Hardy red hog / FRI 7-29-11 / Item in lick race / Bygone theaters / Old Civil War eagle mascot / Princess Disney duck / Lethally poisoned ruler

Friday, July 29, 2011

Constructor: Paula Gamache

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none


Word of the Day: DUROC (28D: Hardy red hog) —

Duroc pig is an older breed of American domestic pig that forms the basis for many mixed-breed commercial hogs. Duroc pigs are red, large-framed, medium length, and muscular, with partially drooping ears, and tend to be one of the most aggressive of all the swine breeds. (wikipedia)
• • •

This puzzle basically has one answer in it: EDIBLE UNDERWEAR (3D: Tasteful bedclothes?). Every other answer may as well call it a day and go home. Bonus points for driving that answer straight through both TAIL and CHERRY. Good thing STICK and MOUNTER (54A: Tire shop employee, at times) are way over on the other side of the grid, or my delicate sensibilities might have been offended. Small amount of difficulty with the OPEN TOE (43D: Showing some polish?) / MOUNTER section, and somewhat greater amount of difficulty with most everything in the vicinity of DUROC (which I've seen before, but not for years; I certainly didn't remember it at first). Some of the longer answers are nice. AUDITOR'S REPORTS (40A: Opinions about books) and INTEREST RATE CAP (6D: Borrower's protection) are zzzzzzzzzzz but CHERRY CHAPSTICK is pretty kicky (58A: It can make for fruity kisses) , and I do like TOULOUSE LAUTREC (as an artist and an answer) quite a bit (33A: Capturer of fin-de-si├Ęcle France). I had to hunt down a stupid error: had NTRB instead of NTSB (10A: Pipeline accident investigator: Abbr.). I think I had NLRB in my head. And possibly NRBQ.





Started very fast, with CLEO (1A: Lethally poisoned ruler, familiarly) and CATS coming instantly. Got EDIBLE UNDERWEAR off just the ED- and tore up the west coast from there. SW corner is a thicket of ugliness that took a little effort to sort out, but CHERRY CHAPSTICK came quickly thereafter, and then it was just a matter of running short stuff through the long stuff until the long stuff fell.

Bullets:
  • 16A: Item in a "lick race" (OREO) — "What is 'EDIBLE UNDERWEAR,' Alex?"
  • 30A: Princes ___ (Disney duck) (OONA) — there really is no good way to clue OONA, one of my least favorite xword answers.
  • 36A: Barker who pitched a perfect game in 1981 (LEN) — on my short list of "Guys I Know Of Named LEN"; see also LEN Deighton.
  • 39A: ___ poco (soon in Sorrento) (TRA)TRA, like OONA, never good. Sometimes necessary, but never good.
  • 44A: Singer with a wide range (WREN) — didn't know range was a WREN thing. Nice not-clearly-avian misdirect with "Singer."
  • 60A: Elaine ___, first female Asian-American cabinet member (CHAO) — astonishingly, the Best of the four four-letter answers down there.
  • 9D: Parker who was one of the original faces at Facebook (SEAN) — I really can't be bothered to care about or remember anyone except Mark Zuckerberg. Maybe the Winklevoss twins.


  • 24D: Old ___ (Civil War eagle mascot) (ABE) — news to me. Assume he was named after the Pres.
  • 57D: Bygone theaters (RKOS) — studio had its own chain of theaters.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

93 comments:

lit.doc 12:17 AM  

Brava, Ms. Gamache! Interesting, fun, and, for me, very challenging puzzle. Thanks. And congrat’s on persuading Will that EDIBLE UNDERWEAR is (are?) good for breakfast!

Onanistic pat on the head to me for 1) finishing a Friday puzzle, and 2) for doing so in twenty minutes. Oh, yeah, and 3) with margarita in hand (and several more in head).

Final tweak was 62A INTO to ONTO.

Funnest clue was the (near as I can tell) original OREO clue for 16A. Nice. That one slowed me up a good bit as I was imagining a tie-in to 3D, but couldn’t get the crosses to work.

