Peacenik's mantra / MON 3-12-12 / Starch from tropical palm / Eruption that might elicit blessing / High-voltage Australian band / Grey who wrote about Old West / Rightmost number on grandfather clock / Company whose mascot is Sonic Hedgehog

Monday, March 12, 2012

Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (just means it played like a Tuesday, don't freak out)


THEME: uh ... "Did things to celebrities," I guess — familiar (?) two-word phrases that are clued as if they were past tense verb phrases wherein something was done to someone famous ... thus:

  • MOLDED GLASS is 18A: Had a big influence on Philip's music?
  • HAMMERED STEEL is 29A: Harshly criticized Danielle's novels?
  • PETRIFIED WOOD is 49A: Scared the daylights out of Elijah in "The Lord of the Rings"? 
  • CRUSHED ROCK is 63A: Trounced Chris in a comedy competition? 

Word of the Day: NORTH SEA (39D: Watery expanse between England and Scandinavia) —
The North Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great BritainScandinavia,Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. An epeiric (or "shelf") sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the ocean through the English Channel in the south and the Norwegian Sea in the north. It is more than 970 kilometres (600 mi) long and 580 kilometres (360 mi) wide, with an area of around 750,000 square kilometres (290,000 sq mi). (wikipedia)
• • •

Don't usually see these kinds of "?" theme answers on Monday. The rest of the grid was a snap, but those answers all required substantial crosses. In fact, I was well over halfway thru the puzzle before I had any inkling what the theme might be. To be honest, PETRIFIED WOOD is the only one of the phrases that means anything to me (and I had TERRIFIED WOOD there at first...). If I had to put a dozen adjectives before GLASS, I would never hit MOLDED. Ditto HAMMERED before STEEL and CRUSHED before ROCK. Anyway, that's it. Fill = super easy, theme answers = odd and slightly tough to pick up.



Bullets:
  • 4A: Ice-grabbing tool (TONGS) — my ice-grabbing tool is my hands. Salad bar ingredients = TONGS.
  • 36A: Starch from a tropical palm (SAGO) — a word I know only from xwords.
  • 70A: Rightmost number on a grandfather clock (III) — as III clues go, that's a good one.
  • 73A: Charge for a bang-up job? (TNT) — don't think of TNT as a "charge." I thought this referred to dent repair, so I had something like "FEE" at first.

  • 8D: Eruption that might elicit a blessing (SNEEZE) — I guess it *is* an eruption. In that air and spit particles erupt from your face. Sure.
  • 13D: Speak with a gravelly voice (RASP) — Not [Speak with a 63-Across voice]?
  • 26D: Company whose mascot is Sonic the Hedgehog (SEGA) — not SAGO. Also, not SONY (my first inclination, despite knowing better).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS I almost forgot—you should get in on the puzzle contest that Puzzlewright Press is holding. Solve a fun/challenging word puzzle, send in answer by noon, Eastern time, TUESDAY March 13, 2012, and earn a chance to win one of three copies of "Brain Games for Word Nerds" by Francis Heaney. I did the puzzle—doable, but definitely a bit of a work-out. Get the .pdf HERE.

85 comments:

Rube 12:24 AM  

Knew Danielle Steel, but none of the others. No joy in this puzzle. Not even sure if it qualifies as medium-challenging. Just a quick run-thru from the top to the bottom. Not even any possible controversy, IMO.

Aha, getting the captcha looks like a challenge!

Tobias Duncan 12:54 AM  

Gotta love a sports free puzzle.

jae 1:05 AM  

Huh? Seems like something is missing. Not sure what. Medium challenging time for me too. Not too much dreck though.

Miette 2:36 AM  

Very easy for me. Only slow down was at ROCK/DRNO.

chefwen 3:41 AM  

Knew one more than @Rube, Chris Rock, but that was about it. Phillip Glass???, Elijah Wood??? and I was a huge Lord of the Rings fan. All easily obtained from crosses. Nice and easy Monday puzzle from one of our favorite early week constructors. Thank you Lynn Lempel.

