Hockey East town / FRI 11-18-11 / Partner of ciencias / Cry repeated Whiffenpoof Song / 1955 Belmont Preakness winner

Friday, November 18, 2011

Constructor: Joe DiPietro

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: TOGGERY (39D: Duds) —
n. pl. tog·ger·ies
1. Clothing; togs.
2. A clothing store. (
• • •

A relatively easy and almost completely unremarkable puzzle. Fridays and Saturdays should have fresh, original, splashy answers. This one doesn't. I like AND I QUOTE ... but I've seen it before. NO MYSTERY is vaguely interesting. Otherwise, it's a solid but completely generic puzzle. Well, solid except for TAUR, SASES, IFY, and SEATER. And maybe SEINER.

["MAKIN' It" — 50A: "___ It," 1979 top 10 hit)]

[What the hell?]

Got a fast start on this one with RIDGE (too easy) and then ENOS (5D: Grandson of 21-Across) (which I wrote in without even confirming what 21-Across was—seemed obvious). Whole NW went down from there, with only ARTES (19A: Partner of ciencias) giving me any trouble (couldn't piece together what "ciencias" was; thought it was 100 ... something, but now that I say it out loud, its real meaning seems more obvious). No real problems through the middle. Needed crosses to get NASHUA (28D: 1955 Belmont and Preakness winner that shared its name with a U.S. city), wrote in SONY for SEGA at first (46A: Big maker of consoles), but nothing slowed me down much. SE was as easy if not easier than the NW (except for the part where I wanted ELI instead of BAA—42A: Cry repeated in "The Whiffenpoof Song"). Really dislike IN A BIKINI (32D: How some calorie counters eventually want to look good)—it's just not not not a stand-alone phrase, any more than IN A PANTSUIT or IN A MUUMUU. NE and SW proved somewhat more difficult. Finally cracked the NE when I guessed (off a few crosses) SCHNITZEL (18A: Veal dish). DIANA ROSS helped as well (6A: Billboard once named her "Female Entertainer of the Century"). SW was probably the toughest, primarily because of TOGGERY (!?!?!) and NO MYSTERY (57A: Something transparent), which I kept trying to make into a fabric like POLYESTER. Guessed ORONO much the same way I guessed ENOS—had a letter in the right place, and it just felt right (44D: Hockey East town). ENOS and ORONO are everywhere. Every constant solver knows them. Crosswordese is a massive fund that we draw on almost instinctively when making educated guesses about 3-5-letter words. See also SASES.

[30D: "Love Sneakin' Up on You" singer, 1994 = Bonnie RAITT]

  • 35A: Pollux and Aldebaran (K-STARS) — had the KST- part before I ever saw the clue, so it was easy. Just finished watching "The Empire Strikes Back" with my daughter. Aldebaran sounds like somebody's home planet. 
  • 37A: Capone portrayer, 1959 (STEIGER) — I did not know that. He won an Academy Award for "In the Heat of the Night"; he also did other stuff.

  • 10D: Environmental datum of concern to asthmatics, for short (AQI) — Air Quality Index. Pretty sure I learned this from crosswords.
  • 50D: Fashion designer Jacobs (MARC) — here is an interesting datum about Mr. Jacobs: "He is perhaps best known as the designer of STEVE Jobs' (13D: Either co-founder of Apple) rimless eyeglasses, which became a sought-after item following Jobs' death in 2011 and sold out in stores around the world" (wikipedia).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


optionsgeek 11:40 PM  

I get that MS = manuscripts and SASES are used to mail them around. I don't see how "dos" fits into this. Anyone?

Anonymous 11:58 PM  

You might want to change the heading to be Friday, November 18th instead of Thursday, November 17

TomAz 12:13 AM  

I don't get it either. And TOGGERY? Bah.

Anonymous 12:16 AM  

@Options.. It's the right thing to do, sending in your MS with a SASE, as in dos and don'ts.

Tobias Duncan 12:16 AM  

GRrrrrr, just could not get things going in the northwest. My Spanish and Latin were just not up to the task.English it seems, is also not my strong suit because RIDGE, ONION and GORES would just not come.I just figured out as I write this that Ridge has to do with some obscure 80 potato chip ad campaign.
Finally got ROSAPARKS from the other end and made unlocked it.
I wish I could help you optionsgeek but I have no idea what you are even talking about SASES? what the hell?

Anonymous 12:30 AM  

Rex -- "37A: Capone portrayer, 1959 (STEIGER) — I did not know that. He won an Academy Award for "In the Heat of the Night"; he also did other stuff:"

I wrote on Wordplay recently that you did not know movies before 1980. I'm not sure if I was right. Could you give me a year beyond which you admit you know nothing?

retired_chemist 12:39 AM  

I like themeless puzzles. This was a fun solve.

