Brunonian rival / SUN 8-1-10 / Famed Fokker flier / Blew by a drummer / Huggies rival / Scavenger of misery per Shaw

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Play Bargaining" — long "E" sound in familiar phrases changed to long "A" sound, resulting in wacky phrases, clued wackily


Word of the Day: Brunonian (80A: Brunonian rival=>YALIE) —

One who attends Brown University
• • •

This kind of change-a-sound puzzle seems like the kind of thing that Brendan could write in his sleep. Tame and middle-of-the-road by comparison to the stuff you're likely to get twice a week at his (excellent) website. Theme wasn't really my cup of tea, but there are still some interesting aspects to the grid, and some interesting fill. Weird to have a Sunday puzzle with only four Across theme answers—majority (6) are Downs. Note how the theme Downs are staggered on a diagonal from SW to NE, and then the Acrosses are sequestered, in pairs, in the NW and SE. A very unusual way to array the theme answers. Some lively fill, especially JOE CAMEL and SCHIPHOL right in the middle of the grid—I just wish I could have remembered exactly how to spell/pronounce the latter; that part of the grid (all around but especially below SCHIPHOL) was by far the hardest part for me to bring down. No idea what a Brunonian was (though it seems obvious in retrospect). Couldn't see FANCY FRAY with just the FAN- in place (every time I look at this answer now, I want it to be FANCY-FACED). Appropriately, it was AARGH (98A: "Why is this happening to me?") that finally got me purchase in that section. All in all, a decent if fairly typical Sunday offering. And in case you're wondering, the best theme answer of the day, by a mile, is JAY STRING.

Theme answers:
  • 21A: Put a few monarchs on the scale? (WEIGH THREE KINGS)
  • 29A: Wrinkly dog holder? (SHAR-PEI PEN)
  • 105A: Floral garland for whoever? (GENERAL LEI) — whoever ... wants one? If you're going to leave that in the nominative, it's going to need to be the subject of some verb
  • 114A: Indecisive wolf's question? (TO BAY OR NOT TO BAY)
  • 15D: Mist from a mall? (SHOPPING SPRAY)
  • 27D: Miss who parks cars? (VALET GIRL)
  • 33D: In hell? (CHEZ DEVIL)
  • 58D: Brawl at a ball? (FANCY FRAY)
  • 62D: Leno's necklace? (JAY STRING)
  • 56D: Generous carhop's prop? (THE GIVING TRAY)
I'm going straight to bullets.

Bullets:
  • 13A: Real-life actor Joe who is a character in Broadway's "Jersey Boys" (PESCI) — Put it in took it out put it in took it out ... all because I misspelled stupid WOOLF! (23A: "Orlando" novelist) (spelled her like novelist Tom)
  • 26A: Huggies rival (LUVS) — the idea of diapers as "rivals" is amusing to me. Like Sharks and Jets, only ... more absorbent.
  • 38A: Obama whose Secret Service code name is "Rosebud" (SASHA) — OK that's just adorable.
  • 57A: Blew by a drummer, maybe (FIFED) — nice clue. Like it.
  • 81A: Compromise of 1877 president (HAYES) — I really wish I could say that I knew what the Compromise of 1877 was. Had to have US historian wife explain it to me. That explanation ended with: "The end of Reconstruction, essentially."
  • 91A: Famed Fokker flier (RED BARON) — I saw a trailer for "Filthy Fockers" or "Forever Fockers" or "Fly Me to the Fockers" or whatever the new title in that series is when I was at the movies seeing "Dinner For Schmucks" tonight. Never had a desire to see a Focker movie, and nothing about the trailer changed that. "Dinner For Schmucks" was pretty decent, in case you're wondering — except for the fact that the roles for women (*except* the amazing Kristen Schaal) are Terrible. Freaks and ciphers, all marginal.
  • 120A: John Mason ___, English priest who wrote "Good King Wenceslas" (NEALE) — one of two five-letter N-names I didn't know today. The other: NANCE (106D: F.D.R. veep John ___ Garner)—a name I'm sure I've not known before.
  • 10D: Basketball coach Kruger (LON) — Knew this, but have no idea how, as I couldn't tell you the team he coaches (currently: UNLV). His brother Freddy is Far more famous.
  • 43D: "The scavenger of misery," per Shaw ("PITY") — wow, that's harsh/awesome.
  • 55D: First player to hit an inside-the-park home run during an All-Star Game (ICHIRO) — one of the very best players in the game, and horribly under-appreciated/underrated. Nobody except Pujols and Rodriguez has had a better 21st century. He has a complete, consistent, outstanding game. And he's languishing in Seattle. Criminal.
  • 93D: Mop brand that "makes your life easier" (O'CEDAR) — jingle was Very familiar to me, but somehow I thought it belonged to "Stanley Steamer"


[god the '90s were just godawful]

109D: Entertainer born Tracy Marrow (ICE-T) — he and DRE and NAS are the rap rulers of crosswords, and will be for the foreseeable future. Weird that rap hasn't produced a grid dominator since the mid-90s.

