First blond Bond / FRI 9-24-10 / Jean Rhys opus / Dixie rival / Tip preceder / Firedome fireflite / Free cookie distributor / My little girl early TV

Friday, September 24, 2010

Constructor: Mark Diehl

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: "My Little MARGIE" (40D: "My little" girl of early TV) —

My Little Margie premiered on CBS as the summer replacement for I Love Lucy on June 16, 1952, under the sponsorship of Philip Morris cigarettes. Its success prompted NBC, at the sponsor's request, to give it a regular berth - Saturday at 7:30 pm(et) - on its fall schedule, where it lasted for two months. In January 1953, it returned to CBS [Thursdays, 10pm(et)], where it remained until July. Two months later, it was back on NBC (for new sponsor Scott Paper Company) on Wednesday nights at 8:30, where its final broadcast was on August 24, 1955. In an unusual move, the series—with the same leads—aired original episodes on CBS Radio, concurrently with the TV broadcasts, from December 1952 through August 1955. Only 23 radio broadcasts are known to exist in recorded form. // Set in New York City, the series stars Gale Storm as 21-year-old Margie Albright and former silent film star Charles Farrell as her widowed father, 50-year-old Vern Albright. They shared an apartment at the Carlton Arms Hotel. Vern Albright was the vice president of the investment firm of Honeywell and Todd, where his boss was George Honeywell (Clarence Kolb). Honeywell's partner in the firm was played by George Meader. Roberta (Hillary Brooke) was Vern's girlfriend, and Margie's boyfriend was Freddy Wilson (Don Hayden). Mrs. Odetts (Gertrude Hoffman) was the Albrights' next-door neighbor and Margie's sidekick in madcap capers reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel in I Love Lucy. When Margie realized she had blundered or got into trouble, she made an odd trilling sound. Also in the cast were Willie Best as the elevator operator and Dian Fauntelle. (wikipedia)
• • •

Well, that was easy. ERECTS (2D: Puts up) to VETS (21A: Ones doing lab exams?) to ANAT (18A: Coroner's subj.) to WEAVE (14D: Hair extension) — then I saw the clue for WIDE SARGASSO SEA (14A: Jean Rhys opus) (which I would have gotten even without crosses), and the puzzle was very tractable from there on out. Toughest part was getting the long Downs to drop. Bah. Got the front halves without knowing what the back halves were (CORPORATE .... HONCHO? BIGWIG? SEASON ... ALALLERGIES?) until I got all the way down to ABIT. Then I dropped both long Downs and WEBSITE (35D: Free cookie distributor) into the middle of that bottom section, and cleaned everything up easily from there. Only slightly slower than yesterday's (pretty fast) time.

Not too fond of the fill in this one. The long Acrosses (the marquee answers in a grid like this) are OK but nothing very memorable, and WIDE SARGASSO SEA I've definitely seen as a grid-spanner before. GOOGLE CHROME, GOOGLE DOCS ... several other GOOGLE answers would have been interesting. GOOGLE DIRECTORY isn't (50A: Aid to researching 35-Downs by topic). Everything here just seems straightforward and dullish. On Fri. and Sat., I like fresh, contemporary answers and/or a good dose of Scrabbliness. Got neither today. Also, LUTED? That hurt a bit (20A: Performed as a minstrel, maybe). Never heard of SOLO brand ... paper cups? (24A: Dixie rival). Yep, that's what they make: cups. Huh. Marginal actors round out the didn't know / don't like list: BIRNEY (12D: David of St. Elsewhere") and RAE (30A: 1971 Tony-winning actress ___ Allen).

[No lutes, but good minstrelsy nonetheless]

  • 16A: Psychoanalyst Fromm (ERICH) — I've heard of this guy, and yet I still wanted ETHAN. And then ENOCH (?)
  • 34A: She quipped "I've been in more laps than a napkin" (MAE WEST) — way too obvious. Good quote, though.

  • 41A: ___ de Noyaux (almond-flavored liqueur) (CRÈME) — seriously overthought this one. Tried to recall the French word for "almonds" (turns out, it's "amandes"—not that it's relevant here).
  • 5D: Carl Ichan or T. Boone Pickens (CORPORATE RAIDER) — I learned who Both these men are via xwords. It's true. Clearly billionaires don't interest me much.
  • 8D: Tip preceder, maybe (PSST) — if the tip is "you're fly's open," I guess...
  • 11D: Firedome and Fireflite (DE SOTOS) — no way of knowing this, but I got it easily from crosses.
  • 31D: First blond Bond (CRAIG) — Daniel CRAIG: the current incarnation.