AND I QUOTE and SPERO started me off. CLOTHES @ 39D seemed too obvious to be right on a Friday, and indeed it wasn't. But it was easily fixed since I was dubious anyway. 49A STAG seemed like one answer among many possibilities, so I was dubious again. This time, though, it worked.

GOT IN LATE and (ONE/TWO) FOOTER got the SW into gear, with the dichotomy resolved easily by ORONO, one of our go-to towns (cf. ESSEN, OCALA, EDINA, ENID, OLEAN,......).

CUSS @ 22A instead of POPS slowed the NW down - my last area to fall. Debated what DIET SLATE might be but then had no answers for 1D/2D consistent with CUSS. Gave up on it, inserted DIET PLATE, __PS was clearly POPS,and correcting1D/2D was a truly satisfying way to end.

Thanks, Mr. DiPietro.

Evan 12:45 AM  

Hey Rex, you've got your date on your post mixed up. This post was accidentally labeled as "Thursday, November 17, 2011" instead of "Friday, November 18, 2011." I haven't slipped back in time, have I?

Agreed with Rex on INABIKINI, but even worse to me is the ugly duplex of SPERO on top of ARTES. Better yet, they cross DIETPLATE. Diet what? What plate? What what? I've never heard that term before. Google returns a grand total of 125,000 hits when you write DIET PLATE in quotation marks. That seems really low for an entry that is, supposedly, sufficiently in-the-language to make the NYT crossword puzzle. I must have lost at least four or five minutes resisting the temptation to enter it in the grid because it seemed like such a contrived term.

The NE corner, however, is really nice. Rex may think the highlight of that region is ANDIQUOTE, others may think it's SCHNITZEL....but I think it's DASTARD. I went as one for Halloween once -- or more specifically, a dastardly villain with an old-timey mustache, cape, and top hat, and with a penchant for sneaking around corners and being nefarious. Sort of like doing The Creep.

Evan 12:46 AM  

@ Rex:

Cool, looks like the date was fixed just as I posted my comment.

Gill I. P. 12:51 AM  

"He found them in bed, and to all appearance asleep, they having slipped into bed without removing their "TOGERRY," and feigning sleep.
Tea Leaves by Francis Drake.
I loved this puzzle. It might have been on the easy side but it was just plain fun to solve. SEINER was new to me as well as SASES. I enjoyed seeing STEIGER though, since I think he portrayed the best CAPONE ever plus I'm a sucker for 50's movies.
Thanks for the memories senor DiPietro.

Anonymous 1:25 AM  

Deja vu - where in the world is Lotto a scratch off game?

Stephen 1:36 AM  

Wikipedia's wrong about Marc Jacobs. The article it cites for the claim that he designed Jobs' glasses reveals that the designer is Robert Marc, not Marc Jacobs. Oops.

chefwen 2:03 AM  

@Evan - Diet plates in diners back in the day, used to contain a hamburger patty, no bun, cottage cheese and some sort of greenery.
Quite boring.

@Tobias - Ruffles have ridges. SASES, self addressed stamped envelopes.

The first dish my Viennese grandmother taught me was Wiener SCHNITZEL, she also passed down to me my passion for cooking. Thanks Grandma Sofie.

I loved this puzzle, basically, because I was able to do it with a minimum of cheating. SPERO was one of the cheaters. I am getting better at the Friday and Saturday shtick thanks to this blog.

Anonymous 2:18 AM  

Man, Rex, you're a tough marker. According to cruciverb, AND I QUOTE was last used a little over 7 years ago.

I think that's a long enough wait for such a great answer.

andrea carla michaels 2:27 AM  

Well, basically I thought this was VERY nicely balanced for once!!!

All the bitchin' and moanin' I usually do about lack of non-fictional women was made up in this puzzle, what with ROSAPARKS, DIANAROSS, Monica SELES, my social nemesis Bonnie RAITT and EVE (tho I'll leave it to others to decide if she is real!)

Plus the overall puzzle really OOZES a very feminine vibe...

I mean, there was still the usual sports (SELES, ONEFOOTER, PITT being defined as a team, not an actor, ORONO as a hockey site, etc.)
BUT designers MARC Jacobs, SERGIO Valente coupled with INABIKINI and DIETPLATE skewed female, or at least not uber-masculine.

I mean you still had STAG film and REAREND for @dk and others to make lascivious jokes about, but even those might be balanced with a church-lady-biblical-undertone (EVE, ENOS, THEE).

