1941 Frank Capra film / TUE 1-24-12 / He played Jin-Soo Kwon on Lost / Noted talk show retiree of 2011 / Site of Haleakala National Park

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Constructor: Alex Boisvert

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: D- bag — theme answers all three-word phrases containing word "D-E," where center letter of that word changes with each answer, running through all vowels from A to Y

Word of the Day: THE EDGE (42D: U2 guitarist) —
David Howell Evans (born 8 August 1961), more widely known by his stage name The Edge (or just Edge), is a musician best known as the guitarist, backing vocalist, and keyboardist of the Irish rock band U2. A member of the group since its inception, he has recorded 12 studio albums with the band and has released one solo record. As a guitarist, The Edge has crafted a minimalistic and textural style of playing. His use of a rhythmic delay effect yields a distinctive ambient, chiming sound that has become a signature of U2's music. // As a member of U2 and as an individual, The Edge has campaigned for human rights and philanthropic causes. He co-founded Music Rising, a charity to support musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. He has collaborated with U2 bandmate Bono on several projects, including songs for Roy Orbison and Tina Turner, and the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and the Royal Shakespeare Company's London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine placed him at number 38 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". (wikipedia)
• • •

A weird Tuesday outing. First, I learned that DANIEL DAE KIM (Korea's answer to Daniel Day-Lewis?) is famous enough to be a theme answer. I know "Lost" was a popular show, but ... I've certainly had puzzles rejected for "too obscure" theme answers that had greater name recognition than him. Second, so much black. 44 dang squares. Then I noticed that the grid was 16 wide and has 81 (!) answers (max is 78, typically, but I guess that extra column buys you 3 more??? I have a 16-wide coming out, and I remember thinking "still gotta keep it under 78"; and I did. Apparently there are rules, and then there are rules. Good to know). Throw in a handful of cheater squares and you have a somewhat interesting vowel progression theme inside a not-too-interesting grid filled with mostly 3-5-letter words.


Theme answers:
  • 18A: He played Jin-Soo Kwon on "Lost" (DANIEL DAE KIM)
  • 20A: "Through the Looking-Glass" character (TWEEDLE-DEE) — one of only two snags I had in the puzzle. Wrote in DUM because I thought the cross was RUM (16D: Drink sometimes indicated in comics by "XXX" — ALE)
  • 31A: Some collectible toys (DIE-CAST CARS)
  • 41A: 1941 Frank Capra film ("MEET JOHN DOE")
  • 55A: Cornerstone of the American legal system (DUE PROCESS)
  • 59A: Some hippie wear (TIE-DYE SHIRTS) — my second snag: I thought the hippie (singular) was wearing a TIE-DYED SHIRT 
There is a *kind* of symmetry in the "D-E" word placement within the theme answers. Second third first  third first second. Then there's the vowel progression—another nice feature. Dense theme, good theme answers, adequate grid, Tuesday-easy.


Bullets:
  • 29A: Site of Haleakala National Park (MAUI) — seemed a good guess off of "-A-I"; BALI or CALI or MALI seemed unlikely
  • 1D: "Cop Killer" singer who went on to play a cop on TV (ICE-T) — never did like "Law & Order" in any of its incarnations, but ICE-T's reality show "Ice Loves Coco"—now that's good TV.


  • 52D: Noted talk show retiree of 2011 (OPRAH) — she gave her name to crosswords. She will be missed. 
I've decided that from now on, I'm calling U2's guitarist "THEEDGE" — one word, one syllable. Sure, it's silly, but is it really any more silly than THE EDGE?
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    72 comments:

    John V 7:59 AM  

    Wow, first in! Go figure.

    Played a bit more challending for me in the Charlotte fog. Had to look **pretty hard** to see the theme. Write-over at 55A, had EQUALACCESS, crossing EDT at 55D. Been to the top of Haleakela to see the sunrise, so that was a gimmee. Wantged RYE at 16D for XXX clue; Ale? really?

    The puzzle is more fun on the New Haven than in the Hilton is what I'm sayin'

    John V 8:00 AM  

    That would be, "challenging", of course.

    jberg 8:04 AM  

    Rex, are you on a new schedule, or just sleeping late? I don't solve that fast, but for the last few days I've been getting here before you post.

