Baseball general manager Billy / THU 9-15-11 / Emmy-nominated sitcom of early 1970s / Org employing Ethan Hunt / Sailing enthusiast informally

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Constructor: Samuel A. Donaldson

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: CORNER LOT (35A: Prominent location to build on (as suggested by this puzzle?)) — rebus puzzle where every corner square contains the word HOUSE


Word of the Day: ARECIBO Observatory (2D: ___ Observatory, home of the world's largest single-aperture radio telescope) —

The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope near the city of Arecibo in Puerto Rico. It is operated by Cornell University under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The observatory is also called the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, although "NAIC" refers to both the observatory and the staff that operate it. // The observatory's 305 m (1,000 ft) radio telescope is the largest single-aperture telescope (cf. multiple aperture telescope) ever constructed. It carries out three major areas of research: radio astronomy, aeronomy (using both the 305 m telescope and the observatory's lidar facility), and radar astronomy observations of solar system objects. Scientists who want to use the telescope submit proposals, which are evaluated by an independent board. (wikipedia)

• • •

Dang. This felt easy, and yet my time was actually a little slower than normal. I guess the few well-placed, insane answers were real time-eaters. ARECIBO is gibberish to me, so that took some doing—and it intersects E-BOAT (28A: W.W. II attacker), which was a total prayer (had to be some kind of BOAT, right?). I have never, ever heard of "ARNIE" (31A: Emmy-nominated sitcom of the early 1970s). Never. Ever. Emmy-nominated, you say? Was ARNIE a YACHTIE? (61A: Sailing enthusiast, informally) Does anyone, anywhere, openly call himself a "YACHTIE?" And if so, how does he keep from getting punched in the face all the time? Theme was OK, but not terribly exciting as rebuses go. Part of the reason this one felt easy was that once I got the theme, the other theme answers were very easy to pick up. No mystery, no challenge, no layers. Just HOUSEs. CORNER LOT is an interesting revealer, I suppose. A very solid puzzle, but one that didn't excite me much.


[Wow. Co-starring Sue ANE Langdon!]

Theme answers:
  • 1A: It's better than prison (HOUSE ARREST)
  • 8A: #1 on Bravo's all-time "100 Funniest Movies" list ("ANIMAL HOUSE")
  • 1D: Always going outside? (HOUSEBROKEN)
  • 14D: Vacationer's help (HOUSE-SITTER)
  • 62A: Help (HOUSEKEEPER)
  • 63A: Place of learning (SCHOOLHOUSE)
  • 37D: Gets rid of everybody, say (CLEANS HOUSE)
  • 43D: Place where people work for beans? (COFFEE HOUSE) — that clue doesn't work even with the "?" They work *with* beans. Too cute.
Got the theme early, in the NE, after realizing that there's no way a movie called "ANIMALS" could be the funniest movie ever without my having even heard of it. Whole corner went down easily and then "ARNIE" stopped me cold. Went back to NW and knocked it off easily except for the aforementioned ARECIBO, which required every cross. SW was a piece of cake. Had minor trouble winding my way back up to the center because I opted for PASTOR instead of CANTOR (45D: Hymn leader) and couldn't figure out how CES could be right for 52A: 1900s, e.g.: Abbr. (CEN.). Fixed that, then took down the SE (with the only question being "is YACHTIE really a word and how does one spell it?"). Worked my way up til I had "ARNIE" surrounded, and that was that. "R" in "WRITE-IN" was the last letter I wrote in, I think (27D: Kind of candidate who's rarely successful).


Bullets:
  • 27A: Good call letters for Radio Disney? (WALT) — another clue that feels weird. I get that radio stations often start with "W," but Radio Disney isn't that kind of radio station. It doesn't have call letters. So there are no "good call letters" for Radio Disney, as the term has no relevance to them. Thus you are asking the "?" to do a lot. Again, too cute.
  • 51A: One on either side of the St. Gotthard Pass (ALP) — That is an interesting name for a saint.
  • 55A: Org. employing Ethan Hunt in film (IMF) — "Mission: Impossible" involved the International Monetary Fund? Wow, I really wasn't paying very close attention.
  • 60A: Seven-time major-league All-Star Alfonso (SORIANO) — one of those answers that's going to be a gimme for baseball fans and gibberish for others.
  • 7D: Publication with a 1997 headline "Drug Use Down Among Uncool Kids" ("THE ONION") — I forgot they've been around so long.
  • 24D: Big eyes, metaphorically (SAUCERS) — Cute. Not too cute. Just cute. Thumbs up.
  • 48D: Baseball general manager Billy (BEANE) — pretty timely, since he's basically the protagonist of the book "Moneyball," the movie version of which comes out next week.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

86 comments:

Evan K. 12:09 AM  

I worked the puzzle the other way around: ARECIBO was my first entry into the grid (It is a place I want to see in Puerto Rico..) and HOUSE was about the last thing to come in. Knew there was a rebus somewhere, but it took me a while to figure out exactly what.

Agreed vs. SORIANO.

Re: Disney: Either WALT or WISH. That's an odd one, especially if it's not really true.

Had an instinct for several clues today: ALP, THE ONION, even NON-UNION and SENECAS. Easier than a typical Thursday for me.