I really enjoyed trying to guess who the "Female entertainer of the Century" would be as the NE took shape...
And I had fun with a lot of my initial mistakes: NA---- for the horse's name, I guessed NAtick!

(Then I considered that even a city? I would google it, but now I no longer trust Wikipedia, what with @Stephen's Marc Jacobs/Steve Jobs debunking!)

That's my fear coming true...
Wikipedia is rife with misinformation, conflating other things, and then being disseminated on blogs like this one and in the future, who will know what is true or not!

Anyway, @Evan, you're just not a gal, otherwise you'd have noticed or been wildly familiar with the concept of ordering a DIET PLATE and/or knowing how often "I want to be able to fit IN(to) A BIKINI" has been uttered!

Now that I am clearly channeling a Cathy cartoon, I'll stop...but overall, I thought this puzzle was GREAT NEWS.
Thanks, Joe!

Clark 2:41 AM  

Fridays are never easy for me. I needed semi-puzzle partner's help to sort out the whole SASES, SEINER / NASHUA, STREET area. But help me he did. I caused problems for myself by confidently putting in Easy Does It instead of Easy STREET.

Big fan of SCHNITZEL here. Call it Wiener Schnitzel or ala Milanese, I call it mmgood.

jae 2:56 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 3:19 AM  

I liked it. NW took a while because I had to undo OREOS crossed with ESAU but the rest was on the easy side. The ROSAPARKS combo was a nice touch.

@anon 1:25 -- Scratchers is a component of the CA Lotto.

RocketA 7:29 AM  

My southwest was messed up for a long time by 46A "Big maker of consoles".

Anyone currently playing video games would think SONY who makes PS3 and made the huge selling PS1 and PS2.

The last time SEGA had a big successful video game console was in the early 90's. Their last one barely sold, was only available from 98-01, and was thus far from big. This should have been clued as "Former big maker of consoles". The "consoles" alone would make it a difficult clue for someone who doesn't know what video game systems are called.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

Maybe it was the SERGIO VALENTE answer that got me thinking back to the 80's but for the longest time I had DIET SLICE for DIET PLATE. Now when was the last time anyone had a can of DIET SLICE...or regular Slice for that matter?

Glimmerglass 8:06 AM  

This was hard for me, but mainly because the clues were sometimes off-center -- not in a tricky way, but just wrong. A DASTARD is primarily a coward, not a sneak. SERPENTS are not deceitful. Snakes [in the grass] are. THE serpent is. LOTTO is not a scratch ticket here. Demerits (not a verb in my book) are indications of NEGATIVES, but not the negatives themselves. TOGGERY, SASES, and POPS are legitimate Friday clues.

dk 8:15 AM  

Lascivious? is that French for luscious butt? I mean I ass k you, Andrea's naked REAREND comments are the SERPENTS tooth. If ya know what I am sayin .. its NOMYSTERY to me the DASTARD little SCHNITZEL.

oh ya stem THERAGE and focus on the puzzle. I agree with REX although I got INABIKINI early on and it made sense to me. RIDGE for !A seemed lame and SASES as @optionsgeek pointed out is BAA!

Finally, I do not get RENEW as an Appeal of NY.

All of that said it was a delightful way to spend a Friday morning.

*** (3 STARS) Thank you Joe

Hey Andrea! ONEFOOTER (insert Bevis and Butthead chortle about here)!

d(just the PITTs)k

Tita 8:22 AM  

Another one that I liked...

How can you not love TOGGERY! At our house, togs are what you slip into at the end of a long work day, or cold afternoon shoveling the walk, etc., with a cup of tea or glass of porto. Aaaahhhh...

Also liked Dum spiro, spero... Though I never took Latin, I have a enough romance languages under my belt that this was a gimme.

And SCHNITZEL reminds me of my favorite restaurant in Basel...there, they flatten the cutlet till it's the size of a dinner plate, then, they bread it in croissant crumbs...!!!!

Need I go on? Oh yes, they also serve amazing fondue.

retired_chemist 8:43 AM  

@ dk -

New York Magazine appeals to you to RENEW.

dk 8:55 AM  

@retired_chemist. From Homer ANDIQUOTE: DOH!

And, thanks

evil doug 9:00 AM  

"Wikipedia is rife with misinformation...."

Of course, so is the New York Times---and the Washington Post, Fox, MSNBC, and all the rest. Remember Jason Blair? Janet Cooke?

Everybody knows Wikipedia is a questionable resource; but when a reputedly reliable newspaper like the Times regularly allows opinion to leak over into supposed hard news reportage, or lets its political preferences determine whether an item ends up on page 1 or page 21, or publishes stuff as factual with only limited, questionable or anonymous confirmation, then the dispersal of misinformation is particularly insidious.

