Event of 4/29/11 / THU 4-28-11 / Logo of Clemson Tigers / French-speaking land of 12+ million / Mythological sprite / Utah winter vacation spot

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: ROYAL WEDDING (20A: Event of 4/29/11) — answers related to this event

Word of the Day: EURE (24D: French river or department) —

Eure is a department in the north of France named after the river Eure. [...] The main tourist attraction is Giverny (4 km (2.49 mi) from Vernon) where Claude Monet's house and garden can be seen, as well as other places of interest. (wikipedia)
• • •

Here's the Facebook status I posted just a handful of seconds after I started this puzzle:
Sorry, tomorrow's puzzle, but I hate you on principle. Just threw my pencil down in disgust and I've only got about 6 answers in there...
Anglophilia is a disease and this upcoming ROYAL WEDDING ranks in importance somewhere between the rantings of Charlie Sheen and the White House's release of Obama's "Certificate of Live Birth" (Gasp! Really?! He's a citizen!?). Throw in the In Ex Plicable EURE / TEN crossing (as my friend Jeffrey said, "Even I can fix that crossing") and one of my most hated names (DAAE), and, yeah, Big Dislike. Also, way way way too easy. I mean, when I can fill in every theme answer on a Thursday with Absolutely No Help From Crosses, then something is terribly, horribly wrong. If you're going to commemorate this circus, at least do something clever, tricky, interesting. ANYTHING. I don't know what's more shocking: the decision that this event was worth commemorating at all (esp. in an *American* crossword), or the decision to accept a theme so dull and straightforward. Wedding, groom, bride, titles, zzzzzzzzz.

Mark Oppenheimer sums up my ROYAL WEDDING feelings pretty well:
Of all the annoying things about the royal wedding—the crass materialism, the outrageous invasion of a young couple's privacy, the bad TV—none is more troubling than the occasion this event gives for the non-English to transform themselves into besotted Anglophilic wusses. It is one thing for the English to care about the wedding. Paying attention to the royal family, even if only to read sensationalist tabloid articles about them, is one of the proper jobs of English people. But for an American to be excited about the royal wedding is undignified and lame. And, I would add, if you get up at 3 a.m. on Friday to watch the wedding on television, you are a traitor to your country. (Mark Oppenheimer, Slate, Apr. 25, 2011)
Theme answers:
  • 20A: Event of 4/29/11 (ROYAL WEDDING)
  • 30A: Bridegroom of 4/29/11 (PRINCE WILLIAM)
  • 38A: Bride of 4/29/11 (KATE MIDDLETON)
  • 51A: 30- and 38-Across someday, presumably (KING AND QUEEN)
Amy (fellow blogger Crossword Fiend) suggested that EURE might not be (the much more sensible) EURO so as to avoid partial duplication in the EURAIL cross. My response—if that is true, that is an epic fail. First, EUR is EUR is EUR, esp. if you are still in *&^$ing France. Second, EURE is so ugly and obscure that including it so as to avoid EURO is like covering a small blemish with a giant, dirty band-aid. The cure is worse than the disease.

There are tons of other answers that could be passed off as theme answers, at least as clued: OBE and POOL (?) and ALTAR and WALES etc. I just don't care.

  • 16A: Home of the Gardermoen airport (OSLO) — not sure how I've never seen this OSLO clue before. You think the airport name would be a common go-to answer.
  • 45A: "La ___" (traditional Mexican nuptials song) ("BAMBA") — Needed every cross here. No idea that Ritchie Valens was singing a traditional nuptials song.

  • 55A: Violinist Leopold (AUER) — learned his name accidentally when his grandson, actor MISCHA, was mistakenly clued as a violinist, leading to much complaining and even more frantic googling from confused solvers.
  • 60A: Mythological sprite (PERI) — learned from crosswords, just like the answer on top of it (ALTA) (54A: Utah winter vacation spot).
  • 1D: Logo of the Clemson Tigers (PAW) — first answer in the grid. Then UMA, AMEBA, and WALES —that was the point at which I had an inkling about what was going on, theme-wise. Downhill from there.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]
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Anonymous 12:15 AM  

Thank you so very, very much.

Anonymous 12:17 AM  

Rex, I love you, but Obama was born in Kenya and flown to Hawaii to make sure he received American benefits.

Anonymous again 12:18 AM  

Oh, and I'm sure you noticed this but the file name of the picture of a singer is 'Ginger-Spice-Union-Jack-dress.jpg'. Do the Brits not know the difference between a shirt-top and a dress?

retired_chemist 12:49 AM  

Easy indeed.

Stuck in La BAMBA @ 45A, figuring it was silly enough to bring a chuckle when I reported the writeover. Disappointingly,it was correct. VAIL @ 54A, however, was not. Tossed a coin on NEET/NAIR @ 19A and waited milliseconds for a definitive cross.

