French painter of Le Pont de Mantes / MON 11-22-10 / Daytona 500 acronym / Pioneering razor pivoting head / Sprite alternative

Monday, November 22, 2010

Constructor: David Poole

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Food clued as money — Geographical place / adjective + food that is also slang for money; clued as if it were about money ("?"-style)


Word of the Day: ELEA (6D: Home of Zeno) —

Velia is the Italian (and Latin) name of the ancient town of Elea located on the territory of the comune of Ascea, Salerno, Campania, Italy in a geographical sub-area named Cilento. Originally founded by the Greeks as Hyele in ancient Magna Graecia around 538–535 BC, it is best known as the home of the philosophers Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, as well as the Eleatic school of which they were a part. The site of the Acropolis of ancient Elea, once a promontory (castello a mare meaning castle on the sea) and now inland, was renamed in the Middle Ages Castellammare della Bruca. (wikipedia)
• • •

Superfast! And I didn't even pick up the theme until I was about halfway through the grid. Here's the thing about Mondays: don't stop. I do not stop to ponder a clue. I know it or I don't, and if I don't, I move. So I sliced clear through the center of the grid, from NW to SE, without getting a single theme answer. Eventually, in course of building other corners, stumbled into CANADIAN BACON and kind of sort of got the theme. CANADIAN and ITALIAN are adjectives, and are related to countries, where MONTEREY and BOSTON are nouns, and are cities, and something about this discrepancy bugs me a bit, but only a bit. Started with MATS (1A: Wrestling surfaces) and got every Down cross instantly (including SANAA! Thanks, xwords of times gone by!—4D: Yemen's capital). SANAA and ELEA and OTERO (68A: New Mexico county whose seat is Alamogordo) all come to me very easily now in a way that they would not have even a couple of years ago.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Meal money in Manitoba? (CANADIAN BACON)
  • 34A: Meal money in California? (MONTEREY JACK)
  • 41A: Meal money in Tuscany? (ITALIAN BREAD)
  • 56A: Meal money in Massachusetts? (BOSTON LETTUCE)
No real sore spots today. Trouble getting the theme, but "trouble" is an exaggeration. I just decided to ignore the theme and plow ahead, which worked well. GOING FAR did not come easily. It's an odd phrase that I don't hear used much, though I'm sure I've heard it somewhere. Anyway, the GOING FAR (11D: On the path to great success) / GADFLY (32A: Persistent, irritating critic) nexus was about the only place I even had to think at all. Don't know if I remembered ERNESTO straight off (44D: Che Guevara's given name), but I had enough letters to make an educated guess. Was staring at daughter's sheet music yesterday noticing all the Italian tempo cues, among which was almost certainly AGITATO, so that was a nice coincidence (43D: Energetically, in music). Not sure there's anything else of note ...



Bullets:
  • 14A: Pioneering razor with a pivoting head (ATRA) — common razor brand in crossworld, but I didn't know it was "pioneering." La-di-da.
  • 54A: Daytona 500 acronym (NASCAR) — wasn't there some big deal NASCAR race yesterday? Yup, Jimmie Johnson won his fifth straight NASCAR championship.
  • 53D: French painter of "Le Pont de Mantes" (COROT) — I recognize the name, but wouldn't have gotten it so quickly if -OROT hadn't already been in place the first time I saw the clue.
  • 50D: Sprite alternative (FRESCA) — this drink exists almost exclusively in the late '70s, as far as I'm concerned. Like Tab. I honestly haven't seen any since 1981, I don't think.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

67 comments:

Anonymous 12:09 AM  

Monday, Monday, so good to me
Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be….

Loved this for a Monday.

Meal money in Illinois? Chicago kickback?

Anon....

D_Blackwell 12:09 AM  

AGITATO and COROT crossing OTERO ? OMFG. This would suck any day of the week. And it's okay with the constructor, editor, and The Vaunted Testers? Okaaay.

It didn't take me very long to jigger multiple options though.

I edited to AGITATE. Then edited to the kick-ass ERNEST T. (as ERNEST T. BASS was frequently called on the Andy Griffith Show). 58A seemed to be the key entry and I liked ERNST because it crossed so very nicely with ERNEST T. Several options with 52A and 53D, though 65A was a choke point.

Across, I dropped in KIR, AGUES, TENET, and ERNST.

Down, I dropped in INKS, AGITATE, ROGER, NUNN, LEES, and ERNEST T.

Replacing ERNST, which I seeded for the alternate construction, opens the door to another construction.