I taught my kids (and my students): People lie, people make mistakes, people let their biases interfere with the full truth---so don't blindly believe anything you read or hear, regardless of the supposed trustworthiness of the source.


quilter1 9:09 AM  

I wanted scallopini and parmesan before SCHNITZEL, all pretty good to eat. I was stuck in the mud before the RUT was revealed. I wanted my hummingbirds to hover, but they do DART. I would rate this medium for me but maybe if I'd slept an extra hour...Also I liked IN A BIKINI.

MikeM 9:11 AM  

DNF. Did not enjoy. Could not get SASES for the life of me. And I had "doesiT" instead of STREET. I dont really like Fridays, no theme so less wit. Maybe I am just cranky because I did not finish. On to KenKen

PanamaRed 9:16 AM  

@evil - great rant. Spot on!

Best schnitzel I ever had was at Spago Beverly Hills - Puck's family recipe. Can't wait to go back next year.

And thanks Joe - I enjoyed this puzzle.

Glitch 9:20 AM  

@acme et al re:

Wiki Citations


David 9:22 AM  

Zoomed through almost the entire south, but a writeover for PLOT/SLOT (Schedule - 49D) slowed things up, esp. in getting TOGGERY. I didn't write it in, but wanted BLUEPLATE for DIETPLATE (I like my BLUEPLATE answer much more!). Also in the NE, was pathetically on the wrong wavelength of 1A (Chip feature) - I was thinking computer chips, so RIDGE came to me at the very end.

I actually like INABIKINI, and loved all of the long answers in the NE. Just saw Diana Ross in concert a month or so ago - entertaining but awfully expensive...

I will have "Makin' It" in my head all day - aargh....

jackj 9:44 AM  

No DASTARD is Joe DiP; clever, yes, but a “sneak”, no, and, as usual, his Friday puzzle is GREATNEWS for Times themeless aficionados.

Cute, clever, tricky NINE is a double your pleasure answer, in light of the clue being absent a question mark, while verbalizing the ubiquitous 9 of 911 and it gets the solving juices flowing, early on.

On the left side of the grid, (ANDIQUOTE), INPROTEST served double duty in describing ROSAPARKS action while it also paved the way for one’s feelings about the next down entry, DIETPLATE.

Then, said DIETPLATE served as a reminder, (when we were asked by an awkward clue), to determine “How some calorie counters eventually want to look good” and that, of course, would be in INTHENUDE until CRISS soon indicated it might be better as INABIKINI. (Think Victoria’s Secret and it’s a delightful vision, either way).

Finally, it was surprising to see Joe and Will daring to define PITT as a Big East team, especially since PITT is leaving the Big East Conference for the ACC and even those teams staying in the Big East aren’t sure which colleges are members.

Good start to the weekend from old pro Joe DiPietro.

mac 10:10 AM  

Good Friday puzzle, easy-medium, got it done before getting to work.

I wanted Sony first, as well, then put in Vega instead of Sega, but that was easily fixed. I also had to say ciencias out loud to get the@ artes!

The diet plate sounds like tired fruit and cottage cheese, but I wanted Osso Bucco in the NE. Schnitzel is good, too.

@Clark: beautiful cat.

jesser 10:16 AM  

Writeovers were THou before THEE at 20A and the boneheaded-on-my-part dErRier (sic) before REAR END at 29A.

I got 1A correct, but I was thinking poker chips, not Lays Potato Chips. Neat how it worked itself out to be right.

And so I come to the blog, satisfied and happy, and I get to ACME's comment, and she uses the phrase GREAT NEWS, and I look back at my puzzle and realize I did the SE mostly with the downs, and at 34D, I had GREATNEsS, which makes No Sense. So now I'm mad at me.

I really wanted 6A to be Tina Turner or Bette Midler, but neither wouldn't fit. You can't force Tina Turner or Bette Midler anywhere they don't want to go. Of this I'm sure.

And suddenly, captchas have returned to me, so I will begin again an old habit...

lowbi -- a person short of stature who has greater odds than hets or homos for garnering a date on a Saturday night.

Happy weekend!

Seth 10:21 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seth 10:22 AM  

I know I am missing something incredibly obvious, but I just don't get THEE for 20a: Second person in the Bible. I love that the clue shows up twice though. But could someone please explain THEE? Thanks!

Tita 10:28 AM  

Hey Seth... "2nd person" singular pronoun.

Seth 10:28 AM  

Oh, I just got it. THEE. Second person, as in a second person pronoun, as in YOU. Awesome.