Now your Tweets of the Week—puzzle chatter from the Twitterverse:
  • @aimeemann 1 Across...you're long, but you're not so hard! So 1 down should be...no...hm...how about 2 down...let's move on to 3 down...OH FUCK YOU!!
  • @Ranabananafish Tilda Swinton is doing crossword puzzles at college town bagels. Wtf.
  • @JasonEnloe 80% of my self-worth derives from how quickly I can complete online crossword puzzles
  • @danaelblack Just used iPhone to cheat at crossword for first time. Have arrived in the future.
  • @Its_DT Finally found the last fuckin word on this crossword puzzle! I just stood up and yelled BIIIITCH!! in a room full of ppl...
And finally...

So it's August now, and it should be an exciting month, both in terms of the blog and crosswords generally. For starters, I'm going on vacation for a week starting Tuesday! OK, that's only exciting for me, BUT I have a diverse array of people filling in for me—some familiar, some brand new. If the place I'm staying has wireless internet, then I'll probably pick up a day or two in there, but otherwise it'll be fresh voices aplenty from the 3rd through the 9th.

Also in August— Ryan & Brian's Lollapuzzoola 3, Saturday, August 14th, in Jackson Heights, NY (Queens). The crossword tournament for people who are afraid of tournaments. The UnTournament. I mean, it's a real tournament, with first-rate puzzles, but ... the emphasis is on entertainment and happy fun times, not (so much) winning things (though people will win things). I went last year and had a blast. Lots of familiar names from the world of crosswords will be there. The august Mr. Shortz has been known to show up. Great atmosphere, including (last year) a bevy of young people who couldn't really afford the annual ACPT but who were more than happy to pay a mere $20 to participate in a smaller but no less entertaining tournament. No idea how many people will be there this year—it's growing. Still, it is bound to be far more casual and intimate than the ACPT. So if you've been flirting with the idea of attending a crossword tournament, really, this is the one for you. Information and registration here. Now. Come on. You'll be happy you did. I promise.

Lastly, as far as August goes: August 17. That date again: August 17. It's important. I'll tell you why ... on August 17.

See you tomorrow before I don't see you again for a week.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

57 comments:

chefwen 12:35 AM  

As I said yesterday in my comment (for other reasons) AARGH, my other comment had an extra A.

It seemed to take waaaay longer than usual for a Sunday, but BEQ and I are just not in the same wheelhouse.

Finished O.K. but it just was kind of a slog, no joy in the puzzle for me today.

Rex, I really laughed at your Huggies comment, cute. Have a great holiday and we will look forward to your return.

jae 2:45 AM  

Pretty much what Rex said. Especially the trouble in the middle which I made even more difficult with PIPES vs. FIFES. A solid med. Sun. but not up to BEQ's website offerings.

Jesse 3:52 AM  

Wow. DNF, DNL.

I definitely prefer BeQ's site. This took forever and I didn't learn much. I've been through that airport at least six times, but couldn't remember it to save my life.

I guess it would have helped greatly if I had gotten the theme.

Steve J 5:20 AM  

Definitely AARGH. I never could pick up on the theme, had too many other missteps. My typical struggle through a BEQ, and even though there were plenty of typical BEQ touches, overall the puzzle just didn't have his typical feel, at least for me.

Love CHEZDEVIL on so many levels.

Wondering if ICHIRO shouldn't have had a tip that the first name was being asked for. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that last names are expected, and first names are usually tipped off somehow (e.g. "George's partner" for GRACIE instead of "Burns' partner" for ALLEN). Of course, throughout his career, he's been known by his first name instead of his surname (for reasons I've never understood). Indeed a great player.

Steve J 5:25 AM  

Forgot to add: SCHIPHOL is pronounced more or less like SKIP-pole. Although the O's a bit both sorter and rounder; there's really no equivalent vowel in English.

