Pompous pronoun / MON 10-3-11 / So-called white magic / Vacation resort policy perhaps / Two-front as Coast Guard rescue

Monday, October 3, 2011

Constructor: Stanley Newman

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (for a Monday)

THEME: DUBYA (66A: 43rd president's nickname) — theme answers all end in one-syllable "W" words; vowel sound in the "W" word changes (from "A" through to "U") with each successive theme answer

Word of the Day: HGTV (40D: "House Hunters" cable channel) —
HGTV (also referred to as Home & Garden Television), is a cable-television network operating in the United States and Canada, broadcasting a variety of home and garden improvement, maintenance, renovation, craft and remodeling shows. It is also a popular Home & Garden website (HGTV.com). (wikipedia)
• • •

Monday theme idea, Tuesday hard. Which is to say, not hard. Just semi-slow in patches. The connection between "Vacation resort" an NO TIPS is so tenuous as to be non-existent, to me (30D: Vacation resort policy, perhaps). I honestly thought it was NO TOPS at some point. Seemed plausible. Nudist beach resort, maybe? I don't know. Seemed as plausible as NO TIPS. TRIOXIDE is not a word I've ever seen, as far as I can remember (38D: Compound containing O3), though the "O3" part seems like a giveaway, in retrospect. I've never FITted anything UP. I've fixed things up. HGTV is not a network I think of often (40D: "House Hunters" cable channel). USAGE is something I think of only in relation to words—Practical application is vague. I had no idea WICCA was (so-called) "white magic." None. Never heard that. AIRSEA? (42A: Two-front, as a Coast Guard rescue) You know something is weird about your clue when it contains the phrase "as a Coast Guard rescue." That's a pretty specific example. Anyhoo, theme answers are lively—I really like THE ROYAL WE—and the fill is at least not boring. "I CAN'T TELL YOU WHY" should've been clued as an Eagles song, 'cause it's a little weird as just a random phrase someone might say. The main thing I learned today is that my wife has never heard the phrase "PITCHING WOO" in her life. She's from NZ, so maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe the fact that it's not the 1910s anymore also has something to do with it.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Wins a dispute (GETS ONE'S WAY)
  • 26A: Pompous pronoun (THE ROYAL WE)
  • 37A: "It's a mystery to me" ("I CAN'T TELL YOU WHY")
  • 50A: Sob stories (TALES OF WOE)
  • 59A: In romantic pursuit (PITCHING WOO)
I say the "WH" in "WHY" like the "WH" in "whether" (with a slight outrush of air ... as opposed to the way I say the "W" in "weather") making the pronunciation just *slightly* different than the "W" sounds in the other theme answers. Not different enough to matter, but different enough for me to mention the fact here. I thought 41D: Thumbs-up votes were AYES. They were YEAS. The equivalence of those bugs me no end. Surprisingly, I have no memory of ever having seen JESUS in a puzzle before, which is strange, since it's a perfectly good man's name, Hispanically speaking. NINJA JESUS is a particularly appealing image. I would totally watch that cartoon.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. for a strange flashback, check out my puzzle write-up from 5 years ago today...


foodie 12:14 AM  

The top was a breeze and the bottom was wild. Like Sandy, I had NOooooooo idea about PITCHING WOO... I have been in this country for decades, and I read all kinds of stuff from fancy literature to total junk, and I have never encountered that expression... I had PITCHING--- and just stared at it for the longest time. And with OAS and WBA as downs, that did not help.

Anyhow that's my TALE OF WOE-- That weird USAGE of an odd word combo..

I love THE ROYAL WE, I CANT TELL YOU WHY... But GETS ONE"S WAY is not too exciting.

So, I wouldn't give it an APLUS, but I learned something, and that DUBYA down there as the revealer... that's pretty good.

And Rex, I loved your post from 5 years ago. You've come a long way as a solver!!!

Clark 12:14 AM  

Somehow I also missed the whole woo pitching thing. I was trying to pix ching it.