Stan 10:38 AM  

I liked the "Genesis" theme:


Tita 10:42 AM  

@Seth...thanks for the chance to learn a bit more of the language...
You spurred me to 10 minutes of "creative avoidance", which was greatly rewarded.
In wanting to make sure my answer was correct, I got these fabulous examples from wiktionary...

"Don't thee tha them as thas thee!"

"I thou thee, thou traitor!"

I've long been a big fan of only one form of address, regardless of the color and nuance it gives in languages that use multiples.

Cheerio 10:45 AM  

I thought this was an elegant puzzle, very puzzly too. It was fun to figure it out, at least as far as I was able to take it. In female land, "in a bikini" qualifies as a phrase. I have never heard of "stag film" however. I thought there was a lot of fresh fill. I especially enjoyed "schnitzel". Also appreciated PITT and Lotto. The Rosa Parks/ in protest duo is impressive - that alone makes the puzzle great. The combinations (1) 32D,33D, and 34D and (2) 6A,16A,18A are also nice.

RW Bush 10:54 AM  

Enjoyed this one.. Isn't anyone else amused with GORES for runs through? Was thinking pores which was n't so good.

For @Evil.. Shouldn't I believe my captain when he says we went around because we were too close to a small aircraft still on the runway?

Hate the fact that when i get through a puzzle (finally) everyone here says it was a piece of cake.. Oh well. Happy Friday!

Chip Hilton 11:09 AM  

Wheelhouse thanks to all the sports clues that got me going. ORONO, SELES (tried LENDL first), NASHUA, ONEFOOTER, and (the soon to be obsoletely clued) PITT were spread out nicely providing crosses where needed.

Regarding 6-Across: What were they thinking?

Please explain why Aldebaran and Pollux get the 'K' designation. Thanks.

Two Ponies 11:13 AM  

Harder side of medium for me but very satisfying.
Toggery was great. I say togged out for getting dressed up.
Loved the symmetry of diet plate and in a bikini.
My first glance through the clues made me groan because of the sports, fashion, and bible but
like yesterday I toughed it out.
Thanks Joe!
People bought rimless glasses because Steve Jobs died? Weird.

hazel 12:13 PM  

did not start out on Joe diP's wavelength today, but finally caught up to him, and it was worth the effort. Was a toughie for me. Like @stan I liked the genesis theme as well as the homage paid to trying to keep a girlish figure.....

I went to the Sugar Bowl when Georgia played Pitt and had one of the Top 10 funnest weekends of my life (we lost, but didn't care). Got tix at the 11th hour and drove down overnight without a place to stay - ran into a friend and soon had a place kind of sticking out of a closet. It rocked. New Years Eve in New Orleans..... sleeping on the floor, eating Takee Outee, drinking everything. good times.

Having a bonfire tonight. Got to go drag some wood around. Wish my dogs had opposable thumbs and could help!

Matthew G. 12:15 PM  

Thought the puzzle was okay, but found it Medium-Challenging, mainly because of tough fill. Things I simply Did Not Know included: ARTES, STEIGER, SEINER, and most of all TOGGERY (?!). Every one of them valid, but all big WTFs. I just Googled TOGGERY and I see tons of different usages of it, but somehow this word for "clothes" never crossed my ears or eyes before today.

Anyhow, I finished a decent ways past my usual Friday time, so I was surprised at Rex's rating. I liked IN A BIKINI, perhaps because I got it off the the terminal I_I and smirked.

Anonymous 12:17 PM  

Gaaahh!! This is the first puzzle to really stop me, NW and NE, in quite a while, and it was supposed to be "easy"?? Obscure Latin phrase, Spanish language trick, Pollux and AldeWho? I even messed up serpents--couldn't see it even after getting "inch up". I struggled way too long before baling. Out, coming here, and finding "dastard", complete news to me.

Matthew G. 12:18 PM  

@Anon 1:25 a.m.:

??? I've never lived in a state that didn't have scratch-off games as part of its LOTTO.

Larry 12:23 PM  

Re David Naughton: Utahans are much more polite than Alaskans. When they're advertising for their hookers, they say that their women are their greatest asset. Alaskans just go with "Drill baby, Drill!". So crude.

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

@Matthew G
Scratch off games are usually part of the state lottery but "Lotto" is a game like Keno were balls with numbers on them are randomly chosen - no scratching involved.

Anonymous 12:30 PM  

LOTTO seems primarily defined as a numbers game of chance, where one chooses numbers to be matched against a drawing. Definitely not a scratch-off game.

Captch: getthm. What lotteries do.