And it's a great airport. One of the best I've been to, and consistently rated pretty high by frequent travelers.

Greene 7:31 AM  

I usually tremble when I see Brendan's byline, but this one went down quite handily. I'm not sure why people are not liking this. I thought the theme was nicely played out: loved CHEZ DEVIL and VALET GIRL, while JAY STRING was absolutely inspired. SHOPPING SPRAY and THE GIVING TRAY were kind of dull, but did make for nice symmetrically placed 13-letter answers. To my eye, WEIGH THREE KINGS and TO BAY OR NOT TO BAY were much funnier. This last answer was my entry into the theme and provided a nice chuckle.

I struggled a bit in the center. I'm just not well traveled enough to know something like SCHIPHOL. Needed every single cross for that one.

In other puzzle news: Dan Feyer has a fun little puzzle on his Facebook page which he constructed for the opening night of his off-Broadway show With Glee. You can view a copy suitable for printing here (but it's not available in Across Lite). Dan provides a link to the NYT review of the show if you need a few hints, but you probably won't. I really think he just wants you to see the rave from Neil Genzlinger. It's a wonderful notice. Congrats, Dan!

Brendan Emmett Quigley 7:38 AM  

I have always pronounced "Schiphol" as "Shithole."

Bob Kerfuffle 7:46 AM  

Did this one at the beach yesterday also. Much more fun than the daily puzzle.

Would it be improper to point out that this puzzle reflects BEQ's normal Irish accent? Although, when we spoke at the ACPT, he manages a very convincing American accent. (Spoke? Me: "Mr. Quigley, I worship you." He: "Thanks, kid. By the way, you just interrupted my conversation with Mike Nothnagel; you might as well say hello to him also.")

My last fill came in 89 A, which I thought might be "A, B, OR C", since I was struggling with FANCYFRAY (thought the beginning had something to do with DANCE) and I didn't know "A GAL in Calico".

Bob Kerfuffle 7:47 AM  

OMG! I see BEQ himself posted while I was typing! Sorry, Mr. Q. No offense intended, really!

hazel 9:52 AM  

Not a fan of the puzzle. Might even be considered a hater. It kind of seemed phoned in. I don't like wacky puzzles to begin with, but here the wackiness struck me as formulaic.

Did like seeing REDBARON, Virginia (not stupid) WOOLF, Lyle LOVETT, and ICHIRO - which brings me to....

What is with the statement that Ichiro is underrated/underappreciated? I'm pretty sure he's been an All-Star every year he's been here, has won tons of gold gloves, a few silver sluggers I think. I'm sure he makes $10+ million/yr. He lives on the Pacific Coast in an awesome city full of people who absolutely love him. Sign me up for some languishing too. <:-)

nanpilla 9:54 AM  

Seems appropriate that I did this one at the Boston airport waiting for my plane home.

CHEZ DEVIL took a stupid amount of time for me - that Z was my last letter in - Doh! Several good chuckles along the way and some typical Qiuglian clueing made this one fun.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

What no rant about refed? Oh thats right BEQ is a friend of yours.

Jo 10:45 AM  

Sort of liked it, sort of didn't because it took so long. SCHIPHOL of course what you call a "gimme." Almost impossible to pronounce for foreigners, because of that opening "sch" a famous giveaway in WW II because it is hard for German speakers and supposedly tripped up would-be German spies who had to say not Schiphol but "Scheveningen." Really have no idea whether this actually ever happened but were told so in school.
So SCHIPHOL is where I hope to be on Thursday. Yeah! While Rex is away on vacation so will I be and therefore away from the puzzle unless I can put my hands on a NY Times which I may be able to do a few times but I will also be very busy getting ready for a really big family/friends party, so may not find the time from now until later in August. Happy puzzling all!
I thought the GIVING TRAY the best of the lot, but there you go. No accounting for....etc.

Chorister 11:15 AM  

Agree that this isn't as sparkly as a non-nyt beq, but still I liked it. Smiled at the theme answers which also helped the solving.(The theme, not the smiling.)Tho I liked it overall, let me go on record as disliking refed & sightsaw.

Sparky 11:20 AM  

DNF. Big hole in the middle around SCHIPHOL and YALIE. Had AARGH but erased it as not a word. @Hazel-I enjoyed seeing Lyle Lovett too. Don't understand 67A and didn't know ICHIRO. I'm really bad with sports names. Lazy Sunday. Have a nice vacation, Rex.