Anonymous 3:46 AM  

MOLDING GLASS ???
I too had problems with that bogus one.
The other celebrity ones were fine.

Clark 4:27 AM  

In my wheelhouse I guess. I thought there would be complaints of it being too easy.

Molded Glass.

Hammered Steel.

Crushed Rock.

Elijah Wood is worth seeing in Everything is Illuminated and in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

And, if you ever get a chance to see a production of Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach, go for it. Here's one of my favorite excerpts.

Z 6:39 AM  

Thanks @ Clark - So PETRIFIED WOOD is the one that doesn't fit, because it is the only thing that isn't designed to be decorative. Interesting.

I presumed my slowness this morning was because the coffee hadn't kicked in yet. No write-overs of note, but I felt like I was dragging through puzzle. I was familiar with all the theme answers except MOLDED GLASS, but I still used more crosses than on a typical Monday, so Medium Challenging seems about right.

Only four reloads to get a captcha I could read - and I got it wrong.

AnnieD 7:42 AM  

This was one of the easiest puzzles ever for me. Doing Across Lite, I did all the acrosses and all the downs and by the time i finished my first run through, the puzz was done. I don't think that's ever happened to me before.

@clark and @Z, not quite...

Petrified Wood

We have a piece of petrified wood that we use as a paperweight. I've also seen it used as sculpture, so it can be quite decorative.

evil doug 7:55 AM  

'Floe' next to 'iced up' is nice symmetry.

'Ono' is getting to be the new Oreo.

From the Surprising Little Facts department: Erle Stanley Gardner played the judge on Perry's last case. I think that would make a good Friday clue....

Evil

Sue McC 7:59 AM  

Aside from being irritated by MOLDED GLASS, this one gets a big yawn.

joho 8:00 AM  

I don't know, I zipped through this last night and loved how the clever cluing turned actual decorative things into descriptions of actual people. Fun!

My favorites: HAVEAHEART, EASYDOESIT, FALSETTO and NONUKES.

Smoothly executed ala Lynn Lempel and interesting, not too easy for a Monday. Brava!

Sue McC 8:01 AM  

Evil Doug....I just heard that too...CBS Sunday Morning yesterday, right?

efrex 8:06 AM  

I probably would have liked this just fine as a Tuesday puzzle, but I suppose one simply does not put Ms. Lempel anywhere else. Thought the theme answers were a very nice mix of cultural references, and while I raised my eyebrows at MOLDEDGLASS, everything else seemed in-language enough to pass muster by me. Liked the ODE/POETS cross (and parallel cluing), as well as the nice long downs, which can also serve as a message to some of the snippier commentators here :)

Always a pleasure, Ms. Lempel!

evil doug 8:08 AM  

Sue McC,

How do you know CBS didn't get it from me? After all, I'm a font of useless TV factoids....

Actually I didn't see that. How come it was on the news?

Evil

ERS 8:11 AM  

Regarding yesterday's comments, which I just looked at, MaryRoseG you were 100% right and I stand corrected. I was thinking of Risky Business. Still loved Rebecca DeMornay in that scene in the train no matter what movie it was in!!!!! thanks for the correction.

Sue McC 8:19 AM  

@evil doug - It was in the Almanac section, as yesterday was the anniversary of Gardner's death in 1970. And I would have absolutely no problem believing that CBS got the info from you! I also learned, as you probably know, that Perry Mason lost 3 cases over his TV career.

orangeblossomspecial 8:50 AM  

Desi Arnaz had a band back in the 40s before the I Love Lucy show. This clip from the show is typical of his music.

jackj 9:00 AM  

Queen of the Day, Lynn Lempel brings us a Stephen King-like Arts and Crafts project whereby celebs with names the same as the materials to be used are HAMMERED, PETRIFIED, MOLDED and CRUSHED. The theme was clever; not stand up and cheer clever but, OK clever.