Guessed ITALY for 62A - only country I know that is a 5 letter soccer powerhouse. Another lucky guess. Feel free to remind me of others 5-letter soccer countries: GHANA and CHILE maybe. BENIN, JAPAN, SAMOA not so much.

Old enough to remember GEORGE VI so 26A was a gimme.

Thanks, Mr. CEE. Ever in a spelling BEE with Sandra DEE and Brenda LEE?

davko 12:54 AM  

Don't know how you tolerate the fringe lunacy of some of this column's commentators Rex, but hats off to you for maintaining a democracy.

I was about to deride this mess for its frivolity, lack of "crosswordese," and for having no business appearing on a Thursday, but you've pretty much said it all. I'll add one more objection: the pilfered clue for EURAIL (27A). I loved "kind of pass" when it was first used months ago, but here it just looks shopworn.

I skip M-W 12:56 AM  

@Rex, totally agree about royal wedding, and the puzzle in general, but don't quite get your ire re EURE. Many too many Times articles about wedding, and now this silly puzzle.

@retired chemist, SPAIN is soccer powerhouse, no?

jae 1:06 AM  

Thanks Rex, you said it all. When I told my bride the theme she, knowing me well, said "Oh, that's too bad."

retired_chemist 1:09 AM  

@ I skip - sure. If you say so. I wouldn't know.

Rube 1:15 AM  

I knew RP was going to hate this and I must say I agree. This will probably go down as the fastest Thursday in @SanFranMan's statistics.I've learned not to rant about words/places of which I've never heard, but when Rex goes off about EURE, I feel I can at least concur.

The difference between Rex and me was that I had to get a few crosses before knowing some of the theme answers... I care that little about this wedding.

Enough about that. An interesting word in this puzzle is PERI. Apparently there are several different PERI in mythology. One is a Persian "Fallen Angel" who must do penance in order to ascend to heaven. Unrelated is from Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe which is subtitled "The Peer and the Peri". Thomas Moore has a poem, Paradise and the Peri about another attempt to gain entrance to heaven. Robert Schumann wrote a cantata of the same name. [The preceeding are excepts from on-line searches -- just to save you all from having to Google yourselves. My WOTD.]

I'm off to Lake Powell on Friday. See you all in 2 weeks.

fringe lunacy 1:37 AM  

@rex - good write-up - everyone is pretty much sick of all this nonsense. Having said that, I'm going to watch it on TV - or maybe Tivo - and probably make that chocolate cake. You know, the one with the McVite's tea biscuits in it.
Puzz wazz really really easy for a Thursday. I don't know the 60A mythological sprite Peri. ?? I do know 65A Poindexter types and include myself amongst them.

chefwen 1:49 AM  

@Rube - A little bass fishing, did you get the recipe I sent?

@Rex - I couldn't agree with you and Mark Oppenheimer more about the upcoming nuptials. Thank the Gods that I had a Merl Reagle puzzle in the backlog to amuse me, because this one sure did not. Enough of the hoopla already.

andrea carla michaels 2:45 AM  

Hunh! I swear I'm not just saying this to be au contraire, but I was impressed with the amount of theme content...

Before I get pelted with crumpets, may I just say what pleased me?

THis is a once in a lifetime event, is timely...and best of all Gary Cee noticed KATEMIDDLETON and PRINCEANDREW have the same amount of letters in their names!!!

Too bad the ROYALWEDDING wasn't on a Tuesday and this would have been more than fine!

My only quibble is that the Q in QUEEN and QEII is really the same word, no?

But c'mon! Gary Cee got in the aforementioned ROYAL WEDDING
and thru the clues:
WARoftheRoses, ALTAR, POOL (?suspect, and I wanted POlo grounds, but whatever, that was a fun piece of trivia that there is a pool) and the note of a honeymoon GONDOLA.

Pardon my Queen's English, but that is a shitload of theme!!!

What I found more interesting was that Gary Cee snuck into the grid at a HARVARD tournament YALE, ELIS and had the final word NERDS!

We are amused!

enigma 2:58 AM  
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Jolly good! What crap!

DJG 6:56 AM  

Agreed. This puzzle was awful. 1776, baby, 1776.

treedweller 7:11 AM  

But . . . the queen's husband isn't the king, right? So they won't be king and queen, they'll be king and . . . whatever she'll be, but not queen. Right?

After being very annoyed with myself for knowing the bride's name, I will take some comfort in the fact that I remain ignorant on this matter.

Also, though I agree this was quite easy, I finished with a mistake at AUEl / HUlLS because I put in the violinist incorrectly and then just couldn't see HURLS. Then I was so sure my mistake was somewhere around MAAE I just never got it. meh.