Tobias Duncan 12:15 AM  

I got the rebus at 1A(well I had HOME but I fixed it pretty quickly). I am sure lots of you did as well but for me this was a HUGE deal. I dont hate rebus puzzles anymore, and I can see that one day I may grow to love them.
The rest of this puzzle was easy in spots and flippin brutal in others. Great clues but lots of stuff I just did not know.The stuff Rex mentioned and a few more.

Geez I just looked at Evan K.'s post. I actually thought that no nunion was some old timey phrase.


Billy Beane and Alonso Soriano are of no more interest to me than the Gilmore girls.
I bet Will would never let two Gilmore Girls questions cross like that.

Anonymous 12:21 AM  

There can be no complaints about Billy Beane, as while I was solving this puzzle two commercials for Money Ball aired on Comedy Central. If you're not solving this puzzle with The Daily Show on in the background, you're a friggin Commie and deserve to go down in ignominious defeat.

SethG 12:34 AM  

COSETS was my first answer. THE ONION was my second. ARNIE was my last. I had ROOMS in the corners before I had HOUSES. That made it harder than it should have been.

You know who was an abider? The Dude.

lit.doc 12:39 AM  

Brutal Thursday. Finished with an avoidable error—8D ASCHER crossing SIBEYES in NE. The moment I read the clue for 8D I knew it wanted the 13th sign, but fell short of the cusp. Just now ran the alphabet (which I shoulda done half an hour ago) and finally saw 16A STEAKS. Thou shalt check thy work unless in the lists.

Tough sledding early on. SW corner finally came together, which gave me the rebus. Bulk of the solve time was spent in center-East, though there were plenty of speed bumps throughout:

24D PEEPERS led to some strange possibilities for 35A PORN…

4D DNA, obviously. No? Ok, RNA. No? Oh. Rats!

45D “BATTLE hymn” felt so solid.

Does baseball-crossing-baseball (or any sport, for that matter) = Natick? Total SWAG on the N for SORIANO/BEANE.

50A “SKEE balls”, right? No?

Fav clue: 58A, needing to know that Mt. Holyoke isn’t coed. 59D MHO was a WTFill for me, which didn’t help. “OHM? No, that’s resistance”. File under 101 esedrowssorC.

Least fav: 41A SEE INTO. Please. Answer was not that hard to clue. ABIDER also sucked—act of desperation, I assume.

Gary K 12:40 AM  

Like SethG, I quickly filled in COSETS, but that's because I know the erroneous clue is getting entrenched in the NYT puzzle database. A coset usually is _not_ a subgroup. In fact if a subgroup has 10 cosets, only one of them is a subgroup, and the other nine definitely are not. I think other math nerds will raise the same objection.

Aaron 12:49 AM  

Subgroups are cosets, of course. It's just that cosets (usually) aren't subgroups. Someone should make a crossword full of math words (clued well!).

lit.doc 12:55 AM  

@Rex, LOL at your observation re 51A. If it helps, and if I recall my French correctly, “Gotthard Pass” means “not a goat herder”.

@SethG, right arm, man!

syndy 1:02 AM  

MIO ABODE; MEA ABIDE...IBID! Once the HOUSES fell-pretty quickly too -everything else slipped into place-excepr ARNIE? Is this proof of alternate realities?did it get an emmy and then die after two episodes?BEANE/SORIANO well.. crosses and the "N" was mostly inferable but WIL come on! CULDESAC was nice

arecibo corner michaels 1:37 AM  

ARNIE! Herschel Bernardi, Sheldon Leonard! (Or Sheldon someone) I think it was on after "All in the Family" back in the day.

I've seen the show, but it was zero help. I've written sitcoms, and it was zero help. But the crosses were fair, as they say...

The baseball thing played a huge factor when you are doing this puzzle as the final puzzle in a tournament.
Once again, anyone who could lay down either SORIANO or BEANE would have a huge leap in that corner.
Those of us who had to get it painfully one letter at a time and not even know if it then was correct is brutal, and once again why many of the top finishers are men, as this not-so-subtle bias remains unchecked.
As my fellow competitor said to me,
"It's still a man's world"; at which point all I could do was count the letters to ITSAMANSWORLD
(13) and try to think of a fitting theme, as I like that song.

Boy, girl, no matter, as I was ten minutes plus into the puzzle, the hotshots had left the room before I even realized it was a rebus.
Once I did, the houses fell
(luckily none landed on me)

jae 2:29 AM  

Yes for needing all the crosses for ARECIBO.

@Lit.doc --Yes for DNA which made this easy-medium for me. Once I fixed it the rest was pretty easy. I liked this one. Pretty clever rebus.

@Andrea -- Yes to being a guy and knowing both SORIANO and BEANE.

Oh, and TBILL before TNOTE.

CoffeeLvr 3:23 AM  

@Syndy, great observation on the echoes in the entries.

SENECAS crossing CULDESAC got me into this puzzle. I spent a long time wandering around trying to figure out where and what the rebus was. Got it at CLEANED(HOUSE)KEEPER.

I liked the puzzle a lot. The whimsical clues were okay by me for COFFEEHOUSE and WALT.