The real fun of this puzzle was in the non-theme area, especially the longer answers, HAVEAHEART, EASYDOESIT, FALSETTO, NONUKES, FALSETTO, TOMTOMS, ZEALOTS, NORTHSEA all of which have been featured as late week entries in past Times puzzles per XWordInfo, (many appearing as Saturday entries) and yet Lynn seamlessly blends them in to this Monday puzzle with no qualms, using cluing similar to the late-week constructor’s clues but, in all likelihood, no complaints will be lodged about the difficulty level of today’s puzzle by the early-week-solving crowd.

Now, that’s just fascinating!

chefbea 9:40 AM  

Good easy puzzle. Knew Glass right away..met him once. Didn't know Wood but hopefully I'll remember as it's a shout out to me...wonder if he wears an apron.

loren muse smith 9:54 AM  

Everything @joho said! I thought it was very well done. Ira GLASS would have been more accessible to me than Philip, though.

@Evil - you beat me to pointing out the juxtaposition of FLOE and ICEDIN. And you're right; ONO is beginning to upstage OREO.

@efrex - you beat me to appreciating the ODE/POET cross and clues.

If I constructed a puzzle, I would definitely want HAVEAHEART and EASYDOESIT in the fill. It must be scary for constructors to come here and read the comments.

jesser 9:55 AM  

Back when it was safe to visit Juarez, one of the great things to do was go watch the glass blowers do their thing. Thus, MOLDED GLASS was no problem here.

NMSU's Zuhl Library is home to one of the largest PETRIFIED WOOD collections in the U.S.

Easy peasy!

99%er 9:57 AM  

Each of the theme answers were known to me as relatively common items, so a fun puzzle given the zip of the balance of the puzzle. For those who claim that MOLDED GLASS is BS, the glass you drank your OJ from this morning is most likely MOLDED GLASS. If not, if you drink your morning OJ from hand blown crystal, you get no sympathy from me.

quilter1 10:00 AM  

I own some MOLDED GLASS, PETRIFIED WOOD, HAMMERED STEEL and my driveway is covered with CRUSHED ROCK. So I don't get the puzzlement, pardon my pun.

Easy, smooth and not boring--a nice Monday.

Ulrich 10:07 AM  

@loren: You beat me to posting anything!

For once, I'm in the usual situation where I knew all the cultural references, high and low, in a theme when natives, some of them, seemed to have had more problems. Hence, very easy Monday for me, too (as in @Miette and @chefbea).

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Here are answers I could do without:
SEGA, SAGO, and ESSO
HAVEAHEART and leave them out
Is ONO NASAL or FALSETTO?

loren muse smith 10:23 AM  

@Ulrich - there's one for your blog. Does the German early bird get the worm, too?

Two Ponies 10:28 AM  

Easy and fun.
I knew all of the theme people so I suppose that would make the difference between fun and not.
I never thought about the definition of falsetto but it makes perfect sense.
Another fine Monday from L.L.

jberg 10:32 AM  

Easy for me - got 18A from the MOL, saw what the theme was going to be, and got all of them but PETRIFIED WOOD right off. Never heard of that Elijah guy - I guess the clue must refer to an actor in the movie, right? Having read the book about 30 times was an obstacle to getting that one.

I agree with Rex, great fill. Momentary pause when I put in SEGo at 26D, but fixed that very quickly. The rest was a breeze.

Ulrich 10:39 AM  

Ooops--wanted to say "I'm in the UNusual situation..", of course! Have to get back to previewing in spite of the awful captchas.

@loren: No, German birds sleep in late--actually, I use the English adage in German because we have no equivalent--same with "The shit hits the fan."

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

Easiest Monday ever for me. Finding it hard to believe that there are wheelhouses that don't contain molded glass (as in formed in a mold rather than blown) or crushed stone (as in that stuff you might get put in your driveway. Actually have an uncle in the crushed stone business.) Or Philip Glass or Elijah Wood. I could have come at the long answers because I was familiar with the celebrity or because I was familiar with the material.

Mighty Nisden 10:52 AM  

Would have been one of my fastest times if I only knew how to spell PETReFIED. Several minutes to find that I.

