Bandmate of Johnny Rotten / WED 3-23-11 / Ancient land in modern Jordan / Onetime exam in British schools / Home to Da Vinci's L'Ultima Cena

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Constructor: Will Nediger

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: JULIUS CAESAR (54A: Speaker of the Latin quote hidden in the answers to the starred clues ... and the English language-quote hidden in the answers to the double-starred clues) — "VENI VIDI VICI" and "THE DIE IS CAST," respectively

Word of the Day: AKIO Morita (57D: Sony co-founder Morita) —

Akio Morita KBE (盛田 昭夫 Morita Akio, January 26, 1921, Tokoname, Aichi – October 3, 1999, Tokyo) was a Japanese businessman and co-founder of Sony Corporation along with Masaru Ibuka. (wikipedia)
• • •

Solved on paper, in preparation for my run at next year's B Finals (ACPT 2012) (all puzzles are done on paper at the ACPT). I tend to solve on-screen because it's so much more convenient, but the mechanics of on-paper solving are completely different, and something I need to get much more used to. I learned to solve crosswords on paper, but that was long before I got very good, and well before I'd even heard of software that allowed for on-screen solving. At any rate, I'm moving back to paper for my NYT-solving now, for the most part, which means having to get used to a whole new set of difficulty norms (on-paper times are inevitably slower). This is all to say that I don't really know how difficult this was. I had moments of sputtering, but overall it felt very doable—perhaps even a bit moreso than an average Wednesday. Hardest part was figuring out the second part of the theme, i.e. seeing THE DIE IS CAST "hidden" in the answers to those four double-starred clues (I'd have been more impressed with a hidden ALEA IACTA EST). I'm ambivalent about the theme—the double-star, double-language aspect is interesting, but those words aren't exactly hard to "hide," and the quotes are unrelated, and only one of the "hidden" words actually touches more than one word in its answer. So ... I'm on the fence. Neither up nor down for me. I came, I saw, I shrugged.

Theme answers:
  • EVENINGDRESS VIVIDIMAGE SIDVICIOUS (Soiree attire / Indelible picture in the mind / Bandmate of Johnny Rotten)
  • THEIR ADIEU VISIT CASTE ("His/her" alternative / Parting word / Sojourn / Social grouping)

Pencil-solving allows me to see quite vividly where I struggled. I rarely take the time to erase, choosing instead to scrawl new letters on top of old, leaving a strange palimpsest for the judges/computers to interpret (no problems so far). Today, the place de resistance was the NE, where failure to come up with the RX-8 carmaker (HONDA? ACURA? No, MAZDA) and failure to guess quickly what followed EVENING (DRESS, it turns out), meant that that corner gave me minor fits. I think I got TEES (12D: Concert souvenirs), and then DRESS, and then tried HONDA, and when that didn't work, MAZDA, and it went down from there. Tournament experience has taught me that in speed-solving, you are in your own world where time runs differently—what feels like epic struggle might only be 10-15 seconds. I thought I was really getting beaten up by Puzzle 5 as I was solving it at the tourney ... but I ended up with the 11th best score on that puzzle (out of 650 or so solvers). Of course on the easiest puzzle (Puzzle 1), I got so caught up in speed that I left a square blank—a horribly costly error (I'd have been close to the Top 20 overall if I'd simply filled that stupid little square in—it's not like the cross was tough; I just missed it).

Two other hiccups today: LIMO for SEMI (7D: Hard-to-park vehicle) and E'ER for O'ER (63D: Poetic contraction). Otherwise, pretty smooth sailing.

  • 34A: Onetime exam in British schools (O LEVEL) — did not know the O LEVELs were "onetime." I've seen A LEVEL and O LEVEL several times in recent puzzles, after (or so it seems) never having seen them before. Weird.
  • 50A: Ancient land in modern Jordan (EDOM) — one of many four-letter Mediterraneanish geographical clues I can't keep straight. See also ELEA, which I also confuse with ALEA, which, given today's theme, is interestingly coincidental.
  • 11D: y= 3x + 5 representation, e.g. (LINE) — true enough, though I couldn't see it. Technically, y = x is a LINE, right?
  • 23D: Home to da Vinci's "L'Ultima Cena" (MILANO) — I was just wondering what it was about this clue that indicated the Italian spelling, when I realized that the "L'Ultima Cena" is Italian for "The Last Supper." Aha.
  • 33D: Danish city where Hans Christian Andersen was born (ODENSE) — vaguely rings a bell. Got most if not all of it from crosses.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


foodie 12:09 AM  

I loved this puzzle. The theme did not help me during the solve, but I enjoyed the after-solve exercise- like dessert... I thought at first that they would be translations of each other, but it was also cool to have two different quotes. I felt it was very original.