Guessed right where the two baseballers cross, actually had some sense that BEANE sounded right, after BrAgg was clearly not going to fit. (In more ways than one, LOL.)

@ACMe, I agree with you about the gender bias, but not sure what would balance it.

acme 3:56 AM  

@coffelvr
Alas, ain't nothing gonna balance it, probably, but awareness is at least the first step.
Creators and editors can maybe keep biases in check...or at least this might shed some light on why all the competitions favor male solvers, by and large.
(no non-pc pun intended) ;)

Ron 7:07 AM  

Major quibble with the theme clue. Since when is a corner lot considered prestigious? In my neighborhood, they go for about 30% less per sq. ft. because they have less privacy. A corner "office" sure, a corner lot not so much. I say "Boo".

dk 7:41 AM  

ARECIBO was foreign to me (insert boy am I funny chortle about here) and I never heard of Arnie or the winsome lass who apparently was a star of the show.

Under the category of loose associations grilled RIBEYES and CHIANTI go well together.

A first for me is I got the theme first and that alone merits:

*** (3 Stars) woo woo

Now for the deets. This one took me 66 minutes as I did not go with my gut. For example I said to myself NOTTHAT, no NOTHAT, and of course it is NOTTHAT. I am training folks to be confident and resilient... well you know what they say... shoemaker's children and all.

Finally only in this CEN would we have an action hero from the IMF.

Looks like we have hoarfrost this AM in Western WI. Time to switch to my winter black Resistol.

Glimmerglass 7:44 AM  

The rebus came pretty easily (it's Thursday, after all). I liked drawing a little box/roof in the corners. Pretty normal Thursday. Never heard YACHTIE, and I've lived on Martha's Vineyard 50 years. They must have been blown up by the dreaded EBOATs.

arlene 8:05 AM  

This one was hard to get into - kept thinking that this is still just Thursday, and there's no way that I can't do this puzzle. And then the SW corner - thought it could be CLEANSE - but then the lightbulb went off, and the rest fell into place.

Lesson to myself: persevere!

Z 8:11 AM  

@Lit.doc - yes, it is a Natick. I got it easily, but I'm practically breathing baseball right now with my team on an incredible hot streak. But RP is right, not a fan makes SORIANO gibberish (and if you are a fan you have to wonder, "seven times?")

@Acme - a possible other explanation for the male dominance of top-solverness is that between our extra testosterone (nature) and conditioning (nurture) my gender is much more focused on competing and winning. There are times (usually Fridays and Saturdays) when I feel the bias is more towards women, but I could be wrong as I'm going on impression rather than reviewing past late week puzzles.

@Ron, the clue is "prominent" not "prestigious" so the clue works.

I like this puzzle, didn't get the rebus right away, but I did get it early so the solve was fairly straight forward. Had ARECIvO at first, so EvOAT was a ??? moment or three. EBOAT is still a ??? moment. I once read every young adult WWII book in the Herrick Public Library and cannot recall ever coming across EBOAT.

Like Rex, I also started out with my pAsTOR leading hymns which led me to pA- at 45A, making RUNAWAYS hard to see. Unlocking that error is what finally let me unlock the SE, my last section to finish.

captcha - amusner - a good Thursday Puzzle

Z 8:20 AM  

Googled EBOAT and came up with Wikipedia article on Schnellboot. The "E" stands for "enemy" apparently. Definitely trivia.

@Glimmerglass - ditto on the little drawings.

joho 8:24 AM  

Does an ABIDER live in an ABODE?

I got the rebus quickly which helped me to fill in the CORNERLOTs easily but, as @Rex mentioned, there were several sticking points.

For some reason I knew SORIANO but not BEANE but the crosses filled that in, no problem.

The most difficult cross for me was ARECIBO/EBOAT. Both a big ? for me.

One of my favorite answers was CULDESAC but its clue was trying too hard I thought.

All in all I really enjoyed this Thursday rebus ... thank you, Samuel A. Donaldson!

No BS 8:31 AM  

Stumped by baseball Natick. Sorialo, Neale, and nasal all seemed pretty plausible. Oh well.

Conductance is mathematically the reciprocal of resistance. So the conductance of a 100 ohm resistance is one one-hundreth of a mho. Some physics wag decided that "mho" is the "reciprocal" of "ohm" (Georg Ohm was a early physicist). Either that or conductance is named after Groeg Mho.

As a longtime sailing enthusiast I can add some insight on the term yachtie. Rex is right that the term is very rarely used in the US. But for whatever reason the rest of the English speaking maritime world uses the word yacht in a class-neutral way, merely as the basic term for "pleasure boat." If an American sailor used the phrase, "I've got to get back to my yacht" he would almost certainly be speaking ironically. A New Zealander (ask your wife, Rex?) would say the same thing with an entirely straight face, no matter what the size or level of grandeur of the vessel. And, yes, the people who live and travel on sailboats and other cruising boats (not unlike the RV crowd in a lot of ways), outside of the US, do describe themselves, unironically, as yachties. (Americans of this ilk, including myself, tend to use the word "cruiser" for this purpose, focusing on the activity rather than the conveyance. That term has caused a bit of confusion for me at times, especially in South Florida, where cruising means something a bit different in some circles.)

