Yellowfin, on a menu / FRI 11-16-12 / Fifth star in a constellation / "He ___ Me" (old hymn) / Actor Morgan of "The Sixth Sense" / Dancer enslaved by Jabba the Hutt

Friday, November 16, 2012

Constructor: Victor Fleming

Relative difficulty: Wait, are you sure it's Friday?


THEME: Legalese

Hi, everybody, PuzzleGirl here coming to you live from my bed where I've been for, hmmm ... let's see, 24 days now! If you haven't heard (and I imagine most of you haven't because why would you?) I tripped off a curb at the grocery store and ended up with one sprained ankle and one broken ankle. Graceful, right? The sprained ankle is pretty much back to normal at this point, but I had surgery on the broken one and am still healing ... slowly but surely.

Now, I'm not gonna lie to you. The first couple weeks were pretty cool (besides the pain part, of course, but that wasn't even so bad thanks to the drugs). I mean, waking up every morning knowing that NOBODY expected ANYTHING from me was really quite awesome. But then I started doing some work from home and then I started to get a little stir crazy and now I just feel like a big old worthless slug. The good news is that I hope to get a walking cast on Monday so it'll only be a few more days. Whew!

So anyway. I'm glad Rex asked me to do this because it makes me feel like I'm contributing a little something to humanity today and I haven't felt like that in quite a while now. Is there a puzzle we should be talking about? Alrighty then, let's get to it.

I flew through this puzzle. I mean FLEW (41D: Raced). 10A: Marilyn MCCOO of R&B was a gimme and then I pretty much didn't stop filling in answers until I was done.


Was it easy for me because I've worked with lawyers my whole life? I don't know. There are enough cop/courtroom shows and movies out there that I wouldn't necessarily categorize these theme answers as obscure. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on it though.

Theme Answers:
  • 17A: Cause for acquittal (REASONABLE DOUBT)
  • 62A: Show some photos, perhaps (PROVIDE EVIDENCE)
  • 3D: Something applied to a suit (STANDARD OF PROOF)
  • 12D: Date with a judge? (COURT APPEARANCE)
  • 28A: Exams for students potentially most interested in this puzzle's theme, in brief (LSATS)
Obviously, PROVIDE EVIDENCE is the clunker in the bunch, but the other theme answers, while not exactly sparkly, are in-the-language phrases and are certainly enough to hang a theme on.

What else?
  • 1A: Spans usually starting in the fall (TV SEASONS). Had the "seasons" part in there pretty quick, but it took me a while to suss out the "TV" part. Speaking of TV, OMG have I watched a lot of TV the last few weeks. I'm all caught up on "Homeland," "The Mindy Project," and "Nashville." I'm in Season 2 of "Breaking Bad" and "Louie" and have almost finished Season 1 of "Veep." I got through several episodes of "Revenge" but couldn't really put my finger on why I was thinking about ditching it until PuzzleHusband told me his reason: watching it makes him want to kill rich people. Why yes, that's it exactly!
  • 15A: Turn in (HIT THE HAY). This phrase reminds me of my dad.
  • 20A: "___ & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood" (reality series) (TORI). Can't say I've ever seen this show but I remember seeing pictures of Tori ... what's her name again? Oh yeah, Spelling. Whatever.
  • 40A: Paid driver? (GOLF PRO). Cute.
  • 54A: Set for biking (GEARS). This one gave me trouble because I was reading "set" as an adverb, not a noun.
  • 56A: Means of enforcing compliance (WRIT). Bonus theme answer.
  • 66A: Ride in a joyride, often (STOLEN CAR). Mort parts of speech confusion here. Wanted "ride" to be a verb but, again, it's a noun.
  • 13D: "Such a headache!" ("OH BOTHER!").
  • 27D: ___ Rivera (Los Angeles suburb) (PICO). Never heard of it, but the crosses were solid so it fell right into place.
  • 34D: "Heavens!" ("DEAR GOD!"). I didn't notice until I was reviewing the puzzle that "god" is in both this answer and in the clue for DEMI (59A: Prefix with god). That's a no-no, but since I didn't even notice it, I suppose I can't complain.
  • 38D: Grilling demand (ANSWER ME). "More charcoal!"
  • 55D: Prepare to be snapped (SMILE). I didn't even see this clue-answer pair as I was solving. That's how fast I was going. That never happens on Fridays.
And that's it for me. My ankle has actually been kind of bothering me this evening so I might hit the Percocet and drift off to sleep. With any luck, Rex will be back tomorrow.