I also really enjoyed looking at the photos from the tourney. Everyone looks wonderful. Rex, you have a most unusual combination of a sharp mind and a sweet smile. Very remarkable. And the picture with Andrea was terrific. Sunny in so many ways.

@Bob Kerfuffle-- I always loved the word Kerfuffle and now I love it more:) I think the picture could be used in a Psych. course about visual perception.

DJG 12:15 AM  

I have similar feelings to Foodie about the puzzle -- it was great. Very nice theme. It definitely would have been cool to use the same quote in the two languages, but that's asking too much (it'd be tough to hide "conquered").

Also, a teenager sexting? Not here. There are two parts of the word "sexting" that didn't exist for me as a teen.

CoffeeLvr 12:19 AM  

I solved on line tonight, and had to go over the entire puzzle to find my error - I assumed the Spanish bears were female, so had a cheese for the Iron Age kingdom.

Thank you for providing the English quotation, Rex. I could not see it.

The puzzle has a lot of theme density, and went down smoothly, but I agree with Rex - so much for so little satisfaction.

syndy 12:32 AM  

When I saw all the stars I went looking for the Instruction and was all HOLY COW!! ITS IN MICRODOT!! AND IT'S ONLY WEDNESDAY!! but after all that It was pretty easy. I did have to go looking for the English quote because I'd misread and thought it was in the clues.Shame 45 across wasn't clued as one word.RP according to my calculation if you had scored the 1205 for the first puzzle you would have come in 22nd!

PastelLady 12:52 AM  

Paper solving rocks, Rex. Gotta practice in the medium of the contest! Good choice; next year you will be even tougher.

DJG is creating a new puzzle: As a teen, no SEX, but also no TING? I don't get it.

lit.doc 1:24 AM  

Did the puzzle right after it went online, and have been waiting since for what I soooo hoped would be a revelation of some rational interrelationship between the Latin and English theme entries. Glad, sadly, that the irrelation wasn’t just due to steak and tequila.

That aside, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the puzzle? Really solid, enjoyable, and, for me, challenging Wednesday outing. Had the Latin half of the theme on the first fast Across pass from “SID VICIOUS”, having scanned the clues for the reveal as soon as I saw the *s. Gimme.

@RP, me too re “alea iacta est”. That, I would have recognized. But, given my expectation that * and ** would mesh, I burned a lot of clock time trying to spot English words that somehow connected to "veni, vici, fugi" (sorry for the lame Latin joke). And, BTW, thanks for “palimpsest”. Majorly cool word which I haven’t heard since grad school.

@CoffeeLvr, me too re OSSA/EDAM. Spent my last half a minute or so finding that one. Cheesy error, eh?

Sgt. Schultz sez: "I know NO ting".

Evan 1:24 AM  

The other useful thing about solving on paper is that it forces you to check over your answers yourself when you're finished, instead of letting Mr. Pencilman tell you if solved the puzzle correctly online. I've don't know if there's a way to disable him from popping up on my version of Across Lite, but then again, I haven't yet tried. In any event, checking your own answers at the end is certainly something every speed solver needs to do to succeed at the tournament (or re-learn to do, in my case, if he or she is too used to solving on a computer).

For most of last year, I had agonized over whether I should attend the 2011 ACPT -- I would have loved to have met Rex and other puzzle aficionados. Alas, I had another engagement in Philadelphia during this last weekend (a reunion with some old friends at my alma mater) which had been scheduled not too long ago, so that made the decision easier. Maybe next year....

lit.doc 2:02 AM  

@Evan, I have tried to throw Mr. Happy Pencil under the bus, but can't find a way. It bothers me more and more, like I have an unwanted cheat visited upon me when I fill the last square. I'd rather have to commit to my solution and then click on a "Is Mr. Pencil happy or not?" icon. Sigh.

Clark 2:29 AM  

I had trouble with the SW (INANE, VISIT, ETHNO) until I cracked the English quote. Knowing that I needed an IS brought me home.