    The theme was hard to see at first -- TWEEDLE_ _ _, so I was expecting characters from Lewis Carroll, or children's literature, or Disney-fied movies -- it wasn't until DUE PROCESS and TIE DYE XXXXX (that's tie-dyed ALE, of course) that I saw it. After that, the puzzle became MUCH easier.

    In addition to THEEDGE, we had the IME ANT, BEAR, COBRAS, the GO APE, the nicely-clued EEL --quite the menagerie. And nice cluing for AREA, as well. Enough to make me forgive the image invoked by DROOLS.

    jberg 8:06 AM  

    BTW, only 2/3ds of the theme answers are 3 words, 20A and 55A are only 2. Someone had to say it.

    David 8:16 AM  

    Normal Tuesday time, but it felt harder. Didn't see the theme until the very end, probably because many of the theme answers were tough. Fortunately I was a huge Lost fan and now also watch the remade Hawaii 5-0 so DAEKIM was a gimme, but I never heard of MEETJOHNDOE and thus needed many crosses, and my sloppy handwriting made the 2nd C in DIECASTCARS look like an E, so I tried briefly to figure out some odd collectible ear toy.

    Pretty impressive, diverse list of answers comprising the vowel D-E progression.

    davko 8:20 AM  

    Was oblivious to theme, so thanks for that, Rex. But "all three word phrases?" Not quite.

    Acerberus 8:28 AM  

    Pretty easy until I got to the middle section with Diecast Cars above and Meet John Doe below. Favorite word of the puzzle: ACERBIC.

    jackj 8:32 AM  

    Today’s puzzle doesn’t mean that, “If It’s Tuesday it Must Be a Vowel Progression Theme”, but it can be “If It’s a Vowel Progression Theme it Must be Tuesday”.

    By virtue of the self-imposed limitations caused by such a rigorous theme as the “A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y” progression, (in alphabetical order), we are left to cope with some very ordinary fill which even Jack and Jill crossword solvers will have probably seen multiple times.

    Like, IVY, CUBA, EEL, ARAB, RELO, URALS, SID, TRA, CRAM, ISLE, EEN, CAD, AREA, REAP, SORE, JET, DUH; all right already, I’ll stop, but please just take note that the most interesting non-theme answer in the puzzle seems to be DROOLS.

    And that puts an exclamation point on the whole shebang.

    r.alphbunker 8:39 AM  

    DDE and DRE would have been nice stocking fillers.

    dk 8:47 AM  

    The red headed step child is back!

    ** (2 Stars) Not my cuppa. And, I have only seen one episode of Lost albeit twice: b double o double r ing IMHO

    Tomorrow better be good or else.

    d(knickers in a twist)k

    quilter1 8:51 AM  

    Didn't notice the theme while solving and thought this puzzle was easy. I liked DROOL, ACERBIC and GLOSSY. Not too exciting but OK Tuesday.

    Baking snickerdoodles and pecan pie bars today.

    fido 8:51 AM  

    i sometimes practice drooling. i sit in front of a mirror and think of raw hamburger. i hope i hope i hope i will be picked to do a dog food commercial.

    chefbea 9:02 AM  

    I still don't get the theme!!! Three of the answers have ie in them and I thought that was it. Can someone please explain!!!

    Just got it...nevermind

    Wonder if an egg was used to darn that hole!!

    joho 9:06 AM  

    So funny, I had the same take as @Rex on DANIELDAEKIM and DANIELDAYLEWIS. I also had Dum before DEE because of rum before ALE. I really tried to get into "Lost" but could not.

    Lots of theme answers with the vowel progression is impressive.
    And you can hum along to DAE, DEE, DIE, DOE, DUE, DYE! Doo dah, doo dah!

    Postcards from the Edge 9:07 AM  

    "Dear Mum, l'm loving America, but Bono is bein a real pain in me arse."

    When you take Theedge away from his pedals and effects, his guitar skills are pretty limited. I saw a special with him, Jack White and Jimmy Page, and the contrast between Page and the other two was stark.

    retired_chemist 9:29 AM  

    Meh. Theme doesn't do much for me and I didn't see it myself during or even after the solve. Lots of routine fill. Nike - just do it.

    Last square was the Y in ROSY. Had ROSE, thinking it wouldn't stay, but got more confident as the R, O, and S proved correct. Took a minute or so to ferret out the error.

    Tita 9:33 AM  

    JohnV - you're back!

    I thought Rex might think a vowel progression boring, but my standards are lower - was a fun solve for me....