  • 48D: Invader of Rome in 390 B.C. (CELT) — I'm used to dealing with the CELTs as the invadED, not the invadERS.
  • 49D: Credits date for "Cinderella" or "All About Eve" (MCML) — That's about as much as I'm ever going to like a Roman numeral clue. Major movies, nice round date. For whatever reason, I know that "All About Eve" is a 1950 movie, so this was a gimme.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Anonymous 12:16 AM  

Many years ago, about the same time Google was supplanting Yahoo, I started doing these puzzles in competition with a friend until he admitted he GOOGLED everything he didn’t know by just typing in the clue. That reminded me of when I was learning chess from a friend who kept beating me until he admitted he wasn’t telling me all the possible moves. Then there was that time in church when I was a young boy who could recite Psalms 23 from memory but ended with The End instead of Amen. Once a guest preacher had me stick my hand in a bear trap after telling me it was ok and was surprised when I did and it snapped shut. I think I ruined his message about people not trusting. And some people call me the most cynical one-handed person they’ve ever known!? The best times were riding Metro North before WiFi and being forced to do these things without any help. In isolation one learns how to go through the alphabet quickly to find a word that fits. But now I’m old (only kidding about being one-handed – the guest preacher didn’t expect anyone would be that dumb but had the trap set so it didn’t shut that tight) and many answers come to mind simply because my brain kept absorbing more trivia through the years than I realized. At the same time I refuse to admit DNF because before there were search engines there were dictionaries and encyclopedias and technology helps advance any cause. Thus LEDESAGASSOSEA eventually became WIDESARGASSOSEA and the rest I got on my own and being an impatient patient I usually get my own TEST RESULTS in the end....

chris 12:17 AM  

I don't think I've ever gotten 29 letters so easily as Corporate raider crossing Wide Sargasso Sea. Carl Icahn and TB Pickens are two of the defining corporate raiders, so if you've ever heard the term before you'd probably heard it associated with one or both of them. Then WSS is the only book I know of by Jean Rhys. Super awesome start by me, yay!

Overall an easy puzzle, which made me giggle childishly when I filled in BEAT IT. Hehe.

SethG 12:29 AM  

Turns out, if you go with RATS for the lab, EMANATE for some reason for the throwing off, can't remember BIRNEY, can't think of FORENSIC PATHOLOGY but know you want it instead of anatomy, and don't know what Jean Rhys wrote, it's less easy. But I'd guess your experience will be more typical.

Up top. The bottom was no problem. Threw down CORPORATE RAIDER with no crosses, knew MCML because it was a 4-letter roman numeral between 1911 and 2002, and had not much trouble elsewhere.

Daniel Craig and Dermot Mulroney is a nice-looking corner. If only they'd chosen BADE over BANE...

Rex Parker 12:33 AM  

Uh, good point about MCML, Seth. Guess my movie trivia knowledge was patently unnecessary.

r.alphbunker 12:35 AM  

Luted? Would "performed at Carnegie Hall, maybe" be "pianoed"?

Definitely an easy.

jae 12:37 AM  

Easy-Medium for me with the bottom easy and the top a tad more difficult. It didn't help that I confidently threw in AHEAD at the end of 1a (which worked with EASEL and DESOTO). Kinda had Rex's take on this one. Nothing really stands out except WIDESAR... which I don't remember seeing before. I did like the EXODUS clue.

I'm old enough to have actually watched My Little MARGIE. Pretty good 50's sitcom.

SethG 12:39 AM  

But impressive nonetheless, Rex, impressive nonetheless.

We were talking about 1982 tonight, and all I could think of was "that's when Come On Eileen came out!"

D_Blackwell 12:41 AM  

Is it just me (as it so often is:)) or is anyone else disappointed with the clue "Island off the coast of Tuscany"? ELBA is a part of the region of Tuscany.