Love, PuzzleGirl

80 comments:

Lois 12:27 AM  

I was amazed to read what happened to you, PuzzleGirl, because I also fell around the same time, maybe one day earlier (October 20), on my block, and I have also been home almost all that time (was able to vote and have ventured out a little bit this week). Didn't break anything. My fall was rather harmonious with the transit freeze in NYC after Superstorm Sandy, because it was hard for anyone to get anywhere anyway, but I'm lucky I didn't have to escape quickly through a flood. Anyway, I'm visiting the blogs more often and earlier. That's never happened to me, several weeks home because of a fall.

Anyway, please feel better soon. I did enjoy the puzzle, but I'm not really a Friday-Saturday solver.

Anonymous 12:29 AM  

"34D: "Heavens!" ("DEAR GOD!"). I didn't notice until I was reviewing the puzzle that "god" is in both this answer and in the clue for DEMI (59A: Prefix with god). That's a no-no, but since I didn't even notice it, I suppose I can't complain."

Seems a silly, arbitrary rule to me.
.............................

Threw down COLD SNAPS at 1A for "Spans usually starting in the fall". The crosses rewrote that one.

Had PRODUCE EVIDENCE before PROVIDE.

Powered through this pretty quickly. Took me a few minutes to wedge my way, but then I just crushed it.

Evan 12:35 AM  

Of course Judge Vic made this puzzle. I don't know how common it is that the NYT publishes puzzles with themes that accurately reflect the constructor's career -- I recall a recent one by the veterinarian Gareth Bain that dealt with animals -- but I welcome that, to the extent that constructors create puzzles about their profession. It's a good way to learn about the puzzle maker's thinking and get on their wavelength.

In retrospect my favorite clue is probably the one for the ugly answer SYL. I had zero idea what it was referring to -- which horseman of the apocalypse is SYL? But then I read Amy's explanation at Crossword Fiend: It's about syllables.

I had several write-overs, though surprisingly, none of them gave me too much trouble. Sash before STUD, TaRa before TORI, tABaSCO before NABISCO, glam before PROG (that one took the longest to correct), lie before PAR, FLEd before FLEW, vassaL before THRALL....and finally, when I had --A-O- to start 17-Across I began filling in SHADOW OF A DOUBT, only to realize most of the way through that it wouldn't fit. Good thing REASONABLE DOUBT was my immediate next guess.

I have no issue with the answer TREVOR, but man, the actor Trevor Morgan is almost certainly not the first or even twentieth Trevor that would come to mind (assuming you can name twenty Trevors, which I certainly can't). He played the bully Tommy Tammisimo in "The Sixth Sense" where he locked Haley Joel Osment in the attic during another kid's birthday party. Sure, why not, NYT? Let's go with the actor with the sixth- or seventh-most lines in the movie to clue that answer, shall we?

Feel better, PuzzleGirl!

jae 12:51 AM  

Nice write up PG and I too found this very easy for a Fri.  Probably helped to know that the author is a judge and a golfer.  

Erasures: semEsterS for TVSEASONS, PResent for PROVIDE, Surf for SAIL, year for MOON...

Only WOE was TREVOR (@ Evan -- TREVOR Howard and Hoffman are the only two that immediately come to mind).

A smooth sorta zippy fun grid.  Liked it!   Nice one Judge Fleming!

Falling is not a good thing.  My shoulder is still iffy after tripping over an uneven sidewalk in the dark in Santa Fe over two years ago.  Hope you're up and around soon.  

Jim Finder 1:00 AM  

Good pleasant puz, easy for a Friday. For your consideration, one Natick? -- Is there really someone who knows either OOLA or PROG well enough to make this a fair crossing? Not I, sadly.

Aloha Cloth McCoos 2:59 AM  

This seemed like a puzzle someone commisioned the judge to do for a law magazine that he then repurposed...altho I can't say that BEYONDAREASONABLE DOUBT.