Wendy Caster 12:18 AM  

This is the quickest I've ever done a Friday. I would be more excited if I thought it was my brilliance rather than the puzzle's surprising (to me) accessibility. But, hey, it's only 17 minutes into Friday, and I'm done.

Mike Rees 12:23 AM  

I was all excited about finishing a Friday crossword in such great time, until the app said WRONG. What?! I was so sure ... Turns out luck ONTO was correct, not luck INTO. Clue beat me on "Showing a little polish", for sone reason o thought OPEN TIE made sense. Oh well ... there's always next week.

CoffeeLvr 12:43 AM  

I luck ONTO a lot of my answers, and tonight I lucked onto this fun puzzle. So many pleasant things/events in the grid. Thanks, Ms. Gamache!

kirble 12:47 AM  

I guess Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" was too racy for the NYTimes:

"I kissed a girl and I liked it.
The taste of her CHERRY CHAPSTICK"

syndy 1:05 AM  

CCCM/MIRR made as much sense to mr as not so DNF but hey a PAULA G friday I was awfully close!NERTS CHEW CRUNCHY (OKAY I'm not going there)

jae 1:18 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. No real problems except INON for INTO and OOLA for OONA at first. Fun puzzle! NERTS, EDIBLE..., CHERRY...., lots to like.

bucksix 1:56 AM  

Took me quite awhile to remember under WARE was not under WEAR. Maybe next time.

I skip M-W 2:39 AM  

Not bad, but certainly erotic subtext, from Cleo all the way to lock onto, not forgetting Toulouse Lautrec's favorite theme of prostitutes. I'm not sure about tailgate parties or trick or treating, but why not? i'm omitting what others have commented on. Then there's swell and subside, arm, leg and limb. But perhaps this enough of an auditor's report.

andrea cowrite michaels 4:01 AM  

From the woman who brought you SKINNYBITCH...EDIBLEUNDERWEAR!


And the fact a woman wrote it makes it more kicky and erotic and sassy than creepy!

EIGHT 15s crisscrossing each other, fancy schmancy!

And TOULOUSELAUTREC is having a bit of a resurgence between this puzzle and the Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" cameo...but not on this blog apparently.

Nice little parallel between CLEO and ACAST of thousands...


waaah, one square mistake: OPEN TiE
drat, but i see i'm not alone in locking ONTO that...and there's REALLY no excuse considering TIE is even in the grid at 49A

Ah, just noticed 38A ____-Twist and 49A Twist -____! Nice twist, Paula!
Thanks for this dance

Anonymous 5:38 AM  

I also preferred "into" to "onto" (though I didn't quite get "open tie") until realizing that "tie" appeared elsewhere in the puzzle clued me into my mistake.

Gill I. P. 6:48 AM  

I always like P Gamache and, as usual, she did not disappoint me on this fine Friday puzzle. The only thing I didn't like was that I finished too soon!
My favorite long answer is CHERRY CHAPSTICK; it sorta goes with the "theme" here.
I remember when EDIBLE UNDERWEAR were the craze in the late 70's. The jokes that ensued (especially of the fruit flavored kind) were funnier than hell. I still remember some but I'm too lady-like to repeat them!
Another answer I liked was SOEUR 27D. It gave me an excuse to call my step-mom - who is French - and she gave me the answer right away. We also had a nice long chat over recipes et al.
No NERTS here; really a fun, fun puzzle.
Thank you Ms. Gamache.

shrub5 7:09 AM  

Sped right along on this one, as happy as a clam that I was doing so well on a Friday puzzle. No googling, no dictionary. Unfortunately finished with two errors (boohoo), the aforementioned OPENTIE/INTO and Princess OOLA the duck (sounded right to me.) I didn't know NERTS from LERTS. Liked UMP and REF for maker of calls x 2. And TYPO for unlucky strike. More kudos for all the long intersecting answers. Fun!

Chris 8:20 AM  

Take exception to love and luck onto. It's always luck into

And what on earth is MRE field fare

Chris

jberg 8:36 AM  

There's so much to say about a puzzle with EDIBLE UNDERWEAR, but Rex said it all, so I won't. As for OONA, I'd have gone with a Chaplin clue, but maybe that's seen too often. At least I learned some new Italian!