The Corgi of Mystery 12:49 AM  

Not easy for me, despite WIDE SARGASSO SEA being a gimme. I like that there wasn't another block at the intersection of 17-Across/8-Down (and its symmetrical square)...made those corners of the grid look thrillingly wide open.

foodie 1:04 AM  

My Quick and Dirty Index says very easy. For me, it was easy but I had to work it from bottom to top.

I really like the way the grid looks, wide open with slightly off kilter pincers in the center. And it must take some doing to WEAVE togetehr all these intersecting long answers and keep crosswordese to a minimum. The clue for EXODUS made me smile.

There is in fact a CREME D'Amandes-- that tasty almond paste that you can find in almond croissants. Now I want some! NOYAUX refers to the almond shaped apricot pits (noyau meaning nucleus in French).When I was a kid, we used to smash apricot kernels and extract the white, almond-shaped center, which looks lovely but is rather bitter. When there is no TV for entertainment, you do crazy stuff like this...

Orange 1:10 AM  

This is terrific fill for a 62-worder. No deadly crossings, lots of cool long answers? I'll take it.

Clark 1:20 AM  

This is the first time I've finished a Friday thinking, "That was easy." Getting CORPORATE RAIDERS, WEB SITE and GOOGLE DIRECTORY right off the bat sure helped.

LUTED is a bit unusual, but 'lute' as an intransitive verb is legit, whereas 'piano', I think, is not.

ArtLvr 1:36 AM  

Like Foodie, I worked mainly from bottom to top, getting PREMIERE before SEASON, and so on. If I see such expanses of white space, I don’t take too many wild stabs. The Zone at 1A in the NYT could be a HARD HAT AREA, which would have made a mess. When in doubt, leave it out!

Thus I started with odd spots filled in: UTA, ERICH, ERECTS, SEWELL, MAE WEST, CREME, ELBA, EAU, MCML and MAKER, plus ARRAY on reserve for 43A in the SW. Sometimes lots of names are a big help, but they mostly annoy me, especially piled together like CRAIG/ DERMOT/ MARGIE. That’s usually just pesky and pernicious TRIPLE TEAMING.

Since someone figured out a while ago that the odds are great of a crossover word from one day’s puzzles to the next, my own end game is to find one — wow, BARITONES! And my favorite clue was awful Anathema, with favorite fill the (related?) CORPORATE RAIDER!

I'm pleased it all came out without a hitch -- but "easy" is soooo relative! I'm sobered to realize it took me about 10 times as long as it took Orange! Four minutes? Oof! I can hardly even read all the clues that fast at this hour...


gorjus -- great job!

submariner 3:54 AM  

Easy because of long fill and simple crosses. Got it all but don't understand the answer for 27 D.

andrea carport michaels 4:24 AM  

Cannon is a TV detective (DET)

today what @seth said....right down to BAdE!

Last time @rex posted "come on Eileen" I watched the video, like, 50 times, I was mesmerized.

aMoRphous is unfortunately the same length as IMPRECISE :(

Also look for bleedovers everyday... and one non-pc word of questionable roots or double's winner: REAM!

The Hag 7:12 AM  

A medium for me - medium difficulty, medium interest. Nothing really amused me other than "Escapist reading?" and REAM (for the reason stated by andrea c.m.) and nothing really grated other than LUTED. The last did evoke a mental picture of a rioter breaking the window of an electronics shop with a round-back stringed instrument.

I thought that there were too many names but I almost always think that so maybe I should shut up about it. I quibble slightly with the RAE/DET crossing. Cannon? Man, that's old. I would have gone with Magnum, still a misdirect but more popular in its day and seems less moldy to me.

edith b 7:51 AM  

I learned CORPORATERAIDER fom my husband and remember reading the Jean Rhys book in college so I had two grid-spanning neons right off the bat. Not much trouble from there.

I built the SE off ELBA which I saw in another puzzle this week. This puzzle didn't have much sparkle to it.

Smitty 7:56 AM  

Not easy for me, but no googling, so maybe medium to challenging, because of incorrect answers.

I really wanted HARD HAT AREA for construction zone sign (after PARDON OUR MESS was too long)

I thought Roger MOORE could have fit the bill as the first blonde Bond And TUNA or TOFU are deli options.