Not ideal for an easy Monday, but really, the original is tremendously worse.
....................................................

Alternatively, if I had to give up ERNST with the cross, then:

Across: TAR, HUEYS, A SHOT, STINT

Down: INTS, AGATHAS, ROUST, NEHI, LYON, ERNEST T.

Anonymous 12:14 AM  

ERSE, oh ERSE, how you thwart me every single time you appear!

Oh, and FRESCA is actually still alive and kicking (and my soft drink of choice).

Happy Monday!

Rube 12:35 AM  

There is no question in my mind that 52A could have been NIk or NIC. And who knows the obscure French painter COROT/kOROT? Well maybe you liberal arts majors, but not us scientist/engineers. I guessed "K". So DNF a Monday! Embarrasing to say the least.

BOSTONLETTUCE? What's that? Anyone? Makes me think of Dallas Chard!

Not an enjoyable puzzle.

fikink 12:35 AM  

wow! My whole life I have confused GADFLY with gadabout. I think I have even described myself as a GADFLY. Whoops!
Amazing what Mondays can teach you.

Wish it were just about money. Then we could have Maria's DOREMI or Emeril's Chinese CABBAGE; chicken SCRATCH or the cow singing "Moo-la"

Love the term JACK, but mostly for men I find insufferable. "HIT THE ROAD." ;)

captcha "cooth" - manners

chefwen 1:13 AM  

Great puzzle for a Monday, right up my alley.

One of my school mates father wrote a column in the local rag titled "The Gadfly" we used to tease him and call it the "garbage fly". He really to offense to that. We laughed! Kids are so mean.

And then we had my beloved PACKERS in the puzz. Any time the PACK can kick some Viking butt, is a great day for me.

And of course, thought of our good buddy Tinbenni sp? when I changed DEWeR to DEWAR, and I would put great odds on anyone who did not think of him toasting us at sunset.

Fun Monday! Loved all the food.

Anonymous 1:25 AM  

Rube,

Boston lettuce is a very nice head with soft supple leaves that peel off individually and make wonderful beds for inviting tomato slices with some onion strands and maybe a green olive or two and some radicchio and arugula and pretty soon you have yourself a nice salad, which I used to make to support myself through college.

Anon....

retired_chemist 1:48 AM  

Good puzzle and one of my fastest Mondays ever. Had a typo that took me 15 seconds to find. Enjoyed the theme, which I got from CANADIAN BACON, which came from getting most of the crosses.

D_Blackwell has a good point about AGITATO/COROT/OTERO on a Monday, but they are all familiar blips on the crosswordese radar screen, so I doubt they will bother most experienced solvers.

Saw a FRESCA spigot at the soft drink dispenser in Panera's today. Opted for Diet Pepsi instead... De gustibus etc.

Thanks. Mr. Poole

andrea coma michaels 4:33 AM  

Loved loved loved the theme!!!!!!
Nice, clever, fun... CANADIAN BACON, MONTEREY JACK, what's not to like?

Vocab too hard for a Monday, agreed, but it was one of those deals where the theme screamed Monday but the grid vocab was Tues (COROT, OTERO, ELEA, SANAA, AGITATO, GADFLY, ALCS (for girls)).

Plus DEWAR what with that A and without the S...

But I loved this and felt like I learned a lot (ATAD?).
Oh! OTIS's first name was Elisha? That seemed fresh. And Che Guevara's ERNESTO.
I'm surprised we didn't get COROT's first name!

Oddly when I saw TIMI-- for "comic's asset" my FIRST thought was TIMIDITY! How crazy-wrong is that??!
(and I was a stand-up for 10 years...and TIMID I'm not!)

MAMABEAR seems to have come around for the third time in a month, time to hang the food from the trees!

Larry 7:17 AM  

The theme inconsistency was that some clues had sub locations: mass=Boston, while others pointed to the larger area: Manitoba=Canadian. Nice theme though and a nice Monday.

Ruth 7:54 AM  

@Rube, based on my one year of French, I can advise that if you know you're going for a French word, it's hardly ever going to be a "K"--they don't use it much, except for the unavoidables like Kilo and such (and kepi, of course!). Same thing in Italian. Perhaps this will be useful.

Howard B 8:28 AM  

Fresca's widely available in supermarkets in my area; it tastes better than I remember.
Of course, I don't think grapefruity, citrus-y diet soda appealed to me as much when I was younger for some reason.