DEMI with a tasse or Moore clue would have avoided that godawful error!

Not noticing does not make it all right. Ask Judge Judy!
(I watch her three times a day and both my ankles are working...knock on wood!). Heel fast, Puzzlegirl!

Mike 3:02 AM  

I think this is the first time I've solved a Friday with no visits to Google, which is a nice feeling. I was very surprised to see a theme on a Friday offering. Enjoyed it!

syndy 3:08 AM  

very easy! My writeover was overeasy for ANSWERME.Is TWPS something about townships?

jae 3:33 AM  

@syndy -- yes

r.alphbunker 3:45 AM  

There are also four vowels in mythology. I was very impressed by the theme. How often do you see four interlocking fifteen letter theme answers? And have the theme related to the constructor's day job? We should all try to do that with our profession!

Danp 5:30 AM  

Oh Bother? Who says that, for Peter's sake?

MaryRoseG 6:12 AM  

Can so empathize, Puzzle Girl On Sept 18th,. I tripped on a step in my home, fell, and lay there deciding if I should try to get up, but I promised my two teenage daughters and one friend a trip to the mall, something I truly hate. So I limped my way to the couches at the Smithaven Mall and sat there all afternoon waiting for the shopping spree to be at an end. When it was time to go, I could barely stand and those girls graciously got me a wheelchait from the security booth and whizzed me out of there. One trip to the ER and a few xrays revealed a nasty sprain and a tiny chip. I spent the next 10 days hobbling around and feeling like that slug you mentioned. Thank goodness for Netflix. I got hooked on Scandal.

Anyway, loved the puzzle today. Nice surprise to find a theme on themeless Friday. Thank goodness I watch a lot of Law and Order. Feel better!

Jim Walker 6:52 AM  

How soon we forget. MCAIN was the maverick. PALIN went rogue. ( or ROUGE if you you prefer). Had MRred for way too long. Agree that the OOLA / PROG cross is shaky at best. Easy Friday.

loren muse smith 6:58 AM  

Thanks for blogging, PG. Hope you're better soon.

Before I noticed the clue for LSATS, I had REASONABLE DOUBT and COURT APPEARANCE, and was thinking, "Yep. He's a judge." Once I noticed the theme, it almost filled itself.

Loved the periphery ANSWER ME, WRIT, STOLEN CAR, THREATEN, DIME (bag), and MADE (he MADE the tail in just minutes and was able to lose it).

Didn't know His Honor was a golfer, too. Even at that, I had "lay" before PAR; I never know if it's "lay" or "lie." Figures that pesky problem bleeds over into golf.

Trusting my ANO of Spanish en la escuela, I confidently had "Pica" before PICO.

I hope, hope, hope that 7D is foreshadowing for a tribute puzzle Mr. Fleming has in the works for December 2014, commemorating 75 years since its Atlanta premiere (Dec. 15, 1939)???

Thanks, Victor – nice, breezy Friday.

Rex Parker 7:02 AM  

"Revenge" is my soap opera of choice. See also "Scandal." I find ass-kicking female protagonists hard to resist.

Good job today, PG. Glad I could give you this opportunity to make yourself useful :)

RP

JaxInL.A. 7:34 AM  

PG, when you do something you do it thoroughly. I do hope the walking cast returns your sense of power and autonomy.

I had a Natick at that botanist. Who names their kid AWN? And I just could not get VIE_AS to resolve into anything, even after _two_ alphabet runs. Sigh.

Glimmerglass 7:42 AM  

@danp: Winnie the Pooh says, "Oh bother!" Too easy for a Friday. This would be a decent Thursday puzzle.

Z 7:48 AM  

Is the golf sub-theme meant to be related to the legal theme? Of course, some lawyers view themselves as DEMIgods. NEATO.

@JaxinLA - It's been awhile since we've heard from you. Welcome back.