Elaine 7:17 AM  
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Elaine 7:20 AM  
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Matthew G. 7:37 AM  

What Rex said. Right down to the bit about throwing the puzzle down in disgust after the first theme answer. The carefully stoked American interest in this wedding is tacky and embarrassing. Anglophilia has its place in the arts, film and television, but not when it comes to the monarchy.

And although I hated this on principle like Rex did, I also hated it in the execution. Crossing EURE with not just TEN but also EURAIL? Really? I also immediately leapt to the realization that the explanation for TEN is that the constructor really wanted to use EURAIL and felt that that precluded the use of EURO. And then to use EURAIL and give it such a vague clue in a puzzle that was otherwise Monday-easy? WTF?

I hate "event" puzzles that don't match the difficulty level of their day. I would still have hated this puzzle if it ran on Monday, but that sentiment would have been tempered. That isn't the constructor's fault, I realize.

And to think. Just yesterday I predicted an epic Thursday puzzle this week given the unusually high quality of M-W. Go figure.

Neville 7:52 AM  

I honestly don't mind the fact that this was royal wedding themed. And if you got rid of EURE, it would be a fine puzzle... for Monday.

This is IMO too easy for Thursday, and since it didn't even run on the correct day, why not have had it run at the beginning of this week with easier clues? :(

Eric 8:19 AM  

@treedweller. Yes she will become Queen. The female is Queen to the King but the male becomes a Consort to the Queen, QEll herself gave her main squeeze the title of Duke of Edinburgh.
@ Rex. I'm a U.S. citizen, previously a Brit and couldn't agree more. Anglophilia is a terrible disease when applied to the current craze (not when applied as a lover of English history).
Finally Obama is our President and The Donald will go away once he has milked the publicity for all he can - he's a genius at that.

mmorgan 8:29 AM  

I thought the theme was pure blecch (wedding shmedding) and I also don't care for event puzzles, but I actually found the rest of the puzzle to be pretty good. England is one of my favorite countries in which to spend time although personally I don't care a whit about this wedding. On the other hand, as a media scholar I find the attention lavished upon it pretty interesting (each network is spending over $10 million on coverage), even as floods of people say they couldn't care less about it.

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

What an awesome William and Kate collectible!!! I'll treasure it forever!!! (Going out soon to buy stack of valuable copies.)

With so much primary and secondary theme, there could not have been less dreck.

I'm fine with the QEII entry, though did not like the clue. The 'dupe' issue doesn't bother me.

EURE doesn't bother me either. I don't mean that I like it, but the crosses were easy and it had to be correct, so what is the f...ing problem? Beats 'Random Roman Numeral', B-TWELVE, and the other made up stuff that we get.

My only objection is that this should have run on Tuesday and see no excuse for running it today. 'The day before' is not reason enough. Tuesday would have been fine. Or even Wednesday.

I did get to destroy my best Thursday time ever - by a LOT.

God save the Queen!!!

Rex Parker 8:39 AM  

Praising theme density is a little misguided, in that many of the alleged "theme" answers are brutally forced into theme service. GONDOLA? POOL? Please. OBE = crosswordese. Dress it up all you want, still a dog. If you had a dog theme, you could probably clue half the answers in your puzzle to make them related to dogs. So. What?


hazel 8:40 AM  

Well, I thought this puzzle was flat out boring. I disliked it for its overall unoriginality, not because it was centered around the Royal Wedding. surely, a more creative and interesting puzzle could have been constructed.

I don't care about this event either - AT ALL - but I wouldn't have minded an interesting puzzle, where it was the backdrop. As it is, its just another so-so and unnecessary way to commemorate something that's being covered to death by uninspired media types. Sheesh.

jesser 8:47 AM  

What Rex said. And tragically, I disagree with ACME.

Long before I did the puzzle this morning, I updated my Facebook status as follows: "I get up early enough every morning that, if I had one bit of interest, I could watch the royal wedding. But I don't give a rat's ass. And I don't understand why anyone else does."

Needless to say, the puzzle did nothing to brighten my day. And it was easy enough to have been run on Monday.

Interesting discussion yesterday, and I appreciate the constructor's comments, but I stand by my objection.

Heresse! (What some Brits would consider the dislike of this puzzle, I'm guessing) -- jesser

John V 8:47 AM  

Apart from the theme, for which I have no axe to grind one way or the other, this was easy, notwithstanding my mistake at 42D, DAAE, 'cause never caught AUNTI em; was thinking print em or something like that and forgot Phantom name.

In general, all puzzles this week have had a disorienting feel to them, if that's the right word. Cluing feels "off", can't tell what day of the week, etc.

But, so what? IMHO, no such thing as a bad puzzle, just some are better then others.

Elaine 8:53 AM  
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janie 8:57 AM  

more on PERI --

fans (or detractors...) of gilbert and sullivan operettas may recall that the subtitle of iolanthe (set, among other places, in fairyland, westminster and amongst members of the house of peers) is the peer and the peri.

love the word (and the association)!


dk 9:01 AM  

Stop the Presses!