I have found that some people who clearly distinguish between "wh" and "w" when they speak, are unable to hear the difference.

– Say "why."
–Now say "way."
–See. You pronounced them differently.
–No I didn't.

Tobias Duncan 12:16 AM  

I did not quite get this theme till I said fast. Pretty cute, I like it.Agree with med challenging.I also have never heard if pitching woo but there is much I have not heard of apparently since I just came from the Jeopardy sample test and did not do as well as I would have liked.There are rumors that a person I know is going to be on the show soon but she is sworn to secrecy.I guess they take that stuff pretty seriously.

CoffeeLvr 12:35 AM  

I got really slowed down in a couple of places. Like @Rex, I wanted to FIxUP at 51D. Also, I wanted bmxS for "Off road bikes, for short" at 53A. I only hesitated because I the T in ATVS in place. Apparently, ATVS are sometimes referred to as quad bikes. So that is my NIT for this comment.

dbleader61 12:52 AM  

Educe was not in my vocabulary ( and as I typed on my iPod just now in this comment, the predictive text function chose "edict" so it doesn't seem I am the only one?). Not ever hearing that Wicca is called White Magic meant the cross went unfilled until checking Rex. Otherwise definitely a Monday. I "pitch woo" by calling my wife "fetching". Hey, it works - even if it's so 19th century!

alaska cavern michaels 12:52 AM  

i don't know wh-wh-what to think.
I like saying the funny reveal
"way, we, why, woe, woo..."
but, the fill, yes, it's not the 1910s any more! (Funny!!!)

It wasn't just the oldie PITCHINGWOO, but something about
"Yer out!", calling a yacht "her" and words like STOLID that made me feel 100 years old whilst solving.

Back home to SF...Leaving after 2 glorious weeks in my "real" home, Minneapolis. As dk says, "(sigh)".

acme 1:24 AM  

ps read the post from 5 years ago!!!!!! wow, no grids, no comments, it is weird!!!!!!!!!!
And the day that HAD comments, there were a total of TWO from Sept 29th 2006 I think
(I didn't chime in till, like 3 years ago) but here they are
(plus ca change...):

grandpamike 1:47 PM

First, please do not comment on puzzles the day they are printed. Further, many across the country get today's puzzle next week, so you shouldn't give away the fun for them.

Second, many of the words you are objecting to are entirely familiar to anyone who has solved puzzles even relatively briefly.

Your criticism that some of these words are not familiar to all people generally is an unfair criticism. Like any pastime, this one has its own world, and that includes stars with interesting names, animals familiar to those who watch the Animal Channel, etc.

This blog is just a bad idea.

lhoffman12 1:20 PM

This site is one of the best I've seen on crossword puzzles. Good graphics, good references...highly entertaining! If grandpa mike doesn't want to have hints about the puzzle, no one is forcing him to look at your site. I hope you keep it up.

Post a Comment

Cornelius 2:47 AM  

I only know "pitching woo" from the Cole Porter song, "Too Darn Hot" from Kiss Me Kate. good song though!

chefwen 3:05 AM  

I was quite familiar with PITCHING WOO, how old does that make me? Maybe it's just all the old movies that I devoured while growing up.

Fell into the fix UP trap too, had chapel before TEMPLE, my two write overs. It took me a bit longer than the usual Monday, which is fine with me. Also didn't know "white magic" was WICCA but with the two C's in place I guessed correctly.

Good start to the week of puzzling.

Rex Parker 6:42 AM  

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for "grandpa mike." I couldn't have asked for a better First Ever Blog Comment.


Z 7:44 AM  

Glad to see it wasn't me this morning. Felt unusually slow. The west seemed normal, but as I went to the east it became increasingly harder. The NE was last to fall as I flipped from ATDAWN to ATNOON when I briefly thought the General Hospital roles would be rns. Four letters written over is not typical Monday fare for me.

TRIOXIDE sounds very Star Trekky to me, reminding me of trilithium.