ArtLvr 8:35 AM  

A pleasant Monday with fun food theme and many extras as complements like NOSH, HERBS, RARE STEAK, a FAT pig, and FRESCA or DEWAR's Scotch to wash them all down at INNS.

Very easy, except I don't think of MESAS as small.

∑;)

Matthew G. 8:37 AM  

Undone by a horrible Natick, on a Monday!

Agree with Rex that 99% of this puzzle was easy even for a Monday, and thought I might set a new personal best for any NYT puzzle until I slammed into the south central. But I had never, ever heard of Jean-Baptiste-Camille COROT and I'm not exactly up on my New Mexico counties, so I guessed COROL and OLERO. And was wrong. Blast it all.

mitchs 8:40 AM  

Ditto D Blackwell and Matthew G. Sheesh!

Arthur 9:04 AM  

I don't think anyone can complain about the AGITATO/OTERO crossing, don't (virtually) all Italian tempo cues end in O? Not that that fact kept me from getting that one square wrong, as I had to fill it for the across, didn't know it, looked at what I had for the down but not the down clue and said "Agitate is a word, E it is"

retired_chemist 9:05 AM  

OTERO threw me on my first visit to it like Matthew G. Sheesh. Mitchs, how did you know his last name? :-)

A NM county is OTERO, A German City is ESSEN, a MN town is EDINA, an OK city is ENID, about 95 % of the time (or so it seems). Even when clued oddly. Welcome to crossworld.

chefbea 9:14 AM  

What a yummy puzzle and very easy. And other food terms to boot= steak, pig, nosh and wash it all down with Fresca (my daughter's favorite) or my favorite Dewars - with an S.

Had one Natick - the A in Skulla/Kara. Never heard of either

chefbea 9:15 AM  

@artlvr great minds think alike!!!

jesser 9:21 AM  

OTERO County is right next door. It's home to the Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb went off, creating what my father called "a false, fast sunrise" visible from Las Cruces over the majestic Organ Mountains. OTERO is the southwest Natick, I s'pose.

Blew through the puzzle in what had to be record time. No write-overs, but a few grins, including at 18A, where I'm guessing Tinbeni will flinch and look up to his cupboard where The Good Stuff resides.

For the record, Saturday kicked my butt.

Mizatte! (Get your own damn zatte!) -- jesser

mmorgan 9:21 AM  

Very easy for me, and fun and pleasant. When I finished, I realized that a few words I didn't know were (luckily) filled in correctly by crosses.

Lindsay 9:24 AM  

@Rube et al. --- here's a little levity to fix Corot in your mind:

The strong market for Corot’s works and his relatively easy-to-imitate late painting style resulted in a huge production of Corot forgeries between 1870 and 1939. RenĂ© Huyghe famously quipped that ”Corot painted three thousand canvases, ten thousand of which have been sold in America”. (wikipedia)

Manny 9:26 AM  

Man, I am so glad that Will included the modifier "French" in French painter of "Le Pont de Mantes" . Without it, the clue would have been indeciferable.

John V 9:27 AM  

Easy, save for non-TV types (moi). Had sculla for 48d/kara for 69a. So, a wrong letter on a Monday. Grrrr. TEOTWAWKI :)

glimmerglass 9:37 AM  

Socrates called himself a gadfly, because he stung the horse (Athens) to make it move.

Namely speaking 9:38 AM  

FWIW

Name in Scotch = Dewar
Brand of Scotch = Dewar's

Dewar's was created by John Dewar, Sr. in 1846. Under the control of his two sons, John A. Dewar Jr. (Lord Forteviot) and Thomas "Tommy" Dewar (Lord Dewar), the brand expanded to a global market by 1896.

Tommy became famous as the author of a travel journal, Ramble Round the Globe, which documented his travels while publicizing the Dewar name. [wiki]

P>G>

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

Wegman's makes a Fresca knock-off that is awesome. I was introduced to Fresca by my dad, in the 70s, then rediscovered in moving to WNY. I drink it every day.

Tobias Duncan 9:47 AM  

My father was an impressionist painter who moved to New Mexico in the late sixties.
He adored Corot and his love of classical music inspired him to force my sister to play the harpsichord for several hours a day.It was like growing up with the Adams family but it sure did help me out with the south central part of this puzzle.

Stan 9:49 AM  

A fine Monday, easy but not brainless. Theme is amusing, and avoids some of the more unpopular crossword terms for money/food (e.g., 'kale').

Good start to the week!

Matthew G. 9:58 AM  

Thanks, retired_chemist. I'm getting there --- I knew ASTA the dog yesterday and it saved my Sunday!

