Movie format of old / FRI 4-29-11 / ___ 2.0, Bill Gates's house / Where I-80 crosses I-35 / Provincial capital NW of Madrid / Alto preceder

Friday, April 29, 2011

Constructor: David Quarfoot

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Anapest (41D: "Au revoir," for example) —

An anapaest (also spelled anapæst or anapest, also called antidactylus) is a metrical foot used in formal poetry. In classical quantitative meters it consists of two short syllables followed by a long one; in accentual stress meters it consists of two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable. It may be seen as a reversed dactyl. This word comes from the Greek ανάπαιστος, anápaistos, literally "struck back" (a dactyl reversed), from 'ana-' + '-paistos', verbal of παίειν, paíein: to strike. (wikipedia)

• • •

Rex is off in LA, so you get a guest blogger today. Which is me, SethG. Hey, everybody!

I haven't been here for a bit. Did you miss me? David Quarfoot hasn't been around for a much longer bit, and I certainly missed him. And I know why.

So much fun stuff! When you start with SNOOKI (1A: TV star who wrote the novel "A Shore Thing", informally), and you end with SEXTING (63A: Got a little dirty, in a way), you know the puzzle's gonna have a current and informal vibe. And I like both of those things. Sure, you've got your standard old literary term, like ANAPEST, but you've also got a new literary term, like REFUDIATE (35D: 2010 coinage meaning "to reject"). For every dry word like OTIOSE (61A: Indolent), you've got a KERFUFFLE (5D: Tizzy) or a CAVEMEN (40D: Troglodytes). (Hi Bob!)

Some of the short stuff isn't exciting, as most 3- or 4-letter words aren't exciting, but there's nothing too bad. And a grid like this lives and dies by its longer, meatier stuff, and much of that stuff is terrific. The concept of a (39A: Hotel amenity) isn't exciting, but you don't see SHOWER CAP in the puzzle every day. I HEART is a 6-letter partial, but the clue (17A: Start of many a bumper sticker) revives it. And, my favorite, THE POSITION, which would be terrible if it weren't clued with (54A: It may be assumed).

Like I seem to do every time I'm gonna guest-blog, I didn't get to the puzzle until way too late. I started fine in the NW, where KENKEN was a gimme (15A: Diversion also called MathDoku) that gave me NEHRU (2D: P.M. who was father of another P.M.) and ONE AM (3D: What the ringing of two bells might signal on a ship). I HEART followed, and then I was on to the oddly literal PRAY FOR RAIN (19A: Devoutly wish a drought to end) and moving to the east.

My momentum slowed, and then slowed to a trickle, and then eventually stopped, with most of the bottom still unfinished, when I was almost too tired to brush my teeth. I successfully brushed, went to sleep, and woke up early to finish the puzzle and not watch The Wedding. And now I'm writing this for you, but I don't have much time before I've got to publish and go to work.

Short short version, I finished, with not too much trouble.

  • 38A: Game in which all pieces have four components (TETRIS) — this took me way too long to figure out. I think we've shown the Human Tetris here before, but probably not this version.

  • 45A: ___ 2.0, Bill Gates's house (XANADU) — I actually had a Z here for a while, and DR Z seemed just as possible as DR X for (37D. Bogart's only horror film title role, 1939).
  • 53D: Group whose name combines the first letters of its members' names (ABBA) — Of course. Yet my first answer was AC/DC, and I imagined that SECURED was a (57A: Kind of mortgage). I guess my mortgage is secured, but SUB-PRIME makes much more sense here. I wanted some sort of sculptor for (62A: One making a bust, maybe), but it's the straighter-forward DEA AGENT.
  • 54D: Palin boy (TRIG) — I considered TRYG, but then I refudiated it.
Signed, SethG, Royal Vizier of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]
[Follow Rex Parker on Tumblr]


Boston Brave Fan 8:03 AM  

Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

First we'll use Spahn
then we'll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

OldCarFudd 8:09 AM  

Astoundingly easy for a Friday. Tough, maybe, for a Wednesday.

dk 8:14 AM  

Unlike SethG (my city mate) I did watch the Wedding. I love the cars.

My solving experience was much like SethGs. One advantage is I am moving to St. Croix Falls in Wisconsin and that was a great prompt for 7D in an odd nontropical way.

54 across was a stumper until I corrected 48A to PGA from epa... blah blah blah.

My favorite IHEART is from the bumper of the RV in Space Balls it ends in Uranus.