Lindsay 12:54 PM  

Started at ORONO (hey, I live in Maine) crossing ORO then rocketed around the grid counter-clockwise (IN A BIKINI w/o crosses, not sure I understand the gripe about that phrase) until I hit the NW. Which I did not get at all.

Certain chip feature: ruffle? b-b-q flavoring? something to do with computers? Onetime boycott instigator: Sam Adams? an abolitionist whose name I've forgotten refusing to wear cotton? "I hope": definitely esperanto, except it's too many letters.

Finally just started mashing in what fit without regard to the clues (SERGIO, STEIGER, KSTARS) until ROSA PARKS and IN PROTEST came into view then finished lickety-split.

To summarize, Rex and I would have had a head-on collision as we solved on exactly opposite courses.

syndy 12:56 PM  

I held on to SCALOPINI (SIC) far too long;and I also was guilty of GREATNESS-in my defence I had NESS first hey it makes as much sense as TOGGERY! I have frequently wished Wikipedia would identify their contributors.if not by name by allegience?

Anoa Bob 1:00 PM  

I thought this was another fine example of Mr. DiPietro's considerable xwording talents. Nothing singularly exceptional, just a well crafted, accessible puzzle with many thoughtful touches. Among others were ROSA PARKS and IN PROTEST stacked side by side right out of the gate.

GREAT NEWS: It's NO MYSTERY that ticking to DIET PLATEs will go a long way in making one's REAR END look good IN A BIKINI.

Keep 'em coming Joe!

r.alphbunker 1:02 PM  

A good Friday puzzle. Started slow but kept confident and was rewarded with a nice finish
1 ****
2 ******
3 ********
4 ***
5 ***
6 *
7 ************
8 ****************
9 ****
10 ***********

Liked INABIKINI becauses of the Is I had I _ _ _ I _ I _ I from the crosses before I got it.

People here have wondered how Will Shortz is going to top the PB metapuzzle in his next theme week. How about having him change places with our host for a week. RP chooses the puzzles and WS does the blog.

Just saw the captcha after writing the last paragraph. It is "hemight." Rod Serling where are you?

Jet City Gambler 1:27 PM  

Saying SEGA is a big maker of consoles is like saying Oldsmobile is a big maker of cars. The last SEGA system, the Dreamcast, came out in '98 and was discontinued in '01.

John V 1:41 PM  

Sorry to be late, but I was tied up getting the crappie kicked out of me by this one. I came up victorious, but it was not real pretty.

Well, this played challenging here. Believe I blew out my solving synapses with yesterdays' over-posting. To that point, had CACHE for 1A chip feature, as ENOS was already in place and was still thinking computer stuff. Yeah, it was downhill from there. Wanted BASTARD not DASTARD. Needed you folks to understand MS dos, as my IT brain of yesterday was running amok on this one, too.


Re: LOTTO/scratch: my son worked at a liquor store in Roxbury, MA some years ago, where he learned the term scratch-heads, used to refer to the early morning clientele who were fond of fortified wine and scratch-off lottery tickets; on my list of top ten neologisms of the past decade.

archaeoprof 2:10 PM  

@JohnV: me too. And it was well worth the effort!

@andrea carla: there would have been one more woman in the puzzle if THERAGE had been clued by Rhonda Vincent.

Matthew G. 2:40 PM  

Interesting. I'd always thought the terms "lotto" and "lottery" were interchangeable (I play neither). Now I know better. Thanks.

Scratch-off games drive me bonkers. I detest having to wait in line behind people who treat convenience stores like their personal casinos.

Lewis 2:41 PM  

Do we need a word for what Jesser did -- interpreted the clue different from how the constructor meant it, yet still got the right answer? Does that happen enough to deserve a term?

TimJim 2:43 PM  

Very tough for me . DNFWG (Did Not Finish Without Google).

evil doug 2:52 PM  

Bush: "For @Evil.. Shouldn't I believe my captain when he says we went around because we were too close to a small aircraft still on the runway?"

Never, ever believe your captain. We blame EVERYthing on the proverbial 'small aircraft on the runway'. You actually fell for that old chestnut? The fact is that we probably fell asleep, were in the middle of a poker game, or were trying to finish the Times crossword before we landed.
"Persuasive lying" is the first thing they teach us in Airline 101.

If we truthfully told you every deadly test that we were heroically confronting then:

A. We'd be on the PA the whole damn flight, because every leg is a constant series of horrible, frightening challenges;


B. You'd need a sitz bath to clean yourself.

You can't handle the truth, Bush.