PEYAS was my first guess for hair extension

JaxInL.A. 7:58 AM  

Like @ArtLvr, I circled around the long answers by filling nearly all of the same small ones s/he lists. I actually know My Little MARGIE from the radio show as I'm a huge fan of both classic and current radio theatre. BTW, anyone else interested in new work on the radio should check out for L.A Theater Works' weekly staging of plays for radio, often with major Hollywood actors.

My mother had a huge Erich Fromm phase when I was 6, sparked by The Art of Loving. She was so affected by his ideas that she wrote letters to the author. Book authors hardly seemed mortal to me then, so the idea of sending one a letter made a big impression.

Escapist reading for EXODUS was easily my favorite clue the week. Likewise LUTED was my least favorite answer. @Clark,I don't see how it can be a verb, unless it's intransigent rather than intransitive.

Thanks to Ms. Michaels for illuminating DET. Cannon as a clue for that was both cryptic and obscure. And I fell into the same AMORPHOUS trap she did.

Though I've read @Rex for some time now, I just started posting here last week. I agree with a post from a few days ago that this blog is a treat. Thanks!

Gubdude 8:01 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gubdude 8:03 AM  

Does anyone know where I can find the clues for this puzzle? My printer kind of fudged most of the answers. I am able to read up to 41across and my grid is fine just the rest of the clues are really blurry/non-existent.

I am unable to see the puzzle on my work computer and can't download across lite here.

Thank you.

joho 8:17 AM  

I knew @Rex would rate this easy. Regardless, it's always fun to finish a Friday so quickly. My only writeover was WALtTONS to WALKONS. Well, that family on the mountain certainly created scenes, didn't they?

@andre carport michaels ... like your reaction to REAM I cringed at the clue "Ball in a socket" for EYE.

I have a feeling we're in for a doozy tomorrow.

David L 8:37 AM  

Everyone seems to think this was easy -- not me, though. Knew WSS straight off, which was nice, but got stuck with RATS for VETS, ISNOT for ARENT, and a few other stumbles that made this one considerably slower for me than the last few Fridays. Didn't care for LUTED, didn't know BIRNEY, hadn't heard of MARGIE. Well, don't want to bore you all.

But it just shows that whether puzzles are easy or hard depends a whole lot on the particular grab-bag of trivia stored in one's head. This one was out of my comfort zone.

mmorgan 8:54 AM  

Got 90% of the bottom and some long downs (CORPORATERAIDER) but struggled, struggled, and struggled on the top (mostly because I had DEVIATE for 1D). Knew the Rhys book but couldn't remember it. Struggle, struggle... had to eventually give in.... and then I see that Rex rates it as Easy. Augghh!

Anonymous 8:58 AM  

I guess if Wide Sargasso Sea is a gimme for you, then this is an easy Friday puzzle. I took the bottom half down in no time but stared at the top for a while until Wide Sargasso Sea came into view. (Also, not knowing David Birney slowed me down quite a bit.)

glimmerglass 9:16 AM  

I thought it was an average Friday. Very doable with some interesting clues. Escape reading was excellent. I liked Cannon, gem, dish, and test results. Thought 42D should have been clued with quotes "get lost." 49A rings flat to me. God is "my maker" or "our maker" or "your maker" or "his/her maker," but not "the maker." Luted is very lame. Lute could be a verb, I guess, like drum, but I've never heard it (nor flute or sax or horn or lyre). Average Friday time for me, no errors.

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

Questionable Clues:

Affix securely – PASTE fits neither word.

Saw – in the mind’s eye?

Oil support – What, no maybe?

Curse out – a good reaming does not include cursing?

My pet – Deary is dreary?

Favorite Clues:

Ones doing lab exams – Drats!

Escapist reading – Rex’s parting of the Red Sea was prescient?

Ball in a socket – A squash player’s concern?

Ain’t right – Begins with A.

Firedome and Firelite – DeSoto was the car I was buying when I grew up until I grew up too late....

Some choice words – a lawyer’s hedge?

Cannon – a very fat clue?

Dixie rival – Rex only drinks his beer from pilsner glasses, not plastic cups?

All About Eve – Deserves an Oscar?

jesser 10:01 AM  

This is just eerie.

I did not post yesterday (but it was a great puzzle), because I did the puzzle in the waiting room of the place where they do colonostomies. Then I spent the afternoon sleeping off the anasthesia.