*** (3 Stars) I wonder if Bill Gates will say Rosebud on his death bed.

dk 8:26 AM  

Catching up with yesterday

@evil Doug. Welcome back.

After watching the wedding I think I am going to make some alterations to my Stetson.

@andrea, Do we have to wear costumes? I will rent Everything You Wanted to Know About... to get some ideas. Hope your puzzles with joho is a hit.

Time for a nap.

Lindsay 9:06 AM  

This was the on-stage finals puzzle in Boston.

imsdave 9:08 AM  

I liked Beatrice's antler hat.

Although this was way to easy for Friday, it was an absolutely beatiful puzzle. How could you not like a puzzle with BobK in it? Add in the "Animal House" clip from Seth (first thing I thought of when I solved that), and that's a winner in my book.

And yes Seth, we have missed you (loved your fill-in work over at the LAT site, btw).

quilter1 9:14 AM  

I cruised along OK, but got hung up for awhile in the NE. Had HMO for medical initials and was sure that was right so that left me also wanting some brand of shoe for puma. Also had Dow Jones at 16A for too long.
SNOOKI is a TV star?
I am not praying for rain, we've had enough for now, thanks, and today is going to be nice. I do pray that the people of the mid south are spared any more destruction and that any who comment here are safe.
Thanks, SethG, for hosting. I like your writeups.

Tita 9:19 AM  

Though a DNF, the 95% I got was easy for Friday.

Liked OTIOSE- I learned that word when translating this clip from 1937...
Schnelle Strassen- Fast Roads...

Dictionary gave me OTIOSE for Müßig - now it becomes useful!

Enjoy the clip - it sompares two couples' driving experience - one on the new, sleek Autobahn, the other through those dull, dusty, bumpy, donkey-cart laden country roads... ;)

fikink 9:24 AM  

@quilter1 and my advantage in this puzzle was the crossing of I-80 and 35. Thus, I thought the ease of this puzzle was serendipitous. Good to hear others thought it pretty straightforward.

@Evil Doug is back? I will have to do some archive reading. Glad you are back, @ED!

Yes, Seth, we've missed you. Thanks for the entry into the weekend.

Confused 9:27 AM  

Isn't 'The Position' another character on Jersey Shore?

jackj 9:32 AM  

This was certainly one of the easier Friday puzzles of memory but it carved out new crossword trails as if Mr. Quarfoot was the Dan'l Boone of the puzzle world.

When six of the first seven answers are SNOOKI, KENKEN, IHEART, SAMADAMS, CINERAMA and PRAYFORRAIN you can pretty well assume you are in for a real treat.

Remarkably, those beauties are only place-setters for the best of the fill, REFUDIATE, THEPOSITION and SEXTED.

The xword envelope hasn't just been pushed, it has been jet-propelled into the 21st century with this one.

Wonderful, David Quarfoot!

imsdave 9:32 AM  

I think it's The Situation. Sorry I misspelled beaUtiful before.

OldCarFudd 9:34 AM  

Tita - Fascinating clip. Definitely not Cinerama. I've always thought those '30s Mercedes roadsters were handsome machines, but this is the first time I've seen films showing them as they meant to be driven, rather than schlepping Nazi bigwigs in a parade. Even so, there were overtones of goose-stepping propaganda. I wish my German were good enough to follow the background narrative - I suspect I wouldn't like it much.

Tobias Duncan 9:36 AM  

There is a wonderful internet meme floating around with a picture of SNOOKI and Carl Sagan.
Loved the puzzle, but it was a tough Wed at most. I should not be able to rip through a Friday like this.Is Will messing with us somehow? This is the second week of easy puzzles.Is anyone else waiting for the other shoe to drop?

JC66 9:42 AM  

DQ's long awaited return is a triumph and Seth G showing up is the icing on the cake.

Don't be strangers, guys.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:50 AM  

Ah, the Anti-Rebus! -- Unfortunately, I have a personal dislike for reading "I (heart rebus) whatever" as anything other than "I Love whatever." Saying "heart" aloud is just too precious.

Of course, I am obliged to love any puzzle that has KERFUFFLE in it. But as others have noted, there is lots more to like in this puzz as well.

Darn! Despite lack of interest, I happened to walk by the radio as the folks in London were singing "Jerusalem." Ever since I saw "Chariots of Fire," that song has haunted me, and now I can't get it out of my head.