Forget the Royals!

I am traveling to San Francisco next week to dine with the Queen of Monday.

In the words of Dave Garroway: More to come.

If today was Tuesday this puzzle would be fine. It would bless us with a theme we would all love to hate coupled with some lame fill to support said lame theme.

Alas it is Thursday so this one gets... drumroll --

** (Cee)

Michael Hanko 9:37 AM  

This puzzle would have been a perfect fit for People magazine. The NY Times? Uh, no.

joho 9:40 AM  

Am I the only one here who agrees with @Andrea Carla Michaels? Who I won't be throwing crumpets at, I'll be eating them!

I'm fascinated by the ROYALWEDDING and bummed that I couldn't get a fascinator (that's a hat) in time to wear for the big event!

I'm really surprised at the hate being expressed for this milestone celebration. I'm not surprised at the lackluster reception of the puzzle. It is too easy for Thursday but, again, I'm with ACME on the theme density except for POOL which is only included by virtue of the clue.

I hope some of you here will be enjoying the wedding tomorrow. I know I will be.

chefbea 9:45 AM  

Easy puzzle, I agree. I'll be glad when this whole wedding thing is over.

Hope everyone we know in Alabama is safe!!! We are suppose to get awful storms here today.

quilter1 9:48 AM  

Wow, I thought my reaction to this puzzle was negative, but Rex and others said it all and more. Geez, they've been living together for five years. Why not a quiet family ceremony in front of the parlor fireplace?

But puzzlewise, I had sling before FLING and dorks before NERDS. The rest was like a TV Guide puzzle.

@acme: love that Warholesque avatar.

Norm 9:50 AM  

Fine. Don't be an Anglophile. Never visit London. And, be sure to stay away from the Lake District. That will leave more room for the rest of us. :)

It was a boring puzzle, though.

Kurt 10:09 AM  

I'm trapped in the Royal Wedding obsession and I can't escape. Television, newspapers and now the NYT crossword. Help! Let me go. Leave me alone. I just don't care.

Like lots of Rexites, I hated the theme and thought that it was way, way too easy for a Thursday. Instead of BRIDEGROOM OF 4/29/11, at least try something like SEARCH AND RESCUE PILOT and allow me to engage at least two-or-three brain cells.

I'm also not impressed with the theme density. High theme density with a crappy theme seems to me to just be a lot more crap. With themes like this, I think that less is more.

On the bright side, at least we got this one out of the way. Enjoy your day.

syndy 10:27 AM  

And the crappy puzzle couldn't even get it right- William is NOT the Prince of Wales! William does not have a Titular jurisdiction. he just a courtesy prince he may become P of W someday!was hoping 50 across would inspire a song:>

PuzzleNut 10:35 AM  

Everything Rex said, and then some. @quilter hit the nail on the head, seems just like a TV Guide puzzle.
Last letter was the EURE/EURAIL cross. Kind of liked it because it was the only time I had to think.

Melinda Uerling, President 10:42 AM  
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Melinda Uerling, President 10:44 AM  
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archaeoprof 10:56 AM  

I'm with @ACME and @Joho.

As Linus said of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, "It never was such a bad little puzzle..."

Now that Obama has shown us his birth certificate, will Donald Trump show us his hairline?

chefbea 10:57 AM  

@Andrea I too like the warhol avatar

timjim 11:04 AM  

I don't care a whit about the wedding, but I often don't care a whit about the theme of a puzzle. Has nothing to do with my enjoyment of it. This one a little too easy for a Thursday, but otherwise OK. Chill, folks.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:13 AM  

I did the puzz because I do the puzz. But in any other medium, if the Royal Wedding comes up, I change the channel/page/medium.

@Andrea - Interesting avatar!

But, (a) is this the first time you have posted under your name? and
(b) will we be seeing Astonishingly Creative Memorable noms-de-blog in the future?

evil doug 11:18 AM  

"...for the non-English to transform themselves into besotted Anglophilic wusses."

That ought to get the sissies' panties in a knot.

Just visiting

Chip Hilton 11:26 AM  

Far too easy for a Thursday.

However....I look at the Royal Wedding as some welcome relief from the typical evening news with neighborhood shootings here in New Haven, political scandals, invasions, etc. I also love my country and to be labeled a traitor because I choose to get up early to watch the pageantry is the height of silliness. Don't all you nay-sayers think the world would be a tad duller without the British Royal Family? I do.

JaxInL.A. 11:34 AM  


But I do want to see the dress. Have they really been living together for five years?

hazel 11:37 AM  

@joho - i think its more ennui than hate and that any irritation is directed at the media frenzy more than the event itself.

The fact that the event was commemorated by a straightforward, easy and ho-hum puzzle on our beloved Thursday didn't help matters. Perhaps if there'd been a rebus....