Then, today, I could get no toe hold up top on this one, so I had to do it from the bottom up (rim shot!), and yes, I'm awaiting TEST RESULTS. Too strange.

I can't rate it anything but challenging, but only because of all the stuff up top that I Did Not Know and Could Not Parse. Ergo, fail. I was not helped by clinging stubbornly to raTS at 21A, which made 14D 'want' to be the implausible bEArd.

Happy weekend, Rexalls!

Ambar! (Yeah, that's often where I am, all right.) -- jesser

Bob Kerfuffle 10:06 AM  

One write-over, a Britishism: Had CARPARK before CARPORT. Maybe thinking British because I saw the movie "Never Let Me Go" last night. (Wanted to like the movie, but, sorry, didn't.)

JC66 10:09 AM  

Tout to railbird at Pimlico:

PSST, bet King Rex in the third.

dk 10:10 AM  

ERICH Fromm was a leader in the humanist movement. A celebration/appreciation of the human spirit and integration of values, intention and meaning into analysis. Thus the individual was seen as integrated with the environment and self determining. Interesting to me the effect it had on my work as a forensic psychologist as humanism suggests criminals are so by choice as opposed to being victims of (fill in the blank).

Unfortunately, much of Humanist theory credibility was lost in the touchy-feely era of the early 70s. The fact that Fromm's work was often published in coffee table book format did not help the cause. These days the Humanism is a catch-all for many psycho-social issues and provides a rich (albeit qualitative) context for the study of individual and group behavior.

For next week please read :):).

That aside, LUTED sucks as fill.

I really enjoy puzzles that have a mix of old and new. This week has seen several, hence my plethora of 3 star ratings. This one does not disappoint. I have been invited to a party tomorrow and cannot wait to use the Mae West quote.

*** (3 Stars) Thanks Mark

Lindsay 10:17 AM  

Not crazy about 31A random abbreviation crossing 31D & 32D osbcure names.

I had AKC crossing Kermit, until Google came into view killing the "i". Ordinarily, I'm not one to give up, but couldn't care less about Bond/movies/television/whoever Actor Mulroney is, so I tossed the puzz in my recycle bin The End.

Anonymous 10:23 AM  

@Jesser - Surprised you mentioned TEST RESULTS without referring to REAM.... Good luck....

chaos1 10:47 AM  

Yup, maybe my fastest Friday ever. Funny, that I knew MARGIE immediately, but couldn't drag DESOTOS out, until the very end. Same era. I knew I recognized the clue words, but couldn't remember from where. I used to love those two tone pastel colored cars back then, but I was just a kid with little aesthetic perception.

@ Chris said: As to Wide Sargasso Sea, if you're a guy, and you liked the book, you'll LOVE the movie! Trust me!

@ Foodie: Older bartenders will remember Creme De Noyaux as the prime ingredient in a Pink Squirrel cocktail. It was a very popular ladies drink up until the seventies or so. The other component was white Creme De Cacao mixed with sweet cream, or vanilla ice cream. It was shaken or blended, strained, and served in a champagne glass.

@ Joho: I agree. Tomorrow will probably be a bear!

Two Ponies 10:52 AM  

Unusual grid in that we rarely see black corners. Beyond that very minor point I did not enjoy this one. Reduced Speed Ahead seems more common where I live. I lost interest in the SE. Never watched Dynasty, don't know the Dick guy, clue for walk ons was too clever for me today. Meh.
Very surprised to see baritone two days in a row.

PuzzleNut 11:23 AM  

Wow, I really struggled with this one and was anxious to see how everyone else rated it.
Started off with a bang, CORP.., UTA, ANAT, VETS, EYE, WEAVE. From there things ground to a halt. Was sure of emanATE, didn't know WSS, thought "secured" would be ?????ONTO.
In spite of these problems, it eventually came together and I finished with no errors. Feels like I really got my money's worth with this one.

Van55 11:32 AM  

Agree with PuzzleNut. I struggled mightily with this one. Perhaps I shouldn't have, but I did.

Once again it proves my contention that degree of difficulty is largely a product of each individual's sphere of knowledge. 21 proper nouns contributed to that in my case today. No clue on Mulroney. Also wanted ETHAN FROMM rather than ERICH. Didn't know GOOGLE DIRECTORY.