David L 8:37 AM  

Easy-medium??? Not for me. Just not on my wavelength at all, and I finished with INTO instead of ONTO, like some others (yeah, I know OPENTIE doesn't make sense, but I couldn't come up with anything better).

ONEACRE is pretty random (lawns come in a variety of sizes, in my experience). Ditto with CCCL for mid-century year.

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

And the "fruity" in the clue is clever for the Katy Perry cherry chapstick reference.

Nancy in PA 8:57 AM  

Now I'm going to have that Katy Perry song running through my head all day...for some reason TRICKORTREATING was the hardest for me as I kept trying to force ghost writing in there...loved all the clue misdirections, and the original one for OREO. Great puzzle.

joho 8:57 AM  

@Chris, think in military terms: Meals Ready to Eat.

I really enjoyed this because it was interesting and also very accessible. My only write over was Top to TIE. I didn't know SOEUR but no Natick there with LEN.

Thank you, Paula ... you boggle my mind pulling off 8 15's!

Z 9:04 AM  

Thanks for the She & Him video, Rex. M. Ward is wonderful, but Zooey Deschanel always wears CHERRYCHAPSTICK in my mind.

I did my usual slow Friday start until TOULOUSE and LEN gave me EDIBLEUNDERWEAR. This immediately reminded me that Mr. LAUTREC allegedly made up for his short stature by being swell in other areas.

I finished with three lucky guesses, bARDS or CARDS, and NERTS sounded like complaint although I'm unfamiliar wit the word - but lEsTs was just as likely to right. I'm not up with any of the Duck family after Phooey. Also, I left _nto until OPENTOE decided between the i and the o. It is lock onto and luck into as far as I'm concerned, so one of those had to be wrong.

Cheep 9:17 AM  

@Rex

FWIW, I assumed the *wide range* of the wren clue was geographic, not vocal.

P>G>

Anonymous 9:59 AM  

Someone please explain how 350 is a mid-century year if a century is100 years.

DESievers 10:10 AM  

I don't think I've ever heard the phrase "luck onto" uttered, and if I've ever seen it written, it was unmemorable. Boo on this clue!

jackj 10:15 AM  

Paula, Paula, Paula, what a beauty you have wrought!

The 15’s were delightful, led by, (of course), EDIBLEUNDERWEAR, with CHERRYCHAPSTICK a tasty, palate cleansing runner-up.

A slightly less aggressive, PG-rated way to look at the “chewy unmentionables” answer comes in Janet Evanovich’s latest “Stephanie Plum” novel, “Smokin’ Seventeen”, (still on the current NY Times best-seller list).

When Lula and Stephanie concoct a plan to discourage b.f. Morelli’s advances by outfitting Stephanie in ugly “Granny panties”, they end up not serving the intended purpose but do become EDIBLEUNDERWEAR when they are eaten by Morelli’s dog, Bob. Much hilarity ensues.

Just what Friday puzzles should be-- lively, challenging, witty, fun, charming.

5 stars for Paula!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:17 AM  

Fun puzzle, even if I was one of, apparently, A CAST of thousands who finished with INTO rather than ONTO, solving on paper.

@Anonymous, 9:59 _ 350 was a mid-century year of the fourth century!

Kurt 10:18 AM  

Great Friday puzzle. For me, the long answers came quicker than the fill. I wrote in TAILGATE PARTIES with no crosses. After ON RYE and OREO, I had BY POPULAR DEMEND and TRICK OR TREATING. That sort of opened up the whole puzzle.

I liked this one a lot. Thanks, Paula.

chefbea 10:21 AM  

Great puzzle although DNF

There's a song we hear in NC all the time by Tim McGraw called Felt Good on My Lips. He gets lost in a cherry lip gloss. Great song. Go hear it on You tube

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

@Andrea - You did mean kicky and not kinky, right?

KarenSampsonHudson 10:30 AM  

Checking in briefly while on vacation in the lake country of west Michigan. I must be addicted---first of all to your blog, Rex (Michael), and secondly to the NYT crossword! I've felt the pangs of withdrawal so have jumped through some hoops to get the puzzle and to enjoy your column.

