybody, including IBM, chooses to abbreviate its name doesn't override the NYT style manual. And why should it?

(@chefwen -- Thanks for the heads up on the caves.)

The Big E 3:49 PM  

@Anonymous 3:17 (Chrissy the school livrarian) - OOO is a winning lineup in Tic-Tac-Toe.

I liked the puzzle a lot today, but got hung up a couple of times and had to rethink:
Had Curse Words, instead of swear.
Got "Hold" and immediately put in "on a sec." That screwed me up a while.
And like others, I had primal before animal.

My grandmother said O dark thirty all the time - said she had grown up with that expression on the Eastern Shore of MD. While I know the military uses that expression, and it seems to only be attributed to military slang when googled, I wonder if it actually did have it's origins in the military and not on the farm...

Overall, good puzzle!

The Big E 3:51 PM  

oops! librarian, not livrarian!

Harry 3:53 PM  

@Anonymous (Chrissy, if that is your real name . . . )

OOO refers to Tic Tac Toe, though I suppose it could also conceivably be a slot machine line. You will also see "Tic Tac Toe loser" or a variation in many a puzzle, the answer to which could be any combination of Xs and Os.

nanpilla 4:29 PM  

@wade - me too on the Marc Cohn song. One of my desert island cd's, along with "come on, come on" by Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Great puzzle - felt more like a mesium to me.

jae 5:05 PM  

Very nice/interesting puzzle. Medium works for me. Hand up for SELLERS. Only place I got bogged down was SE until I reluctantly put in the aforementioned awkward DONOTGO.

michael 5:36 PM  

A just-right level of difficulty for a Saturday puzzle. I poked along, but eventually got it all. Surprised by jongg and didn't know odarkthirty and kept trying to get Montreal to fit for Concordia.

Bob Kerfuffle 5:42 PM  

Beach day, medium-hard puzzle, just right.

Too many write-overs to list, most already mentioned, but one Contemplation (i.e.,something I thought long and hard about but didn't put in): For 1 A, Bed bottoms?, OCEAN FLOORS is just the right number of letters!

SethG 5:44 PM  

Dateline Nov. 23, 1915, the NYT reported that the Stock Exchange Governing Committee added "$6,081,400 stock of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company" to the trading list. It wasn't IBM at all back then.

Which has nothing to do with anything.

sanfranman59 6:15 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 7:33, 6:56, 1.09, 85%, Challenging
Tue 9:21, 8:49, 1.06, 71%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 9:40, 11:46, 0.82, 11%, Easy
Thu 21:08, 19:10, 1.10, 72%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 27:50, 26:41, 1.04, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Sat 34:37, 30:42, 1.12, 80%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:10, 3:42, 1.13, 91%, Challenging
Tue 4:48, 4:31, 1.06, 73%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 4:44, 5:47, 0.82, 11%, Easy
Thu 10:22, 9:10, 1.13, 75%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 13:58, 12:58, 1.08, 72%, Medium-Challenging
Sat 19:08, 17:35, 1.09, 76%, Medium-Challenging

Glitch 6:18 PM  

Since it's a slow day, following up on @SethG's comment,

Per the IBM website:

"The growth and extension of Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company's activities made the old name of the company too limited, and, on February 14, 1924, C-T-R's name was formally changed to International Business Machines Corporation. By then, the company's business had expanded both geographically and functionally, including the completion of three manufacturing facilities in Europe."

Thus, neither IBM nor I.B.M existed, much less had an event, in 1915.

BTW: They call themselves IBM throughout their website, but list:

International Business Machines Corp.

in their "official" mailing address.


dk 6:27 PM  

Tooth hurty is the time to go to the dentist.

This one had me at PIANOLEG. STPAUL is just across the river and as I went to Hamline (part of a college consortium) the Concordia clue was easy peasy.

The rest was just plan fun.

*** (3 Stars)

Boring puzzle related stories:

As a young dk we belonged to a WASP country club. As a result of a court order the club began to admit members of the Mah JONGG playing persuasion. I was fascinated by the game, although I never learned how to play. Thus JONGG I knew.

Researched Alan Freed and WCHANDY's name come up along with Josh White and a few others for a high school newspaper project. And, during a stint as the worst rhythm guitar player in all of upstate NY I insisted our band (using the term loosely) play those old blues tunes and Gene Pitney songs. 24 Hours From Tulsa... sigh, Diving Duck Blues... double sigh.

Thanks Mark

secret word is: dismsht - which sounds so much like dim sh*t I had to comment.

Anonymous 7:28 PM  

CC Sabathia prefers not to have periods in his name.
I guess the Times has the right not to honor the way other companies and people write their names.
Someone should take the Gray Old Lady by the arm and escort her into
the 21st century.

ArtLvr 9:50 PM  

Completed at last with no googles, but it took several visits late in the day. As noted above, HON for a Duke seemed more appropriate than the specifically royal HRH, and I knew JONGG but OREOOS looked wrong. Remembered HANDY but needed crosses for CERF.

I'm fairly sure there's yet another Concordia just west of Chicago, possibly in River Forest, IL. And I got NORWICH, but chuckled to think how many British towns there must be ending in ___WICH. The question was Which Wich? (And I pronounce those differently!)

The basement flood is back again, and I feel as if an underground river has been diverted to directly beneath the foundation...


dk 10:06 PM  

err, @ArtLvr, when all was said and done I did find that an underground stream bed was the cause of the frequent flooding and most amazing mold in my former home's basement. I would find big things floating and had to put my furnace/H2O heater on stilts.

Installed a rather large french drain system with 2 sump pumps accompanied by a ventilation fan that was triggered by the start of said sump pumps. My other option was to move the house.

Gayle 8:36 PM  

Happy that I knew O'dark thirty, but got totally caught up in SW. Couldn't remember "The Recruit" and definitely didn't get pale sherry, so I had a little gap there. Didn't know oreo-o's or RUR either. The rest was challenging - great for a cross country flight yesterday.

Masked and Anonymous 11:41 PM  

We worked on it while on the road. Was kind of hit and miss, til we got to the hotel (the puz, not the driving), then finished off the leftovers mighty quick, once could actually gaze on the grid and visualize the long critters better. Other than no theme again, thought this was a much fairer puz than the FriPuz. Fighting chance solvable. Worst cross was CERF/NORWICH, w'ich didn't really seem to slow us down much.

U's faded out some toward the end, but puz had built up a nice 5-U surplus before then. Thumbs up.

"hoseans"... seems like a better FriPuz secret word, than for today's.

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