Limped home with a bit of help from the Google Directory on my Apple.

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

Isn't it time to ban "Ain't right"?

Overused, overcute.


Sparky 12:50 PM  

This one floored me. Managed GOOGLE, MCML, and a few others in SW. Saw VETS with labrador retrievers right away. Then went brain dead. Couldn't even find answers in Google. @dk: Thanks for info on Fromm. I read him when quite young and though I can't recall exactly, I know he influenced my thinking. I'll have to go back and retrieve that. Tomprrow is another day. Thanks MAC.

Van55 12:51 PM  

andrea carport michaels said...

aMoRphous is unfortunately the same length as IMPRECISE :(

So is AMBIGUOUS which was one of my very confident first entries. Grrrrr!

Jim 1:00 PM  

Only 2nd ever Fri finish, with UTe and BIRNEs the only mistakes. I'm still taking it as a victory.

Seems to be much more of a Sat than Fri grid shape, and I've never finished a Sat, so obviously did not seem 'easy'. Relatively speaking, however, bottom half was FAR measier than top. GOOGLEDIRECTORY may be clunky, but at least it's a discernible word from a couple crosses. Never heard of Rhys' opus (still know neither the artist nor the medium. Painting? Musical composition?). Crossing that with EXODUS and EASEL, with LUTED and PASTEDOWN (more on that below) in that quadrant took me an hour, off and on, to unravel. Worth it, mos def, but difficult.

Really surprised Rex didn't make hay of PASTEDOWN. The much more coherent SETOFCLUBS set off a firestorm a couple weeks ago. Why not this? I audibly groaned when I realized that, and not PASTEinto was correct.

Got no foothold in this thing until my two pals, CRAIG and DERMOT opened up the whole bottom. Loved IMPRECISE, CORPORATERAIDER (from just the final 'e'), and ARENT made me smile.

Doc John 1:01 PM  

Nice write-up, Rex. I'm pretty much in agreement, especially with the GOOGLE DIRECTORY thing.
As for David on St. Elsewhere, I couldn't get Morse out of my head and tried to add in a sixth letter to his name.
Pretty easy puzzle today- not a "bumpy night" in sight!

Harry 1:06 PM  

Anytime I can do a Friday in under 15 minutes, it's definitely in the EASY category. Good fill all around (except for perhaps LUTED).

I like it when puzzles pull info from the fringes of my knowledge base - too many times they reach further and I'm lost.

oldactor 1:19 PM  

I did the Cannon show playing a hit-man. Shot at him 3 times and missed. And he was no small target. It was interesting to me that he read every word he spoke on that show off cue cards. He had been a radio actor for years so was used to reading his lines. Also he was always squinting so you couldn't tell where he was looking.

I still didn't get the connection, could only think of weaponry. duh!

CoffeeLvr 1:21 PM  

Has anyone else GRASPED that the grid looks like a WIDE EYE? (With a pale iris.)

Second TWA reference this week, Carl Icahn was anathema to employees like my Dad.

Proper names helped me today; ERICH, BIRNEY, and ENBERG were early entries. Only problem with DERMOT was I couldn't quite spell it; and CRAIG was very slow to recall. "Casino Royale" was the only Bond movie I have ever liked.

Had WriterS first for 36D, thinking of ACME (and many others!) The K there was the last letter in.

I enjoyed today's puzzle. I have resolved to remember the point of my Xword adventures - pleasure, learning, slow steady improvement. Trying to be less competitive. Not that I am a contender with the denizens of this blog.

CFXK 1:28 PM  

Whenever Presidents Obama or Clinton vacationed on Martha's Vineyard, we were frequently reminded by newspapers and television that the Vineyard was "an Island off the coast of Massachusetts." GRRR....
Perhaps these two orphan islands might consider confederating.

mac 2:21 PM  

This one was challenging to me!
Tripleteaming? Nono and tabu for bane, secrete instead of radiate, couldn't think of Daniel Craig, and so on....

@Bob Kerfuffle: too bad. I liked the book a lot, and heard an interview with the writer a few weeks ago about the movie.

jae 2:37 PM  

@DocJohn -- David Morse was my first thought also.