Never really got the theme until I was done, but a good solid effort!

Sparky 10:56 AM  

Ran easy for me but due to bad proof reading left 4a: TO--S incomplete. Molded vs cut glass makes a big difference among collectors. Each has its fans.

A lot of repeats from only yesterday it seemed--ONO, CHE, OSS, ESSO, TNT, RNA, etc. It's deja vue all over again.

I'm packing to leave for NYC today. See some of you soon.

archaeoprof 11:09 AM  

GLASS' first name is Philip? I thought it was Ira...

nanpilla 11:10 AM  

Knew the theme answer celebs, so finished in an easy time.

Can't wait to see many of you this weekend. I've got one taker for walking the Brooklyn Bridge either Friday afternoon or Saturday early. Any more want to join @Lindsey and me? Should be a nice day for it. Hope to be able to leave around 3:00, if the traffic cooperates!

John V 11:24 AM  

Very quick note. Fun puzzle, REALLY liked the thems. I'd say medium for Monday. Glad to see Lynn retain the Midas touch -- as it were.

talklessdomore 11:40 AM  

Very easy for me. Only slow down was at ROCK/DRNO.
Website Builder

Cantankerous and Tempestuous on Monday 11:42 AM  

As I've evolved to be able to complete many of any day of the week's puzzles I have looked to Mondays for elegance and art of construction and clue-ing. This one failed, it was all over the place. I've tried to come to appreciate the Puzzler Geek's attitude but can never be one.

I, too thought the Wacky ?? Clues for a Monday (For which I expect perfection) was a bad choice.

Quarrel does not clue well for RUNIN, that's very grating in a Monday.

My usual bugaboo for what Shortz allows for Science and especially Biologic clues went very ill at RNA as Genetic stuff, it is a carrier of quasi-geneetic messages, yes, technically "Genetic stuff" but it's Monday, if we want cleverness how about "Messenger" - I mean the crosses are absolute gimmies.

Bleepers for CENSORS? Again, It's Monday, the puzzle an 8 year old should be able to do in a day.

Positives? Love Bond, I suppose it's clever for ODE to T-Bone POETS and a puzzle with two "Z's" on the same line! - and - SEGA & ATARI? Cool.

Still, because of the lack of garbage dross fill and rot-ed River clues, I'll let it pass

Shamik 11:42 AM  

Easy-medium and glad my boss doesn't know about this blog...at least I hope not, since I'm on the clock.

Found it to be fresh for a Monday, despite ONO and ESSO.

Franny 12:13 PM  

@Archeoprof - I always thought it was Zooey

oren muse 12:16 PM  

Was anxiously awaiting today’s puzzle to start my second week in The Program. Proud to say I completed the puzzle; however, kudos to me were short lived upon seeing the solution. I had had ARNeZ, giving me eTEAT. Since I still don’t know the meanings of a lot of these words, I briefly wondered if “eteat” was some kind of electronic milking device used in the dairy industry.
@Tobias Duncan – not so! Last I heard, bowling is still considered a sport, so with SPLIT, we didn’t quite get off sports-free.

evil doug 12:27 PM  

e-teat! That's gotta go in the hall of infamy, Oren! (Loren: I see where you got your dark side....)

Evil

Lewis 12:43 PM  

Liked SEGA crossing SAGO, puzzle felt like a Monday to me, rather than the Tuesday a couple of you have said.

@oren, made the same ARNeZ mistake as you, but found it to get Mr. Happy Pencil.

@rex -- maybe it's an age difference, but ice TONGS came to me right away.

Love my captcha: SHLJZOPM

WESISLAND 12:49 PM  

Very easy for me too except that 18a "Had a big influence on Philip's music?" got stuck in my brain as John Philip (Sousa)...early in the morning here in HI. And is was trying to work "brass" into the puzzle instead of "
Glass." Hence "molded brass," except the crosses were obviously wrong -- so some unnecessary early-morning angst.

John V 12:50 PM  

See the constructor and her offering from last month, I was looking for ice THONGS.