Karen 10:38 AM  

I love Paula's puzzles. This one was very easy for me for a Friday, with just a couple of maybe's - duroc and soeur. Yesterday's "up" puzzle was much tougher for me.

Two Ponies 10:47 AM  

Lots of fun today.
Some of the fill was slow to complete even though the long answers were there.
Early on tried rotater before mounter appeared. Don't think I'll be throwing that term around any garages though.
I was looking for something more old-fashioned or countrified for nerts.
Cherry licorice almost fit but the RKO theaters showed me the way.
Thanks Paula for a fun Friday.

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

Is Lirr something widely known or do I just need to get out more? I had CCCL, Chao and Oh Ho in for Oh Hi. But then I live in Kansas.Otherwise the puzzle was great and pretty easy for Friday.

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

Anon @ 10.54 -LIRR is widely known to those of us who schlep to NYC daily for our jobs. In fact one
of the first I popped in.
Easy puzzle for a Fri.; hoping next week's contest has puzzles like this one. Thanks Paula!

Dorothy 11:04 AM  

@Anon 10:54 LIRR = Long Island RailRoad. Probably not a topic of discussion in Kansas, but you really shouldn't be in Kansas anymore anyway.

Z 11:07 AM  

Anon@10:54 - I'm guessing LIRR is the Long Island Rail Road, but perhaps someone from the NE could confirm.

retired_chemist 11:23 AM  

Hand up for luck INTO - the error I finished with. Bah.

Stuck with INSP(ector) @ 10A for almost the entire puzzle. Kept me from getting BOSE @ 13D and the long downs in the E. HTG for Princess OONA and then give up on my ghosts doing some kind of WRITING.

Did not like this puzzle but only because I was not on Ms. Gamache's wavelength. it actually is a solid puzzle with interesting fill and NOT A LOT of clunkers. NOT A LOT was ITTY BIT in my INSP period btw.

Thanks, Ms. Gamache; may I do you prouder next time.

JenCT 11:34 AM  

For Chicken feed, I immediately put in SCRATCH (too literal!) before changing to NOTALOT.

Liked TYPO, PAINT, EGOS, BUS.

Never heard the term NERTS.

foodie 11:38 AM  

What a Friday should be!

And Rated R, though the constructor is PG...

I made some comment about sexy underwear under a business suit earlier in the week. Ms. PG takes it to a whole different level.

Stan 11:47 AM  

Fun puzzle!

ONTO is like the flaw left in the tapestry to show lack of hubris.

[Smiley face]

slypett 12:01 PM  

At first this puzzle played hard-to-get. But I cozied up and got her going. From then on, it was "Wham.
Bam. Thank you, ma'am!"

Thanks, Ms. Gamache. It was fun.

cultaxj: call a taxi, in Romanian

mac 12:07 PM  

I second Andrea's critique.

For me the only struggle was in the East. Wanted "own a tie", some form of ghost writing, although "reading" seemed more likely for the end of the answer, and only now realize who MLK is, d'oh....

Fun Friday!

Mel Ott 12:25 PM  

Does EDIBLE UNDERWEAR qualify as an MRE? Probably shouldn't be giving the Pentagon ideas.

I wanted RYE for 'Ham's place' at 22A, but it was already taken at 15A.

JaxInL.A. 12:31 PM  

Held on too long to the idea of CHERRY licorice for that fruity kiss, even though it clearly didn't fit. That SE corner gave me much trouble, but I managed to finish without help.

I cheered when I saw the constructor. Loved it. Fun observation about the R rated puzzle by Ms. PG, @foodie.

deerfencer 1:32 PM  

Tour de force by everyone's favorite naughty puzzle girl--loved it!

A bit surprised @ Rex's writeup, which seemed blase (almost dismissive) in comparison to the energy and excellence of the work.

IMO this is everything a contemporary puzzle should be, and more. 4 stars!

treedweller 1:42 PM  

"lock into (in to?) a contract" OK
"lock onto the target" OK
"luck into a windfall" OK
"luck onto ?????" WTF?