Gill I. P. 8:04 AM  

Good, fun write-up PG and it brought out our old friend JaxInL.A.
I really enjoyed this easy Fri. romp. Sometimes I enjoy a breezy weekend puzzle and this was it.
HIT THE HAY was used by my grandparents and I never understood what it meant - visions of a pitchfork at night.
OOLA I learned from this blog, PICO Rivera - easy if you know the LA area. @Loren: Pica means to itch PICO means high mountain...What a difference an A makes.
PG I hope you heal (heel) quickly.

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

I feel your pain (and slugosity), PG! Broke L ankle 18 months ago, then--unrelated--this August needed a total R hip. (Too young! The double-edged sword of living fit and playing sports.) Hip was a piece of cake compared to the ankle (except the bills), so if given the choice (you won't be), opt for a THR over a broken ankle. Feel better soon, PG, and don't fall too in love with the meds.

Anonymous 8:05 AM  

I feel your pain (and slugosity), PG! Broke L ankle 18 months ago, then--unrelated--this August needed a total R hip. (Too young! The double-edged sword of living fit and playing sports.) Hip was a piece of cake compared to the ankle (except the bills), so if given the choice (you won't be), opt for a THR over a broken ankle. Feel better soon, PG, and don't fall too in love with the meds.

Leon 8:27 AM  

Ko-Ko:
The flowers that bloom in the spring,
Tra la,
Have nothing to do with the case.
I've got to take under my wing,
Tra la,
A most unattractive old thing,
Tra la,
With a caricature of a face,
With a caricature of a face.
And that's what I mean when I say, or I sing,
"Oh, bother the flowers that bloom in the spring."
Tra la la la la,
Tra la la la la,
"Oh, bother the flowers of spring."

dk 8:34 AM  

I think the Potter Puppet Pals say OH BOTHER.

Thought it was burden of proof but STANDARD works. The rest of the fill was on the easy side for a Friday.

At the Cloud Nine motel in Sioux Falls. This trip's motel theme may be HITTHEHAY.

*** (3 Stars) Court's adjourned

loren muse smith 8:49 AM  

@Gill .P. - I thought PICO would be an adjective.

Thanks! "Estoy picando" a aprender mas!

joho 8:59 AM  

This puzzle made me wonder if the culprit of the STOLENCAR will be caught and prosecuted.

Definitely easier than our normal themeless Friday.

Great write-up, PuzzleGirl ... your brain hasn't been affected by all your lying around! Hope you're walking without help again soon!

jackj 9:04 AM  

Judge Vic couldn’t decide whether to send this one to the NY Times or the Arkansas Law Review but absent a chance to break new ground in the law he made the right choice and we get an on-line primer for aspiring attorneys, down-home version.

MCCOO went in first and that allowed the entire upper right to fill in, including COURTAPPEARANCE and REASONABLEDOUBT and it was clear that our favorite judge was on a busman’s constructing holiday and we were to be his tutees, prepping for the LSATS.

That upper right corner also harbored the best entry of the puzzle the quaint phrase usually found only in steamy bodice rippers or Victorian locked room mystery novels and always sighed in frustration by the leading lady, OHBOTHER.

Our Old Vic, playing the role of Rumpole of Little Rock, salted his puzzle with delightful bits of deviousness like “Yard sale?” for CLOTH, “Grilling demand” for ANSWER ME and the ever so clever “Paid driver?” for GOLF PRO.

The puzzle leaned to the easy end for Friday puzzles but notwithstanding the foregoing, the author’s STANDARDOFPROOF was sufficient to PROVIDEEVIDENCE that a discerning solver would be pleased to render a favorable verdict on the effort thus, further the deponent sayeth not.

Thanks, as ever, Your Honor!

AnnieD 9:18 AM  

Very nice writeup PG

Very easy puzzle...just didn't know what prog rock was...

I did send feedback to the nyt about the new program and the @^!!(#*# delete key which I invariably hit to back up and retype a letter and which instead kicks me out of the program entirely, forcing me to start the puzzle from scratch again.

Inaccurate Clue Gotcha 9:53 AM  

26A (Millions of addresses start with it): To my knowledge, HTTP is really not part of the address. It is a prefix to the address (like FTP) which defines for the software program accessing and interpreting the site's data the transmission protocol the site uses to structure the data that it sends out. The address of the site follows this prefix.