Not a part of the ATV crowd, but I have a hard time with four-wheeled "bikes." I presume this to be a common usage with people who ride these things. A more progressive and accurate name might be bi-bikes.

dk 8:03 AM  

Ame has left the building (heavy sigh). Limited opportunities to PITCHWOO while she was here (more sighs). But as reported earlier a delightful dinner. Focus on what you have not what you have not....

Only problem was spelling WICCA as wicha. Liked the W theme. DUBYA brought us the current financial and foreign policy crisis disproving the maxim that those who get Cs in school get As (or APLUS) in life,

** (2 Stars) Nice one

The former head of Sesame Street now runs NPR... I understand Oscar will cover financial news and Kermit will get the EPA beat (insert "It Is not Easy Being Green" about here).

dk 8:05 AM  

That would be ACME. The new self correcting feature of the Mac operating system sucks: IMHO.

joho 8:12 AM  

TALESOFWOE has an old-timey feel, too.

I liked it, especially THEROYALWE.

I'm a huge fan of HGTV so that was a gimme.

We're off to a good start this week, thanks, Stanley Newman!

MaryBR 8:21 AM  

Age 30, had never, ever heard the term PITCHING WOO. Breezed through the puzzle in classic Monday time and then got to PITCHING _O_ and... just stared at it. PITCHING fOr? But fBA didn't seem right. Finally put in the W and OAS followed. Wasn't til then that I looked back and realized there was a theme that would have given it away immediately! Always the problem with rushing through Mondays too quickly.

SethG 8:45 AM  

I'm starting to wonder what's wrong with me that PITCHING WOO is so immediately familiar. I think maybe I watched The Newlywed Game too much.

jackj 8:54 AM  

A rather sophisticated puzzle which might cause some consternation among the early-weekers.

For those solvers, AIRSEA and TRIOXIDE seem to be pushing the bounds while WICCA and FITUP might give even experienced people something of a pause. (FITUP, especially, looks like one of those interesting Britishisms like "bedsit" or "dustbin").

Speaking of which, THEROYALWE and PITCHINGWOO are not Britishisms, I don't think, but they sure have a qualifying quaintness which makes them eligible.

A wonderful puzzle from Stanley Newman who, thankfully, is sharing some of his talent with Times puzzlers, not just his hometown crowd at Newsday.

efrex 9:01 AM  

Were it not for the gettable-but-odd crossing of FITUP/EDUCE, this would've been just about a perfect Monday, IMHO. Nice variation on an old theme, and the fill stayed nicely out of the way. Only crosswordese was NEHI, and I finally remembered that one.

Like Rex, considered FIXUP and NOTOPS but resisted. Also considered EVOKE before EDUCE. Like Cornelius, only knew PITCHINGWOO from "Too Darn Hot," but Cole Porter references should always be considered legitimate, far as I'm concerned. Thanks for a nice start to the week, Mr. Newman!

John V 9:15 AM  

Rating: 9 miles today, Stamford to Rye; would have been faster if I didn't have to fumble for my new October monthly.

So, played easy for me. I actually had PITCHIN' A WOO, as I've heard it that, and other, ways; PITCHIN THE WOO. We Yankee fans may be PITCHING THE BOO if the ALDS depends on AJ Burnett tomorrow night (Please, no!!!)

Agree that TRIOXIDE is a bit of an odd-ball, but no biggie.

Initially wanted EVOKE for 65A, Draw forth, SHE @56A

In general, needed very few down crosses to make this work. A fun Monday.

evil doug 9:16 AM  

Stewie transports the whole cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation against their will to answer his questions.

[Patrick Stewart whacks Wil Wheaton on the back of his head]

Wil Wheaton: Ow!

Stewie: You know, I think you should all be nicer to Hwil wHeaton [with emphasis on the H].

Patrick Stewart: The way I treat my colleagues … wait. What?

Stewie: I said you ought to be nicer to Hwil wHeaton.

Patrick Stewart: You mean Wil Wheaton.

Stewie: Yes, Hwil wHeaton.

Patrick Stewart: Why are you saying it like that?