JenCT 1:22 PM  

@oren muse: you beat me to it; I was going to ask @Tobias why bowling wasn't a sport?

Had SPARE before SPLIT, otherwise no writeovers.

@Rex: LOL for the SNEEZE explanation.

These captchas are killing me - I always get a message that I've typed the wrong letters at least once or twice before it accepts my comment!

Wood 1:22 PM  

Also felt it walked like a Monday, talked like a Monday. Theme answers were all easy. "Molded" was a little tough but easy with crosses. "Molded" (one way or another) is how a large portion of glass objects are formed... as opposed to "blown."

I was far from petrified by this puzzle.

Bird 1:56 PM  

Easy Monday. Like @AnnieD got it done in 2 passes – across then down.

Only observations are . . .

- For 71A, I think Veg out is a little extreme for RELAX
- Never heard the phrase Ye GOD
- I guess, maybe, sneezes are eruptions, in the broadest sense
- Quarrel is not exactly a RUNIN; I wanted ARGUE
- I thought Peaceniks carried signs saying, “NO WAR”. NO NUKES could mean go ahead and kill each other, but don’t use nuclear weapons
- (somebody correct me if I’m wrong) TNT is an explosive requiring a charge

Double captcha “nguourat atereen” morphs into “outrun a teenager”

Doc John 2:02 PM  

"His name? It's, um, GLASS. George Glass."
As for TONGS, I guess that even though Rex lives in the snowy north, he's never seen those sharp tongs used to pick up big blocks of ice.

quilter1 2:02 PM  

Last week I listened to an interview with Phillip Glass on the radio.

Anonymous 2:12 PM  

I guess Rex's guests don't mind him using his GERMIER fingers when he makes their cocktails?

Jes Wundrin 3:06 PM  

So how far does this Oren/Loren thing go? Is Loren's son named Floren? Grand-child Florence? Florenz?

Acme 3:08 PM  

Loved this! Four well known names in different fields...
Musician, novelist, actor, comedian! And all with last names GLASS, STEEL, WOOD, ROCK!
Neat!!!!
Totally a "Tuesday" for me as I had to stop and think at almost every clue!

@Nanpilla
I'm in on the walk across the bridge...and are you in for congaline at midnight?!

For those looking for another easy puzzle today, i have sort of a risque one on BEQ's blog as a guest on Friday.
Got to see him and Joon in boston!

Twenty years ago temped for Danielle Steel for two hours and was third receptionist fired that day! Total witch!

sanfranman59 4:09 PM  

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

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

Mon 6:37, 6:49, 0.97, 39%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:41, 3:40, 1.01, 54%, Medium

Tita 4:09 PM  

@Oren...as per Evil's recommendation, I am hereby adding your gaffe to the Hall of Fame at Crucimetrics

BTW, I'm Jes Wundrin (@3:06pm) too.

As for today's puz, ran through it too fast to notice - was teaching my sibs how to use the app, so clues were flying everywhere.
Am trying to get into the zone for Brooklyn - can't wait to meet y'all there!

Numbers Guy 4:10 PM  

no one has mentioned it yet, but as a commodity options trader i have to protest 9A. Bid to buy, OFFER to sell. this is as basic to the buying/selling industry as knowing 25 ways to describe lennons wife is to will shortz.

michael frequently dismisses the erudition of common thesauri in favor of common usage. and the fact that incorrect usage is common doesnt excuse it.

real estate agents drive me crazy when asking people to put in an OFFER for a house (as though they are going short the property instead of buying it) about as much as when educated people could care less about the distinction between bid and offer.

loren muse smith 4:16 PM  

@Jess Wundrin - too funny! Mom's maiden name is Lefler. They thought they made my name up by taking the "L" from Lefler and adding it to Dad's name. Little did they know that Loren is a man's name.

As an aside, they met on a blind date, and Mom misunderstood and called him Owen all evening. Dad just assumed she had a mild speech impediment.

@quilter1 - was that on This American Life with Ira Glass? No wait - that was Rebecca De Mornay.