I thought the same as Rex about the dry long answers, though now I think most of them seem peppier than I did when solving. AUDITORSREPORTS and INTERESTRATECAP remain pretty damn dull.

I caught the into/onto thing at OPENTOE, but decided to guess Xhao/CCXL. One of the worst random Roman numeral clues in a while, if in fact it's possible to have some that are not completely awful.

But overall I liked it. I didn't like like it. An odd mix of bright fill, blah fill, and the real crap already mentioned by others. Possibly my fastest Friday ever (mistake notwithstanding), as what seemed like implausible guesses for the 15s kept turning out to be right.

John V 1:44 PM  

@Mel Ott, MRE=Meals Ready to Eat. New version of K-Rations.

Played medium hard for me. Finished with no mistakes ...BUT... realized after I came here that the D in Duroc was blank! Grrrrr.

This was one of those puzzles which, after the first pass through, I was pretty impressed with all the white space -- certs.

NE played WAY hard for me, NTSB/OREO/BOSE just didn't come easy. Cherry chapstick down South took a bit of time, too. Oops. Sorry for the double entendre. Won't do it again.

And so how come Will didn't tweet about 3D?

Masked and Anonymous 2:05 PM  

Have this bizarre image of old Toulouse Lautrec going trick or treating wearing cherry lips, open-polished-toe shoes and edible underwear, and wandering into a Packers tailgate party.

Fave clues= "Unlucky strike?" (shout out to smokers) + "Showing some polish?" (MetaSneaky!)

Fave fill=CCCL (could just see the vein in 31's neck bulge) + DUROC and SOEUR (could feel the vein in my neck bulge)

Fun stuff. Thumbs up.

andrea carla, carly, carlo 2:06 PM  

One other mention, as a non-sports gal, I had LE- Barker.
I originally put in LEX
(LEX Barker was a former Tarzan and I thought maybe had been an thlete before...PLUS he rhymes with Rex Parker!)

Then I tried LEo! But now I realize how many men's names start with LE?
LEe, LEn, LEo, LEs, LEw, LEx!

I wonder how many other names you can do that with!!!

Lev Grossman 2:21 PM  

Andrea, don't forget me!

(from The Los Angeles Examiner:)

Lev Grossman is the author of the international bestseller Codex and TIME Magazine’s senior book critic. He also writes for the blog Nerd World, where geek culture is king (as well it should be – le roi s'amuse.) But it's Grossman’s latest book, The Magicians, available in the US on Tuesday August 11th, that really got the attention of The LA Books Examiner.

Anonymous 2:31 PM  

Luck onto a good deal...

Michaela 2:37 PM  

LIRR: No way this native Californian was going to luck ONTO that one in this (non-mid)century. Bleh.

I think I've been seeing the word DUROC on fancified menus lately, so that one came to me once the D and U were in place.

dk 3:00 PM  

Ha! After EDIBLEUNDERWARE and MOUNTER I was off to the cold shower amidst dreams of a certain... never mind.

**** (4 Stars) a LOL start to the weekend. I also like the fact that Rex wants to put an A on your shirt.

And I am sorry... if I am driven my car and I turn on the radio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5PoIrcyd34

dk 3:01 PM  

that would be drive-in

ANON B 3:02 PM  

I still don't get it. What is edible underwear and why does Rex say it's basically the only answer in the puzzle?

dk 3:05 PM  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzSubVOrn48

Another great version... off to the Polk County Fair

dk 3:10 PM  

Acme this versions for you:
http://www.greektube.org/content/view/52970/2/

1 post over the line.

Anon at 3:02... your kidding, I truly hope and pray.

fergus 3:18 PM  

My tire guy was a ROTATER for a while and EBB TIDE seemed OK for Opposite of swell. Also wondered whether Mexican chickens would eat NOPALES? I have stars and !!!s written all over the margins -- well worth the $2 I forked out.