Not quite sure about this clue/answer pair, though, since it is not reasonable to expect American non-sailors, or even most American sailors to know this usage. But it was pretty evident from crosses.

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

In the original TV series, Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) headed the Impossible Mission Force, or IMF. Did the International Monetary Fund even exist then?

jesser 8:58 AM  

I got lucky with the B at BEANE/BASAL, because I surely considered an n.

E BOAT? Really? WTF?

I got the trick at ANIMAL/HOUSE/SITTER and the rest went reasonably quickly, although I accepted EBOAT/ARECIBO totally on faith that I had the crosses correctly filled.

Writeovers were T bill before T NOTE, raF before IMF (never saw the movie) and Rna before RAT.

Rex, I must say I don't like the idea of punching a YACHTIE in the face, even if s/he used that exact pronoun in self-reference. Maybe spray the snob with seltzer water? Maybe pilot an EBOAT alongside and fire a cannon full of cat shit? (That would require said YACHTIE to hire a HOUSE KEEPER.)

MMMMM. RIBEYES and CHIANTI. Suddenly the dinner menu is not a mystery.

Happy Thursday all!

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

Arnie Nuvo!

jackj 9:28 AM  

This one just wasn't cooperating for much too long until some hard thought, while contemplating the blank square at CLEANS and KEEPER, turned on the light that was HOUSE. After that, the corners were obvious and the rest of the puzzle filled in like a Monday, (ARECIBO excepted).

The reason I was dabbling in the bottom left quadrant at all was that SORIANO and BEANE were gimmes and that made the whole section a piece of cake.

Seeing Billy BEANE immediately brought to mind how he had famously (infamously?) proposed in Moneyball that Red Sox All-Star Kevin Youkilis should be honored as "the Greek God of walks", (Youk is Jewish).

Favorite non-theme entry was CULDESAC.

We should also note that there was a prominent gender equalizer for the beleaguered Acme with the Mount Holyoke clue for ALUMNAE and the Sailing enthusiast clue gave all practitioners of puns and doggerel a new super hero, "the naughty YACHTIE".

Rex Parker 9:28 AM  

YACHTIE very familiar to wife, who grew up in NZ (and OZ). Seems like maybe the clue needs regional marking. Also, wife Naticked by the baseball. As soon as she told me, I thought "Oh, right... you are not going to be the only one."

rp

David 9:32 AM  

Got the theme all the way down in the SW with CLEANSHOUSE, and as Rex said, pretty much all other rebus clues fell into place, though COFFEEHOUSE came a bit slowly.

Huge Cubs fan, and though most of Soriano's big years were as a Yankee, this was obviously a gimme, along with BEANE (see the promo ad every day).

Had ALUMNAE right away but wouldn't write it in b/c I never heard of MHO. Wanted RHO, or OHM, or REL, or something else. Also never heard of ARECIBO or ARNIE (wanted Maude), but enjoyed many of the other 7-8 letter answers. One quickie writeover, CAN over CAB for Rear. Another fun Thursday puzzle, about average time for me....

David 9:36 AM  

Travelled around Australia and NZ for about 8 months after college, and an added E syllable, often with an IE spelling is very common Down Under. A person from Tasmania is a Tassie, an umbrella is a brolly, a pastry/pot pie is a pastie, an Australian is an Aussie, etc. I washed boats and yachts in Sydney for a few weeks, so YACHTIE wasn't 100% unfamiliar, though it didn't come to me immediately.

Lindsay 9:47 AM  

Well, I'm female and BEANE was my first answer in. Unfortunately, instead of staying on track with SORIANO, I skipped over to 58A ALUMNAE (gender bias neutralization?) which led to 49D LILAC crossing 63A aCademy, at which point progress came to a crashing halt.

So a little slow to gain traction, but liked the puzzle fine. Never heard of ARECIBO.

evil doug 9:57 AM  

Starbucks baristas get a free pound a week---so they work for beans (and tips, and health care, and not much else).

"Archer": New season starts tonight after "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia". Must see TV.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,—
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Evil
The other bard....

Gill I. P. 10:07 AM  

Had Elam before EDOM, Carmine for CHIANTI and U-boat before E BOAT.
I love me a good ole Thursday rebus and want a smile when I figure it out. This puzzle was just fine but the smile came from reading @lit.doc and @dk.I might have a tiny issue though with paring a CHIANTI with RIBEYES. Give me a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon any day of the week. If I had a YACHTIE, I'd wave from the poop deck and invite every one in to share my LUCRE.

quilter1 10:26 AM  

My first entry was CHIANTI, sad to say. Got the rebus at ANIMAL House and wanted to draw little houses in the corners. After that it went fast. I just guessed the "n" in the baseball Natick as the most likely letter. It was ARNIE, which I never heard of and the fact that I entered ALUMNAs and didn't question it that led to DNF. But it's all OK, I was happy I got most of it and liked the rebus.

My only quibble is SEE INTO which I thought was awkward. I think look into is more common.

wations: Elmer Fudd's food allotment

chefbea 10:30 AM  

Got the theme right away but got stumped on quite a few others. The clue for culdesac should have omitted "with". IMO.