@lit.doc -- Our lame latin joke was VIDI, VICI, VENI.

chefwen 2:55 AM  

Like Clark my southwest corner remained pretty empty, passed it to my part time puzzle husband while I finished making a spaghetti dinner for some hungry friends. He finished it without blinking, the guy is getting the hang of it. Pretty soon he will be putting me to shame. No write overs, Woo Hoo!

lit.doc 3:05 AM  

@Clark, LMFAO! More wishful than lame...

fikink 3:30 AM  

Lovely use of "palimpsest," Rex, and "place de resistance" is a hoot. Oh you kid!

Wanted the Pepperidge Farm product for the graphic re: MILANO.

@litd, @coffee, ditto on OSSA/ELAM error.

Don't think I can go back to pencil and paper anytime soon. I'll just come to schmooz in 2012.

@Clark, lame or no, that's funny! Beats SEMPER UBI SUB UBI.

Good puzzlle, W. N.!

hazel 7:46 AM  

I really liked this puzzle as well. The theme was enitirely too complicated for me during the solve so I ignored it, anf found the puzzle pretty easy.
As @foodie said, it was a nice bonus afterwards to see it emerge. looking back at the forest searching for the breadcrumbs. pretty clever puzzle.

@Clark - good one.

joho 8:10 AM  

I wonder why Will didn't run this on March 15th?

@Rex, loved,"I came, I saw, I shrugged."

When I couldn't find the translation of VENI,VIDI,VICI in the English version I came here to find the quote.

I liked all the "Vs" especially in VIVIDIMAGE and SIDVICIOUS.

Nice Wednesday, Will Nediger, thank you very much!

opus2 8:26 AM  

Yes Rex, y = x is a line. (Notice how Yes Rex starts with y and ends with x?)

Y = x generally looks like a line that rises from the SW to NE at 45 degrees.

JenCT 8:30 AM  

True about the Happy Pencil; at the ACPT, significant time is used up while checking answers.

SethG 8:43 AM  

Paper or not, if you don't know the City of Invention, have EYE chart crossing the Sony guy, and have CAdrE instead of CASTE (which you confirm with DDE instead of HST), the SE becomes kinda thorny. Didn't help that the applet clue for the reveal ended early.

Also, with xETROxxxx in place, I entered DETROIT, MI. It took me a long time too to figure out that it was the METRODOME. Didn't know why they were cluing Detroit with some random old Super Bowl instead of with the recent XL. I was at Super Bowl XXVI.

So not a smooth solve for me.

(If you allow something like VIVID IMAGE, IACTA becomes no problem. ZODIAC TABLE? PONTIAC TAXICAB? Etc.)

jesser 8:43 AM  

I must be the only one here who DNF. What the hell is SAGO? I hat SAlt at 30A (I dunno whether it's starchy, but my doc bitches about my intake of it) and leT OUT at 32D, and that left a hole at the terminus of 37A because I was not into the 60s lingo and I don't know my Danish geography, so I was ZONED right out of contention.

PEE? Really? It's been a while since anyone mentioned the Breakfast Test, but I'm thinking this fails it.

I didn't like it, but maybe I'm just crabby because my work schedule has moved up a half hour, so now I come in at 5 a.m., and that's just nuts.

Bingfin! (A $5 bill in the land of Bing) -- jesser

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

I always solve on paper slouched on a comfortable couch. But that is no excuse for my slow times. The few times I tried to solve on the computer I did even worse time-wise.
The puzzle felt like a typical Wednesday for me. Guessed ASTRODOME for 17A instead of METRODOME but eventually corrected.
Got the VINI VIDI VICI quickly but could not see the other quotation at all until I saw Rex comments. From the way the clue at 54A was phrased I was expecting I CAME I SAW I WON (or some other variation).
The hiccup area for me was the mid-East area. Had to google ODENSE and SID VICIOUS.
Not too bad not too good. Not too easy not too difficult for me.

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

@Mr Happy Pencil Haters - When you first open the puzzle, in the main menu, select Solution/Lock Solution. Keeps Mr Happy pencil away, as well as the temptation to check your answers as you go along.

retired_chemist 9:07 AM  

Medium is the message here. Didn't see the second part of the theme until I came here. [Insert usual minirant about themes that are basically unrelated to the solve here.]