Stewie: What? I’m just sayin' you should be nicer to Hwil wHeaton. Hwil wHeaton seems like a nice guy.

Patrick Stewart: Say wheat.

Stewie: Wheat.

Patrick Stewart: Now say Wil Wheaton.

Stewie: Hwil wHeaton.


chefbea 9:19 AM  

good puzzle but I thought Wicca would be WOD. Never heard of it. What does it stand for?

quilter1 9:45 AM  

Easy for me. Knew PITCHING WOO, and I'm not 100 yet. Knew WICCA (@chefbea, this is a religion loosely descended from druidism and based in the earth's seasons and movements, a simplistic explanation but you can look it up) both from work and knowing a couple of Wiccans.

I can't think of I CANT TELL YOU WHY as a random phrase as I have heard many a physician say it to distressed families and patients.

AIRSEA was my last entry. On to BEQ

slypett 9:51 AM  

Daisy is half beagle half-BASSET. She has beagle intelligence and BASSET sweetness. She's beautuful to look at and is the darling of the apartment building we live in.

Lindsay 10:03 AM  

We don't make a party out of lovin';
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo;
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy,
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do.

Okie from Muskogee --- Merle Haggard

Sprightly puzzle. Liked it a lot, especially after a week of mediocre. Not a Texas ____ M in sight.

jesser 10:14 AM  

Eagles and Haggard evocations, all in one morning. ArchaeoProf and I are having a Fine Morning, Indeed!

And I'm totally with Rex that when the NINJA JESUS movie, comes out, I'll be in line to watch.

No time today. What the hell is it about Mondays?


archaeoprof 10:19 AM  

Knew PITCHING WOO because my parents (born in 1920) used to say it.

But neither of them ever used THE ROYAL WE.

Vince Gill did a cover of I CANT TELL YOU WHY. (country music!)

@Rex: you've come a long way, and brought many of us along for the ride.

Mel Ott 10:25 AM  

Not long ago I criticized one of these vowel puzzles for not using the long version of the vowel sound. Note that Mr. Newman did just that. Well done.

Didn't see the vowel theme until I finished. Didn't see the DUBYA tie-in until I came here. Even better.

PITCHING WOO reminds me of the M*A*S*H episode when Fr. Mulcahey uses the term and Hawkeye goes bonkers.

We are amused.

Noam D. Elkies 10:29 AM  

Apparently xwordinfo's memory is still better than Rex's: it finds six precedents for 4D:JESUS, one from this year (a Tuesday BEQ where it was clued "Easter figure" a few days after Easter). Curiously its previous appearance was fix years earlier but also in a Quigley puzzle. In none of the six cases was the name clued as a(n) Hispanic Jesús.


The Month That Was 10:30 AM  

Who's Mr. Miyagi? Don't know but guessed correctly. also Pat Morita? Who? got from crosses somehow. 

Is there a douche-baggier name than JCCHASEZ?

I Did Not Like This Puzzle One Bit, even though I finished it (in pretty good time, actually).

Let them fill in the commentary as they would anyway. Rest yourself for tomorrow....

The theme first escaped me, then underwhelmed me.

That is a fantastic parody of someone making an astonishingly tenuous connection between the puzzle and real life.

STUERWIN? Worse than the Beach Boys.

Kind of strange to come out with aren't not three sentences after stating that one has a P.H.D. in English.

but U Nu was sort of a hero mine as a kid,

...do we really have to learn these? If you don't listen to NPR, there is very little chance of getting these except from crosses.

I listen to a lot of radio and haven't listened to commercial stations in years.

FLO Rida and FLO the waitress are still the only acceptable FLOs, as far as I'm concerned

Started a HOSTA rescue league when living in So Cal.

Hostas are like a weed here in the MidAtlantic east coast.

Insert my usual rant about proper names.

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).

Wallace Stegner is a giant. Depressing that his name is not instantly recognizable.

I don't remember you being that funny when you used to be a regular here.