ANON B 3:29 PM  

DK at 3:10

I'm not kidding, and thanks for all your help. I hope I see you
on the road some night with your car broken down-I'll give you the same help.

efrex 3:47 PM  

What a blast figuring out all those intersecting 15s. Needed almost every cross for TOULOUSELAUTREC, but all the other ones fell pretty quickly. Love getting long answers with only a few crosses. Like just about everyone else, had INTO before ONTO. Also had NOTHING before NOTALOT, but otherwise just kept plugging along.

Brava, Ms. Gamache!

John V 3:48 PM  

Re: LIRR. Indeed well known, but, for this Grand Central Terminal commuter, slow to come. I was thinking PATH, IRT, Amtark, etc. I rarely get to NYPenn.

Chip Hilton 4:10 PM  

INTO here. Never heard of luck ONTO. That being said, OPENTOE is the obvious crossing choice.

Enjoyed all the 15s, struggled on much of the puzzle, but finished with just the one error. Good Friday, Ms. G.

sanfranman59 4:15 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 24:11, 25:52, 0.93, 38%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Fri 13:07, 12:48, 1.02, 61%, Medium-Challenging

michael 4:39 PM  

Very easy for a Friday for me, but probably not everyone's first answer was Len (as in Len Barker). I had lock into at first but open toe was obviously better than open tie and I changed to onto right away.

syndy 5:39 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gill I. P. 6:55 PM  

ANON B
Edible underwear was a silly craze that, I believe, started sometime in the late 70's.
I don't know how to embed to show you a sample but I'm sure if you Google it, you will find all the info you want.
Good luck!

I skip M-W 7:00 PM  

My worst memory of the LIRR was when it ran over my dog when I was ten; he had run away from home. But it turns up in a fair amount of literature, such as The Great Gadsby, though I don't recall whether Fitzgerald mentions it goes into Penn Station, on the West (far) side of Manhattan, which is because it was once owned by The Pennsylvania RR. In a couple of years it will go into Grand Central anyway (or is that also).

Cheerio 7:04 PM  

I agree that the Toulouse Lautrec answer was especially nice if you have just seen Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. The fact of Lautrec as being tied to a historical period matters in both the clue and in the movie.

Sean Parker is potentially more interesting than M. Zuckerberg. It seems so improbable that he cofounded the hugely successful Napster while very young and yet *not* (I think) becoming a millionare off of that due to the legal issues, and yet later becoming a millionare off of Facebook despite *not* having been the initial inspiration for that - well, it just seems so improbable. I mean he had relevant experience for Facebook undoubtedly, but it's seems odd for lightening to strike twice, let alone once, to someone so young.

Stan 7:20 PM  

@Cheerio: Nice comment on Sean Parker! I couldn't paraphrase it but I do understand it.

Frank Blunt 7:20 PM  

@ dk, Gil. I. P., and everyone else,
We all know that ANON B is that old dude who used to post here under another name. He is hopelessly bewildered by life beyond 1950 so probably truly cannot imagine panties you can chew. Don't bother trying to enlighten him. He almost disappeared but still lurks from time to time.

ANON B 9:02 PM  

@Frank Blunt

Thanks for your kind words.

To Rex: Are Frank's remarks about
me the kind you think are accept-
able for this column?

Anonymous 9:57 PM  

@Anon B - I asked the same question on Wordplay and they said I was kidding too. I bet you dollars to donuts that nobody here or on Wordplay has ever seen, worn or eaten edible underwear. Yet they all act they know what it is. Nice to see you again, Nate.

ANON B 10:19 PM  

@ANONYMOUS:

Thanks for the kind words.This has really upset me. I looked up bed clothes in GOOGLE and a dictionary and it is always defined as bedding. I wear my underwear to bed but don't think of it as bed clothes. So I had a fixation.
That doesn't call for the kind of garbage that Frank Blunt spewed.

gookwaffle 10:32 PM  

can someone explain the answer "MRE" to "Field fare, briefly"?

it's the only answer i don't understand.

thanks.

Frank Unapologizingly Blunt 10:33 PM  

Can you say "out of touch"?
That's all I'm trying to say.
Drink your warm milk and go
to bed.

retired_chemist 10:43 PM  

@ gookwaffle - MRE - meals ready to eat, a military term for food for soldiers who cannot be served from a mess. It has bees asserted that it actually stood for "Meals rejected by Ethiopians."