Surprised not to see any negative reaction to SEXTED. I'm too old to have first-hand experience, but it says in the papers that lots of kids have gotten into serious trouble with that.

jesser 9:50 AM  

Shout-out to Bob! Cool!

Pretty easy puzzle. Only writeover was at 25D, where I first plopped in hmo, but the puma pounced on it and killed it dead.

I think it shows my age that 1D came immediately to mind. The younger solvers are still saying WTF, but those of us who remember actual records remember annoying SKIPS.

Here in southern NM, we PRAY FOR RAIN daily, as we enter Day 85 with no measurable precipitation. The Organ Mountains are on fire, with more than 9,000 acres charred already and seasonal winds whipping the flames.

'Assume THE POSITION' is a term I heard more times than I care to remember back in Mr. Coleman's office at Central Elementary School. He was a good principal and a stern disciplinarian. I think I liked it better when principals and teachers had control of the schools and classrooms. A few swats didn't kill me, but they taught me some lessons.

Pity TRIG Palin to have to live within that ungodly circus.

XANADU 2.0 is about as presumptious as one would expect from Mr. Gates.

I'm done now. I HEART Rex's blog, no matter who's doing the writeups! Thanks SethG!

Candh! (What you have to resort to when there is no fresh h to be found at the market) -- jesser

Tita 9:53 AM  

OLDCARFudd...use the Tags, and the description box in the lower left, to follow along with the narrative...
And yes - when I lived there, I loved that perfect symbiosis - big-a$$ German car on wide-open autobahn...

Saw a Lamborghini on the Mass Pike yesterday in Boston - made me feel sorry for the owner - it's pointless to own such a powerful car when there is virtually nowhere here that you can drive it as it's meant to be driven!

chefbea 9:59 AM  

Easy puzzle to do while watching the wedding of the century.

Good to see Kerfuffle in the puzzle again and welcome back Evil Doug

Anonymous 10:29 AM  

@Tina - There's a guy who owns a Lamborghini in my town, a car that's worth at least 200 times the value of mine. I take great glee in blowing past him on the road each and every time I see it, watching him slow down to 5mph at every pothole, dip in the road, every intersection. I've no sympathy for willful stupidity and waste.

GLR 10:31 AM  

Liked several clues that had me trying to decide which direction to go. Wanted "GUINNESS" first for 7A. Then when I got a cross or two, I started wondering if I should be thinking of fish or musical instruments. Couldn't make "DOUBLE DIP" or "USHAPED" fit for 60A, so I had to start thinking in non-economic terms. Outfoxed myself on 62A by thinking drug "bust" was too obvious, and went with SCULPTOR. Went through "PROPOSITION" and "SUPPOSITION" before I got into "THE POSITION."

Also liked the ? clues for HORA, PGA, and PTA.

Fun puzzle!

retired_chemist 10:34 AM  

More medium than easy here.

Overthought 33D. I knew the general paths for I-35 and I-80, so I looked for 4 letter cities in Iowa. AMES was the only one I could think of. It may (or may not) be true, even though it is not right.

MICRPOWAVE @ 39A, TODD @ 54D, CORONA @ 59A (OK, a CORONA may be part of the eclipse, but it is more fun to drink one than stare at one), and SOILED @ 63A all needed fixing. OTOH, PRAY FOR RAIN went right in and stayed.

Nice one as expected from Mr. Quarfot.

Stan 10:44 AM  

What a lively, up-to-date puzzle! We were just grinning in Boston watching the finalists solve this and trying in vain to keep up. SAM ADAMS (excellent clue) was a nod to the area.

Eager to hear about the L.A. tourney.

Mel Ott 10:46 AM  

Favorite wrong answer of the day: 17A HONK IF.

25D could have been either EMS or EMT. In fact Emergency Medical Service seems a little closer to the clue. To me, 38A could have been anything. Natick.

Matthew G. 10:50 AM  

As easy a Friday as I can recall, but extremely fun. The only place where it felt like a Friday was the NE, where TRADE GAP took forever to see, where I learned for the first time that AGAR, a word I associate with food, can be used as a culture medium, and where I stupidly had MINI for a long time instead of MANI.

{Common economic indictator} is an odd clue for TRADE GAP, I think, because the size of a trade gap tells you very little about the health of a nation's economy -- it's more of a specific fact about a nation's economy than it is an indicator of it (others may take me to task for saying so, in which case I will happily assume THE POSITION).

chefbea 10:56 AM  

Psst!!! Will the DK's and Acme"s dinner have the same fanfare as the Royal Wedding??? Will all the media be there???