Mr. Corleone 4:20 PM  

Hey numbers guy - I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse.

According to Merriam-Webster the definition of OFFER is "to propose as payment" with a link to BID. Click on it and you get this definition: "to offer (a price) whether for payment or acceptance"

Jes Wundrin 4:36 PM  

@Loren - My name's Jes, not Jess. I'm thinking of marrying Tita and naming our kid Jest.

@Numbers Guy - Yeah, the lingo of commodities traders is the alpha and omega of the English language.

Badir 5:05 PM  

I was another one for whom this was very easy--in fact it was my 5th fastest Monday ever! I found the theme answers paricularly easy, since they all were stuff.

jesser 5:05 PM  

Acme's puzzle on the BEQ site is fantastic! Our little angel has a Wild Child side to her! Take a walk on that wild side, girlfriend!

Anonymous 5:33 PM  

@ACME - Nice job with the puzzle at BEQ! Ooh la la.

Two Ponies 5:37 PM  

@ Andrea, I loved your BEQ puzzle! The interview with WS was worth a read too.

Numbers Guy 5:48 PM  

@Don - is that the same dictionary that equates wack with illin?

i'll admit that it doesnt make sense that a straddle has a tighter strike spread than a strangle, but lifting bids and hitting offers on the floor at wall and broad or the cme might cause another financial meltdown.

i sense a conspiracy from the left-wing dictionary-publishing 99%ers.

i filled in the NE with the 5 downs refusing to accede.

Søren Kierkegaard 5:59 PM  

@loren muse smith - Won't you acknowledge me as your godfather?

fergus 7:09 PM  

Yeah, Bid and Offer are way too commonly used words to demand specificity in meaning as defined by a certain profession. If a profession has developed a unique term, and then other folks go and abuse it, then I can see Numbers Guy's point. For an example, I choose 'monetize' from Economics, meaning something like a government treasury or central bank inflating away a national debt, which is much different from an internet start-up hoping to turn vaporware into real money. In a way, these usages are inverted. That can stick in one's craw when imposters aren't using your professional jargon properly.

loren muse smith 7:31 PM  

@Soren (how do you get that Danish o thingy?) Best one of the day. Laugh out loud I did! Now I'll wait to hear from the Bridge master, Charles Goren.

Hand up for loving ACME's cheeky puzzle.

Anonymous 7:41 PM  

@Loren...so is Oren attached? Too shy to ask him myself.

Søren Kierkegaard 7:49 PM  

@loren muse smith - (true confession:) The same way I get any strange letters - look up my name in Wikipedia, copy and paste!

And I think we should limit the use of "epicenter" to seismologists!

The Don 8:29 PM  

@numbersguy - M-W is better than urban dictionary and free dictionary and any other so-called dictionaries. I mean this is the NYT for goodness sake. If the word is not in M-W or OED, then it shouldn't be in the puzzle. Now - what are the etymologies of the words Offer and Bid?

@fergus - I agree with you on specific professional terms, but if a word becomes "in-the-language" over a long period of time, it might have a case for inclusion, and it should be clued appropriately.

Just saying' (God, I hate that)

fergus 8:52 PM  

We don't know what a long period of time is in this internet age (as if we ever did before)? I don't mind the acceptance of common speech, but I really dislike when people who should know better expropriate a term that has an originally precise meaning, and debase it. The currency for 'monetize' is now so debased, it's hardly worth my complaint.

Z 8:58 PM  

On my Mac I type "option key 'O'" and I get ø

Tita 9:18 PM  

@loren - -extrapølate øut the tutørial I sent yøu øn typing diacritics....
I just tried it... ctrl and / together, then the o.
ctrl-/, o, and voilá! An Ø!

Øf cøurse, it døn't wørk in a brøwser - must cut/paste frøm a text editør.

@Jes, Titø Fuentes just asked me... what's a girl tø dø? :(

joho 9:30 PM  

@loren muse smith ... "Dad just assumed she had a mild speech impediment." LOL ... you are a funny family, so happy you're here!