We have a corner lot and love it. There's always a breeze.

hazel 10:38 AM  

I for one like the irony of SORIANO crossing BEANE. I havent read Moneyball, but am familiar with its premise - and Soriano has got to be one of the least "undervalued" players out there! $19M this year! for a left fielder!! with a Yankee attitude!! ouch, @Cubs fans.

I've come to like rebuses, but not so much the predictable ones with the same word in the same spot. kind of takes the drama out of the solve. Lots to like elsewhere though (not ARNIE).

OldCarFudd 10:46 AM  

I've heard "yachtie" used in a humorously disparaging way, a sort of nautical equivalent of "the horsey set". A weekend sailor who's all spit-and-polish-and-procedure-and-fancy-clothing might be called a knotty yachtie,

Rex, I'm familiar with St. Gotthard's pass, and have been through it, but I guffawed at your comment!

Two Ponies 11:01 AM  

This took forever to gain traction. I was irritated that most of the three-letter answers (that might have gotten me going) were abbrev.'s. Grrr.
Thought 8D might have been Cancer clued in a way that would get it into print.
Loved @Rex's comment on the saint.
If it ain't Billy Martin I don't know him. This solver cries Foul!
@ Gill I. P., Try marinating your ribeye in olive oil and Italian herbs. Then it would go well with chianti.

Two Ponies 11:10 AM  

@ Andrea, Maybe the male bias is unintentional or perhaps the men want to feel intellectually superior but the only way they can do it is by stooping to useless sports trivia.

jberg 11:11 AM  

Finished with a really stupid error - left pAsTOR in and forgot to check the crosses, (probably because SORIANO and BEANE were pure guesses for me) leaving me with the meaningless CEs at 52A and pAN at 45A (suddenly I get it - when you're knocked on your CAN, etc.)

First time a rebus actually made it easier for me - since the revealer told me where the rebus squares were. So it would have been a snap, if I'd only checked myself.

Also, I would have had AnNIE for the sitcom, but fortunately had WALT already, so I knew better.

I really didn't like ABIDER/ABODE, really two forms of the same word, even if clued as different words. And since I still don't know what an EBOAT is (unless you're playing battleship on your computer), I wanted EBOla for 28A, imagining some kind of germ warfare.

Bassetwrangler 11:28 AM  

Arecibo has been featured in the movies Contact with Jodie Foster and GoldenEye. I was pleasantly surprised that Animal House (my favorite) beat out more recent and IMO less deserving comedies like Knocked Up.

MountainManZach 11:36 AM  

@EvilDoug You forgot stock options, tuition reimbursement, living wage and benefits extended to partners (even same sex). Whenever people bitch to me about how it shouldn't cost so much to get hot water poured over beans, I feel it necessary to point out 1) that's not all you're paying for 2) you have other places to procure coffee and 3)shut up.

I can honestly say that of all the employers I've had, Starbucks was was one of the best to me, they really do take care of their employees. I still think their coffee blows, though.

M07S 11:38 AM  

@Two Ponies My ex wife is a huge sports fan, albeit women's sports. Tennis, golf, etc. I guess my point is that sports trivia doesn't necessarily constitute gender bias. And even though I'm a male, I didn't know either SORIANO or BEANE.

Noam D. Elkies 11:51 AM  

Nice enough Thursday puzzle, though it does have some rough patches.

@Aaron: several neat crossword puzzles with mathematical entries and themes have appeared over the years in The Mathematical Intelligencer.

2D:ARECIBO was a welcome entrée into the grid. 60A:SORIANO, on the other hand, is bad enough without crossing it with another b*seball name (48D:BEANE).

Hm, 40D:CUL_DE_SAC just above a word (45A:CAN) clued as "rear"? That's the kind of joke one might expect in 7D:THE_ONION... Some people prefer a [HOUSE] on a cul-de-sac rather than a 35A:CORNER_LOT.

NDE

archaeoprof 11:53 AM  

EBOAT was a puzzle to me too. Otherwise this one went smoothly.

I'll take my RIBEYES with either Cabernet or Chianti...

@Two Ponies: the phrase "sports trivia" is an oxymoron.

For the first time in my life, I now have a (HOUSE)KEEPER. Feel a little guilty about it.

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

"Medium" difficulty? Felt more like a Friday or Saturday to me. DNF.

Mel Ott 11:59 AM  

I kinda like rebus puzzles and this is a pretty good one. Like some others I caught on at ANIMAL [HOUSE].

Thanks @No BS for the explanation of YACHTIE. I've been a boater for most of my 71 years and I've never heard the term.

Insert my usual rant about proper names. IMO crossing proper names should be taboo. In this case I knew them because I know some baseball names. If they were from pop culture I probably would have been out to lunch. I have a problem with the inconsistency (to my mind anyway) of those who gush over crossing pop culture names then crab about crossing sports names or historical names.

mac 1:00 PM  

Word for word what @Joho said.

Thought of halfway house for 1A, before I got the Animal House.

How is lilac lavender? Just about the color?

Matthew G. 1:11 PM  

Loved the puzzle, but considered it Challenging. Very satisfying challenge, though.

Hand up for being sure PEEPERS was the answer to {Big eyes, metaphorically}, and like lit.doc discovering I was wrong only when I realized there was no way Will would let the center entry begin PORN-. Once I had CORN, I thought maybe it was CORN FIELD and we were going for a Field of Dreams theme.