Howard B 11:02 AM  

Great stuff all around.
Bob, I had a feeling you'd like KERFUFFLE in the grid.

Matthew - the clue only says that a TRADE GAP is an economic indicator in general, which it is, though your point is made. News reports will sometimes overemphasize or misinterpret the significance, but it can be used as such; the clue makes no claim to the correctness, only its common usage.

Often having extra knowledge in a particular area makes a clue paradoxically more difficult to decipher, I've found. No position-taking necessary.

joho 11:11 AM  

Loved this contemporary puzzle, so unconventional really for the NYT. Or maybe not, we're moving in a whole new direction!

Great write-up @SethG, I thought you were late due to your watching the wedding :)

Only blips were Doa before DRX and soLID before VALID. Nice and easy, perfect for solving while watching, you know what. (@ims dave ... that hat! Somebody should have stopped her!)

Nice to see KERFUFFLE!

Thank you, David Quarfoot.

Oh, @Evil Doug, I know you just popped in yesterday, why don't you come back?

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

I can only agree. This was the easiest Friday puzzle I ever saw. Finished it in six. (Hours? Minutes?) And it was just chock full of delightful words. I'm still jumping up and down I liked some of them so much.

quilter1 11:32 AM  

Yep, IOWA was a gimme, so much so I forgot to mention it. That crossing is only about a mile and a half from my house. I had Ibrake at first at 17A, as in "I brake for antiques shops."

syndy 11:34 AM  

followed sethg in the sw. acdc/etc. but I had (have) NO idea who(what) SNOOKI is and wtf is TRIG short for TRIGGER? who would do that to a child? knew Otiose and anapest and amazed myself that I did-refudiate is a new one-What is the etymology?anyone?

GLR 11:41 AM  

@Mel Ott: hand up here for HONK IF (then I BRAKE).

@jesser: given recent experience with BANDB, RANDR, AANDE, etc. I'm pretty sure CANDH is a brand of sugar.

Anonymous 11:44 AM  

@Sydney - Just Ms Palin trying to repudiate, or refute, the stupidity of naming her child TRIG. It came out as REFUDIATE.

Rex Parker 11:55 AM  

I like TRIG as a name. Just wish she'd named her other kids BIO, PSYCH, and P.E., so we could have a whole "My Junior Year of H.S." theme going.

Love seeing DQ back; wish puzzle had been DQier (i.e. thornier).

Fresh off my IHOP breakfast (one of the benefits of the Santa Monica Best Western—it's IHOP-adjacent). Calories printed on menu Really affects my choices, i.e. bums me out. But probably for the better. Ate only about 2/3 of my omelette, left most of my hashbrowns on the plate, and still feel quite sated. Entire pot of coffee helped.

College reunion in T-4 hrs. Not sure what to wear. Had an idea, but then Kate Middleton stole it.


Anonymous 12:02 PM  

Good to see NASCAR's Dick Trickle in the writeup

JenCT 12:07 PM  

I was so sure that SNOOKI(E) had an E at the end of it, that I thought the puzzle was a rebus at first - went looking for the others.

SAMADAMS went in immediately - that and Brooklyn Lager are my favorite brews...

Mixed up lots of AGAR during my Lab days.

Top 2/3 of the puzzle were a breeze, but the bottom slowed me down a ton.

Catechist 12:14 PM  

Agree with others that this was an easy Friday; the Fridays are usually beyond my ability but I was able to almost complete this without google help. NE was the hardest; I had AGAR and MAMA in there for a long time but just couldn't get anything the point where it made me wonder if I was wrong.

For some reason I had COPE instead of COTE for the sheep shelter which made getting TETRIS impossible.

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

Easy-medium is about right.

jae 12:50 PM  

Yes, easy and delightful except for NE which was more medium, although, I didn't have any write overs. I suspect Evil Doug is not really back.

John V 1:07 PM  

@BobKerfuffle: Emerson Lake and Palmer Re Chariots of Fire:


PuzzleNut 1:17 PM  

Not much to add. Definitely easy for a Friday, and definitely enjoyable in spite of being so easy.
I'm not sure how well known this blog is among constructors, but the Kerfuffle clue got me wondering if a "blogger-name" themed puzzle would ever be made. Probably too much of an inside joke, but just think how fun it would be to discover six or eight of our bloggers in one puzzle.