    Clever clues like:
    Unsafe for OUT, Darned thing for HOLE, IVY / YALE crossing.
    Hey, Sailor for AHOY - my favorite!

    Talk about rules, shouldn't there be one for proximity of answer appearances? Seems to happen all the time that we get answers a day or 2 apart, and I'm not talking about things like NNW DUH, or DDE,
    Darn, Takei... of course, can't think of the myriad others right now...

    jesser 9:35 AM  

    Big shoutout today to my pal Tobias Duncan at 6D!

    Oh, wait.

    See, it's like this: There is a room (at least one) in every home and office, and this room suits itself nicely to the quiet solving of crossword puzzles. But there are times (usually Mon-Tue-Wed) when the crossword can be completed before the business at hand in that room. Those of us who plan ahead take an extra puzzle or two in there, as I did today.

    And so it was that when I got to 6D in the BEQ puzzle, I was all excited about being able to give a shout-out to Tobias.

    Alas. Sorry, Tobias.

    At 42D, I saw all those letters and thought, 'How the hell do I stretch Flea into seven squares?' Never mind. Wrong band.

    AHOY seems a little crass with the Costa Concordia hung up on a rock off Italy's coast still. I am leaving on a Caribbean cruise in three weeks, and I am Freaked The Eff Out. My son, the comic, keeps saying things like 'AHOY, MATEY!' I may kill him.

    Rex had to explain the theme to me. I wrote in the margin DIE DEE DIE DOE DUE DIE? Is this a musical progression of notes I should know? NO.

    DANIEL DAE KIM? Really? I would be cross, but the crosses outed his sorry ass.

    And speaking of: OUT is unsafe? I get the baseball reference, but is there a tinge of homophobia there? Nah. That's a stretch.

    I like that ICE-T is symmetrical with SEXY. Yes, yes, I do.

    That will be enough.

    Bon voyage, Rexville! Happy Tuesday!

    jp 9:36 AM  

    I did not particularly like the theme. Other than DUE PROCESS I did not know any of the other theme answers but they could be inferred from the down answers. So it was medium.

    I heard of U-2 but I cannot name any of their songs even if my life depended on it. Also I do not know who THE EDGE is either. I learned something. I would not know if Rex posted the right picture of him unless I Googled this David Howell Evans.

    Ruth 9:53 AM  

    Daniel Dae Kim is seriously hot. But with a modest, self-effacing persona. I'm not real big on pop culture so if something/body has broken through to my consciousness, it's guaranteed to be already old hat. He's famous enough. Pant pant.

    efrex 9:54 AM  

    Totally missed the extra-wide grid and the theme. On the other hand, thought the fill was generally quite decent (only exception: EES, EEL, and EEN in the same puzzle? EEK!). DANIELDAEKIM is waaay out of my cultural reference book, but fairly gettable from crosses, so I can't beef too much.

    Hand up for thinking RYE and RUM before ALE.

    Nice crack at the most un-SEXY day of the week, Mr. Boisvert! Thanks!

    Anonymous 10:06 AM  

    I thought this puzzle was pretty good but I assumed XXX would be some sort of moonshine or liquor. This made the Daniel Dai Kim answer a difficult cross.

    Gill I. P. 10:10 AM  

    I really liked this puzzle. I think the last several Tuesday's have had a lot more interesting words. Today's for example I thought the theme answers were pretty clever. TWEEDLE DEE and TIE DYE SHITS were fun to write in.
    ELEGIST, COBRAS, STARVE, DROOLS. I'm not so sure I'd get excited if I were serving up some fine vittles to someone who DROOLS. I growl..
    The Reina Sofia museum was originally a hospital that King Felipe II founded in the 16th century. If you've visited the museum, you can probably picture how it originally served as the central Hospital General during that time. It has since gone through many additions and renovations have been made throughout the centuries. It now houses some of Europe's finest collections of 20th century art and is often referred to as the MoMA of Madrid. If you only see Picasso's "Guernica" it's well worth a visit. Our crossword friend the Prado is next to it.

    ACLU 10:12 AM  

    Shouldn't 55A be phrased in the past tense?