I guess I was particularly attached to PEEPERS because of a famous story in my family. My uncle, when he was a small boy, went to see Santa Claus at Macy's, and Santa, remarking upon my uncle's large eyes, asked him, "Jeepers Creepers, where'd you get those peepers?" My uncle, characteristically laconic even then, replied: "They came with the head."

Anyway, knew this was a rebus, but took a long time to figure out what the rebus was, as I started in the SW where I tried to put UP in the rebus square, resulting in CLEANS UP and UPKEEPERS. Took me a while to realize that all four rebus squares had the same word.

Took a lot of dancing around to get through this one, but it was the fun kind of dancing that makes me love puzzles.

JenCT 1:43 PM  

@Two Ponies: I couldn't think of any other Billy besides Martin, either.

I don't think of sports clues as being more geared towards men; I happen to be a big football and tennis fan. Baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer - not at all. Different strokes.

Too many mistakes, so DNF for me.

Rube 1:52 PM  

Like @EvanK and other science types, ARECIBO and MHO were gimmes. Had uBOAT at first. Then when EBOAT was needed, vaguely remembered learning this term recently. Yes, it was in the NYT on Sunday last February.

When I had a few crosses, SORIANO came to me. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly as I'm from Seattle, I thought Dewey SORIANO. He was GM of the old Seattle Rainiers and part owner of the Seattle Pilots, FWIW. Like @2Ponies, wanted Billy Martin.

Like @CoffeeLvr and others, got the theme in the SW with (House)Keeper. Then immediately saw it in all the corners and, "Bob's your uncle". BTW, had aft at first and CAN just filled itself in -- didn't notice it until comments here -- am holding judgement as to appropriateness.

Re this male bias thing, my take is that the female advantage comes in those puzzles where it helps to be an avid reader of People magazine, (and some of the other mags at the check-out counter). @ChefWen told me once that she read People all the time. I thought that that would be an advantage in many puzzles, but not worth it for my macho image.

Good puzzle. DNG, but didn't check the A for my first guess of ElaM and ended up with EDaM/RESTaRE, so technically DNF... I'll RESTaRE back at you!

efrex 2:01 PM  

Whew! Quite a workout from Mr. Donaldson. Took quite a bit of time for each corner, and multiple early writeovers (CANCER before ARCHER, DEC before CEN, RECTOR before CANTOR, MONEY before LUCRE) did not help at all. Managed to nail SORIANO and BEANE almost immediately, but I can certainly understand the kvetching on that cross. The NE was the last to fall, with ARECIBO, EBOAT, NONUNION, and SAUCERS making me nuts.

Considered a rebus theme early on, but couldn't suss it out for quite some time. SCHOOL(HOUSE)/COFFEE(HOUSE) was the first to fall, followed by CORNERLOT, and then I was able to mop up pretty quickly. Loved the (HOUSE)BROKEN clue, but (HOUSE)KEEPER and (HOUSE)SITTER feel like near-synonyms to me.

Grilled RIBEYES and CHIANTI sounds yummy.

evil doug 2:28 PM  

Mountain,

If that "shut up" was for me, calm down. I was merely justifying a damn crossword clue.

My son was a SBux shift supervisor while he earned his MBA, and for the insurance alone it was a godsend. He probably wouldn't call the pay "a living wage"---he held down a second part-time job, too---but he enjoyed his experience there and the attendant benefits, and I was grateful for them, too.

I've got a good friend managing the SBux I visit nearly every day, and her straight pay isn't much compared to the hours she invests and the degree to which she busts her ass. But she's not complaining.

I admire Schultz's story coming out of the projects and making his vision come to life. While it's in vogue for some goofs out there to sort of jealously denigrate the company now that it's achieved great success, you won't hear that from me. I love capitalism victory stories. And I get every cent of value in what I pay for my coffee (most varieties of which I enjoy) in the atmosphere, the clubby friendships one develops with other regulars---and the way they let me freeload reading the newspapers as long as I put them back nicely.

Evil

MountainManZach 2:47 PM  

@Evil Shut up not directed at you, but rather at the goofs who denigrate (as you pointed out)! Didn't mean for you to get caught in my angsty crossfire, my B.

william e emba 3:39 PM  

ARECIBO was a gimme. THEONION was a gimme. Like most others, it seems, I got the rebus off of ANIMAL- and realized it applied to the other three corners.

I got ARNIE off of --NIE: I most definitely remember watching that show as a kid. In fact, reading about it on Wikipedia, I'm surprised to learn it was only on for two seasons.

I had absolutely no trouble with the SORIA-O/BEA-E cross, even though both names mean nothing to me. And I always hesitate on writing in U-BOAT, because I'm well aware of the E-BOATs.

Only annoyance was the already mentioned mathematical error regarding COSETS.