John V 11:42 AM  

A post-script, if I may. I have often remarked to friends that everything I know about pop culture I have learned from the NYT puzzle: Seinfeld/Simpsons/Cheers stuff, etc, having never seen any of the foregoing. So today learned name of Phantom person, couple of Brits. Not sure if this makes me a better person, but what the hey.

Rex Parker 11:43 AM  

doug! doug! doug! ... Bringing Evil Back.

I'm delayed at an airport once again. The way of the world. No biggie. This Subway sandwich shop is Awesome! (in that it's nearly empty and I have internet and a coffee and a peanut butter cookie)

I have a tradition of buying a book in the airport and trying to read it all before I land at my destination, but selection here is soooooo bad ... it's all romancey novels and vampires and generic thrillers. And Kitty Kelly's Oprah bio. Gonna read my beat-up old copy of Curt Siodmak's "Donovan's Brain" and hope for better pickins in Detroit.

Reporting soon from L.A.,


quilter1 12:10 PM  

I don't hate England. I like to visit there and am into history and literature. I plan to take my granddaughter there in a couple of years. And I don't really begrudge the British their party or Americans vicarious pleasure from it. But there is too much publicity here. Royals in other countries get married and maybe get a mention and photo in the Sunday paper. That should do it.

When Princess Di was killed my 10 y/o nieces were staying with me and my ex(thank goodness) SIL called in a panic that they would be very upset. They couldn't care less.

Also I agree William is not the P of W, his dad is. I saw that mistake too and forgot to mention. He might get to be if his father predeceases the Queen--likely.

CoffeeLvr 12:15 PM  

Everyone, feel free to skip this first paragraph (my rant for the week): Despite all my efforts to avoid the coverage of the 04/29/11 event (changing radio stations, turning off the telly, skipping pages in the newspaper) the NYT and Shortz must invade my private personal refuge. I thought the puzzle was supposed to avoid things that would turn a solver's stomach in the morning. Rex, I agree with you completely, but had to add my own rant. Also, way too easy for a Thursday. What kind of tournament was that in Boston?

Words I liked: DOWEL, FORGE, BRINK and BAMBA. I had Fleur de LiS and ITALi, so technically a DNF, but it was easy enough to fix this and Mr. Happy Pencil appeared.

@Rube, enjoy your escape to the Lake.

@Rex, safe travels. Based on my many trips in and out of Detroit Metro, don't expect much in the way of book selection there. Although, I must admit I was usually rushing to the flight or to the RAC shuttle, and rarely had time to browse.

JenCT 12:17 PM  

Bah! Had a mistake at 3D - wrote SER instead of REL & forgot to fix it.

I think the insane media coverage of the Royal Wedding is more a result of slow (other) news, while ignoring the more-important but less family-friendly news from Iraq and Afghanistan.

@Rex: have you tried the Kindle? It hasn't replaced books for me (I still enjoy holding & reading books), but it's wonderful for traveling.

Crosscan 12:24 PM  

Old home week? First you quote me and then Evil Doug shows up.

See you in LA.


Greene 12:25 PM  

I didn't like the puzzle either, but when I hear ROYAL WEDDING I immediately think of the 1951 Fred Astaire movie of the same title. Different wedding (Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip) but it's got that amazing number where Astaire dances on the ceiling. I'm sure most have seen it, but if you haven't by all means take a look. Perfect antidote to all of today's vitriol. Frankly, I've looked at this clip for more than 40 years, read all manner of articles about it, and I still have no idea how they pulled it off with 1951 film technology.

@Marilyn, uh I mean ACME: I too love the avatar.

Rex Parker 12:33 PM  

Left Kindle at home :(

But "Donovan's Brain" is pretty good. It's got stuff like:

"Her nose, short and turned up, showed a slight thickening of the ALAR cartilage, a sure sign that it had been worked on by a plastic surgeon."


"I knew women like this well from my years at the hospital. They have to have the admiration of a male before they can be at east with themselves. They are erotomaniacs [!!!], only happy as long as they are sure of a man's adoration."

"Erotomaniacs" also the name of WB's failed attempt to get into the adult animation market.


Dan 12:41 PM  

Andrea, CoffeeLvr: This wasn't one of the Boston tournament puzzles. Apparently that Puzzle 4/Thursday was similar to a recent theme and will run sometime in the future.

But yeah, today's was a huge waste of a Thursday puzzle. I will always defend DAAE though: it's the main character of the most popular Broadway show in the history of the world. If we have to remember EULA and EPPIE and other less prominent characters from long-forgotten literature, I want to see more DAAE. (p.s. everyone should also remember that the Phantom's name is ERIK)

mac 1:03 PM  

Where's is my Thursday puzzle?? I'm not getting up for this wedding, but I do want to see the dress. Put in Prince Charles for 30A, of course! I have lived in England twice, which I loved, but I'm not too enamored of the royals.