Carola 9:58 AM  

I've always liked Victor Fleming's puzzles (and have been able to finish them), so I was happy to see his name as the constructor. And remembering that he's in the legal field helped me get a good start. It's a very rare puzzle day when I can write in a 15-letter entry off one letter (the U in REASONABLE DOUBT) - fun to feel like a (non-GOLF) PRO on a Friday.

Thanks for the write-up, Puzzle Girl, and best wishes on continued good healing.

Wade 10:00 AM  

Wow, who would have guessed crossword people could be clumsy? This board's like a Clousseau impersonator convention. Ow, my eye!

Agree with the puzzle chick that this was easy, though I didn't sail through it. Thought I was being smart in putting EQUINOXES at 1A. I get HTTP and HTML mixed up. Would have liked STOLEN CAR to be clued via Springsteen. Cool that Victor Fleming worked in a Gone With the WInd clue, or does he always do that?

Sir Hillary 10:03 AM  

Super easy, and lots of fun.

Happy Friday, everyone.

chefbea 10:06 AM  

I agree. An easier than usual Friday puzzle.

Nice write-up Puzzle Girl. Hope you mend quickly.

And on another subject...saw a great recipe for salsa, made with another red vegetable which I shared with my facebook friends. Yummm

John V 10:19 AM  

Well, not so easy here, but got it with no mistakes. Always happy to get a Friday after flying home from Charlotte, late again. But for now that's over.

Fun to have a themed Friday from time to time. This is, what, three days in a row when we've had theme answers running down? Nice to have that mix, that variety. Nice to have the pop culuture/tv stuff easily crossed otherwise, no way to get TORI, OOLA, TREVOR. Thank you, Your Honor, for that kindness.

Alternate clue for DEMI: prefix with tasse.

I'll be sure to let you know the first time I hear OHBOTHER, as in OH BOTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

Ellen S 10:35 AM  

I wouldn't say it was exactly easy--I let AcrossLite tell me when I was wrong, and the filled grid shows lots of errors (alas,not just from overtyping a filled square with the previous letter, which I always do, never remembering that I set it to skip filled squares). But I didn't need to Google anything, even OOLA I got on crosses, until I got to the area around 37A CADDIED, 34D DEARGOD -- got those two with no problem but came all over helpless about the area under and around them. Even though I have lived in California for over 40 years, and have experienced many "earth-shaking events," and know very well how to spell SEISMic, I kept putting in SEIzM and couldn't get anywhere after that. Even with AcrossLite jumping up and down, tugging at my sleeves, shouting, "No, no, you dummy, there's no 'z' there!"

When I finally stopped arguing with the app and put in SEISM the rest of the answers fell in place.

Speaking of falling, I hope your recovery is speedy from here on, PG.

Now the scary part--I'm not sure I'm not a robot. I did just spend 10 minutes arguing with one.

quilter1 10:48 AM  

Good to hear from you @JaxinLA!. We had some problems last summer and I didn't get to call you when we shuffled the kids around.
@PG, more commiseration here. I've had the broken ankle, but the broken shoulder was more problematic. I couldn't really dress myself and my husband learned more about ladies' underwear than he ever wanted to know.
The puzzle was fun, doable despite a few things I didn't know. Alton Brown of Food Network says OH BOTHER.

Two Ponies 10:57 AM  

I enjoyed the tricky clues and was very relieved that the legal terms were familiar phrases and not the dreaded legalese that I hate.
I always hesitate at awn just as I do when we have that blue dye plant. Maybe if I think of a beard like an awning I'll remember next time.
Thanks for sitting in PG.

Notsofast 11:01 AM  

Multiple themes made for quite a slog. My first response to many clues was "WTF?" So, for me the theme of this little gem is: WTF?

lawprof 11:27 AM  

Delightful, fun puzzle. Somewhat unusual for a Friday: easy, themed. But a lovely grid, with the four long theme answers encircling it in perfect symmetry.

Even though law-themed, there was no particular advantage in having a legal background; all theme answers were within common knowledge. A number of quasi-theme answers: LSATS, WRIT, maybe STOLENCAR? THREATENS? (think extortion or witness intimidation).

Add to that the little golf theme, and we've got a lot going on here.