39D was SWIMSUIT and might have been SWIMWEAR before crosses fixed it for me.

Like @ Jesser, SAGO is just a crossword term to me, but it is reliable except I can't ever tell without crosses if it is SEGO or SAGO. Former is a lily and the latter a palm. Mnemonic - SEE Lily go. Except Lilli Palmer will confuse me on that one.

Thanks, Mr. Nediger.

David 9:38 AM  

also had trouble with METRODOME, due to filling in Astrodome (as a correction for Superdome), and then not seeing 1-Across easily (A SNAP) slowed the NW up for me. Other cross-up was EER for OER which briefly hid AKRON OHIO. Aside from the extreme NW and SE, did fine and enjoyed the theme.

chefbea 9:38 AM  

Hand up for not seeing the english quote. Kept looking for I came etc.

All in all a good wednesday puzzle.

@Mac I knew 33 down without googling

dk 9:45 AM  

**** (4 Stars)

Everything a Wednesday should be! And, what that is is subject to the whim of my toga clad advisors Arbitraryious and Capricious.

RIP Liz (Cat) Taylor.

I have worked on paper for 40 some years. New to Mr. Happy Pencil land as the freaking NYT can't seem to get the daily paper to my door. On-line is faster but the paper is my favorite medium. Please note I am still unhappy over the move to soy-based ink. I miss the old smell.

My way: Favorite Sex Pistols cover.

Thank you Will.

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

For a line written in the standard form Y = mX + b then the slope is m and the Y-axis intercept is b.

Lindsay 9:54 AM  

Like it. Fresh in a good way. Although somehow I processed 54A as "the theme will be two (unclued) quips one of which will be in Latin" despite the word "clue" appearing twice in the explanation. So after highlighting all the starred & double starred hints I pecked around the edges (i.e. avoided the hint-free highlights) thinking Pretty Darn Challenging For A Wednesday .... until *headslap* .... I belatedly discovered the theme answers had clues!

*** mittie = Romney jr.

Linda Ball 9:56 AM  

The formula is arbitrary but in two dimensions and therefore a line. Doesn't mean I immediately got it, though. OK, the math degree is a bit old.

quilter1 10:15 AM  

I liked it, and think it is cleverly done. I had all the Latin quote in before JULIUS came to light, said aha, then could see the second quote.

Loved PERCHANCE, PROVIDENT, ODENSE. Hated the sexting clue as I used to work with at-risk kids and some of their activities made my hair stand on end. Math clues are lost on me but the crosses take care of my shortcomings.

I always solve pen on paper. I tried to solve online and was frustrated. I guess it takes practice, but I also do not like to look at the monitor for a long time. Old eyes.

mac 10:16 AM  

Good Wednesday puzzle with a clever extra; the Latin one was easy to find, the English one not so. I also wanted the English translation of the first.

@Rex: great write-up, you must have had fun! I've seen palimpsest recently in an English novel, beautiful word.

Two tiny slow-downs: wanted stub for tee, and always think Akron is with a c.

@chefbea: Odense is in Denmark. The first really big, beautifully illustrated book I received on my 4th birthday was "The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen.

efrex 10:18 AM  

Slogged through this thing with a couple of writeovers (METRODOME over ASTRODOME and TOWN over PAWN). Never heard of SAGO, and didn't see the English quote at all. PEE is fine for my breakfast test, but I never want to see or hear the word "sexting" in any context (first heard the word in an episode of "Glee," and wanted to engage in an "involuntary personal protein spill," as the late great Carlin put it). Don't know my New Testament, so EPH/DIPSO was not an easy find. Not my cuppa at all, but such is life.

88CalBear 10:19 AM  

They say Confucius does his crosswords with a pen.

-- Tori Amos, "Happy Phantom"

As do I. It's news to me that any other way is acceptable!

Howard B 10:27 AM  

That was quite a clue for LINE. Ah, algebra. I miss you.
For the mathophobic:

In (y = 3x + 5),
The '3' is the slope or steepness of the line ('m', higher values=steeper climb), and that poor little '+5' on the outside looking in (the 'b' value, or the 'y-intercept' to sound more mathy) just determines the point where the line crosses the vertical y-axis on a graph. Raise/lower the 'b' value, and the same line just shifts up/down.