ALL in all, a fairly easy Thursday.

geordiegirl 3:45 PM  

This is my first post, after having admired the group's give-and-take for a long time.
@chefbea. I also felt that 'with' was not needed in 40A, the cul-de-sac clue.

joho 3:53 PM  

@Matthew G ... LOL -- your uncle must be a riot!

oldbizmark 3:57 PM  

I thought this one was extremely easy for a Thursday. Started with Beane and worked around to get "keeper" after which every other "house" was immediately filled in. only hold up was with "arnie," and "abider" but once i got "write in" the rest solved itself. not that i mind an easy thursday but now i have no puzzle to look forward to on the train ride home.

chefbea 4:03 PM  

@geordiegirl welcome!!! Please continue to chime in

archaeoprof 4:04 PM  

@geordiegirl: welcome! nice to hear from you. come back often.

@evil doug: so I'm not the only one who does that with the papers at Sbux...

Jim in Chicago 4:06 PM  

The other reason I don't like the Disney/Walt Clue/Answer is that Disney was traditionally largely based in California - at least in the radio era.

Call signs in the West start with K not W.

sanfranman59 4:18 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 20:11, 19:16, 1.05, 65%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Thu 10:51, 9:24, 1.15, 79%, Medium-Challenging

shrub5 4:38 PM  

Figured out the rebus theme fairly early on as _ARREST began to emerge. Aha, HOUSE ARREST!! Or in DSK's case, mansion arrest.

Because I'm history-impaired, I looked up E-BOAT... a German torpedo boat used in WWII, E- for enemy.

Enjoyable solve with good clues.

Anonymous 4:47 PM  

E Boat? What's an E Boat?

quilter1 4:48 PM  

When I put in CANTOR I thought of Purple Guy.

Welcome, geordiegirl.

Juicepit 5:07 PM  

An e-boat is an electric boat. Which is an atomic submarine.

http://www.gdeb.com/

Yay!

Unknown 6:00 PM  

After relinquishing "cancer" where "archer" was and getting "coffeehouse" the rest fell in quickly -- for me that is. 48 minutes which is my Thursday second fastest! (arnie???)

Anonymous 6:20 PM  

@Anon 4:47 / Juicepit Wiki: EBOAT. Essentially what the Allies called Germany's version of our PT Boats.

michael 7:31 PM  

Easy Thursday for me. I got Arecibo without problems, but was surprised to see it in the puzzle. I know baseball, but can see why Soriano/Beane could be hard for some. I couldn't believe yachtie and eboat (I had uboat at first of course), but they had to be right. I had cancer instead of archer for a while, but thought cancer in any sense was unlikely to show up in a puzzle (though I think it has occasionally appeared clued as a zodiac sign). [My spellcheck by the way also doesn't like yachtie and eboat.]

Rex Parker 8:28 PM  

I was trying to get to Patrick Blindauer's wedding in St. Louis tomorrow, but I must've made a wrong turn at Albuquerque 'cause, well, this looks a lot like the Detroit Airport ... Yep, it's the Detroit Metro Airport. Hmmm. And look, food vouchers from Delta. Wow, a whole SIX DOLLARS for dinner. Tonight, we dine like kings!

rp

Sparky 8:42 PM  

Managed about 2/3ds. Blanks in SE. Hand up for Maude and Ohm. Like @Jim, thought Califonia radio starts with K. Had Billy Martin in my mind picture but still didn't know the name.

Happy to see rebus at ANIMALHOUSE. I drew in the pictures too. Caught on to ALUMNAE but had an s during first pass. Agree with @chefbea and geordiegirl re "with". Again mind picture of trying to get through a door with a big sofa or some such. Took me a few put downs and pick ups. Still, had a good time.

Welcome @geordiegirl. Keep at it. I just found in a diary today that my first post was June 10, 2010. Time sure flies when you are having fun.

lit.doc 8:43 PM  

@RP, ST LOUIS and DETROIT both fit, but how was it clued?

Seriously, though, ya can't even afford irony these days for 6D. Hope they get you to the church on time.

chefbea 8:47 PM  

@Rex The wedding is in St. Louis?? where? Have fun

CoffeeLvr 8:56 PM  

@RP, oh no, Detroit Metro has to be one of the worst airports to be stuck in. Too many hours there myself, but haven't been there since maybe 2003. Farewell, traveler.

Sam 9:02 PM  

I'm not the first to say this, but (37A: Mathematical subgroups) and COSETS have about as much to do with each other as Tequila by The Champs and poetry.
Cosets are rarely subgroups, and subgroups are rarely cosets, and when they are the overlap is completely uninteresting. How did this get in? I guess the thing to remember is that math words have *very* specific meanings, and you can't play with them for clues like you can for other words.

sanfranman59 10:01 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 6:43, 6:51, 0.98, 47%, Medium
Tue 8:15, 8:54, 0.93, 32%, Easy-Medium
Wed 9:44, 11:50, 0.82, 13%, Easy
Thu 20:38, 19:17, 1.07, 69%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:41, 3:40, 1.01, 53%, Medium
Tue 4:21, 4:35, 1.00, 56%, Medium
Wed 4:36, 5:50, 0.79, 6%, Easy (7th lowest median solve time of 115 Wednesdays)
Thu 10:32, 9:24, 1.12, 76%, Medium-Challenging

william e emba 10:59 PM  

As was stated by someone else, a subgroup of a group is always a coset. If H is a subgroup of G, then the (left) coset space G/H={g1H,g2H,...,gnH} for some choice of gi in G. The sets giH are the COSETS of H. Exactly one gi is in H, and then giH=H. Thus, the subgroup is a coset. However, none of the other cosets (of H) are a subgroup.