    Anonymous 10:15 AM  

    I actually had the exact same problem. Like Rex said, rum seemed more likely than ale, especially since I associate a jug marked XXX with being some form of hard liquor. Watched Lost, but still didn't know this actor's name. Still an enjoyable puzzle overall

    the redanman 10:21 AM  

    XXX is always the hard stuff - just one of a number of "feignts" that made this puzzle tiresome and tedious rather than clever and elegant. Rather quick solve other than DANIEL WHO?? needing crosses (Can't be paid to watch that kind of drivel) so not sour grapes. Actually - The whole "Upper Midwest" of this puzzle needed a re-work to garner the raves I've seen for it.

    I hope that this was a "first puzzle".

    AIR COOL. Seriously? DUM.

    @ACLU - Cornerstone is past tense since "The legal system" is in place, not being created. English is like that.

    Two Ponies 10:37 AM  

    Red-headed stepchild indeed.
    I never have seen Lost nor will I ever. When a pivotal part of the theme is based on an unknown Asian person it makes it all fall flat for me.
    I've always sorta felt sorry for The Edge. Why didn't someone pull him aside and ask him to rethink that goofy name before going public with it?

    ACLU 10:37 AM  

    @redanman - DUE PROCESS was once a cornerstone of our legal system. That has changed, with laws providing for indefninte incarceration of US citizens suspected of terrorism or sympathy with terrorist, without representation or trial. Our legal system isn't in place, it is being modified daily. The legal system is like that.

    Miss Manners 10:39 AM  

    @Gil I. P. - You may wish to review and edit your comment. You can post the edited version and delete the original by clicking on the trashcan which only you can see.

    @ the redanman - I'm sorry, but you seem to have totally missed the point of @ACLU's comment. And if you do not admit that point, I will have you waterboarded - politely, of course.

    I am America's best selling Ale 10:40 AM  

    Ballentine's XXX Ale

    evil doug 10:54 AM  

    Gill I.P.:

    "... and TIE DYE SHITS were fun to write in."

    Bizarro spell checker? Freudian commentary on the Grateful Dead? What I get when I eat too many Gummy Bears?

    Evil

    Wood 10:59 AM  

    Never watched lost but still had heard of DANIEL DAE KIM... Even knew the spelling. Didn't get the theme until the end, and even then I didn't understand TIE DYE SHIRTS -- I thought it was a vowel sound progression, rather than an actual vowel letter progression, and I couldn't understand why the 'I' sound was repeated among the theme answers. DUH.

    Completed in Mondayish time. Only writeover was Heel for HOLE.

    THEEDGE 11:12 AM  

    So, a couple of us were sitting around Mount Comp., trying to think of cool names for ourselves. You know, we sucked, so we had to do something to make us at least sound cool, Paul, David, Adam and Larry just weren't going to cut it. It's way harder to think of cool names than you would think, the best ones had already been taken, and it was an endless cycle of getting stoned, thinking of can't miss names, then straightening out and either forgetting what we had thought of, or realizing that when not stoned, Giant Irish Rabbit just wasn't that funny. Maybe some of you have been there, if so, you know what I mean.

    Anyway, Paul stumbled on Bono. I thougth it was inane, it's just Latin for free pronounced incorrectly, but he was convinced that if he continually corrected everyone's pronounciation it would be cool. I couldn't be more surprised than anyone that it worked, I figured we would die of shame in less than a year, having to deal with hecklers saying "I couldn't believe there were worse singers than Sonny Bono" at every gig we ever had, but to his credit it worked.

    Adam and Larry, well, they just gave up trying. It happens a lot when you used the methodology we did. At some point, the endless cycle of getting stoned to try to think of something specific turns in on itself, and the method becomes the goal. Enough said there.

    So, to The Edge. I kept trying to get Adam and Larry to shape up, remember what we were trying to do, that we had to start practicing, you know, learn to play their instruments rather than think up cool names. I became known as The Nudge. Whenever I walked in the room, once the smoke parted I would be greeted with "Oh, great, here's The Nudge".

    So, I was The Nudge for a quite a while. You think The Edge is any worse?

    Gill I. P. 11:39 AM  

    Oh crap! Sorry guys although I'm laughig uncontrollably. At least someone reads me...
    @evil doug: I think it's the Kool aid!

    Z 12:30 PM  

    @Postcards - 38th? Amazing. There are probably 38 better guitarists on Youtube today. 38th most famous I'd agree with. I saw that documentary, "It Might Get Loud." Ditto on the difference.

    Anonymous 12:30 PM  

    dum dee dum dum. dee dum dee dum dee dum. doh. doi doi de doi doi. fee fie fo fum. just sayin'

    donkos 12:37 PM  

    @Gill I.P. It would appear that you are a serial scatologist!