Next week we'll figure out a formula for how many times your favorite sweater can make it through the dryer, based on how much of it is left in the lint trap.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:32 AM  

Fun puzzle; I enjoyed it.

But: Another hand up for OSAS/EDAM; Boy, those asterisks and double asterisks looked awfully small on the printed page; And, I had almost given up, was just sitting down at the computer when the English quote hit me.

Was hoping some newbie (not meant in a bad way) would ask about 25 A, Why is ivy brown?

chefbea 10:40 AM  

@Howard B that was good. LOL

pizzatheorem 10:53 AM  

jesser, I had a similar problem with 32D:LETOUT instead of GOTOUT.
I seem to vaguely recall that that cute little palm-looking trees I've seen are called sago. Didn't help here.

I also erred on the Spanish bears / Jordanian land cross failing to realize that on a wednesday, edam likely would have been a Dutch cheese.
17A:DETROITMI was so tempting but I was surer of 8D:TEENAGER so I held back.
Don't know anything about the new or old testaments but may have to memorize at least the names of the books.

Two Ponies 10:54 AM  

Our puzzles are punkin' out. Yesterday it was the Ramones and today we have Sid Vicious.
I never got the English quote.
Like @ syndy I wanted a dragon clue for 45A.
Not a real fan of spelled out letters like cue or aich but if pee is the answer whatcha gonna do?
I see we have the pie chart again.
My dog's favorite Latin joke is
Veni, vedi, feci.

Tony from Charm City 11:12 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle, but I had a prolonged dyslexic moment that had me searching my brain for the RX-8 Camera Maker. I had NIKON until I realized that 19-A was ZONED.

I too had issues getting the English quote.

Pete 11:49 AM  

I had no problem finding the English quote, as I was unaware of its existence. I read 54A as "Speaker of Latin blah blah blah", had the J, and missed out on the whole theme of the puzzle.

Nice themeless puzzle Mr Nediger

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Had to read these comments to learn what an ASNAP was.

archaeoprof 12:08 PM  

Fun puzzle!

Two writeovers: Astrodome/METRODOME and sodas/MALTS.

Briefly wondered if AKRONOHIO might somehow be a theme answer...

william e emba 12:13 PM  

I looked at the puzzle, saw the stars, looked for the reveal, and knew it was JULIUS CAESAR right away, so I started solving this puzzle from the bottom.

Of course, the Latin was either VENI VIDI VICI or ALEA JACTA EST, and then I just assumed the English would be for the same line. I didn't see things as I filled up the bottom, but then I saw SIDVICIOUS, and kept trying to find "I conquered" in some way, before I saw the VISIT CASTE. At that point, knowing the missing parts of the quote made the theme answers come out easier than usual.

I had "leT OUT" at first also, but salt is just sodium chloride, which is not protein, fat, or carbohydrate.

ODENSE shows up maybe once a year. We last saw it 10/15/10. Memorize it.

Geometricus 12:31 PM  

I live in Mpls, so I was at the Metrodome for that Superbowl but I never went inside because I just went to protest the Washington football teams' backward offensive racist name. I held a skinny little sign with a picture of one of our venerable elders and only one word: "respect". As you may imagine I didn't get much of that from some of those ETHNOcentric fans streaming into the game.

Liked a lot about the puzzle though. I teach math at a school with a name that sounds like PROVIDENT. I make y = 3x + 5 ASNAP to turn into a LINE. My mission is to make each geometry concept a VIVIDIMAGE for every TEENAGER. (I hope none of our students are ever caught "sexting.")

Liked the write up today, Rex. I've been solving on my iPod for months now and it saves on printing ink, but I miss the scratch of lead on paper.

Anoa Bob 12:39 PM  

Can someone explain how 15A PEE can be a "Cue preceder"? I don't think I have ever seen "cue" used to denote the letter "Q" and my Random House doesn't list that as a meaning for "cue". What is a "Pee Cue"?

syndy 12:43 PM  

@kerfluffle my take is that BROWN is an IVY League Unie

Glitch 12:45 PM  

I only solve on a computer when traveling so, apropos of a comment yesterday, MHP's barging in is *fini* while a paper completion is *VOILA!*


Toggle 12:59 PM  

Loved the puzzle. Speaking of lame Latin jokes, was reminded of high school Latin class. We thought we were so clever to snidely say of a classmate, "That girl? She's got enough gall to be divided into three parts!"