Anonymous 11:39 PM  

Actually, I am a retired (female) school principal and the female staff gave me edible underwear for my 50th birthday. So, I have seen it. Will never tell the rest of the story. As for the staff giving it to me, you have to understand that these were middle school teachers. 13-year old behavior is contagious - but, oh, so much fun! It was one of the first clues that I got and it brought back such a funny memory.

Anonymous 11:42 PM  

Realized that I had better clarify. I, the anonymous at 11:39, am not the same person as the previous anonymous (es?) Otherwise, it gets pretty confusing.

Anonymous 1:55 AM  

How do you spell a_h_? FRANK BLUNT.

sanfranman59 3:11 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 6:44, 6:51, 0.98, 48%, Medium
Tue 8:36, 8:55, 0.96, 44%, Medium
Wed 13:32, 11:53, 1.14, 83%, Challenging
Thu 25:13, 19:10, 1.32, 93%, Challenging
Fri 24:02, 25:52, 0.93, 37%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:40, 3:40, 1.00, 51%, Medium
Tue 4:12, 4:35, 0.92, 24%, Easy-Medium
Wed 6:18, 5:52, 1.07, 73%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 14:52, 9:19, 1.60, 98%, Challenging
Fri 12:58, 12:48, 1.01, 59%, Medium

Dr W 10:34 AM  

OONA is often clued as the name of Charlie Chaplin's wife, not a difficult one.

gookwaffle 11:04 AM  

thanks, retired_chemist!

michelle 2:13 PM  

I thought I was gifted. Almost done with no cheating. But... duroc??? Nerts???? No fair!!!!!

Anonymous 4:31 PM  

Nerts? Yuck. Opentoe? Excellent.

Tita 6:55 PM  

Children - behave!!!
What an absurd hissy fit by whoever Frank Blunt is.

Good grief...

cody.riggs 12:58 AM  

I'm gonna come right out and say it: This is my favorite Friday of the year. I didn't find it easy. Medium-Challenging, yes. I see the stats back me up on this.

You had me at EDIBLEUNDERWEAR, which was the first thing I entered.

The "E" in that gave me CHERRYCHAPSTICK, but quite possibly only because I just heard that "kissedagirl&Ilikedit" song while playing pool the other day...

The rest of it, not so easy.

The interlocking 15's come in pairs, with a most beautiful symmetry of subject matter; the related subjects always cross:

2 fun pastimes: TAILGATEPARTIES/TRICKORTREATING
2 obviously kinky answers:
EDIBLEUNDERWEAR/CHERRYCHAPSTICK
2 artsy answers:
BYPOPULARDEMAND!:TOULOUSELAUREC!
and 2 boring econonomic mouthfuls:
INTERESTRATECAP/AUDITORSREPORTS

Brilliant construction. QED (which wasn't in the puzzle.)

Hand up for ROTATER at 54a, which I was going to HOWL at, had it actually been in the puzzle. Mea culpa! MOUNTER is fine in this trollop of a puzzle!

Portland, Ore.

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

Kicked it off with ON RYE, and from the Y got BY POPULAR DEMAND.

Filled in the baseball man next...was pretty sure it was LEN Barker, but LEM Barney was right next to him in my head so I checked 3d for the cross. Edible underwear, I chuckled to myself upon reading the clue. That would give me the N...but in no way did I expect that to be the actual answer. REF and COWRITE gave me two more matches, though, so I charged ahead with it, and whadya know, it stuck. EDIBLE UNDERWEAR, in 3D.

Center gave me my only errors. I wasn't 100% sure about the A in LAUTREC, and when I came up with SET UP as an introduction I figured PORES were weight factors (well, they kind of are).

Tomorrow I will attend my first TAILGATE PARTY of the year, after which I will watch the sprinting of Andrew LUCK ONTO a football field.

Anonymous 12:03 PM  

There is a memorial to Old Abe in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He was a civil war unit's mascot, and reportedly flew overhead during battles and screamed (encouragement?).