Helpful Guy 1:36 PM  

@PuzzleNut - IMSDave did one some months ago. It can be found here - Orange's island of lost puzzles.
Sorry, but blogger won't let me embed.

anapest calif mamacass 2:15 PM  

LOVED the puzzle, tho way too easy...
I learned stuff tho...didn't and still don't know OTIOSE, nor ANAPEST
(Thanks for the word of the day, Sethg and for your wonderful write-up!)

This tea-totaler couldn't parse SAMADAMS and thought Bass was a fish or musical instrument and SAMADAMS was one word, pronounced as an ANAPEST! SAMaDAMS.

Couple of other writeovers: fbi for DEA and started out with KAKURO instead of KENKEN!!!
IHEART Kakuros! It's my new (second) favorite puzzle.

STCROIX Falls, WI????? :( So much for growing old together! (You would have had me at STCROIX!)
Sethg, are you not going to fly out to help us re-create our fateful lunch? Something tells me I may need a chaperone! Actually got a MANI for our dinner, but no pedi, as I will be wearing aforementioned patent leather shoes under my burkha.

TWO Sarah Palin references and a SNOOKI, ABBA and MAMA CASS! I just loved this puzzle!

Isn't SANA actually SANA'A?

Is it possible you are actually funnier on the road? Have fun at your reunion. I have to IHOP on a plane myself!

Sparky 2:15 PM  

Cm'on, that was a humdinger of a wedding. Nobody does pomp like the English. Fergie's daughters have inherited her taste. Meow. Enjoyed evry minute and then went back to sleep. Oh, Jerusalem is what Monty Python would burst into.

The puzzle: DNF which is no surprise. Solved most of top and bottom but empty in the middle. Do not like THEPOSITION. Hated being paddled in sorority and stopped it when I was Vice Pres of chapter. They immediatly resumed after I was graduated. @Bob. Hi Bob. I agree re IHEART. Just say love for Pete's sake. @quilter1.We had I Brake for Antique Shops on our VW Beetle. Those were the days. Have a good weekend one and all .

chefbea 2:16 PM  

@puzzlenut I had IMSDave's puzzle printed on a T-shirt with the two words chef and bea printed in red. I wear it to all crossword functions. It actually was my avatar for a while

chefbea 2:22 PM  

@puzzlenut If you e-mail me I'll send you the foto of me wearing the puzzle shirt

quilter1 2:30 PM  

Oh, and I also had fold at first for COTE. I think of doves in cotes, not sheep. That's all, folks.

PuzzleNut 2:37 PM  

WOW! Thanks for the info @Helpful Guy. Thought I finally had an original idea for a puzzle, but I'm a day late and a dollar short (story of my life).
Tough puzzle, even for a regular to the site.

JaxInL.A. 2:45 PM  

Is there something about that SE corner? Today's LAT puzzle has SEXES in the same spot.

I laughed out loud when got KERFUFFLE from _E____F__. Great fun.

I guess I didn't miss SethG here because I try to get over to the LA Crossword Confidential site as often as I can. Is PG all moved and settled in now?

I have to confess that I listened to some of the royal wedding overnight when I could not sleep. Given the antipathy to the event here yesterday I feel quite out of step. My daughter recorded it and I agreed to watch it with her tomorrow.

Safe travels to all coming to L.A. for the Tournament! Weather is warm and gorgeous. Don't forget the Festival of Books at USC all weekend, too.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge 2:56 PM  

“Metrical Feet”

Troche trips from long to short.
From long to long in solemn sort
Slow spondee stalks; strong foot! Yet ill able
Ever to come up with Dactyl trisyllable.
Iambics march from short to long;
with a leap and a bound the swift anapests throng.

Gil.I.Pollas 3:13 PM  

We're on the road and I'm about to lose any juice my computer has but...
@anapest Calif mamacass. I laughed so loud when I read your post, my husband wanted to pull over and grab his breath!!!!
Loved this puzzle and loved the write up. Happy day today and I'm not (sigh) wearing a hat.

sanfranman59 3:16 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 9:42, 12:51, 0.73, 8%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Fri 18:59, 26:06, 0.76, 10%, Easy

This makes 3 straight super-easy puzzles (based solely on online solve times, of course). I'm fearing what Will may have in store for us tomorrow.