Dan 11:28 AM  

Gosh, Greene, that's hardly "puzzle news" but thanks! I can send an Across Lite version to anyone via email.

In actual puzzle news, I am hoping that August 17 will bring Rex's long-awaited (professional) constructorial debut...

As for BEQ: ten theme answers, some of them actually funny, reasonably fresh fill... if only we had more Sundays like this one!

jesser 11:37 AM  

I never heard of that airport, so that was definitely a challenging area. I also had trouble at 52D, but the crosses cleared up the confusion. Writeovers were at 1D (iwo jimA) and 48A (foldED).

I saw Lyle Lovett two years ago at the Santa Fe Opera. That man is an amazing performer.

Mamye! (What 19A will do to thee) -- jesser

chefbea 11:43 AM  

Good puzzle. I'm sure @mac had no trouble with schiphol like some of the rest of us did.

Can someone explain Valet girl?? I keep trying to pronounce it and nothing makes sense.

@Rex have a great vacation and I too hope it's your puzzle on the 17th

Fer Sure 11:59 AM  

@Chefbea - Vally Girl?

Norm 12:24 PM  

@chefbea & @Fer Sure: Valley Girl (as in, don't talk like one if you me to hire you).

Fun puzzle. Not as terrifying as many of BEQ's. I'd quibble about the cluing for 83A. Have gone camping many times in my life; never rented a raft or would have had occasion to do so. "White water craft" too easy? Whatever. Really enjoyed the puzzle. Especially 62D. Pretty racy for a Sunday.

chefbea 12:36 PM  

@fer sure doh...thanx

dk 12:45 PM  

Schiphol always looks like an IKEA store to me.

Sister in law was in some part of the South where there is a Dukes of Hazard Museum with a replica of the car: General Lee. She seriously considered applying for a job at the gift shop as she is a fan. Me, never saw the show but was subjected to a bar side rant about not opening the doors of General Lee, jumping in the windows, and how inane that was. I pointed out that if it was a stock car I imagined the doors would be welded shut. The ranting jerk's girl friend laughed so hard her beer came out of her nose. Discretion being the better part of valor... I asked her to dance. Cue Lyle LOVETT tune.

Still don't like Sundays but I do like BEQ's puzzles.

** (2 Stars) Wanted skinmag for bunny suit.

mac 1:10 PM  

Nice puzzle! Usually worry when I see the BEQ byline, but this one was great. LOLed at "sightsaw"!

Love Schiphol, always go early to roam around. There's a museum, a sauna, lots of restaurants (including one where I can have my final kroketje) and I just found out you can even get married there. The name is odd: it basically refers to the fact that many ships sank in that area before it was made into a polder.

@Jo: Get the Int'l Herald Tribune, it has the NYT puzzles except the Saturday, and is much easier to get than the NYT.

Anonymous 1:14 PM  

@Steve J - Do we even know if ICHIRO is his family name or his given name? In Japan, the family name is the first name, the given name is the second name. So, if ICHIRO is his (Japanese) first name, it's his (Americanized) last name.

Enya 1:21 PM  

Definitions of ICHIRO on the Web:

, also written Ichiro, is a Japanese given name. It is a Japanese name occasionally given to a first son.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichirō

, often known simply as , (born October 22, 1973, in Kasugai, Nishikasugai, Aichi Prefecture, Japan) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Seattle Mariners. Ichiro has established a number of batting records, including the sport's single-season record for base hits with 262. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichiro_(Baseball_Player)

P>G>

Jim 1:27 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim 1:31 PM  

Thought Nance was Vance (even though it came up not too long ago) and convinced myself the Austrian version of Herr was Hirr (also convinced myself A-dopamine was legitimate)to make GIVERAALEI as in, you know, GIVE RAY A LEI. What? After 20 minutes, that'll start to look good to you too!

Three squares. Three damn squares. Still haven't successfully completed a Sunday puzzle.

Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn.

Jet City Gambler 1:32 PM  

Ichiro Suzuki is his full name, but he got a special dispensation from MLB to have his first name appear on the jersey.

Only two other MLB players wore their given name rather than surname on their playing jerseys. Any guesses who it was?

Anyway, Ichiro! is ours and the Yankees can't have him.

JenCT 1:37 PM  

Kind of a slog for me, too.

Had FANCYFIST for 58d Brawl at a Ball - thought it was a pun on Fancy Feast cat food! Duh.

Favorite answer was 32d ICON.

Had ___TOSS for 90d but just couldn't think of EGG.