SethG 2:45 PM  

What about the phrase "coast of Tuscany" implies that the coast is where the region's borders end? The national park's website says that "the island is situated in the centre of the Tuscan Archipelago that forms a large arc in front of the Tuscan coast."

Clark 2:53 PM  

Celtic Sartori, by John Mackie

Blind Roderic, silver tongued,
Sings eulogies of moments from
The thronged worlds behind walled eyes
That his lords, claymore strong
Thonged Mhicleods, battle makers,
Cannot make their own

(delicate as glass
the songs of diamond phosphor seas
and lilted light
the voice a silver echo
of finger luted soft delight)

Gone from the raucous halls
Of new Mhicleod, dragon man,
Towards the crypt of the sea
And the islands beyond being drowned
Roderic, sage of taken peace,
Sings towards the strains of Silkie lilts

On minor hills
among the broken halls
peat diggers come and go
and going

Glitch 3:13 PM  


In the days of yore, when I was in grade school, my art teachers always reminded us to be sure to PASTE DOWN the corners when we were putting pictures in scrapbooks.

Also, I find PASTE INTO, to indicate "Affix securely", more enigmatic than SETOFCLUBS.


Anonymous 3:21 PM  

Ummm, wasn't Roger Moore the first blond Bond?

a 3:28 PM  

Roger Moore.

Galen 3:40 PM  

@jesser - For your sake, I truly hope you meant colonoscopies where you wrote colonostomies.

syndy 4:29 PM  

seriously thought roger moore had blond hair but there you go-had trouble remembering name of book wide something something so got the bottom first but the top gave way corporate a gimme tried television pilots first though.Jesser hope your test results are GEMS

sanfranman59 5:38 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 22:15, 26:29, 0.84, 18%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Fri 10:30, 12:54, 0.81, 19%, Easy

John 12:06 AM  

Isn't ain't right ISN'T not AREN'T?

"It ain't right" = "It Isn't right" not It aren't right" Doesn't it????


fergus 4:10 AM  

Messed up 1950 as MDLC. And one of my good friends moved back to Roma recently. Good puzzle since I look over the grid and see a lot of deviant ink.

Mr. Helpful 7:46 AM  


"It ain't right" = "It Isn't right"


"Those ain't right" = "Those Aren't right"

Stephen 7:18 PM  

Cannon. DETective. gad. There is a limit to how obscure things can be. I waited 2 days for this to click, and it never did. I can barely remember Cannon being any kind of cultural character. And I can barely tolerate anyone thinking that DET is a commonly accepted abbreviation.

When you solve the puzzle but can't understand a clue for days, and when you hear the explanation you can only gasp at how contorted it is, feedback to the constructor/editor becomes an obligation. It was a notable hiccup in an otherwise very pleasant experience.

Anonymous 8:26 PM  

Rex: Surely you know that it's "Psst! Your fly is open," and DEFINITELY not "You're fly is open."

"You're" is a contraction of "You are."

Anonymous 9:09 PM  

Clue and answer: Aid to researching 35-Downs by topic: Google Directory is perfectly sound and becomes interesting if objections to it are based on the assumption that 'Directory' is being used as a generic term here.

It's not. 'Directory' is specific nomenclature for one way that search engines organize information: by topic or category. Don't believe me? Go here: and search for the Directory icon.

Dirigonzo 11:17 AM  

I finished this Friday puzzle on Saturday morning but still wanted to come here to take a victory lap for finishing what I thought was a pretty challenging puzzle with "no googles, no guesses and no errors." Except when I got here I discovered that I had left in a couple of mistakes that others have mentioned (stuck with rats in the lab, and had the AKC in Atlanta). Still, I had fun being almost victorious and I agree 100% with @CoffeeLvr as to the point of doing these exercises every day.

Captcha is exper - clearly Blogger has me pegged as an incomplete expert. (And I assume everyone knows the definition of "expert"?)

Zardoz 12:03 AM  

From the syndicate:

Your time range is off. The possible dates around then are:

MCMI 1901
MCMV 1905
MCMX 1910
MCML 1950
MMII 2002
MMIV 2004
MMVI 2006
MMIX 2009

No 1911, & it's pretty obvious which is the correct date.

Captch: Puzzle was a "PAIN JET I" finished.

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