@Andrea: You could have put: Alta Catherine Middleton!

I don't quite see the problem with Eurail and euro: Eurail existed long before we adopted the euro.

KarenSampsonHudson 2:05 PM  

I agree--if royal wedding was on a Tuesday this puzzle would be a good fit. It was fun but I will be sleeping soundly at midnight PST, not watching the tv coverage from London! :-)

jberg 2:29 PM  

I love England (and Scotland and Wales), don't much like the monarchy; that's also true of lots of English people, in my experience. However, like Andrea, I enjoyed the theme density -- even while disliking the easiness of the puzzle. Guess I can't make up my mind.

ON the other hand, I thought EURE was fine - got it from the first E. I haven't memorized the departments of France, but they're often named for rivers, so it had to be Eure or Oise.

Good call on Prince of Wales, @syndy; @quilter1, William will be P of W no matter which ancestor dies first, unless they're both on the same plane or something.

I too had SLIMG at 12D, my other writeover was 56A, where the theme made me guess DOWRY.

So why did they run this today? I guess it was the hole in the Boston puzzles that had to be filled?

Norm 2:33 PM  

Actually, 17A is accurate. Charles is the Prince of Wales, but William is "Prince William of Wales" -- hence the "titular jurisdiction."

Glitch 2:40 PM  

A bit far from a harbour, so in honour of today's puzzle, I'm dumping some "Taylors Yorkshire Original Red" tea in the Wawayanda creek.


Kendall 3:04 PM  

It took me about a minute to realize what the theme was because I had no idea this wedding was tomorrow. I think I knew that it was happening soon but knew nothing more.

I get the dislike of Anglophilia, but you all seemed to really hate on the rest of this puzzle more than normal. I wonder if it's because you were already sour about other things? WEBINAR, END NOTE, PURIM, MASONIC, GONDOLA, etc. were all enough for me to at least enjoy some of this.

Here's to hoping for something more challenging tomorrow...

andrea carla michaels 3:14 PM  

Five years mandates a quiet ceremony in front of a parlor fireplace...
Then maybe a drunk uncle (Andrew?) can declare that Harry was Di's lover's child, and Fergie can streak thru.

Misguided tho I might be, I actually wouldn't defend this puzzle to the end...I just was tickled that their names had the same amount of letters and someone had noticed it.

I was, however, wrong that this was used in the Bossword tournament.

@Bob kerfuffle,
My friend Maria made me the fun Warhol avatar with some app (better that than the one that makes you look 500 pounds heavier)
Here's the drag, it looks like now that it makes me post under my real name or eats my post :(
Now THAT is a dilemma!

I too am off to LA...Joho's and my first collaboration is the warmup puzzle and I believe I am doing the play-by-play of the final, tho I should enlist @rex to do a point counterpoint with me!

Then just four days to get myself ready for @dk's visit...I wonder if they still sell patent leather shoes to go under my nun's habit...

miriam b 3:19 PM  

Heard the ultimate in idiocy earlier today. A woman (a stranger to me, thankfully) said that her daughter has borrowed her coffee urn in preparation for a party to parallel the royal nups. Gag me with a spoon.

I would have thought that my late husband's ancestors settled that monarchy and pageantry issue in 1776.

The current New Yorker cover, titled The Entourage, depicts the royal couple besieged by media and family.

Captcha: peredo. French dad's coiffure (accent grave missing).

sanfranman59 3:54 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)

Thu 10:06, 19:00, 0.53, 1%, (way, way) Easy

Top 100 solvers

Thu 5:47, 9:11, 0.63, 1%, (off the charts) Easy

Yeesh! This one's going to blow every other Thursday in my spreadsheet out of the water. We statisticians call this an outlier. So we've got at least two Tuesday puzzles this week and a Wednesday puzzle on a Thursday. I realize that tomorrow is the big event and all, but I didn't realize that I was doing the London Times crossword. Must the ridiculously overblown hype invade my leisure time also? Again, I say, "Yeesh!".

ksquare 4:03 PM  

@ Greene 12:25 Fred Astaire didn't actually dance on the walls and ceiling. The scene was shot by rotating the room clockwise and the camera counterclockwise. When he was dancing on the ceiling, it was the camera that was upside-down. Very ingenious photography.

DONALD 4:06 PM  

Lindsey Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Martha Stewart, O. J. Simpson, Branjelina, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Donald Trump, where do some of you live?

chefwen 6:39 PM  

@archeoprof - I'd pay money to see that hairline. LOL.

Catechist 6:58 PM  

Overall very easy but I got stuck on the collection of crosswordese at the SW (OKAPI, ALTA, and PERI).

I'm not sure I understand BLED ("Ran past the border").

CoffeeLvr 7:28 PM  

@Catechist, imagine a dyed fabric with more than one color. When you wash it one of the colors might bleed onto another, or run past the border between them.