This was the worst writeup I have ever read. If Jeffrey never comes back, it will be too soon. Oh. I forgot. What was that garbage about Aulani? Goodbye!

why don't you just kick your own self out and save others the trouble?? What a grouchy, joyless, meanspirited post.

"peon" is only offensive if its one sleeping under a sombrero

I'm with @evil on this one. He was sitting doing nothing and unnecessarily dragged into this phony argument. No wonder he was grumpy.

(Jimmy Kimmel was hot!) but that Stein is indeed a sociopathic Ayn-Rand-worshipping nutjob.

My concern about rap is really for the well-being of kids, both in the inner city and suburbs. I hope you care about their well-being too, and not just your own.

I think you don't really know much about rap. Why not just stick with "I don't like it"--you're on safer ground there.

at least 90% of everything out there is overrated!

Anonymous 11:54--I stand on high ground not safe ground.

I, for one, do not like seeing clues about opera or Shakespeare in these puzzles. Call me old fashioned, prude, take your pick. Stories filled with rape, murder, and incest have such a negative and troublesome vibe associated with it, that it shouldn't disgrace the NY Times puzzle.

I’ve got to believe that my puzzles must be better received by the general public than by the folks who comment here.

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

It's funny, as a Monday Tuesday Wednesday solver, obviously not as good as Rex and many of the commenters, I find that he often gets the difficulty wrong on the easier puzzles. For example, I finished today's puzzle, but Rex gave it a hard. Some puzzles that Rex says are easy I can't finish.

Two Ponies 10:50 AM  

I loved the phonetic progression.
No problem with pitching woo or Wicca. Trioxide was cool.
@ Rex, That 5 years ago post was fun to read. Thanks.
@ The Month That Was, I SO look forward to your re-caps.

Greg 11:03 AM  

At 8:55, this was my fastest solve of NYT ever, and it felt like I was flying through it. I just don't get how Rex and some of you do it in two minutes or less. I don't think I could fill it that fast if I had the answers right next to me.

John V 11:06 AM  

I've been coming here for about a year and am seeing @The Month That Was for the first time. Can we understand the concept a bit more for this newbie?

Sparky 11:10 AM  

Finished last night and didn't see theme. This a.m. looked for it as, after all, it is Monday. Found it. Did not realize 43d prez a revealer till came here.

Cataract surgery left eye tomorrow. Terrified.

What five year old blog? I seem to have missed that.

quilter1 11:46 AM  

@Sparky, I had both mine done two years ago. Don't be scared. You lie down on the table and 20 minutes later (or less) you sit up and you can see. Just do everything they tell you and wear those sun glasses.

syndy 12:08 PM  

@month-thanks ever so-@rex thank you for printing the finished grids! Mr.Newman thanks for the loverly Monday puzzle-you can pitch me some woo anytime!I knocked this baby out in 8 flat!so I guess I zone in well with the antiquated.

hazel 12:13 PM  

@john v - they're VERY CLEVER snippets of comments from the previous month - this is 2nd one I've seen, but it might be the 3rd one that's been put together. I too look forward to them @month! you are providing an important service to the blog!

@sparky - rex has a link to it in his writeup.

Don't remember hearing pitching woo ever. Pitching woes yes, but not pitching woos. had to use the theme to get it. Thanks, theme! Whole thing reminded me of Elmer Fudd, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit. thumbs up from me.

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

'fit up' is an all-time clunker.

stix2metunesmiffin 12:19 PM  

Looks like I picked the wrong week to switch to Pen-only solving!

My grandfather used to say "egad" all the time, and once he even gave me the complete Cole Porter lyrics as a present, and Pitching Woo never, ever came up! I therefore call Shenanigans.

I only know The Royal We from The Big Lebowski.

And I'm just not buying a Duel AT DAWN. That's ridiculous. The sun will still be in someone's eyes, and they could therefore call Shenanigans. You fight at noon, you get hung at dawn!