Numbers Guy 10:50 PM  

@mr trump - this is a crossword puzzle, not scrabble. existence in the OED/MW isnt sufficient - in fact it isnt even necessary. trading has been around longer than the english (and german, likely the source of these 2 words) language.
"i could care less" is 10 times more commonly used among nonlinguists than the alternative. who is right - the people who study and care about language or those non-insiders who speak it every day at penn station. not sure there is a clear answer to that (good discussion on npr last week on this). im avoiding the etymology question intentionally. just dont try changing the def of "illin" - thatll never happen (not to NYT standards).
just sayin.

@fergus - agree with your precept; question is which came first.
the day there is a puzzle that clues MONETIZE as "To sell an ITM position", i will donate $100k to michaels blog. until then i will be conflicted with that word, though i think the private equity industry has already claimed it along with their unfair carried interest tax rates.

i rarely post because i usually dont even pick up the NYT til 6pm, but i'll be watchin michael watchin will for industry-specific jargon (like the stupid ETRADE ad that i see a million times a day at work and once last week during my relaxing time doing the puzzle.)

Anonymous 11:26 PM  

@Numbers Guy - You made me an offer to sell me 100 x's in exchange for 25 y's. I in turn offered to sell you 24 y's in exchange for your 100 x's. You're saying one of use made a bid whereas the other made an offer? Nonsense.

Numbers Guy 12:39 AM  

@Anon1126 - good point.

"i will sell you 2 million USD for 1 house!" ok done, borat.

sanfranman59 1:49 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 6:45, 6:50, 0.99, 52%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:39, 3:40, 1.00, 50%, Medium

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Solving in Seattle 1:05 PM  

I thoroughly enjoyed today's (five weeks ago's) comments. @numbers guy, you need to show up more often - great discussion on usage.

DRNO did it for me. Who wasn't blown away by Ursula Andress, that Scandinavian from across the NORTHSEA, as the first ICONic BØnd Girl. PETRIFIEDWOOD was a good accompaniment.

Good job Lynn

Capcha: etrout. You fly fisherman out can make something of this.

Ginger 4:02 PM  

Don't know how I missed Philip Glass, but he eluded me for a time, and when I got the 'glass', I wanted it leaded or stained. However, all fell into place.

@SiS, Sean Connery in DRNO may not stir his martinis, but he did stir up a lot of his fans, me included!

@Oren, Greetings from one newbie to another. Good puz, with lots of interesting stuff.

Solving in Seattle 4:55 PM  

@Ginger, Connery was the top Bond, Andress the top Bond girl. She was called undress after that movie. I do like David Craig as Bond. Also thought he did a great job in The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo. He had a nice opposite in that one, too.

Dirigonzo 5:57 PM  

That I loved this puzzle will surprise no one, since I almost never disagree with @acme. My only write-overs were due to my propensity to write in whatever seems right and fits, without waiting for a cross or two to confirm things, e.g., "Ye ___!" was GaDS until ONION came along to set me straight. My solving technique values spontaniety over neatness, I guess.

@Evil Doug wrote, "'Ono' is getting to be the new Oreo." Knowing how his mind works, at least as indicated by his posts here, this conjured up a mental image that might derive from a definition in the Urban Dictionary. Or maybe I'm the one with the demented mind?

Did I say that I loved the puzzle?

Dirigonzo 6:00 PM  

Sorry, just came back to check the "Email follow up comments" box.

Spacecraft 6:40 PM  

3d reminds me of Vincent Schiavelli as Mr. Vargas in Fast Times: "I just switched to Sanka, so, HAVEAHEART." (In the ending credits, we see that he went back to regular.) He might well have added: EASYDOESIT.

I did this in a waiting room, and still had time for the comics and bridge column, so I can't give it more than an easy-medium. True, the themers were a bit uncommon, 49a excepted, but the rest of it went so well that it didn't matter. And with cool stuff like FALSETTO and NONUKES, I was kinda wishing I had a bookful of Lempel puzzles to do. Guess that'd be a thumbs-up.

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