ARECIBO Observatory has also appeared in the films Species and The Losers. The radio telescope there gained some extra measure of fame in the 1970s when it was used to broadcast a "message" to space aliens.

Stan 11:09 PM  

We live on a kind of cul-de-sac, a dead-end street that leads to a washed-out bridge at the corner of the property. Unfortunately, GPS has not figured this out (in 15 years) and sends everyone crashing through the woods to cross a non-existent bridge. It's like the TV ad with the beaver. Since no-one ever asks how to get to your house anymore, we have to make a big point of this on the phone with delivery people, etc.

Good luck, Rex.

Doug 11:30 AM  

Strangely easy, for a hard puzzle. Or strangely hard, for an easy puzzle. Lilac for lavender, saucers for eyes, Soriano, Alumnae--these were suspiciously obvious for a Thursday, so of course I assumed I was wrong. Kiss, Ansel & Walt, and The Onion, were easy and went in right away. Once the 4 houses became obvious, the puzzle fell into place with only one cross-out (again, strangely easy, IMF--I had CIA for a long time, then thought maybe NSA, but of course even on TV it was always the IMF--the masquerady one and not the financy one.

Doug 12:39 PM  

Did anyone mention the James Bond / Arecibo connection (which is the one I recall):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=MH2qnn4D0kY

Anonymous 2:57 PM  

Spacecraft here, gonna be short. @Rex: IMF was the "Impossible Mission Force," a fictitious entity. Liked the clever theme, tho I wrote THECORNER too early into the center and had to correct to CORNERLOT. Didn't like CEN, YACHTIE
or TNOTE. Nobody says them. Don't think much of a survey that doesn't put "The Birdcage" atop their funny film list, but I viddied (Clockwork Orange was not a comedy, IMO) what went there soon enough. Good puzz.

coodi: what gets on unwashed heads with a cold.

Randy Chong 4:21 PM  

The way CUL-DE-SAC was clued (you can't go through with it) I wrote in COLDFEET which made the SE corner a long time coming.

Dirigonzo 5:52 PM  

@archaeopro said: "...the phrase "sports trivia" is an oxymoron." I (respectfully) disagree; I think it's redundant. This (male) syndi-solver guessed wrong at the baseball cross, and I don't feel the least bit bad about it. Otherwise loved the puzzle (once I saw the house on the SW corner lot) and enjoyed the comments immensely.

Let's compare to RPDTNYTCWP on this date 5 years ago:

- Solving time: 31:10 "So I get up super early and try to do the puzzle while the house is in morning ablution cacophany - not the most auspicious solving circumstances (see Solving time, above)
- "If this photo is an answer, then the question is: "What makes 'a slow wheeze, like a bagpipe,' when you remove it from your car's front grill?"" As early-Rex warned, the photo that accompanied this remark is not for the squeamish, or duck-lovers.
- "I thought a "golden parachute" was a sweet, fat pension. What does "suit" mean here? Oh, just got it. "Suit," meaning "guy in a suit." It's metonymic! Like "the Crown" means the king or queen. Isn't it Fascinating watching my brain work in real time?" I just noticed that early-Rex no longer refers to himself in the third-person. The blog evolves.
- "Is this coincidence, or was this puzzle released today in anticipation of a Mets' Game 7 victory over the Cardinals in the NLCS? Sadly, the Mets did not win." The Cardinal beat the Rangers in Game one of the World Series last night.
- The only commenter was @timothy (a SYNDI-SOLVER!) who said, "And, I must confess, 24D, "Where you may see a bust", I had -R-SHO-. My first thought, sent directly from my ten-year-old self, was BRASHOP. I withstood my juvenile leanings, but barely." Early-Rex replied: "
It's cool to be tardy - all comments are forwarded to me via email, so I see them no matter when they're posted- plus, like you Much of the country is 6 weeks behind." And it is still so.

Anonymous 6:50 PM  

I had Palomar forth the observatory (living in San Diego Co.) and Tootsie for the movie so NE and NW were a big problem until I got the south end and fixed things up.

Anonymous 9:57 PM  

Yes, Arnie Nuvo! Guy had a wicked 'stache. I liked the show, but it was on for like a month. Emmy Nominated? Really?

Other short-lived shows around the same time include the "new" Dick Van Dyke Show, "Julia" with Diane Carroll, and from a recent crossword Bridget Loves Bernie. Glad somebody else remembers them.

Grandma J 2:40 PM  

Why was this puzzle in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, just yesterday?!?

eastsacgirl 5:10 PM  

Easiest Thursday in a long time even though I had VACANTLOTS first. Figured the rebus right off the bat so the rest was a pretty easy solve.

Dirigonzo 8:07 PM  

@Grandma J - the puzzle appears in syndication 5 weeks after it originally appeared in the NYT (except Sunday, when it's only one week later). So we "syndi-solvers" have to wait a while but it's worth it, don't you think? Rex has accomodated us with a "Syndicated Puzzle" button at the top of his blog to bring you directly here.

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