Joe 2:54 PM  

Re: Steiger

It funny that the chosen clip was from "January Man" (a REALLY...uh...not good movie) because Steiger, a known hammy scenery chewer, admitted that even HE thought he was over the top in that movie and that he had played that scene totally incorrectly. Well, someone in a coma could have given you the same assessment.
The only saving grace in that film is, if you remember, the naked woman on the sofa that Alan Rickman was painting. This actress also happened to be appearing on Broadway around this time.
She was in one of the last casts of "Oh, Calcutta" before the show closed.
And let me tell this day, I feel that she has the finest figure I have ever seen on a live female human being, clothed or naked. To say that I was mesmerized is like saying that DaVinci was "pretty smart."

The only other thing about Steiger is that with his Oscar win for "In The Heat of the Night," he perpetuated the acting myth that chewing gum counts as a "characterization."

Gill I. P. 2:58 PM  

I wanted to post this earlier but sleep beckoned.
@Rex: Enjoyed seeing "Bikini" by Andrew Wyeth in you post. For those that may have some interest, the model was 14 year old Siri Erickson. She was a Finnish farmer's daughter living in Maine where Wyeth spent considerable time painting. She presumably filled the void left after the death of Christina Olson (of Christina's World fame.)Siri would also become Wyeth's intro. to his "Helga" series. I know there's a "Did you hear about the farmer's daughter?" joke in there somewhere.
@jackj: You never fail to amuse me. You mention Joe and Will daring to define PITT for 47A. Well, I initially thought PENN...

nanpilla 3:11 PM  

Filled RIDGE in right away just to see where things would go from there, and really never looked back. I love it when that happens. When I think consoles, I think NEVE, but I figured that wouldn't be right.

DIETPLATE hits a little too close to home these days.....ten pounds down and counting...

Clark 3:18 PM  

@chewfwen and @mac -- The beautiful cat you noticed is Gracie. She rarely appears in the puzzle. (But she is a fan of the puzzle because puzzle time means feeding time is coming.) Our other cat, OBI, is of course a puzzle regular.

william e emba 3:40 PM  

Although I've seen several films with Rod STEIGER, I only associate him with The Pawnbroker. It remains one of the most powerful films ever made, and his performance there has probably wiped out any memory I might have of him elsewhere. It staggers the imagination that Steiger lost out to Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou for Best Actor.

r.alphbunker 3:44 PM  


Databases can have many to one relationships. For example many people can work for the same company.

Similarly, the two interpretations of the 1A clue have a many to one relationship with the answer, i.e., the interpretations "certain poker chip feature" and "certain potato chip feature" both can be mapped to the answer RIDGE. Here an interpretation is like a person and the answer is like a company.

"Many to one" is an adjectival phrase. Let's make it a verb and say that Jesser "manytooned 1A". (pronounced manytuned)

A manytooned clue does not have a correct interpretation. For example, it is entirely possible that the constructor was thinking of a poker chip when he wrote the clue

Tita 3:54 PM  

Clever neologizing, r.alph!
There was a manytoon just a few days ago - my pathetic brain cannot place it...
I thought it was a constructor with an Indian name, who chimed in here with several comments, including acknowledging the manytoon that one of you discovered.

Oh, I miss those brain cells...

r.alphbunker 3:54 PM  

If the constructor was thinking of poker chip then Jesser did not manytoon the clue but anyone who interpreted it as potato chip did.

And if the constructor was thinking of both interpretations for the clue, then it was the constructor who manytooned the clue.

Based on this we really don't know if Jesser manytooned 1A. Only Joe DiPietro knows.

John V 3:57 PM  

@r.alphbunker. I'm liking manytooned!

Also brings to mind my data architect friend jokingly referring to a relationship as One To Too Many. I suppose this would have to transform into "totoo" or totooed past tense. Not sure where to go with this but just tossing it out there.

evil doug 4:02 PM  

I'm liking manytooned, also. Did a quick, non-exhaustive google of many-to-one, and now my hair hurts from trying to understand the explanation.

...but manytooned is a cool word du jour. I'm going to incorporate that into my party chat.


Lewis 4:06 PM  

r.alph: Thank you for your excellent thoughts, and I love the term! I wonder how often a manytooned clue actually appears, if often enough to make this part of our blog's vocabulary...

r.alphbunker 4:25 PM  

One could run the following query on the Borgesian database to find out

select count(*) from clueInterpretations
group by clueID
having (count(clueID) > 1)

sanfranman59 4:30 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)

Fri 23:01, 25:30, 0.90, 33%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Fri 11:33, 12:36, 0.92, 38%, Easy-Medium

(I'm trying not to think too much about my captcha ... rotscrot)

John V 4:33 PM  

@r.alphbunker What is the Borgesian database?

r.alphbunker 4:44 PM  

It is a computerization of Borges' Library of Babel

Z 5:02 PM  

Liking "manytooned." I did the 7/31/09 puzzle yesterday and then read the blog from that date. That day there was discussion of an "Olaf," a clue where everything more than Norwegian king is superfluous. That term didn't last, it appears.

davko 6:01 PM  

@ william e emba - Ditto my feelings about one of Steiger's greatest roles. He was also nudged out in the Golden Globes, for which he also received a Best Actor nomination.