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

@Anoa Bob - Wiki gives cue as a name for Q, which was probably the justification for this clue/answer pair.
Alternately, if one is waiting in the wings of the stage for their entrance, runs off to take a PEE, they'll probably need a cue when they get back.

Jim in Chicago 1:21 PM  

ODENSE was a gimme for me, as I've actually been there. Forever burned into my brain as we were strolling in the center of the city when news of 9/11 began to break.

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

@ Anoa Bob, That was covered at 10:54 I believe.

lit.doc 1:39 PM  

@Anon 8:54, a zillion thanks for the info on how to lock out Mr. Happy Pencil!

@Howard B, LOL at your sweater comment, look forward to seeing the math. Is it a linear disfunction?

jberg 1:39 PM  

I did this one (on paper, as alwaya) a little too fast, and didn't check the crosses - so it was only coming here thatI realized that 16A should be ADIEU, not ADIOS. I just figured "di" was a variant of "die" for the theme quote. Other than that (and running through SUPERDOME and DETROIT MI before getting the correct METRODOME -- the hardest part was a) remembering which theme answers were English and which Latin (even after I got the obvious veni, vidi, vici, I kept looking for "et tu brute" inthe double-starred answers). I did manage to find "the die is cast", but sort of felt it was lame - too easy to hide. On the other hand, it was well hidden, unlike the Latin with the obvious Vs.

mmorgan 1:58 PM  

Somehow I got the theme pretty quickly and that actually helped in a few places (e.g., it told me that 61D had to be HST instead of DDE).

BUT: I had oDOM for 50A and that meant I just could not figure out the first letter of 47D -- _oININ just made no sense, alas. Otherwise it was fairly easy for me with no major bumps.

I solve on paper only as a last resort -- my handwriting is horrible (probably from spending so much time with a mouse, etc.). Bu that's fine since I always love to see Mr. Happy Pencil!

Shamik 2:20 PM  

My 77-year-old mother was appalled that Liz Taylor died so young at 79. A matter of perspective. R.I.P. La Liz.

Medium-challenging Wednesday on this puzzle at 7:08 and didn't bother with the theme at all. Never much care for themes that have me hopping all over the place with my eyes while trying to solve.

I remember "training" for the ACPT last year because my husband insisted I spend as much time paper-solving as possible since mostly my solving is Across-Lite. I believe he fancied himself to be my coach...even though he never does crosswords...not even Mondays...not even Dell.

But then again, I don't fly-fish.

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

Elizabeth Taylor passed away today though she'll undoubtedly live on in a multiplicity of NYT crossword clues for generations yet to come...

retired_chemist 2:26 PM  

From Wikipedia re PEE:

Pee or PEE may refer to:

* P, the 16th letter of the English alphabet
* Urine or pee
* Penny or pence
* Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble, a North Korean electronica group
* "Pee" (South Park), an episode of South Park
* Bolshoye Savino Airport's IATA code

Personally,I like the airline code. On a Saturday.

Waxy in Montreal 2:30 PM  

Amazingly, Liz's co-star in National Velvet (1944), Mickey Rooney, is still going strong at 90!

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

@Rex, welcome to paper solving. Pen or pencil?
The Times was not delivered this a.m. so we had to pick it up at Publix. Drat. I am going to try to speed up and solve at one sitting so next year maybe I can register as a competitor.

Anyrood, mistake at EPi/PERCiANCE. Semed possible. carb before SAGO. Made VIVIDIMAGE first, EVENINGgown; downs fixed things. Bottom half came later. Misread 54A and kept trying to figure a sentence that would start THEIR ADIEU...huh? Then just worked on solving the words and let the theme take care of itself.
@chefbea. NYTimes recepie today for meatless burger made with beets and rice. Sounds kind of okay.
A good solve today (except for the one goof)> Over the hump.

Sparky 2:34 PM  

That was me at 2:32. Hit the wrong button.

dk 2:57 PM  

to geomet...from Mpls.

Go to the top of the IDS Tower and look down upon the deflated dome. A sight to behold.

chefbea 3:08 PM  

@sparky thanks. I'll check it out

CoffeeLvr 3:56 PM  

Upon review, it is clear that I was wearing my cranky pants last night; there is a lot to like in this puzzle. PERCHANCE and PROVIDENT, REIN IN one's ROAN, MALTS in the afternoon, and SUDS at night. Plus one of my personal favorite words: EVOKED.