Stan 9:12 PM  

I think @CoffeeLvr is right, but BLED is also a printing/typography term with a similar meaning: a picture "bled to the edge" has no margin.

A perfectly okay commemorative puzzle. The incidental fill suffers somewhat, as usual. The Anglophobic comments were funny, but I don't care much one way or the other. Good luck, William and Kate -- try not to let the celebrity machine eat you alive.

Arundel 9:43 PM  

Oh, Rex - my deepest sympathy. I can't even imagine traveling without an e-reader. We now own both a colorNook *and* a Kindle, so I've got something to read no matter the meteorological conditions. Nooks aren't visible in bright sunlight, and so far Kindles can't download library books (although Amazon promises they will) but I'm ready for any eventuality!

I don't much care about the royal wedding, but I did like 56a, Bounty holder. Obviously not Thursday-worthy, but at least there was a puzzle to do today, after seeing all the Boston tournament reruns!

Rex Parker 10:36 PM  

California, here I am.

Ran — and I mean *ran* — to make my connection in Detroit. Sat next to a lovely marathon runner and across aisle from the Loudest Lady In the World, who a. appeared never to have flown before, b. wore a teal fancy goin'-out sweat suit of some kind, c. Loved her Canadian Club, and d. carried on a loud conversation w/ her across-the-aisle neighbor about All Manner of personal things. At some point the plots of her conversation and the plot of my novel started to merge. Still, otherwise, the virtually everything from door (NY)-to-door (Santa Monica) was event-free, which is awesome. Gotta eat. Guest bloggers for the next few days.

Enjoy the Royal Wedding.


Pete 10:47 PM  

The blog isn't accepting posts from anonymice anymore. Host's decision, or happenchance?

Tobias Duncan 10:47 PM  

The only good thing about todays puzzle was sharing Rex's rage.
My heart is so full of hate, I feel it may burst...

Sfingi 11:31 PM  

Almost totally the same as @RetiredChemist.

Not a single Google, and it's Thur.

@Miriam - And, as a once said to a different crowd, with a different reaction, "We won that war." Actually, 1783.

Rex Parker 11:36 PM  

I know nothing of this No Anonymice thing. . . I'll look into it.

Pete 11:40 PM  

Anyone else not able to get Friday's puzzle online?

Rex Parker 11:42 PM  

Checked settings. Comments permissions set to "Anyone" (incl. anonymous users). Must be some weird glitch.

Tobias Duncan 12:05 AM  

No puzzle here either :(

Rex Parker 12:25 AM  

got my puzzle fine

sanfranman59 12:59 AM  

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 6:33, 6:53, 0.95, 30%, Easy-Medium
Tue 9:29, 8:56, 1.06, 69%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 9:05, 11:43, 0.77, 6%, Easy (6th lowest median solve time of 95 Wednesdays)
Thu 10:21, 19:00, 0.54, 1%, Easy (lowest median solve time of 98 Thursdays ... by far)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:26, 3:40, 0.94, 27%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:54, 4:35, 1.07, 74%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 4:40, 5:46, 0.81, 7%, Easy (7th lowest median solve time of 95 Wednesdays)
Thu 5:27, 9:10, 0.59, 1%, Easy (also the lowest median solve time of 98 Thursdays ... also by far)

Anonymous 1:10 AM  

But did you like the puzzle?

ameba carla michaels 1:49 AM  

3 hours till the wedding!!!!!!!!!!!!


Welcome (back) to CA!

Rube 2:08 AM  

I got the Friday puzzle with no problems. Won't have time to finish it tonight or tomorrow... sometime in the next 2 wks, hopefully.

@Chefwen, Bass fishing is on the itinerary! Received your recipe, thanks. It is in the file for dinners when I have 3-4 hours available for preparation... porcini essence & celeriac puree indeed.

treedweller 12:46 PM  

late getting back, but thanks to @Eric for the KINGANDQUEEN explanation. Now I will most likely forget it until the next royal wedding.

Anonymous 10:10 PM  

Well said, Rex.

Stephen 11:28 PM  

The USofA has a deeply entrenched culture of media-drenched over-attention to celebrities. I was agape as I read Rex's quote of Mark Oppenheimer… if you get up at 3 a.m. on Friday to watch the wedding on television, you are a traitor to your country. Can he be serious? I reread it to see if it was written as humor, but it does not seem so. Apparently, he thinks we are "traitors" merely for paying attention to a foreign spectacle. Gad. Is it treasonous to fawn over another nation's idols? Oppenheimer is raising American self-absorption to dizzying new heights.

for an American to be excited about the royal wedding is undignified and lame.
Just because of my nationality, would I be a better person if I got out the old dippy mags about Donald and Ivana? Puhlease!