    Nancy in PA 12:39 PM  

    @evil doug's take on "tie dye shi_ts" had me laughing out loud. And @theedge's long ramble put me in mind of an old favorite song, "Naming the Band," by the Bobs. Fun puzzle, nice theme density, loved the IVY/YALE cross. Boola.

    mrbreen 12:44 PM  

    Don't stop me
    Cus I'm close to
    (pause)
    Theedge

    Lewis 12:45 PM  

    I guess TIEDYESHIRTS is okay; I've always said tie dyed shirts so it sounds awkward to me. Never heard of MEETJOHNDOE but it was easy enough through crosses.

    @gill -- no apologies necessary for your typo. It made me smile on many levels!

    JaxInL.A. 1:01 PM  

    Thanks to @Anon 10:10 yesterday, I'm still singing epizootic (the animal equivalent of epidemic). Sometimes a new word just gets stuck in my head and I think about it for days.

    I liked today's puzzle a lot. I even managed to get the theme on my own, once I had finished the puzzle and sat back to look. I sometimes miss it, so this felt good.

    And congrats to @joho on yesterday's LAT puzzle. I didn't get a chance to post here or anywhere else yesterday, but I very much enjoyed her work. It must feel great to have a first solo outing. And congrats to ACME for helping to launch another constructor into the world.

    If you are still in town, Andrea, maybe I can buy you a coffee? Email to let me know. Jaxhamilton at gmail.com, or call me 323 four two two 4094. (Silly what we have to do to avoid those spiders crawling the web, eh?)

    Wyonative 1:03 PM  

    I much prefer a puzzle like this where some of the the answers, clues, or themes are related to word or spelling puzzles (vowel progressions, in this case) to puzzles full of sports or pop culture trivia. I didn't have to know Daniel Dae Kim because I could get the name from the theme. How refreshing. Of course, I'm one who gets lost in reading the dictionary. There must be others with this peculiarity.

    Moonchild 1:34 PM  

    Starve and drool are odd companions in the grid.
    I'm still giggling over tie dyed shit and Doug'd gummy bears.

    Rube 1:44 PM  

    Apparently I'm the only one who didn't know DANIELDAE?IM OR Al RO?ER. Took about 5 guesses to get the K cross. Similiarly, had no idea who sang "Cop Killer" or what "The Good Shepherd" org. was. HTG for CIA/ICET. Embarrassing, but all pop culture stuff so not a surprise to this guy who lives under a rock. Otherwise, zipped thru this puppy with no overwrites.

    Bird 1:44 PM  

    Completed the puzzle in easy-medium time, but did not see the theme until I went over the grid 3 times. No big "aha", just a "oh, that's it?"

    I agree that XXX should be hard liquor.

    I know that Brown, Penn and Harvard are IVY League schools, but how is IVY by itself a valid answer? Are they types of IVY?

    TimJim 1:50 PM  

    Read Ice T's autobiography recently. It's kinda interesting ... another plus for the public library - probably wouldn't have bothered with it otherwise.

    Theoda3rd 2:04 PM  

    Rum vs. ale had me snookered for a bit also

    Anonymous 2:26 PM  

    One day they're fighting like an old married couple and a week later they are singing Kumbayah.

    The only explanation must be the protons shooting at Earth from the sun....

    JFC

    Aircool Cobras Michaels 2:30 PM  

    Loved it!
    As someone who makes vowel progression puzzles, i can attest super hard to find one that works, where you can even have every vowel...there are hundreds of words that only four of the five work...
    But Alex got in SIX AND they were already interesting phrases AND they were in order AEIOU Y (which Will usually insists upon)
    AND the A answer HAS to match the Y answer in length AND the E and U, I and O have to match in length
    AND until this puzzle it hadn't been done (in the NYT)!

    Slight slight bummer for me because Patrick Blindauer and I teamed up to make one and PB came up with one that could include Y and it was accepted a year or so ago, but has yet to be published, so we have lost bragging rights for first!

    (Actually I recommend people pop over to Wordplay today for short interview with Alex Bosvert which I stumbled upon when @Rex hadn't posted yet last night...he explains the derivation of this puzzle and why DAE KIM might have been more familiar when this was submitted.)