I miss a lot of the subtleties of a puzzle using AcrossLite, still prefer solving on paper, but my toner cartridge is low. I use pencil, except on Monday and Tuesday.

captcha = psynce, the "study" of seances and such

quilter1 4:23 PM  

Why do we say "take a PEE?" I don't want to take it. I want to leave it.

frappow: a spiked frappe

sanfranman59 4:24 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)

Wed 13:07, 11:45, 1.12, 78%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:51, 5:48, 1.18, 89%, Challenging

Jim in Chicago 4:29 PM  

A friend who got her first faculty position at Austin Peay State University reports that while she was there the basketball star had the name "Fly", and that a popular chant was "The Fly is open, let's go Peay."

jackj 4:38 PM  

I came, I saw, I applauded.

Will Nediger's puzzle is a constructing tour de force.

Stan 4:38 PM  

8D should have been BRETT FAVRE.

John V 5:04 PM  

Thing for me is solving in pen seem an act of hubris. I believe the puzzle gods will strike me down if I use other than my pencil.

Just saying.

Liked this puzzle. Had it all done no problem but didn't see the second theme 'til I came here, as missed seeing the double stars on caste.

Anonymous 5:13 PM  

"Technically, y = x is a LINE, right?"

Qualified yes. Technically, the equation of any straight line, called a linear equation, can be written as: y = mx + b, where m is the slope of the line and b is the y-intercept.

In your example, if m=1, and b=0 then you are correct. However, the more general format is y=mx +b.

Shout out to Mrs Rinear ... my 7th grade math teacher!!!

lit.doc 6:01 PM  

@CoffeeLvr, I print a lot of puzzles (e.g. the LAT is the only site my school's Big Brother catches, so I have to take it with me in the a.m.). In AcrossLite, in Options/Printing, you can set the black-square fill to a light grey. Saves a lot of ink or toner, whatever you're using.

No offense, I hope, if you already know this. Jus' tryin' to help conserve.

CoffeeLvr 6:53 PM  

@lit.doc, thanks, I have done that, and it helps. I have a few more days if I shake the cartridge before printing. Of course, solving online conserves paper, too, jus' sayin'.

quilter1 7:39 PM  

@JohnV: I haven't been struck dead yet and I even use gel pen. Three and goodnight.

andrea swimcaps michaels 7:43 PM  

As always, I'm with you!!! the only person I had ever heard of "sexting" was Favre...and I refused for quite awhile to put in TEENAGER!

My first answer was SIDVICIOUS and I saw the VICI right away...and @Rex, I'd ad JULIUS CAESAR to the theme answers which makes it even more dense.

Speaking of dense, I had SAGe/eDENSE and as a paper solver (no happy pencil, only a sad pen, I guess) I didn't know I had it wrong till NOW!
I thought it was weird that sage was a starch, but what do I know from food!!!
So that makes me A-Z dense, I'm afraid!

Loved the puzzle, bec most of us would try very hard JUST to get VENI VIDI VICI into a puzzle (I think Peter Gordon had one with VENIsomething as veins) so to have TWO sets of phrases, and one in Latin and one in English is quite fabulous... And they ARE related as they are both JULIUSCAESAR...and I'll bet you anything this puzzle WAS written specifically to be published on the Ides of March!!!!!

My puzzle a week and a half ago had the same "Last Supper" clue, but in English but I remember thinking the answer should be MILANO anyway! Esp bec I had ITALIA in the puzzle and CANALS, etc and anyone who knows me knows about my (ahem) penchant for i ragazzi italiani...

But, of course, this isn't about me... (See! i finally realized it!) it's about Will Nediger and his fantastic puzzle!!!! And I don't even have a lascivious story about SID VICIOUS!
(Tho I did, for a sec, hope the theme was about vicious, cruel, evil... hmmmm, just had an idea!)

thank you for the lovely words, as always...Hey! How come you didn't comment about modern Jordan in the puzzle???!!!

ps am also loving all the Latin jokes! How nerdy can we get!!! it makes me happy.