110d Thought, passing what? Okay, this is the Times, so must be p.c. (AYES.)

edmcan 1:45 PM  

I'm really glad to see that I'm not the only one who had trouble spelling Schihpol airport. I knew what it was, just couldn't spell it. D'oh!

hazel 1:51 PM  

Go @Jet City Gambler! freakin' Yankees and their infinitely deep pockets.

And go players who aren't for sale to the highest bidder!!

And go Bobby Cox who knows who and what to value in a player!!

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

Finished but it was a bit of a slog; usually cringe when I see Quigley's name but this was easy
and pretty dull too

sillygoose 2:03 PM  

Well, I struggled but I got there in the end, mostly working from the outside into the center where SCHIPHOL and YALIE and FANCY FRAY were slow to come. In fact, I'm only getting fancy fray just now. So many head slappers in this puzzle!

Hubby gave me ICHIRO but he spelled it wrong and I fixed it, so I'm taking full credit, yes I am!

Have a nice vacation Rex!

Doug 2:08 PM  

I like Schiphol because if I'm there, that means I'm in Amsterdam and that makes me very happy.

First hard puzzle I've tried since a bike accident 3 weeks ago. My heads works, but not 100%.

Steve J 2:22 PM  

@Anon 1:14 p.m.: Yep, Ichiro is his given name and Suzuki is the family name (a fairly common surname in Japan, if I recall correctly). I don't remember the story of why he goes by his given name instead of his surname. He apparently did the same when he was playing Japan before coming to the States.

Tidbit that may be interesting only to me: Odd that while both Japanese and Chinese follow a name order of Family-Given, in English we flip it to our accustomed order when referencing Japanese people, but preserve it when referencing Chinese. We do it with other languages that lead with the family name as well, like Hungarian. Anyone know why we don't change the order for Chinese names (or Korean, now that I think of it)?

@hazel: I'd be willing to guess that the "languishing" comment had little to do with the merits of Seattle and more to the fact that the Mariners have been absolutely awful the past couple summers. Definitely a shadow of those early 2000s teams.

Back to the puzzle: I can't embrace JAYSTRING, if only because of the association with Leno. That's a picture my brain just does not need.

hazel 2:32 PM  

@SteveJ - The Mariners may have languished, but I don't think Ichiro has. Otherwise, you could say Hank Aaron languished in Atlanta - which, of course, I'm all for!! Go languishers!!

Ulrich 2:45 PM  

hazel's "phone in" may be little harsh, but I also couldn't get into this one with any enthusiasm--I mean, what do you expect if the last word you have to guess is a mop brand? I read all the positive comments with interest on acct. of BEQ's reputation, especially Dan's, for whom I have the greatest respect. But still--I may see it, but I don't feel it.

Now to some German trivia: The problem with HERR is that is has the same no. of letters as FRAU--so you always need a cross. And here is a note to future constructors. German BITTE combines the meanings of Italian per favore ("please") and prego ("you're welcome"); i.e. it can be used in a question and in an answer! I'm just saying...

syndy 3:19 PM  

eyebrows arched at sightsaw. my favorite answer was "to bay or not to bay",and like most had trouble in the middle (did not know amsterdams airport) aargh was my last answer and thought" well, thats just unkind!"But when I saw Mr Quigley's name I was quaking in my boots so it wasn't so bad!doable ;funny-the theme helped-what more can you want?

Shamik 3:20 PM  

@Doug: Hope your head is much better soon.

Found this puzzle to be a bit of work while solving, but turned in a medium Sunday time for me at 22:03. And of course a BEQ puzzle in the NYT can't sparkle like the ones on his site. The NYT has more constraints. Doh.

Lots of stuff I only got from crosses. My personal dislike was SIGHTSAW. Plenty of fresh fill and only an occasional uck like REFED or tried and true EDEN, EYE, ECO and TIO.

Ugh...off to vacuum the "dorm" hallway. Only two more months left in Skagway. :-(

Martin 4:46 PM  

Japanese consider calling a person by his first name to be unacceptably familiar. You call even close friends by their last name, followed by -san. The exception is calling a child by his or her first name, followed by -chan.

For this reason, when Ichiro's manager (Akira Ogi of the Orix Blue Wave) suggested he replace the very common "Suzuki" with "Ichiro" on his uniform, it was a very embarrassing PR stunt to Ichiro. It worked, however, and he quickly became the most famous player in Japan -- as much for breaking a social taboo as for his prowess. It's truly a historical name and one that deserves to stand unqualified in a crossword.