CrazyCatLady 3:20 PM  

Lots and lots to like today, especially that I was able to finish a Friday NYT. CALIF and FELINE were nice too.

@imsdave the antler hat was great, or is it an antler fascinator?

@SethG Thanks for subbing.

@RP Have fun in Claremont.

thursdaysd 4:19 PM  

Well that's a bit depressing! I've been doing the crosswords and reading the blog and comments for quite a while, and I think is the first time I've finished a Friday with absolutely no help and only a pair of write-overs (Bonn-Bern for Aden-Sana - which I expect to be Sanaa) and then I read the blog and find out it's an Easy. (I grew up doing English cryptics and still have trouble with the sports and entertainment clues here.)

Chip Hilton 4:52 PM  

Goodness, but the word Bass presents a ton of options. The fish? The shoemaker? The musical instrument? The choral section? Took me forever to get to the beverage.

...and didn't Kate make a lovely bride?

chefwen 5:24 PM  

@quilter1 - Had I brake in before I heart also, as in I brake for NENE.

@syndy - If you don't know who SNOOKI is, you are a much better person for it.

@bob K - you are certainly getting a lot of ink lately.

Third easy Friday in a row, I am loving it.

michael 5:33 PM  

The very first thing I wrote in was Ames, thinking for once living in Iowa is an advantage since I know where I80 and I35 cross. (I see retired chemist, presumably not from Iowa did the same thing). Then I did the rest of the puzzle, but found myself stuck in the section near Ames. Then it came to me that I80 and I35 meet south of Ames (in Des Moines, I think), wrote in Iowa, and finished the puzzle.

My problem was that Ames is the only town in Iowa that regularly shows up in the puzzle.

Lindsay 6:02 PM  

@syndy, @chefwen .... On the train back to the Alewife commuter lot last Saturday I overheard a conversation about whether the BCPT champion was embarrassed, or should have been embarrassed, to throw down 1A SNOOKI without any crosses.

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

Must be an easy Friday. Filled half of the puzzle before needing some googling. Then finished with no problem. Had LOOSE for 49D instead of GOOSE but otherwise the rest was correct. No idea what SAMADAMS (or SAM ADAMS) is. And why THE POSITION is the answer to 54A?
But it is always fun to finish a FRIDAY.

mac 9:26 PM  

Extremely easy top half for a Friday, somewhat tougher bottom half. Nice to see Kerfuffle, hi Bob!

Don't like ebb tides, DEA agent and The Position very much, but the rest was pretty good. Did not feel like a Friday, though.

Thank you Seth, really good write-up, and Rex, have fun and don't get into any fights at the reunion! They can be stressful.

Anonymous 9:40 PM  

We also have a wrong usage of "it's." You can blow all the rules of grammar but you cannot blow this one. It's simple. It's means it is.

Camilla PB (Duchess of Something or other) 12:27 AM  

It was a lovely wedding, was it not? And a lovely puzzle as well. I attempted to solve on the way from The Abbey to BP, but found too many Yank cultural references. I awsked His Nibs (PC) for assistance, but all he could manage was "Snooki." Fairly typical, actually.

sanfranman59 1:38 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)
Fri 19:05, 26:06, 0.73, 8%, Easy (8th lowest median solve time of 99 Fridays)

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)
Fri 8:45, 12:50, 0.68, 7%, Easy (7th lowest median solve time of 98 Fridays)

Doh! ... I screwed up on my midday post and entered the Top 100 numbers for the All Solvers and vice versa. Self-flagellation will commence presently.

jberg 1:19 PM  

I solved this one quickly on Fridaay, but had not computer access until today. In case anyone still reads this, I'm a bit surprised that everyone seemed to like CALIF, when a few days earlier PENNA produced complaints.

I agree about SANAA, everything else has been said already.

dls 3:41 PM  

A little too much Sarah Palin and Jersey Shore for my puzzle enjoyment.

Lurking, Just Behind You! 1:59 PM  

@Camilla PB - Heee - Freeekin - Larious!!!

thanks for that roaring belly laugh from syndicationland.

Dirigonzo 8:15 PM  

Once again a failure to proof-read before declaring victory did me in - left soLID in place of VALID at 47a so I was left with CAsEMEN and ANoPEST for the crosses, which I should have caught. Even so, any Friday puzzle that I can come that close to finishing must surely be an easy one for the prime-timers even though it was not easy for me. SAMADAMS still looks wrong even though I drink it.

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