Anonymous 10:00 AM  

Monday puzzles don't get any better than this one.

quilter1 10:04 AM  

Cute theme and easy solve. MESAS made me smile remembering teaching granddaughter southwestern geological and plant names as we drove through AZ and NM. Going back next month for Christmas. I think I like my beloved southwest best in winter--more subtle.

PlantieBea 10:28 AM  

Easy and cute puzzle with one sticky area. In the east, I originally entered GAS BAG, SPUN, and GOING BIG all of which were quickly abandoned for the correct answers. Go PACKERS. The Brett Favre saga just gets sadder each week.

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

This retired engineer knew Corot.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:31 AM  

Not much to say about the puzzle, but I am reminded of a comment I once read about a comment concerning Mo Rocca (no offense, Mo), who was called "a media GADFLY." Meta comment was, "More of a housefly."

And 5 D suggests to me a possible late-week clue, "Jefferson's Vice-President," the answer to which would of course be ALEXANDER.

Two Ponies 10:31 AM  

All of the puzzle food lately must be Will getting us ready for Thursday.
Choosing a C over a K in a French clue is good advice.
Elea was new to me. I hope I can remember it.
At least we had the plural elks used properly today.
Nice Monday.

JaxInL.A. 11:38 AM  

The food answers today would make a nice sandwich all together.

Thanks, Rex, for that invigorating example of AGITATO. I love Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. I wonder who the pianist is? If I cared more about learning to navigate YouTube, I'm sure I could figure out who it is, but I don't have the time. Does anyone here know?

Fun puzz, nice fill. Good luck to all with T-Day preparations.

Ulrich 11:48 AM  

@Anonymous: How does one prepare kickbacks? Like Swiss kale?

Anyway, the pattern of the theme answers (country food (A) vs city food (B)) forms an ABAB scheme, and that is perfectly acceptable to me--in fact, enriches the theme in my book.

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

Learning to navigate YouTube? The title of the work is "Beethoven "Moonlight" Sonata op 27 # 2 Mov 3 Valentina Lisitsa". The pianist is Valentina Lisitsa.

Sfingi 11:57 AM  

I agree with @Anon1209, but had no problem with @Blackwell's peeves.

Now, this was, granted, an easy zuzzle, but what I question is, what the heck is BOSTONLETTUCE? Sure, I got it, but I thought I knew BOSTON, in so many multigenerational ways. It must be a young urban thing.
@Rube - so, can't help you there, but COROT is definitely a major Art History thing. Transitional between Classical and Impressionist.
My weakness: ALCS. If you say so.

I was once told not to complain about abbrevs not being indicated as such at the end of the week. But this is the very beginning. When did UTE stop being an abbreviation? Is it now a nickname, like NIC? How about DJED?

ELEA/ELEAtic is definitely a philosphy major thing. On that subject, @Glimmerglass reminds us of Socrates the GADFLY.
@Planti - But GAsbag is good.

@Tobias - do we know your father? I guess those were the days when guys bossed their sisters around.

@Namely - thanx, I was thinking that.

@RetiredChemist - and what do they have in common? Lots-o-vowels.

@Anon1028 - so how old are you?

The pig nursery rhyme I can't get out of my head, now:
Barber, barber, shave a pig.
How many hairs to make a wig?
Four and twenty, that's enough.
Give the barber a pinch of snuff.

SethG 12:01 PM  

That AGITATO/COROT/OTERO really sticks out on a Monday. Mostly, though, I was dreading a discussion about whether "lettuce" actually means money. It does, but only in crossw**TIMING**