    It is the slight drawback of there being a huge backlog of clever Tuesdays, so you sort of have to wait your turn for it to appear.

    This puzzlr gets back to the debate about whether the difficulty of constructing the crossword matches the enjoyment level of the solvers... it see,s like it didn't as much as it did for me, knowing what he had to contend with.

    (@r.alphbunker, I love the idea of sprinkling in DDE and DRE!)

    I think constructors' might be slightly more appreciative, (but today it appears it's made @rex more critical...but i dont think he likes this kind of theme, but I'll just say again what a feat this was to pull off!)

    And the fact that DANIELDAEKIM is so beautiful and nonmainstream as a sex symbol is a bonus!
    Perhaps with his appearance in today's puzzle he'll become more well-known and Will is on his way to relaxing the rules of throwing stuff out for too obscure...

    Because the reality is, there's probably not THAT much overlap between those who know and love Frank Capra's classic film MEETJOHNDOE (Barbara Stanwyck!) and "Lost" fanatics, which makes this cooler to me, because it's so cross generational...

    So everyone learns something...plus who doesn't love to say TWEEDLEDEE? Best naming ever in children's literature!

    Speaking of best naming stories, whoever wrote in as @THEEDGE 11:21 am... Priceless!!!!

    @Tita
    I used to think those "bleedovers" were intentional and actually woven in secretly, especially when they were such obscure words!
    But again, the reality is, the puzzles come in all different weeks, years, months and you never know when one will be published and who it will precede or follow!
    So words appear from one day to the next by coincidence, apparently!

    Also in the meantime, someone might die ( like ETTA James or Clarence Clemons) or get more wellknown or fade slightly into obscurity ( like DAEKIM) you takes your chances...
    I think it's now interesting synchronicity instead of a strange conspiracy or a laziness of editing or whatever...

    @Gill IP
    Don't you dare delete, it was a fabulous typo and should be submitted to that site about ipad autocorrections! I suspect You'll have a good laugh over that for years to come!

    @JaxinLA
    Thank you for invitation! I thought about that too, but was on a lessthan48hr grandma run,with almost no access to the internet even.
    Managed to snag a couple of hard copies of Joho's LA Times solo debut at LAX oncemy plane was cancelled!!!

    It was VERY exciting to see her name in print and to solve her fabulous puzzle...
    for those who missed it yesterday ( and I'm talking to the three of you still reading this!) track down her puzzle and
    Enjoy!

    mac 2:54 PM  

    Easy Tuesday, thorough although to me a little obscure theme, and some good words/terms. I like the starve and drools juxtaposition, elegist and the oldies banes and abide right next to each other.

    @Gill: Love your comment after the typo!

    ksquare 3:30 PM  

    Misread 17A and wondered how EEL twists UNDERWEAR, but d(knickers in a twist)k 8:47 may also have done so.

    archaeoprof 3:37 PM  

    @aircool cobras: seems like I always learn something interesting from your comments.

    Never heard of THEEDGE. Is he any relation to "The Situation" or "The Donald"??

    retired_chemist 3:45 PM  

    @ bird - we had the IVY discussion a few weeks ago. Yes, they collectively are called IVIES and each is an IVY.

    Bird 3:54 PM  

    @retired_chemist - thanks for clarification. I must have been off from work that day as I usually don't read the blog on days off. Saturdays are way too hard for me so I don't even try anymore. Sundays I enjoy with the morning coffee, then move on to the honey-do list.

    captcha - redice: used for mixing Cosmos or Bloody Maries

    chefwen 4:04 PM  

    Never watched Lost but I knew of Daniel Dae Kim, must be a People Magazine thing.

    Skippy is one of the most shedding-est, DROOLing-est dogs ever invented, but, he is pretty darn smart and obeys hand signals to go outside while I'm preparing his meals so I don't end up mini swimming pools in the kitchen. Great dog.

    A lot to like in this puzzle and the comments today are priceless.

    sanfranman59 4:22 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 7:54, 8:51, 0.89, 19%, Easy

    Top 100 solvers

    Tue 4:20, 4:34, 0.95, 36%, Easy-Medium

    Z 4:23 PM  

    I'm beginning to wonder if ACME is Rex's secret alter ego? A sort of Halo and Pitchfork dichotomy sitting on the blog shoulders of constructors. Has anyone ever seen them together?

    Anonymous 5:26 PM  

    Acme, You are bubbling over today like a root beer float and funny to boot. I love how you make excuses why you're reading Wordplay so the host won't feel hurt....