Cool Dude 6:38 PM  

The fact that the number of down theme answers is greater than the number of across theme answers is not that remarkable. This is because you can easily change all across answers into down answers and vice versa via a simple geometric transformation: namely, flip the grid with respect to the main diagonal (i.e., from the upper-left to the lower-right) so that, e.g., the second cell in the first row becomes the first cell in the second row, the third in the first becomes the first in the third, etc. Do this and voila! you've got a "new" puzzle. This WILL change the puzzle in that you (I assume) tend to start with the across clues, but otherwise it's literally the same.

Rex Parker 6:52 PM  

Having majority Down theme answers *is* remarkable, in that it almost never happens in practice. The fact that it *could* happen is capital-"I" Irrelevant. I assume most of us can rotate shapes in our heads. The issue: constructors/editors opt for the majority-Across way the Vast majority of the time.

donkos 7:01 PM  

67A. RHE = Runs, Hits, Errors - things that you keep track of on a baseball score card (if you go to a game, you'll see people sprinkled throughout the park filling out these funny little little books) - they are the "true" fans of the game.

Stan 9:14 PM  

A fun puzzle, and quite a bit harder and more original than it's being given credit it for. But then again, maybe I just like aural (sound-based) themes more than visual (letter-based) ones.

Cheers to Brendan and Will!

kalaala 10:36 PM  

@Donkos, thank you, RHE was the one answer I could not understand at all, not being a true fan of baseball. For me, the puzzle was fun (with very little crosswordese), the theme answers made me laugh, and I am glad to know the name of the Amsterdam airport (now). I agree with someone above who raised their eyebrows at SIGHTSAW: difficult to imagine that word in a sentence, but it was solvable and is in the dictionary, so I can live with it.

Alexander 11:21 PM  

Will never recover from the fact that "camper's rental" was RAFT, rather than what I had: ROOM.

I've been camping many times, and I've never rented the former, (let's just leave it at that).

Anonymous 12:36 PM  

Found this one to basically be a drag--I think Rex needs to take BEQ on vacation with him.

REFED? And the cluing for JAYSTRING and RAFT is feeble, as is the mop brand name thing.

Anonymous 11:39 PM  

Jet City Gambler: I give up; who are the MLB players with only their first name on their jersey?

Anonymous 12:02 AM  

66A THE GOLDEN RATIO (PHI). Hello. the Greek letter Pi (the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet) is the symbol for "the golden ratio." Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet and, I guess, the symbol for "Oh well, it's a NYT crossword."

Wikipedia 6:57 AM  

@Anonymous, 12:02 AM: Huh?

Golden ratio
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to (=) the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.6180339887. Other names frequently used for the golden ratio are the golden section (Latin: sectio aurea) and golden mean. The golden ratio is often denoted by the Greek letter phi, usually lower case (φ).

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

@Wikipedia 6:57AM

'Scusa. I stand humbled and corrected. Thank you, Wikipedia.

JoanAdria 11:30 PM  

It must be staring me in the face, but I don't get the meaning of the answer, "icon", 32D, for "only thing between you and an open window". Help. Thanks.

Mr. Paper Clip 12:10 PM  

@JoanAdria - Think computers, Click on an icon to open a drop-down window.

Anonymous 12:41 PM  

To Anonymous who said "66A THE GOLDEN RATIO (PHI). Hello. the Greek letter Pi (the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet) is the symbol for "the golden ratio." Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet and, I guess, the symbol for "Oh well, it's a NYT crossword." you got it right!! The Wikipedia response is 'φ'aulty. The letter φ or phi (pronounced like "fee") is pronounced as an F and has nothing to do with the constant. The letter π or Pi (pronounced like "pie" in English but like "pee" in Greek) is the equivalent to a P in English and indeed is the symbol in question.

I was so glad to see your correction and then so baffled to see the Wikipedia 'φ'oible!!

Anonymous 3:51 PM  

It's definitely phi. Pi is used to refer to a different ratio (circumference of a circle/its diameter).

Anonymous 6:04 PM  

Yes, I stand very humbled and corrected. I made note of my misguidance in the Sep 5 Blog. I found it strange that such a mistake could be made in a puzzle and am now relieved that the mistake was mine.

Anonymous 8:24 PM  

Even if one wishes to remain anonymous, it would help the discussion to adopt a unique name for one's comments. There are entirely too many anonymoi above. Who holds which position? Who is right and who is wrong?

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