Lookup Guy 12:24 PM  

Tired of 'Money'? Here's 101 Alternatives.
By Len Penzo on June 19, 2009

1. chips
2. bread
3. dough
4. roll
5. cabbage
6. lettuce
7. kale
8. bacon
9. clams
10. coconuts
11. beans
12. fish
13. potatoes
14. bananas
15. buckaroos
16. bucks
17. fins ($5-bills)
18. sawbucks ($10-bills)
19. C-notes ($100-bills)
20. hundies
21. Benjamins
22. Jacksons
23. grand
24. Gs
25. K
26. smack
27. smackers
28. wampum
29. bills
30. moolah
31. means
32. checks
33. drafts
34. shrapnel
35. wad
36. plaster
37. bankroll
38. capital
39. finances
40. currency
41. funds
42. gold
43. stash
44. cash
45. bundle
46. fortune
47. lucre
48. chump change
49. pin money
50. shekels
51. resources
52. boffo
53. spending money
54. doubloons
55. wherewithal
56. treasure
57. dibs
58. bits
59. dollars
60. dinero
61. pesos
62. bullets
63. coin
64. simoleons
65. silver
66. pelf
67. tender
68. scrip
69. pittance
70. guineas
71. gelt
72. bones
73. stake
74. pap
75. spondulicks
76. quid
77. pocket money
78. specie
79. jack
80. change
81. scratch
82. mite
83. king’s ransom
84. mint
85. paper
86. loonies
87. mazuma
88. pieces of eight
89. frogskins
90. long green
91. folding green
92. green
93. greenbacks
94. riches
95. rivets
96. big ones
97. banknotes
98. dead presidents
99. chits
100. scrilla
101. loot

Tobias Duncan 12:25 PM  

Sfingi: I very much doubt that anyone here has heard of my father. He was the product of a very odd Los Angeles intellectual subculture that seemed to eschew success. He abandoned a very promising career in anthropology to move to Taos and resume painting full time.He was at one time the worlds foremost authority on the Maidu Indians, the day they appear in the grid , my inheritance will be complete!

Kendall 12:39 PM  

I didn't know COROT/OTERO and instead I had COROL/OLERO. *sigh* Was fun otherwise. MONTEREYJACK was easy to get, but I've never heard "Jack" used in place of any kind of currency. Perhaps I'm just not very cool? Oh well, nice start to the week for me!

dk 2:02 PM  

Nice Monday. ** (2 Stars) NASCAR - NYT goes red neck - cool.

Off to NOLA tomorrow for some Turducken, Saints, The Line, more than a few parades and perhaps a French 75 or 3. And, Lyle Lovett woo woo!

Sour cream biscuits and sweet potatoes flavored with pomegranate molasses and cayenne pepper will be my contribution along with some Beaujolais Nouveau and Veuve Cliquot -- all the French you need to know

retired_chemist 2:31 PM  

@ sfingi re:

"@RetiredChemist - and what do they have in common? Lots-o-vowels."

Exactly so. And Old Macdonald's EIEIO gets more play than it should for just that reason.

chefbea 2:36 PM  

@DK are you really having turduken???

Anonymous 2:46 PM  

@Ulrich - with lots of grease....

Anon....

william e emba 3:22 PM  

There are also, apparently unrelated, two famous James DEWARs. The Scottish scientist who was a turn-of-the-last-century researcher in cryogenics and Nobel-prize-runner-up, inventor of the Dewar flask, better known when trademarked Thermos. And then there was the fellow who invented the Twinkie.

Heck, I don't know music, but off the AG I got AGITATO. What else?

The only thing that held me up was the STEAK/KYRA cross at the K. I had absolutely no idea of what "surf and turf" meant--and apparently I, strict anti-foodie that I am, seemed to be all alone in not knowing--and the actress, well, I don't watch TV, so the dim memory of seeing her name had to be yanked and squeezed. KYRA/LYRA/MYRA all seemed possible, and at some point K won, but I was not happy.

Sparky 3:43 PM  

Back on track. Finished in 13 min, which is appalling to speedsolvers but quite normal for me. Names of dough amusing theme. KYRA is married to BACON. Have no idea what 26D-ALCS stands for. @dk--you are so lucky. I am in Fla when Lyle in NYC amd vice versa' I LLove LLyle.
Thanks for the welcome back @foodie, Rube and fikink. Has anyone heard how Shamik did?
Another week of fun filled frolic.

sanfranman59 3:44 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)

Mon 6:20, 6:56, 0.91, 20%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:36, 3:42, 0.97, 42%, Medium

Anonymous 5:41 PM  

@Sparky (and others?):

ALCS: [baseball] American League Championship Series. The winner meets the winner of the NLCS (National ...) in the so-called World Series (though Japan and others might not agree with that name). Note that the final winner, informally called "World Champions," are officially "World Series Champions."

hazel 5:52 PM  

@dk - i just saw lyle last wednesday. we were very very close. he was fantastic - wished he would have played lights of l.a. county, but you cant have everything.

i loved this puzz. boston lettuce didnt really ring true, but the rest was great. i liked the way @stan summarized it.

Shamik 6:08 PM  

Hey Sparky....welcome back! Glad to see you posting again and since you are it means your surgery went well. Mine went well, also...except for needing to sit around for weeks with my foot in the air.