Minnesota Guy

Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com 2:10 PM  

Loved this one! Ended with the iNTO error, and also with LaMBS instead of LIMBS (because I dislike cross-referenced clues and/or was too lazy to look at what 22 and 38 across were).

Reading the cat fight between ANON B, Anonymous and Frank Blunt, it struck me how rare pissy missives are here. Considering the number of readers, it's kind of surprising.

rain forest 3:05 PM  

@Deb
Actually, I find it surprising at the number of very nit-picky comments (though not hissy fits) that appear daily. Luck onto, as a deal, is common. LIRR, even for a Canadian, is logical. Nerts, another American expression, now out of the language, is known. I could point out such tidbits every day, but why?
Anyway, the puzzle was close to a tour de force, in my opinion, and I even appreciated that "tra" was not "song syllable".

Ingue Elmer Fudd looks good ----

Dirigonzo 7:53 PM  

Fun, fantastic Friday puzzle, laugh-out-loud write-up by Rex, and some pretty outrageous comments (e.g., "Cherry Chapstick down south...") to complete the enjoyment - I loved this puzzle!

And while I agree with @Rain Forest 100% re nit-picky comments, I'd like to add that I luck ONTO answers all the time, so no problem whatsoever with that clue as far as I am concerned.

Thank you all - P. Gamache, Rex and commenters for a wonderful Friday experience!

(It seems there is a significant Canadian contigent developing here in syndiland - nice.)

Anonymous 5:27 AM  

Finished with Google help and 1 letter wrong: hand up for INTO. On looking back, I admit I should've seen OPENTOE, but hadn't yet put in the P at 46 so was working across. Yeah, there are plenty of things one can familiarly "lock into" as well as "lock onto." But "luck onto" is just something I've never heard in speech--or seen in writing (till today). You can luck into a cushy job or an inside straight, but I've never lucked onto anything. It didn't help that, at the time, I had AUDITORSREMARKS--I figured that fit the word "opinions" in the clue. After I saw that I had to change to ...REPORTS, I wondered about that. An auditor's report is NOT an opinion. It is a collection of facts. Perhaps included as an unofficial addendum to such a report may be a few remarks, like cost-cutting tips, maybe--and that's what I thought it meant.
NERTS always makes me think of Larry Linville's Frank on M*A*S*H. I like the before/after combo of ARM-twist-TIE, and the LIMBS tie-in. HAY at 34d slowed me down till I could no longer deny our short French friend. Lotta French stuff today: DEBUT, SOEUR and even the first four letters of 58a: CHER.
There has to be some kind of booby prize for OHHI, doesn't there? That's a stretch that Plastic Man couldn't make. Reminds me of an old encyclopedia door-to-door sales pitch in which you were supposed to say (when, back then, the wife was 90% likely to answer): "Oh, hi. It's the Mister I wanted to see." Sounds like you know the guy, so she gets him up front, and you're off. I know, I hated myself. Didn't last a month.

Today's v-word is pateract: the reason your dad can't see so well.

Red Valerian 3:53 PM  

Late Canuck syndi-solver. I enjoyed the puzzle, though I had to google for Plattsburgh. Did you know there's a War of 1812 museum in Stoney Creek, Ontario? Yup, same number of letters.

People are awfully nit-picky on this site, but that's kinda fun. Myself, I don't mind learning new things, plus I have a built-in rationalization for not getting some stuff--it's a crossword in a foreign country, after all. (Thanks for not minding all us interlopers, @Dirigonzo :-)

Loved all the long answers. And loved lots of the comments (pissy ones aside, and you're right @Deb that people are mostly good). Rather embarrassed to admit that I didn't see all the, um, blueness until reading here!

Dirigonzo 6:11 PM  

@Red Valerian - you are definitely not "interlopers" from my point of view; I think of you as part of the amazing global community that Rex has created. I would NEVER attempt to do a puzzle with clues related to foreign pop-culture so I'm really impressed by solvers "north of the border" who contribute comments here.

I seem to recall that Ed Muskie, a U.S. Senator from Maine who ran for president back in the '70s got in trouble for using the term "Canuck" - is it PC now (outside of hockey circles, of course)?

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