    JFC

    Anonymous 6:04 PM  

    Yes, Oprah dumped Chicago like used toilet paper and fled west to start her own cable network OWN, Oprah Winfrey's Network. However, her Harpo Studios remain in Chicago and Rosie does her show from there. Here is a clip from Rosie's show for all dog lovers. My wife finds this very funny....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lxJzkHGS8U

    JFC

    mac 6:23 PM  

    @Z: I've seen them together. They do not look alike at all.

    loren muse smith 7:52 PM  

    @Gill IP - thanks for the terrific typo!

    @Evil Doug - thanks for your response to said typo!

    @Jackj - I agree. I initially meant to list all the crosswordese but lay down until the urge went away. Fell asleep and DROOLed a bit. Why do we only drool when we nap and not during the night??

    JenCT 8:52 PM  

    @evil: LOL

    Happy Pencil eluded me because I had HOSE instead of HOLE.

    "ICE(T) Loves Coco" - why some current TV shows are on is beyond my comprehension.

    Ditto : The Kardashians, Jersey Shore, I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, Bridezillas, Real Housewives of Who Cares, Sister Wives, etc. etc.

    Tita 9:03 PM  

    @Acme - thanks for your continuing glimpses into the other side...

    Makes sense, I suppose, that puzzles may not necessarily be edited in the order printed.
    It actually helps my pathetic memory - I could never remember SKA until it appeared 2 days in a row - I think I finally have it burned into my synapses!

    The Raven 9:06 PM  

    Never saw the theme and could hardly care: a classic case of a theme so arch and obscure that discovering it after the fact adds nothing to one's enjoyment.

    And DANIEL DAE KIM: give me a break.
    Solved it anyway, without knowing or caring who he is. D minus.

    Anonymous 11:00 PM  

    I still don't get the theme. Too complex for me I think. Help!

    Anonymous 11:02 PM  

    @Anonymous 11:00 - Each of the theme answers had the letter string "D_E" in them, with the blank being A, E, I, O, U, Y in order.

    Jim 4:21 PM  

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    Spacecraft 12:57 PM  

    Well hello again. So nice to be even able to access the current day's puzzle from syndiland--something I was TOTALLY UNABLE to do yesterday. I mean, it just flat wasn't there. I HATE syndiland!
    Anyway, I did today's without a lot of fuss and bother; for a while it was a tossup: DUM or DEE for the TWEEDLE twin? Seemed it depended on whether the XXX drink was RUM or RYE, say. Got that ORTHO'd out, and the rest just swooped in like air into a low-pressure zone. Easy-peasy.
    I continue to not notice things that seem to bother Rex a lot: "cheater" squares, and width of puzzle. So it's 16 wide. So what?
    Enjoyed reading about the Reina Museum; learning new stuff is cool. 'Course, to me REINA will always be that sumptuous girl-robot created by daVinci/Brahms/Flint in the STTOS episode "Requiem for Methuselah" (what a great title!), as well as Louise Sorel,who played her. Or was that spelled Rayna? No matter. She could spell heer name MUD and still be ravishing!

    Syndicate Bob 1:58 PM  

    @Spacecraft

    Rex sometimes forgets to update the link for the syndicated puzzle. But you can always locate his blog in the far right column, the one with all the dates. The puzzle number ate the top of your syndicated puzzle is the month and day of the original publication date. Look for that day.

    I find it easier to just scroll to the very bottom of the comments and click on Older Post. It will take you where you want to go.

    Dirigonzo 4:17 PM  

    It appears that those of us who comment here using a google account no longer get a box to check to receive updates after we comment - that's true for me anyway. I wonder why. Anybody? (Not that I'll see your reply unless I check back here later - no more updates, remember?)

    MaryPatOR1@AOL.com 6:00 PM  

    Posting 5 weeks into the future:

    @REX I learned that DANIEL DAE KIM (Korea's answer to Daniel Day-Lewis?) is famous enough to be a theme answer. I know "Lost" was a popular show, but ... I've certainly had puzzles rejected for "too obscure" theme answers that had greater name recognition than him.

    DANIEL DAE KIM is now starring in "Hawaii 5-O". This is a very popular TV show, so his name should become more recognizable, even to those who weren't fans of "Lost."

    I also thought that cluing OUT with unsafe was very unPC.

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