Z 12:23 PM  

"Pitching the woo" is a phrase I recognize from my days as a student teacher. Rap was pretty new back then, and I had some very gifted kids writing their own. "Pitching the Woo" and "Kicked to the Curb" are the two phrases that stick in my mind.

@John V - We Tiger fans were worried about Max pitching in that tiny park you guys call a "stadium," and he threw five no-hit innings. That's why they make you play the games.

chefbea 12:30 PM  

I've been here for about 4-5 years and I have never seen the month that was!!

Anonymous 12:32 PM  

Too messy to really be any good


Lewis 12:48 PM  

@month that was -- What a terrific service you are providing! Please keep it up. Jogs the memory; I remember almost all these comments, and you're definitely picking the ones worth reliving.

Fitup -- just plain ugly

Pitching woo -- huh?

I liked the theme, and the puzzle was mostly fun, except where I got stuck on the woo phrase...

Crosscan 12:59 PM  

@month - thanks for including me.

mac 1:03 PM  

Clever, sophisticated puzzle! Never heard the pitching woo term either, but by that time I had figured out the theme.

Loved the reveal, especially since it wasn't clued as a reveal.

No tips may be so that you don't have to carry a wallet (Club Med?).

@The Month That Was: thanks a lot!

I'm so glad Rex didn't take grandpamikes's advise.

Good luck, Sparky.

skua76 1:05 PM  

I did the puzzle last night quickly on ACL and did not see the theme AT ALL until coming here. Wow!

I knew "pitching woo" instantly from some song but couldn't think of it. Thanks @Lindsay for reminding me it was Merle's.

Surprised to see fit up clued thus. In construction I'm familiar with it as "fitup" which is what pipefitters do all the time with two pieces of pipe before welding.

Thanks for the blog Rex!

captcha--forish: somewhat in favor of

slypett 1:05 PM  

Fitup, man! Rex, I'm surprised at you, with your comprehensive knowledge of rap and rap culture, for not knowing this common phrase. It means "get your piece."

CoffeeLvr 1:49 PM  

Hey, I made The Month That Was! Thanks.

About this puzzle: another Vacation resort policy that I considered was NOkIdS!

@Sparky, I had both eyes done in January/February of this year. Do not worry if you don't see clearly right after the surgery, sometimes the lens insert has to settle into place, but I saw clearly after a night's sleep. It is very routine surgery. If you are anxious, they can give you something for it. I asked for that for the first eye, but didn't need it the second time. You will never regret it!

quilter1 2:34 PM  

I wanted NO pets for the resort policy,although I personally have nothing against pets.

FIT UP sounded OK to me as fitting up my sewing room when I moved it, or fitting up a kid to go camping.

@Sparky, listen to @Coffelvr and me. I second the no regrets. I don't have to wear glasses anymore except readers for less than 12 pt. and I was chained to those things from age 11. Free at last!

Until tomorrow, Rexites.

proct: I leave it to your imagination.

Tita 3:39 PM  

5 years ago you hadn't heard of Macau? Happily, you remembered from back then, for it was in Sunday's grid.

I can't resist commenting now about that long ago post, and your admitting lack of awareness about the Iberians'explorations in Asia...

Check in here to read about when the Pope split the world in 2 btwn the Spanish and the Portuguese...

r.alphbunker 4:02 PM  

The Dude used the expression THE ROYAL WE in the Big Lebowski when he was trying to explain why he used the pronoun "WE" when he was supposed to have dropped off the ransom money alone.

sanfranman59 4:06 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Mon 7:33, 6:51, 1.10, 88%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:19, 3:40, 1.18, 97%, Challenging

Although I've probably heard "Too Darn Hot" at least 100 times in my life, I never picked up on the "pitch some woo" lyric. As such, I'm in the "PITCHING WOO? Huh?" chorus. By the numbers, this one is definitely one of the tougher Mondays in the 2+ years I've been tracking online solve times.

r.alphbunker 4:15 PM  

It's a 9 second clip on YouTube!

ksquare 4:37 PM  

I assume that all who never heard of TRIOXIDE didn't study any inorganic chemistry. Sulfur trioxide dissolved in water yields sulfuric acid.
SO3+H2O->H2SO4, a very useful material. (Apparently my spellchecker also doesn't recognize it as an English word either.)

nanpilla 4:48 PM  

In case it hasn't already been pointed out, Joon Pahk is going to be on Jeopardy tonight. Let's hope there is a crosswords category!

One of the things that has always made this blog endearing to me is Rex's willingness to share his knowledge 'holes'. We all have them - we aren't all willing to share them with others!

Bob Kerfuffle 4:58 PM  

Finished the puzzle without having seen the theme, then looked it over again and said, "This is Marvelous!"

Maybe because the key words were all one-syllable (or maybe because I was just bored waiting for jury to resume), I thought this was one of the best run-the-vowels Xwords I have seen.

chefwen 5:28 PM  

@Sparky - Piece of cake, had them both done. First one a few years ago and the second about a year later. Was as nervous as you and insisted on an extra strength "calm yourself pill". Wanted a pain pill for after surgery, just in case, Dr. said I wouldn't need one and he was right. You will be fine.

Stan 6:25 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stan 6:27 PM  

This theme reminded me of Arnie "Woo-Woo" Ginsburg, Greater Boston's version of NYC's Cousin Brucie or SoCal's Wolfman Jack.

Thanks to Rex for the flashback. It would be interesting to do some of those puzzles now, then read the blog...

Chip Hilton 7:26 PM  

Here's to our friend and constructor Joon Pak who just beat a really strong champion on Jeopardy.

Chip Hilton 7:29 PM  

make that Joon Pahk...sorry.

The Raven 8:11 PM  

This son and cousin of chemistry professors (Cornell, Harvard) can't let the definition of 38D go by without complaining that "Compound containing O3" literally means a compound containing ozone (O3). A better definition could have been "Compound with three Os"--three atoms of oxygen. For example, SO3, sulfur trioxide, does not contain an ozone molecule.
Put that in your pipette and smoke it.

Two Ponies 8:22 PM  

@ Chip Hilton, While I really appreciated @ nanpilla's "heads up" re: Our pal Joon being on Jeopardy (I would have watched it anyway) I did not appreciate you spoiling the fun for those of us on Pacific time!

sanfranman59 8:36 PM  

@Chip ... I echo Two Ponies ... but I was actually looking forward to watching it tonight. I will still watch, but now some of the suspense will be gone. At least give a spoiler alert at the top of your message. Sheesh!

chefbea 8:47 PM  

Good going Joon!!!

miriam b 9:21 PM  

Looking forward to successive shows, Joon! I'm so glad you beat that snug character with the Blagojevich haircut. I saw you offer your hand to him after being declared the winner, but the camera panned away, and I DON'T THINK HE SHOOK IT!

I was on Jeopardy! in the long-ago Art Fleming era - won four games, narrowly losing the fifth to a nice dentist who went on to the the Tournament of Champions. In those days one was allowed to ring in as soon as a clue was revealed. Thus, as a fast reader, I had an advantage going in. I did encounter a sore loser after one game. I unseated a woman who had won one game, and when I extended my hand she merely gave me the stink-eye. I was non-plussed. This was caught on tape for all to see. Unfortunately no recordings were available for posterity. The technology just wasn't there, I suppose.

captha: UNREV - to decelerate

miriam b 9:24 PM  

That should be SMUG character. Typos R US.

Sfingi 9:56 PM  

I saw JESUS in a puzzle recently, Must have been USA TODAY (9D) or one such puzzle Rex doesn't do.

But, Rex, you really don't know Wicca? Maybe it's just as well. Kind of creepy. I had an ancestor hanged as a witch, but she'd never claim to be one.

Saw Joon on Jeopardy. Nice-looking fellow. I always watch it at The Home if I'm there at dinner time. He won really big, too. Mazel Tov! Buona fortuna!

@Miriam - You probably read Ken Jennings book. He described how he practiced ringing in by standing behind a chair and hitting a pseudo beeper. Being the first to ring in appears to be very important. When Jennings played Watson, the IBM computer won only because it could chime in fastest. A friend of mine won 3x many years ago. He said he got a bunch of products when he lost. His losing answer was about Delaware. Ken's was about H & R Block.

Two Ponies 10:33 PM  

Joon did great!
One of the answer/questions was pork pie hat! Didn't we have that last week?
Yeah for the crossword crowd.

syndy 11:16 PM  

First verse after the bridge-I'd like to coo with my baby tonight,Pitch some woo with my baby tonight;but sister you fight my baby tonight 'cause it's too darn hot

chefwen 12:06 AM  

Thanks @miriam b, I was wracking my brain trying to come up with the look alike hairdo of Joon's competitor. Justin Beeber, no, Donald Trump, no, Ah yes the Blagojevich guy, now I can stop struggling.

sanfranman59 1:57 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 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 7:43, 6:51, 1.13, 94%, Challenging (8th highest median solve time of 119 Monday puzzles)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:17, 3:40, 1.17, 95%, Challenging (7th highest median solve time of 119 Monday puzzles)

+wordphan 2:03 AM  

Speaking of crosses, what if Ninja Jesus was an ARIES instead of a Capricorn?

Crystal Travel 8:36 AM  

The key to planning a great Sydney holiday is to plan ahead as Flights to Sydney are available at very cheap rates with us.

Anonymous 12:03 PM  

I'm giving the JESUS-UFO crossing an A PLUS.

DJ Stone 2:46 PM  

Everytime I see a bumper sticker (often on a truck) reading "Real Men Love Jesus", I think to myself that I too could be a real man if I only had a Mexican boyfriend.

And could lose my taste for quiche.

P.S. Dirigonzo, is Rex stealing your daily 5-year flashback?

Dirigonzo 3:17 PM  

Chiming in from syndiland, my "Unemotional" response at 44d was STeely>STOney>STOLID. These things would not happen if I would just wait for the crosses to sort things out before I put pen to paper.

Dirigonzo 3:26 PM  

@DJ Stone - your post appeared while I was composing mine. Rex did indeed scoop me on the flashback feature today and since he was writing on 10/3 I think I stole his idea (unknowingly), not the other way around. I could say something about "great minds thinking alike" but I don't want to add insult to injury.

Z 3:38 PM  

@Dirigonzo - I enjoy your flashbacks, though I don't comment often because I'm sure I'm near my three limit most days.

Nullifidian 8:24 PM  

Syndicated solver here.

I agree with the medium-challenging rating. I know EDUCE is a bit of standard crosswordese but I get thrown by seeing it on a Monday, particularly when it's paired with FIT UP, something I have never done to anything. My only experience with the phrase is, thanks to the Rumpole stories, as British slang for being framed for a crime.

I have heard of PITCHING WOO, and that actually helped me solve a stupid mistake. For no reason I can think of, I put NAS for OAS, which prevented me from getting WBA and solving the puzzle (I was assuming it was either the International Boxing Association or the National Boxing Association). Suddenly PITCHING WOO came to mind, and I had the puzzle solved.

TRIOXIDE is very poorly clued. Trioxide is not a "compound containing O3" but a compound consisting of O3. A "compound containing O3" would be something like sulfur trioxide, the primary component (in its gaseous form) of acid rain.

"Yonder yacht" to clue HER also annoyed me and slowed me down in the SE corner. The convention of referring to ships by a female pronoun applies to them all, not just to ships that fall into the class of yachts.

WICCA was familiar to me if only because I used to have members of a coven for neighbors, and on certain no doubt very meaningful days their fellow Wiccans would come down and fill up the street with cars while they chanted and played bongo drums late into the night.

This puzzle gets an overall minus rating from me.

Del Taco 2:56 PM  

I only knew of "Pitching Woo" from a MASH episode. Father Mulcahey said the phrase, and Hawkeye made a jocke about it being the Korean baseball player.

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