Sfingi 9:53 PM  

For some reason, this puzzle just suited me. At first I thought OMG, and poked around a little (liMo before SEMI, rice before SAGO, and sodaS before MALTS) but then I saw SID VICIOUS and just took off. LINE seemed obvious, METRODOME fit, though I don't know what it is.

@Anon513 - So Mrs. Rinear was Linear?

@Quilter = I'm using Gel pens over Flairs now because they're easier to find in pastel colors. I can't see pencil, and black pen is too hard to write over. I write over in a darker gel.
@JohnV - wait til you get old.

Of course, paper-solving goes anywhere - the Home, the bed, the dinner table. I doubt I could see the puzzle on any of those small devices.

When I hear Kerfuffle I'm forced to think of German potatoes.

@DK - tell me more about this soy based ink.

sanfranman59 10:04 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 6:30, 6:55, 0.94, 25%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:50, 8:55, 0.99, 54%, Medium
Wed 13:09, 11:45, 1.12, 78%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:29, 3:41, 0.94, 31%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:32, 4:34, 0.99, 52%, Medium
Wed 6:26, 5:47, 1.11, 80%, Medium-Challenging

fikink 11:16 PM  

Dudes and Dudettes, you all rock! Had a trying day with FIL who was obsessing over a mineral-salt block we'd put out for the deer and, beseechingly, insisting on taking down a tree for firewood. It was only refocusing on the crossword puzzle and listening to jazz that I could redirect him.
In the end, he was delighted with all of the posts I read to him and asked whether a line necessarily had to have a slope, remembering that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
What do I say to him?

I'll Work til I Die 11:30 PM  

@fikink All lines have a slope, it's just that in some cases the slope is zero - y = 0*X + B. Just as I have a retirement account.

fikink 12:47 AM  

"just as I have a retirement account" - BONSAI! I have to poach! Thanks, @I'll Work till I Die.

Meantime, the multiples are improving. Monster might be a buy. Keep the faith.

Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Have a heart! Some of us have adult memories from before you were born; being retired, we have time to do crosswords, and we get a nice buzz from being able to remember - just like that! - that Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 in 1947. You youngsters can have the rock bassists, just don't spoil our fun, OK?

NotalwaysrightBill 11:15 AM  

Syndi-late paper solver, with whatever stylus presents itself closest to hand when I start.

Enjoyed this Wedpuz for the most part, despite some pretty lame short fill. And had to look up EMO. SWIMCAPS are as good a dressing as any for this CEASAR salad.

Wonder whether LASH as the answer to [56D Pirate's punishment] was originally conceived as a verb or a noun? Or both or neither? LASHed to the keel? 40 LASHes? LASH one in is a rotten DIPSO? Loved SUDS for [13D Head].

Well, gotta go: crossin' the Alps or the Rubicon or something after lunch I think, in some kind of Italian or Punic SEMI-MAZDA.

Dirigonzo 3:22 PM  

I did not know that JULIUSCAESAR even spoke English, so that quote remained hidden to me until I came here.

@Waxy - have you joined the prime-timers?

@BobK - I see your jokes are still being taken seriously?

Waxy in Montreal 3:52 PM  

@Dirigonzo - no, I remain loyal to our small but quality-laden band of sydisolvers. Occasionally, though, I do look in on the prime-timers in realtime, perchance occasionally even to submit a comment as was done 5 weeks back when Liz Taylor died...
Thanks for your concern!

wcutler 5:07 PM  

Hah! The only thing I knew was Odense. And that Brown is in the Ivy League. I found that clue amusing. And I liked all the V's. So Edam is only a cheese? I had to look here to see what the English expression was.

NotalwaysrightBill 9:09 PM  

Interesting that so many believe that [25D Brown wall covering = IVY] refers to Brown the college. You're probably right, too; but I took it to mean a wall of a brownstone house, something ALSO often covered with IVY.

Like @Diri, I wondered if @Waxy had gotten a real subscription and all that when I read her chime-in in the big kids' section. Had a little "I'll miss you" pang there for a second. No lobster trap don't-let-em-leave sort though: I'll cheer your graduation if you ever do, @Waxy. Nice to see ya here regardless.

lodsf 9:28 PM  

[syndi] Very much enjoyed this puzzle but also left the 'theme' until after everything was filled in. That way (plus yellow & blue highlighter--visual aids) it was easy to see both quotes.
Belated congratulations to all ACPT participants and thanks for the pictures and anecdotes.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP