1960 Jerry Lewis fairy tale spoof / TUE 11-8-11 / $5 bills slangily / Object of pity for Mr T / Great Chicago Fire scapegoat / First spacecraft to reach Uranus Neptune

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Constructor: Scott Atkinson

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Better Business Bureau —3-word phrases in which all words start w/ "B"

Word of the Day: FASCIA (5A: Sheath of connective tissue) —
n., pl., fas·ci·ae (făsh'ē-ē', fā'shē-ē).
  1. Anatomy. A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.
  2. A broad and distinct band of color.
  3. (also 'shē-ə) Architecture. A flat horizontal band or member between moldings, especially in a classical entablature.
  4. ('shə) Chiefly British. The dashboard of a motor vehicle.
[Latin, band.]
• • •

Piece of cake, with the painful exception of BONNIE BLUE BUTLER, which can't possibly be the name of anything. Dear lord. That just hurt. Needed virtually every cross. Besides revulsion for the "Gone With the Wind" kid's name, I have no particularly strong opinions about this puzzle. I do like the longer non-theme Acrosses ("CINDERFELLA" and FLABBERGAST) (17A: 1960 Jerry Lewis fairy tale spoof + 57A: Bowl over), though I don't like that they look like theme answers (positionally) but aren't. I'm guessing the thing that got this puzzle accepted was the remarkable (and lucky) fact that the letters in these answers allow for the highly unusual theme answer interlock. OK, so the grid had to add an extra row to make it work (grid is 15x16), but it's still pretty cool

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Reality show featuring Whitney Houston and her then-husband ("BEING BOBBY BROWN")
  • 50A: Healthy delivery, perhaps (BOUNCING BABY BOY)
  • 3D: Rhett and Scarlett's child (BONNIE BLUE BUTLER)
  • 11D: Dish often served with franks (BOSTON BAKED BEANS)
I'd have changed ITSY to POSY, but that's just me. It's a lateral move at best, but suits my aesthetic sensibilities more. 

  • 14A: Object of pity for Mr. T (FOOL) —I pity the fool who wears these pants on national television:

  • 29A: $5 bills, slangily (ABES) — can we all stop pretending that anyone says this. If you try to use this expression, I guarantee you you will get a puzzled expression and a "What?" At best.
  • 43A: Great Chicago Fire scapegoat Mrs. ___ (O'LEARY) — I thought her cow was the (scape)goat...
  • 22D: Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" setting (ARLES) — among the more important French place names in crossworld. SEINE and ORLY, also important. CAEN and ORNE, less so, but still ... they can bite you. ST.-LO is probably King of French Fill.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


foodie 12:12 AM  

I quite like the alliterative theme and the answers that could be theme. At one point, I had bELLA at the end of CINDERFELLA... Because I thought it might be a theme-like answer..may be BARBERBELLA?

The stacks of 3 letters are not my favorite, but as Tuesdays go, this one was fun.

Gill I. P. 12:17 AM  

This was a fun Tuesday solve. Mr. Atkinson had me BOUNCING all over the place. Speaking of, I hate to imagine where the term BOUNCING BABY BOY came from.
He got me at CINDERFELLA and FLABBERGAST. Good ole ALDENTE, SHERBET and VOYAGER saved me though.
BONNIE BLUE BUTLER sounds like something you'd slather on your grits in the morning.
Gracias, senor Atkinson. Another smile this Tuesday.

pk 12:49 AM  

Kiss my grits, all y'all yankees. Our precious little Bonnie Blue Butler broke her neck in a pony-jumping accident, and nobody down here has ever really gotten over it. "You're mighty pretty, precious" were the last words she ever heard.

Having said that, the puzzle was fun and fast.

Can anyone tell me how to keep FaceBook from sending emails to my phone???

CoffeeLvr 12:52 AM  

Fun theme. I didn't mind BONNIE BLUE, since the crosses were pretty much in place from doing the across entries first, and BUTLER was a gimme.

VERT. had me stumped first pass through; how quickly we forget.

FASCIA is also the term in the auto industry for the painted plastic covers over the actual (metal) bumper bars. But whenever I heard the word, and it was frequently, I always remembered being introduced to the term when we dissected cats in Biology II.

Michaela 2:10 AM  

Somehow, BONNIE BLUE BUTLER was already in my memory banks, as was FASCIA. Easy Tuesday.

algebra celebs michaels 2:31 AM  

What was amazing is that the long downs didn't even intersect at the Bs!!! that's amazing...

(except at BEANS/BOY, which is also minorly suspect, as BOI is 2D.)

Actually I would have changed that corner and others as AFC, ATF, AAA, SOV, TSP, INTS, HEE, FRI, ENE, EEG, HEE, DER ENT, BRR, RAE/REA is a little much...
Oh wait a minute, who am I? Rex?

No carping about REBID and REGREW?

I'm amazed he didn't mention all that, but perhaps the OOF and FOOL
charmed him sufficiently, as it did me :)

And I'm guessing one is either in the knows BONNIEBLUEBUTLER or knows BEINGBOBBYBROWN as gimmes, but little overlap in that Venn diagram!

Wow, all those Bs and I thought 7 in yesterday's puzzle was a lot, but this one had extra Bs in its bonnet that weren't even part of the BBB theme: 20, I think!!!

Why do you think Franklins has caught on, but ABES has not???
Am I the only one that calls my dimes Roosevelts?

And is no one going to mention the odd Russky subtext:
SOV, Sputnik ORBITED, RAISA, URALS, and who knows? Maybe Mrs. O'LEARY was a member of the KGB.

chefwen 2:47 AM  

Another easy, early week puzzle for me, FASCIA was my only moment of pause. BONNIE BLUE BUTLER always stuck in the old memory bank as being one of the silliest names one could conjure up. Never watched it but I remember BEING BOBBY BROWN by the crap Whitney Houston went through being married to him (she, no angel herself) but really!

Truly, a PLETHORA of BBB'S.

dbleader61 3:51 AM  

LEONINE? Don't get it so didn't get it. Anyone else?

David 4:39 AM  

Not crazy about BOI and BOY in the same grid. Alternate spellings for the same word.

Anonymous 5:18 AM  

Yeah, who cares about abes... It's all about the benjamins!

Anonymous 5:32 AM  

easy Tuesday
Got Bonnie Blue Butler quick
GWTW is one of my favorite movies and books.

dk 6:53 AM  

Listening to Dr. Dre yesterday (2001 and Chronic) -- one talented BRO.

Old and best girlfriend (Hi Kate!) referred to all bills as dead presidents.

Wanted myelin sheath instead of FASCIA -- otherwise found this puzzle interesting. I would have liked to see hive or apiary in the grid but...

*** (3 Stars) A B+ puzzle

As a man of wealth and taste (please let me introduce myself) I remember CINDERFELLA from the Palace or the Shoppingtown theater but never had the pleasure of seeing BEINGBOBBYBROWN. Although several friends went to Brown.

Finally, once taught a course/seminar to a group of ATF agents on behavior profiling. My research partner and I were too chicken to smoke a joint on the way back to the hotel... while we lusted in our hearts we envisioned busted in our brains.

Actually one more lame story. A friend had a secret from his wife. He loved KOI and would spend large sums of money stocking his backyard "pond." Heron shared his love of KOI: BYEBYE KOI.

d(born to ramble)k

jberg 7:24 AM  

I didn't know either the Butler kid of Whitney Houston's husband, but got them from the crosses. Embarrassingly, though, I couldn't remember SPF, and so ended up with ROsEWAY - even more nonsensical than the actual answer - at 12D

@dbleader61 - Simba and Nala are names of lions in fiction, Nala I think in "The Lion King," maybe Simba as well, though also in Edgar Rice Burroughs's 53,000 Tarzan novels.

So what about IDEATE? Colloquial and with it, or a horrendous back formation?

Anonymous 7:42 AM  

Well, OF COURSE no one named their (fictional or real) child BONNIE BLUE. She was named Victoria Eugenie. This beats being named something like 'Daisy'--I actually knew someone with that given name. Imagine trying to be taken seriously.
GWTW is actually a good read.

Anonymous 7:43 AM  

Lionlike = LEONINE

Work on that vocab

Z 8:10 AM  

Great Tuesday. Loved the 15/16s.

Referring to bills by the dead president/founding father is pretty common, and I, too, have used "Roosevelt" to refer to dimes, but it has been a long time. So ABES didn't seem odd to me at all.

@Anon 7:43 - alternate parsings of LEONINE - LEO NINE, some dead Pope; LEON IN E, some obscure concerto, ENI NOEL backwards, Christmas celebration in an Italian energy multinational.

Oscar 8:17 AM  

Easy, but less than breezy (to me-zy). Also very cut off by black squares. Tsk.

mac 8:21 AM  

Not knowing "Cinderfella", Boi and forgetting ATF made this a DNF for me, rare on a Tuesday.

Flabbergast is my favorite word. Can someone explain Der Bingle? Wasn't very happy with Rae and Rea in one puzzle, and hee, aha, oof and AAA look odd in hindsight.

Tita 8:24 AM  

People are out there who never saw GWTW?!
Got the theme instantly when I saw that clue. I have seen the movie, and am therefore unable to forget such an awful name.

Was glad for lots of easy crosses for the Whitney thing, never having heard of the answer or Bobby Brown.

And was not dreadful ABBA a hint to the theme?
I did like that and the other mini-answers, like BYEBYE.

@Gil... You made me wonder about Bouncing Babies... found this:

"bouncing [ˈbaʊnsɪŋ] adj
vigorous and robust (esp in the phrase a bouncing baby)
Collins English Dictionary".

David 8:29 AM  

I'm with @jberg, needed many crosses to get BONNIEBLUEBUTLER and BEINGBOBBYBROWN, which made this a medium-challenging, a good minute and a half slower than a typical Tuesday.

Still, enjoyed the puzzle and the solve quite a bit. Also never heard of CINDERFELLA, even thought about CINDERBELLA just to fit the theme. Needed more crosses than usual to get some of the excellent 6 and 7 letter answers like FASCIA, ROPEWAY, VOYAGER. The rest was normal Tuesday stuff.

Tita 8:33 AM  


-le is a diminutive form in Swabian German... and also becomes a term of endearment.
Hansel & Gretel given names would've been Hans & Greta.

So I suppose that his German-speaking fans called him Der Bingle... maybe today he'd be The Bingster?

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

Der Bingle? Never heard him called that. And I don't think of an oboe as being "high-pitched".

joho 8:39 AM  

BOY oh BOI were there a lot of B's!
Kind of made the puzzle bubbly. Which led to a Tuesday that was not boring.


I did misspell the first REA as RAE which was odd when the second RAE showed up.


quilter1 8:40 AM  

Quick, fun and easy. I knew the kid, searched my brain for the last name BROWN, and really liked the BABY BOY. Very nice Tuesday.

Off to bake gingersnaps and root beer cake for tomorrow's concert lunch.

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

@David - BOY and BOI aren't the same word. A Boi is a lesbian who dresses as a boy.

CFXK 9:00 AM  

Well, the cow may have done the deed in this totally made up story, but the story took hold because it clearly demonstrated the irresponsibility of those Irish Catholic immigrants who were overrunning the city and destroying the culture and the economy.

Hard to believe that people once scapegoated immigrants for all of society's woes.....

chefbea 9:02 AM  

Found it a little tough for a Tuesday. Got Boston Baked Beans right off the bat and figured the theme was going to be foods starting with a city!!!

Tobias Duncan 9:04 AM  

Daylight savings is killing me.Yesterday felt like a Tuesday and today felt like a Wednesday.I have never seen any of the movies or tv shows this puzzle features.
In the early 90s I chatted up Whitney Houston for about half an hour without knowing who she was.She laughed at all my jokes and very smoothly let me know she was married.Back then my friends used to tease me quite a bit for A. the fact that I never know who the celebs were and B. somehow having a very high opinion of myself.

John V 9:16 AM  

Felt more medium as I was going along but finished with a time closer to easy. BOI OH BOY, did I need the crosses for CINDERFELLA, BONNIEBLUEBUTLER and BEING BOBBY BROWN (no clue at all). Kept looking for BAD BAD leroyBROWN orBITCHBICHBITCH but no luck.

IDEATE? What the ATM did to my bank card, is what I'm sayin'. Thought 12D ROPEWAY was a bit of a stretch. Otherwise, mostly fell into place with the accrosses.

Favorite clue this morning: 35A: Corporate Head?

A nice start to a beautiful morning in the City.

jackj 9:16 AM  

With a little luck we remembered that Randall Hartman had a “B” puzzle not long ago, (on 4/19/11, actually) and his puzzle contained a plethora of double “B” phrases.

Now we have Randall’s twin “B’s” puzzle being a happy gamete in an “In Verbal Fertilization” program, which has found a kindred mate in Scott’s triplet “B”s”, by using the seed entry, BEINGBOBBYBROWN.

To make things even more fun, who was the godfather of this odd coupling but our own Rex Parker when he wrote the following regarding Randall’s April puzzle:

“Thought briefly, as I was solving (very quickly) that there were three Bs in every long answer, and possibly that every long answer was a three-B-word phrase (a lot to ask), but no. And no. Just Bs. All over the place.”

Now we can reasonably wonder, “Is there a quadruplet “B” puzzle in our future?”

Thanks to Randall, Scott and Rex for adding your DNA’s to this unique exercise in crossword synergy.

JaxInL.A. 9:18 AM  

I have to thank @chefbea and @Z for coming to my rescue. My iPad was stolen a few days ago, (argh!) and I had no puzzle access, and little chance to visit here when it had to be on a desktop computer. @chefbea and @ Z. both sent me the wonderful Liz Gorski on Sunday and @chefbea has been sending me the dailies until she goes on a cruise at the weekend. Thanks very much to both of them.

That mobile device had wormed its way into many aspects of my life, but possibly the most important (because I do it only for myself) is doing puzzles daily, and then coming here (or Amy's place, or PG's until recently). Before the iPad I was a casual solver. Now I am an avid one.

AND I discovered that paying for a subscription through the Magmic portal does not translate to having any other access to puzzles, like through the NYT website, or being able to enter subscription info into Crux or Crossword apps. They say it right in the NYT puzzle FAQs: "Our mobile crossword apps are currently developed in partnership with external companies, which means their billing must be handled separately from online crosswords subscriptions. In the future, we hope to combine these subscriptions, but you must currently subscribe to mobile crosswords separately." Not only do they offer a limited and infuriatingly crash-prone app (esp. after the last update), but they lock you in to it.

Okay, so I was upset, and I couldn't find refuge in that zen-like solving state. Where did I go? Rexworld of course. That is, in between bouts of distraught self-flagellation and gratitude mixed with IRE. (I stoopidly left it in a bag with my purse and other things. Got back the bag and purse, including wallet, but iPad had been removed. How could I be so careless with something I depended on so much?) I posted late on Saturday night, and when I looked in my email on Sunday, I had these gifts. So thanks to Chefbea, Z, and all of you. I saw @600 even wonder where i had got to. Thanks!

hazel 9:34 AM  

Although there were a few more gnats in this puzzle than I like to see on a Tuesday, I very much admire its bones. Those spanners were all good to me and how can you not love FLABBERGAST and OOF.

While I never actually watched BEINGBOBBYBROWN, that duo was all over the ATL a few years ago and you couldn't get away from their antics ("I said HELL to the NO!" anybody remember that?) Stuff like that would make it to our nightly news somehow, maybe during sweeps - along with the inevitable arrests, of course.

@pk - I can only speak for myself, but I'm pretty sure alot of us down here have recovered from BONNIEBLUEBUTLER's pony jumping accident ;~) truth be told I don't even remember it. Those last words are pretty touching, though!

@jax - i feel your pain.....sounds like you need to get a backup iPhone4s - you can do your puzzles one tiny square at a time, which is a bit Zenlike.

dk 9:34 AM  

JaxinL.A. Does the locator service work to help find the stolen iPad.. inquiring minds want to know?

d(addicted to the pad)k

Rex Parker 9:38 AM  

"DER Bingle" is possibly the single ugliest phrase I've ever seen in crosswords. I'm not saying it's not valid. I'm just having trouble imagining someone saying it in earnest without embarrassment / nausea. It sounds like a pet name you'd give a body part. I'll let you decide which one.

TM 9:41 AM  

@pk in re to Facebook. I believe that is a setting under: Account Settings -> Notifications.

hazel 9:44 AM  

@d(pad)k - yes. i had a friend who had one stolen from his car, knew the exact location of where it wound up (the freaking street address!) but the police here wouldn't get involved. bigger fish to fry I suppose. so he still mourns its loss.

Lindsay 9:57 AM  

Got off on the wrong foot when I highlighted the four longest acrosses before beginning to solve. Two of which have nothing to do with the theme. Oy.

KOI are illegal in Maine. Several years ago game wardens made headlines when they raided a Chinese restaurant (during lunch hour, no less) and confiscated the koi on display in an aquarium.

Off to vote.

Tobias Duncan 9:57 AM  

Now wait a damn minute.You guys can track these Ipads but the police wont help?What a golden opportunity for group caper.Lets get this thing back!
Anyone interested in participating should watch the first season of HBO's "Bored to Death" then meet up with us at JaxInL.A.'s place.@dk you bring the pot!

hazel 10:03 AM  

@tobias - i'm in!

Gill I. P. 10:23 AM  

Thanks for the "Bouncing Baby Boy" def. I mentally translated that phrase to Spanish and it came out "Un rebotando nene." That makes about as much sense as the phrase in English.

Two Ponies 10:27 AM  

I enjoyed the theme answers but my oh my what ordinary fill. Yawn.

@ dk, I like your hive idea.

@ Tobias, I'm up for the posse.

treedweller 10:50 AM  

I recently missed my ipad after an evening out with friends. Did I leave it at the restaurant? in the car? MobileMe found it for me--I had left it on the checkstand at the grocery store on the way home (too much going on with the wallet, change, receipt and bag of food). I felt like an idiot picking it up, but very fortunate that it was turned into the office instead of sold on craigslist.

oh, I found the puzzle to B enjoyable and was sure I was setting a personal Tuesday record as I solved, but then spent two or three minutes looking for my mistake at AFl/lINDERFELLA. Felt like an idiot then, too.

treedweller 10:51 AM  

I suppose that should have been "turned in to." It is still an ipad.

Sheesh 10:52 AM  

Not only:

Crosby made numerous live appearances before American troops fighting in the European Theater. He also learned how to pronounce German from written scripts, and would read propaganda broadcasts intended for the German forces. The nickname "Der Bingle" for him was understood to have become current among Crosby's German listeners, and came to be used by his English-speaking fans.[wiki]

But also:

In 1957, he released an album in Europe titled "Der Bingle".

No uglier than "The King" for Elvis.

foodie 11:09 AM  

@Tita, thank you re the DER Bingel explanation-- I had no idea what that was all about.
@Rex, that's hilarious! In a plausible sort of way...
@JaxInLA, I would be heartbroken too, and it's totally the kind of stuff I would do, leaving things behind. I pretend it's because I'm absent minded professor. Good luck getting back on track!

Matthew G. 11:12 AM  

Oh no, Jax! Do you have the Find My iPad service? Lojack the scoundrels!!! Hopefully my iPad will prove hard to sell if it's ever stolen -- I bought it online so it has my name and e-mail address engraved on the back.

Just yet another reminder to all who may not know: the Magmic app is not the only, nor is it the better, way to solve on mobile device. Better is to buy an online crosswords subscription from the NYT website and then do the puzzle with a non-proprietary app such as Crosswords or Crux. More solving options should you not have your device handy (i.e., you can use the NYT applet or print out) and conversely you can also get non-NYT puzzles in the same app.

As for today's puzzle, I loved it. I was surprised at Rex's tepid reaction, because I thought this was especially good fare for a Tuesday. I've never seen nor read "Gone With The Wind" (probably the devout Yankee in me resisting), but I found the answer BONNIE BLUE BUTLER charming even though it was unfamiliar. Loved the other BBBs too, as well as CINDERFELLA and FLABBERGAST.

Mel Ott 11:26 AM  

Gotta like a puzzle with four 15-16 space theme answers - interlocking yet.

Either REA or RAE in a puzzle is annoying. Both of them goes over the line. I never know which is which (and don't care) and always have to get them from the crosses.

Anyone who has had plantar fasciitis should know the word FASCIA. Ouch. I asssume the word comes from the old Roman symbol of the fasces, the bundle of sticks with an axe, which also gives us the word fascism. Suitable word for such a painful condition.

syndy 11:27 AM  

Rex has a problem with BONNIE BLUE BUTLER but none with BEING BOBBY BROWN?Please!I'm Flabbergasted! my only right over was that I threw a B in at 57 Across without reading the clue.Count me in on the IPAD Posse-where and when?

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

35D corporate head? I don't get it?

DBGeezer 11:42 AM  

@REX, 9:38: An advantage to being in my eighties is that I recall that when I was in my teens, Mr. Singer Crosby was very frequently referred to, on and off the radio, as DER BINGLE.

Howard B 11:50 AM  

@Anon 11:35:
You'll find those cryptic-ish clues occasionally in the Times, but rarely this early in the week.
A 'hard C' is the first sound (head) of the word 'corporate'.
(HARD C might also be clued, for example, as something like 'EPCOT center?' later in the week).

Similar clues are used for answers like SILENT E, SOFT C, etc.

John V 11:51 AM  

@Anonymous 11:35. The "head"/first letter of the work "corporate" is a HARD C. The question mark in the clue is the tip. Fairly common device.

Anoa Bob 12:01 PM  

@dk 6:53 and @Z 8:10, referring to bill$ by the dead President pictured on the front works most of the time but I'll bet you a $100 bill it doesn't work all the time.

ROPEWAY (12D)? I said that can't be right when it filled in from crosses but Mr. Goofus Pencil at the end said "Yup, that's it". Still don't BUY IT.

Think I'll go and IDEATE for a spell.

North Beach 12:17 PM  

Some thoughts:
@acme: rather than Franklins, I've only heard of Benjamins, as in "It's All About The Benjamins" by one Puff Daddy. In related news there's a great line in the Rufus Wainwright song Peach Trees -

"Cause I'm so tired of waiting in restaurants
reading the critics and comics alone
With a waiter with a face made for currency
Like a coin in ancient Rome".

@chefwen: Interesting choice of words in your comment, if one remembers the "Black Love" scene from BEINGBOBBYBROWN... I'll say no more.

I hear reading GWTW is a great experience.

This puzzle strikes me as a really cross-generational effort. One had to have a breadth of knowledge to solve.

A Born Bostonian who has always hated BOSTONBAKEDBEANS!

PS: I picked MagMic because it was cheaper than the NYT. It's a little hinky (as in I just tried to get the subscription price up for comparison but couldn't) but I've gotten every puzzle but the Steve Jobs. My two Lincoln pennies.

nanpilla 12:22 PM  

P's on Monday
B's on Tuesday,

I guess we'll get J's on Wednesday, and we can all make sandwiches on Thursday.

Loved reading GWTW as a young girl, and fondly remember dragging my Mom to see it in the theater for my 13th birthday. She was a good sport. I payed it forward when I was dragged to see Titanic with my daughter.


Love the word flabbergast!

Raúl 1:03 PM  

This is the fourth time DER has been used with a Crosby clue in the NYT since 11/93.

I recommend Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams--The Early Years 1903-1940 by Gary Giddins to anyone wanting to know more about him.

chefbea 1:19 PM  

@nanpilla that was a good one!!!

archaeoprof 1:38 PM  

so-so Tuesday. didn't especially like BET, ABET, and ABES all in one puzzle.

Been thinking about getting an iPad. But now I don't know...

PS: that Republican debate has totally disrupted normal life here. Today CBS News is setting up behind the building I work in.

Clark 2:01 PM  

If you managed to catch the stolen IPAD in a public place, and if you could grab it without "creating an apprehension of an offensive touching," then, I think, you would be within your rights to just take the thing back. I will join the posse.

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

Holy cow, lots B's and nice long theme answers.

Loved CINDERFELLA, great comedy.

But . . .

AFC, ATF, AAA, SOV, TSP, HEE, FRI, ENE, EEG, HEE, DER, ENT, BRR, RAE, REA, BRO, OOF, SPF, BOI, KOI, AHA, BET, TIL, EWE, SNL??? Isn't that cheating with so many short answers.


I call my $5 bills, FINS.

Gill I. P. 2:29 PM  

@Anonymous 2:02.
I counted 25 three letter words. Wow, I hadn't noticed and I usually complain about excessive short-fill. Maybe I didn't really care since this theme was interesting and I learned what a BOUNCING BABY BOY is.
P.S. I too thought a $5 was called a fin.

Rosemary 2:29 PM  

Saw Cinderfella as a kid on cable. Never saw GWTW though, just clips. Culture imbalance? Fun puzzle overall. :)

retired_chemist 2:52 PM  

I'm back! There are some new names and some old.....

Much dog showing, a case of shingles, and a hard disk crash. I now have a backup HD and most of my files back.

The puzzle - easy. Agree on FIN for a $5. Not much else to say.

600 3:23 PM  

@CFXK--Very clever. Very nice.

@JaxinLA--Sorry for your difficulties; glad you're back. Love @Tobias' posse party idea.

@nanpilla--Good one!

I thought the puzzle was fun. I'm in that tiny Venn diagram overlap @acme mentioned, so I found it pretty easy. Thank goodness I never even saw the clue for 35D; I'm pretty sure it would have slowed me down. And I did have a problem with the crossing of BOI and CINDERFELLA. For a while I had CYNDERFELLA. That's where the generational difficulty caught me: BOI.

ksquare 3:25 PM  

FIN for a $5 bill comes from Yiddish FINNIF, a corruption of German FUNF, for five, I believe.

Anonymous 3:27 PM  

@Retired Chemist: Welcome back. We missed you.

Agree with Anon@2:02 - too much short fill and "FINs up" for $5. Sorry, but I couldn't pass up the reference to Margaritaville.

sanfranman59 3:46 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)

Tue 8:11, 8:51, 0.92, 32%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:17, 4:34, 0.94, 34%, Easy-Medium

mac 4:29 PM  

@Rex: it gets worse. If the Swabian connection is true (my mother in law was from that area) it's not pronounced Bingle, but Bing-le (as in luggage).

william e emba 5:05 PM  

I haven't seen CINDERFELLA in over 40 years, but seeing it in the puzzle made me smile. Looking it up, there's the following remarkable bit of trivia: The scene [in which he makes his entrance to the ball] was shot with one take of Jerry Lewis going down the stairs and one take going up. He ran up the stairs in less than nine seconds and collapsed at the top. He was taken to the hospital and spent four days in an oxygen tent with his second cardiac event.

quilter1 6:27 PM  

@JaxinLA, so sorry about your tablet. I hope you can locate it. I remember your story of how you got it and your pleasure in it. I hope that good luck transfers over to a happy ending.

cody.riggs 9:12 PM  

Rex, I had to choose "other" in the poll, since I print out the pdf on the times site. I hazard a guess that most if not all of the "others" do the same.
Portland, Ore.

cody.riggs 9:15 PM  

Also have to add, this puzzle had my only error in ages and ages...I was positively stymied by BONNIE BLUE BU_LE_...despite the fact that everyone knows Rhett's last name. D'OH!


(INGS was nonsense, I know, and I got DER right just by accident...still don't understand that At All.)

The irony! DNF on a Tuesday!

Gill I. P. 9:25 PM  

I just spilled my wine laughing at BONNIE BLUE BUGLER. I actually like it better !!!!

Clark 9:36 PM  

Semi-puzzle partner, who lived for a number of years in Coburg, Germany, tells me that good old Frau Kräuslich, who was originally from Berlin, used to call Bing Crosby der Bingle, and she pronounced it the way an American would, rhyming with shingle. Which is not incompatible with the story about it being derived originally from the Schwäbisch diminutive.

Anonymous 10:07 PM  

Slang for $5 is FINS. Or fivers, ABES is weak.

chefwen 12:06 AM  

@retired_chemist - Welcome home, I was wondering where you had gone to. Sorry about the shingles that must have been very painful.

chefwen 12:09 AM  

Oh yeah! Sign me up for the posse, I'll bring the brownies.

fergus 12:14 AM  

Having seen the movie, of course, I actually started the novel (by chance during a math class) yesterday, and was stunned delightfully how good the first few pages were.

+wordphan 1:34 AM  

@pf: the last reconstruction of facebook left me without those pesky emails, no idea why. Check your preferences. Bless your pea-picking heart, we all love BBButler to pieces down here in Dixie, Rex, you damn Yankee, you. Liked the busy B-ness of this puzzle but got roped in the NW corner and choked. Nite, y'all.

sanfranman59 1:42 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 6:30, 6:50, 0.95, 30%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:12, 8:51, 0.93, 32%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:28, 3:40, 0.95, 31%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:15, 4:34, 0.93, 31%, Easy-Medium

bbbacme 2:26 AM  

Cinderfella was based on a book???!!


The bao 11:23 AM  

I literally jmuped out of my chair and danced after reading this!

Hoc hat 11:24 AM  

I really needed to find this info, thank you very much for creating it.

day hat karaoke 11:27 AM  

Great post! I like this new newsletter. Thanks so much for creating it. Please keep us updated.

Rebecca 9:26 AM  

@ Z
An Italian multinational energy convention was HYSTERICAL!

@ Anon in this post too

My neice,(when a toddler) would refer to a single dollar bill as a "Daddy Washington". (Her father's name is George.)He put the kabosh on this by her fourth Christmas.
Hi Rex I am back online with my Dad here getting caught up.

Nullifidian 1:30 PM  

Solving both the Monday and Tuesday puzzles today because my newspaper yesterday was ruined by the rain.

I found this very difficult, just because of the long theme answers and the very short surrounding answers.

Never having heard of CINDERFELLA, and believing Jerry Lewis to be as funny as getting an arrow through the neck and finding there's a gas bill tied to it (in the immortal words of Blackadder), I needed all those three letter down crosses. Luckily for me, FASCIA was one of my gimmes as a biology major, and ATHENA was another.

Also never heard of BONNIE BLUE BUTLER and needed every cross. Unfortunately, one of those crosses was a total Natick because I'm too young to remember what some German announcer called Bing Crosby decades ago. I thought it referred to one of his songs, which I don't know anything about either. In fact, it will show you how fogged I was that I couldn't tell if the clue were about Bing Crosby or David Crosby.

Lastly, I'm with you about ABES. There is no such slang, except in the minds of NYT puzzle constructors. A four letter slang word for fivers is FINS. That is what I put in with utter certainty, and then I had to write it over. So all in all, not one of the easier Tuesday puzzles in my opinion.

Captcha: wingen

Rhymes with DER Bingen!

Stephen 4:20 PM  

Bonnie Blue was the flag of the Confederacy, which is why Rhett chose that name.

Dirigonzo 6:10 PM  

From the crossword hinterland, I'm pretty sure ATF is not primarily an anti-smuggling org.

@sheesh makes a good point, I think, that "DER Bingle", which Rex suggests would be a good name for a body part, is no worse than "The King"...(you can finish the thought for yourself).

From 12/13/06:
- "Solving time: roughly 10 min."
- "That's right, I said Dumb and Dumber. Don't believe me? Ask my friend Shaun - her husband and I bet her that she would laugh out loud at least five times during that movie, a bet she foolishly took and lost. I don't remember what the stakes were, but the point is that Dumb and Dumber was surprisingly funny given how stupid it was."
- "CRITIQUE has the virtue of being more economical, syllable-wise, but it's far too polite for my tastes. What I do to student papers really requires the "Z" that only CRITICIZE (and possibly TERRORIZE) can give (in America - in the UK, I don't know what you do)."
- "I'm including this only because I didn't know BEE BALM was a plant. I thought it was just a high-end version of ChapStick."
- "I like the contemporary, computer-related clues and answers. In this puzzle, see also 25A: One listed on MySpace (friend). I wanted to use this appearance of the word "emoticon" in a puzzle to call attention to my favorite new comics characters, whose name is, in fact, Emoticon."
- "And now I know who MOSHE Dayan is. Hurray for the superficial knowledge that only solving the puzzle (and reading my blog) can provide."
- "Interesting fact: all hobbits were exterminated in the late 60's after they were declared a nuisance to the local agricultural economy."
- There were 11 comments, to which @Orange added: "Isn't Moshe Dayan the one who wore a jaunty eyepatch? War injury + eyeball = pirate chic!"

SurvivorMaam 6:37 PM  

Thanks @Dirigonzo for posting from syndiland. I read this blog most days and have thought of posting but it's all been said before I get to the bottom. I have been thinking of subscribing to the NY Times so I can be one of the current group but til then, I enjoy your posts. Is there any way you can tell where the syndiland posts start?

Dirigonzo 7:20 PM  

@SurvivorMaam, nice to see you here! Sometimes it's hard to know when the late prime-timers leave and the syndisolvers arrive. If you hang around long enough you recognize the names, so I know @sanfranman59 is definitely writing from 5 weeks ago and @Nullifidian is in syndiland; @Rebecca I'm not sure and the 3 above her all look like spam, so who knows when they posted.

I'm sure you already know that many commenters get email notification of all subsequent posts so if you choose to add your thoughts, and I hope you will, they will be read by many of your favorite contributors including, of course, our host.

Hope to see you back here tomorrow!

Anonymous 5:28 AM  

Spacecraft here. @Rex: actually, the king of French fill is ROI. (Please don't hit me; I bruise easily!)
So howcome baby girls never bounce? Just askin'. If we have a pathological need for alliteration, we could try "Gurgling greasy girl," or maybe the clinical "frowning fetal female."
There's a ton of objectionable RE-words that get dropped into grids while their constructors are desperately REFILLing them for the twentieth time, but today's trio are not among them, IMHO. Clued the way it was, REBID does seem awkward, but in the game of bridge that is a common word, occurring on almost every deal. If we only knew more about how certain organisms REGREW missing parts, we might make giant leaps in human health care. And REHAB? Well, that's even more common than the RE-less HAB (unless you're a Canadiens fan).
I didn't mind doing this puzzle--I found it easy--except that it mentioned two famous abusers, and I resent giving them any public space.
Agree about the ABES; if it's not a five it's a FIN. REA/RAE: you can tell what day of the week it is just by how these are clued.This is the second time this week I've seen the entry I'll sign off with:

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