Lindsay 6:04 PM  

@Gill I. P. Thanks for IDing the bikini pic. I thought it looked Wyethy, but rejected the notion given that N.C. constitutes half of the Natick Principle.

geordiegirl 10:52 PM  

@andrea carla Sadly, the more research I need to do, the more I discover that Wikipedia does make mistakes, just as the old "morgues" in newspapers and magazines would perpetuate the same errors. Once printed, and then reprinted, they go on for ever. But at least Wikipedia does give us the option of correcting those mistakes.
@Two Ponies Interesting about Steve Jobs' glasses. People have been copying John Lennon's for years, and your comment makes me think they probably wouldn't have done so had he lived.
For the puzzle itself, I loved the 20A/21A combo (the two "second persons" in the bible). Neat.

sanfranman59 1:28 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 6:42, 6:50, 0.98, 48%, Medium
Tue 10:46, 8:52, 1.21, 92%, Challenging
Wed 9:10, 11:49, 0.78, 6%, Easy (8th lowest median solve time of 124 Wednesdays)
Thu 19:53, 19:04, 1.04, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 23:31, 25:30, 0.92, 34%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:34, 3:39, 0.98, 43%, Medium
Tue 5:20, 4:34, 1.17, 90%, Challenging
Wed 4:36, 5:51, 0.79, 6%, Easy (7th lowest median solve time of 124 Wednesdays)
Thu 9:33, 9:19, 1.03, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 11:08, 12:36, 0.88, 29%, Easy-Medium

Anonymous 1:26 PM  

One of my tricks when I get stuck is to put the paper down and take a shower. Invariably an answer will come to me in the shower which breaks it open for me. This morning, after breezing through the rest of the puzzle, I got stuck in the NW where I had pretty much nothing. Time to hit the shower. It so happens that today I had to share the bathroom with a home-for-the-holidays hamster that my daughter is keeping there, out of cat's reach. Name of said hamster: Rosa Parks.

Anonymous 8:57 PM  

Spacecraft here. Most days I solve at home, where resides the Computer that Never turns Off, so I have the Google security blanket--which I resist using till un-unstickably stuck. But today was errand day, so I had to take the ol' puzz with me: just li'l ol' me vs. Will and Joe. Luckily, there was some waiting time.
As is often the case on a Friday, I despaired of even getting started at first glance, but having little choice I started with the STEVE/EVE cross (not the finest cross I've ever come ac...well, you get the idea. That put S in the penultimate square of 6a--and it put paid to my first and most logical guess: STREISAND. Surely she must have been considered. Then--oh my: AQI for air quality index and I was off. Now, I love DIANAROSS, but to oust Barbra for the top spot...what were they thinking?
BAA got me going in the SE, and -IFY, giving me ___FOOTER (had to go back and fill in the length later), gave me the "tap-in" for the SW. Center was no problem: I remember NASHUA, a gimme for me.
Then there was the NW. If I'd been timing myself--which I NEVER do--my score would've been ruined by this last corner. It took longer than the whole rest of the grid to fill in. I knew that Pollux and Aldebaran were _STARS, but which letter to prefix I had no clue. I first thought "old man" might be BOSS, as I needed a final S there. 1d: [something]BANKS? Wasn't that sure of my Latin (my abject apologies, Miss Lippi, wherever you are) was just all-around tough. Folded it up, put it away, and moved through errands. Took it out as I was getting on the bus...FLASH!!! BUS! Of course! ROSAPARKS!! So, Will and Joe, you guys put up a good fight today, but I prevailed. No writeovers, no help, NOMYSTERY.
Well puzzed!

prated: a movie designed to make you go potty.
OR...the judge's instruction to Bundy before sending him up with "the sisters."

Dirigonzo 9:11 PM  

I took the same route as @Lindsay did (maybe it's a "Maine" thing) only 5 weeks later. And just to make things more interesting I insisted for a long time that the "Female Entertainer of the Century" was gypsyROSe (Lee) - c'mon, you remember her, don't you? Other than that, surprisingly few write-overs for a Friday. A belated thank you to Joe DiPietro for a nicely challenging good time.

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