The puzzle on the easy side of easy-medium. Nothing to add to what Rex or others have said. Happy to have a Monday puzzle.

chefbea 6:12 PM  

For those of you who have never heard of or seen Boston lettuce

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=boston+lettuce&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=XfjqTPmvDYWdlgeu6LS5CQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=2&ved=0CDYQsAQwAQ&biw=1134&bih=716

Van55 6:22 PM  

Easy, easy easy for me. It never occurred to me that there might be anything remotely difficult about this puzzle until I read the posts here, and I do understand how some would find it medium-challenging for a Monday.

I count 37 proper nouns in the grid. That's 48.2% of the answers. Yes, that includes the four theme answers, but still. No one else thinks that's excessive -- especially for a Monday?

foodie 6:39 PM  

This is somewhat off topic, but triggered by the "AGITATO" piece of music that Rex posted. In watching the pianist, it was clear that she had 2 different hairdos (flowing or tucked behind her ear). So, obviously they interspersed two sets of takes in the video part. But the audio part was very smooth. Is it possible to connect different audio pieces very smoothly? Or did they take one continuous piece of playing and coupled it with different images? If it is the latter, then the timing of her playing must be highly reproducible because the notes look like they are flowing from her fingers throughout the piece. Any guesses?

I know this is a little obsessive, but it's been bugging me all day.

Philwebservices 6:48 PM  

Thanks for sharing you idea. It's very useful.

retired_chemist 7:06 PM  

@ Philwebservices - Are you spam? You sound like it....

Glitch 7:26 PM  

@Foodie

From my experience in a previous life in tv broadcasting, audio and video can, and is, edited independently and "seamlessly".

At PBS, except for "Live from the Met" & "Live from Lincoln Center", I can't think of a regular performance program we did that was aired unedited.

That's why "LIVE!" is such a big deal (as the 4th of July Specials and "from the White House") --- the original wysiwyg --- and somewhat daredevil.

.../Glitch

fikink 7:35 PM  

That's right, @Glitch, I forgot! You've won an Emmy - would you mind telling us again what it was for? Production of a sports event for one of the Big Three? or 'do I have that confused with someone else?

@foodie, I can imagine you are obsessed with figuring out what's real and what is not. ;)

@dk, "Which reel?" George Tirebiter asks. "They never come up into these hills!"

andrea smackeroos michaels 7:37 PM  

@Look UP Guy
FABULOUS list! It calls for another puzzle somehow in some form some time. Hey! I don't see my fave: "smackeroos" on the list!

Had wonderful time with Will and gang yesterday. Would post pictures if I knew how.
There were 1000+ folks at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley and Will spoke for 20 minutes, did Q & A for 20-30 minutes and did an audience participation game for another 20-30. Lots of fun. Big NPR/Crossword crows. He took time to introduce the constructors who were there, and then talked briefly about the history of crosswords and introduced Margaret Farrar's daughter and grandsons who were also there.
He then went on to discuss his fave puzzles of the year:
Pete Collins "Parking on the Diagonal", Patrick Blindauer's Sides, Mike Nothnagel's 2 day Hole contest (One of the 25 winners got up and took a bow as well, Byron Walden and Robin's IDO IDO IDO masterpiece, and Liz Gorski's Pyramid Sunday.

Afterwords, we all went to a bar...and when everyone else went home, I beat him in Boggle, which might cost me having anything published for months!
(I always forget that "Let the boys/boss win" thing. Too busy trying to learn what ALCS is and the fact that it would be considered common knowledge on a Monday!)

R. McGeddon 8:06 PM  

Fun puzzle, and thanks for posting this performance of op. 27 #2. Never heard of her, but she's certainly in a class with Richter.

foodie 8:23 PM  

@Glitch, thank you! I'll sleep better:) How cool is it that, on this blog, we have at least one expert for every topic!

@Fikink, that's a very nice way to reframe my little obsession :)

@Andrea, what a great description of the event! It sounds like a lot of fun!

I'm guessing Will might really enjoy a worthy adversary. He probably does not encounter many.

sanfranman59 10:08 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 6:24, 6:56, 0.92, 22%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:24, 3:42, 0.92, 16%, Easy

Nat Gelber 5:20 PM  

To Rex: I understand your admonition to Anonymous about a
3-comment limit, but I would rather read many of his well-written remarks than one inane,self-serving,ungrammatical
one from all-too-many of the other
commenters

Rex Parker 8:58 PM  

@Nat,

It doesn't matter. Rules apply to everyone equally. That's all.

rp

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