Aversion to the alien is of course common, but repelling a signal event in the country from whom we inherit the major part of our historical, cultural, political, linguistic, and economic legacy is so adolescent it is mortifying. If we can't gawk at an innocent, unifying, harmless fairy tale from Britain, how can we hope to absorb the more difficult lessons of Libya, Yemen, China, Russia, Iraq and all those other places we stick our fingers? Someone save us from our uppity royal selves, please!

The British monarchy is a symbol of one of the greatest imperial powers of all time. Simultaneously (and not coincidentally!!), it is the end state of the long painful process of disciplining and civilizing the exercise of power. If you know nothing else about the last 1000 years of history, it should be the arc of evolution of government from absolute power to the pact of 1066 to the Magna Carta all the way down to the present House of Windsor. This is the flower story of the Western world; the US constitution is a mere snapshot at the end of it.

Half the world is watching the Willy & Kate show, which makes it not just a British tidbit but a curious phenomenon of world culture. Tiresome or not, it brings us no credit to pooh-pooh it just because it's not an American product. Oppenheimer is being puerile.

Cary in Boulder 1:28 PM  

Two minutes into this puzzle I knew Rex would hate it. Worse, here in Syndication Land this is month-old news that I didn't care about in the first place. For the record, on 4/29 I was in New Orleans for JazzFest and needless to say found WAY better things to do than watch some stuck-up sticky beaks wear silly clothes in Westminster Abbey.

Puzz would've been tolerable if there were anything at all clever about the theme answers. Otherwise, what everybody else has already said.

@retired_chemist: Spain is the reigning World Cup champ.

@acme: I guess "shitload" must be one of those metric measurements. ;-}>

EverAfter 2:30 PM  

@Stephen...I adored your post!
As I read all the fuming about the royal wedding I couldn't help but think how and why those who hate it all so much felt they were immersed in it. It's so easy to avoid news you don't want to read. The event is so harmless, so benign. As someone somewhere wrote, no matter how you feel about it, at least it's a ray of sunshine kind of news, rather than the usual horror headlines that make the news.
Lots of good laughs today.
And it's a Thursday puzzle, and I did it!!! Gotta be a 1st for this slow-witted chickie. How can I not enjoy that.
@acme, it's too bad you have to sacrifice avatar for acme's, but I know we all love the acme's even more.

Dirigonzo 3:27 PM  

I hope the assassination of OBL 3 days after the Royal Wedding didn't in any way spoil the Royal Honeymoon. And do you suppose the raid in Pakistan was deliberately postponed until after the wedding or was the timing pure coincidence? Hmmm...

@acm - "I wonder if they still sell patent leather shoes to go under my nun's habit..." - you absolutely kill me, kid.

Puzzle was easy but I still pooched the NW corner - must remember to proofread before declaring victory.

Anonymous 5:22 PM  

I also am a syndicated solver, so I'm late, but I'm disappointed that no one commented on the howler in the puzzle. Charles, not William, is Prince of Wales. William is Duke of Cambridge although he didn't attend.

Dirigonzo 5:44 PM  

@anony 5:22 - Everything I know about British Royalty I learned on this blog. The whole prince of Wales issue was discussed by the prime-timers above, and I think @Norm summed up best why the clue is correct. Also, I'm pretty sure the William referred to in the puzzle attended because he was the groom.

Joe, in Montreal 7:50 PM  

sorry to come in 6 weeks late but syndication and all, what? Anyways, when he was made Duke of Cambridge et c he was no longer titled Prince William of Wales. So this was an error in the puzzle at time of publication. Cheers, what.

Zardoz 12:53 AM  

(from the syndicated issue)

I know this won't see the light of day. So much for your "Freedom of Speech." But I'll say it anyway.

What a sad diatribe about the English. It's your People rag, et alia, that are running it.

Also re, & I quote, " *&^$ing France". Remember who gave you the Statue of Liberty?

You self-absorbed, egocentric Americans blow me away. You are such hypocrites.
And Rex's sheep confirm it.
(captcha: yarremat)

Heck, call NASA. The center of the Universe is just south of the border.
No wonder the rest of the world hates you, as you pillage its resources far & wide.
Don't get me started on NAFTA.
Yeah, keep building that wall to keep everyone out. Too bad you don't stay within it.
I no longer visit. If I fly overseas, I make sure there are no stop-overs in the US.
Your empire is going down. At least the British bowed out with some grace.

BTW, worried about the incursion of Spanish, via Mexico? Better start learning a Chinese dialect. They own you!
Also, amazing (NOT) how little you know of the cultures north & south of the US, let alone the world at large.
Just watch a Leno “Jay Walking” episode.
You don't know jack about your own country.

OTT (the Original Time Traveller)

PS: several posters noted the error at 51A. She will not be queen. Her titles are:
Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergus.

Well said, Chip Hilton, & especially Stephen 11:28 PM

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