One write-over: Punk/PROG.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:29 AM  

One write-over, no good excuse, 47 A, had COMET before MR MET!

David 11:44 AM  

The four syllables of mythology? Please enlighten,

Sparky 11:51 AM  

Nice write up PG. Glad you are mending. Falls are scarey.

Liked the change to a themed Friday. No sense being too rigid about these things. Wanted a shadow of a DOUBT for a long time. Bottom filled in first, then worked up.

Have a good weekend, Rexville.

John V 11:54 AM  

@David: Myth-ol-o-gy.

JFC 11:58 AM  

Only Puzzle Girl could make a broken ankle coupled with another ankle that's sprained sound like a Caribbean cruise and give such a breezy review. Liked the puzzle and think having a legal background actually gave a slight advantage to handling the long answers (a respectful dissent from lawprof). Liked the puzzle….

JFC

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

Hmmm, easier than most Fridays, has a theme...could this be EVIDENCE of a leftover Thursday puzzle?

David 12:20 PM  

Doh! Must get some coffee quick.

Susan McConnell 12:39 PM  

Fun. Super easy for a Friday. Theme answers were extra easy. Ditto SEMESTERS before TVSEASONS. Other than that, pretty smooth sailing,

miriam b 12:47 PM  

I thought at first that "Beard of botany" was probably someone named ASA. After correcting my mistake, I continued to believe that there was actually a botanist named Asa Beard. The only reference I could find was via Linked In: Asa Beard, boxing trainer. I need to get a life.

John 12:47 PM  

The lower left slowed me down because I had "Roast" for the beans clue and was sure "Present Evidence" was right, sounds more courtish than "provide evidence" but still easy for a Friday to me as well, but I used to be a legal writer.

Milford 12:51 PM  

Quick for a Friday, maybe the fastest, non-Google Friday for me to date. Law theme was easy to detect early on. Only major write-over was when I boldly wrote "go To sleep" before HIT THE HAY.

Some stuff I've never heard of like AWN, PICO and OOLA, and TREVOR as clued (seriously, did anyone get this one without multiple crosses?). Also got a little hairy for me as I had CENT (as in desCENT) instead of CANT. I guess I thought that eNO could be Portuguese for year.

Heal fast, PG! You chose my favorite cast combo of Law&Order, too!

Evan 1:14 PM  

@jae and @Milford:

I can only name two Trevors off the top of my head: The pitcher Hoffman, and the character in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" who died while proposing to Hillary Banks in a bungee-jump that went very wrong.

Anonymous 1:46 PM  

AWN is an interesting word, as is the synonym ARISTA (like the record company). Learned both in xword puzzles, and never saw either anywhere else.

Milford 1:50 PM  

@Evan - wow, I have no idea who your two TREVORS are. I would have preferred a reference to Howard or even Horn, from The Buggles.

mac 2:19 PM  

Yes, easy for a Friday, but it made me feel good. Have to admit to a guess at the cross of Oola and prog, and I had to start at the bottom

Thanks, PG, and hope you'll get your walking cast. Feet must be a weak point for puzzle people, what war stories! I lost the velcro boot only a week ago.

sanfranman59 3:14 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 18:27, 24:22, 0.56, 12%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Fri 10:28, 12:10, 0.86, 29%, Easy-Medium

Sorry to learn of your misfortune, PG. Heal fast!

Anoa Bob 3:53 PM  

Used to live in SoCal but don't recall hearing of PICO Rivera. In these parts---coastal Tex-Mex land---PICO means "bird's beak". It's part of the name of a popular condiment/salsa consisting of finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro and serrano peppers. Serranos are hot little devils and give the salsa it's name "PICO de gallo" (pee ko they gah yo) which means "rooster's beak".

Bird 4:04 PM  

So, we get a legal themed puzzle on a Friday. Okay. Good puzzle with great long answers spanning the grid. And no Latin! Last corner to fall was the NW as I hard a hard time, even though I knew the downs were correct, accepting AWN as somebody’s name. I just stared and thought maybe, just maybe, there were other possibilities for THRALL and VIEW AS.

Writeovers include SACKS before RASPS, FLOW then SURF before SAIL and AEONS before A MOON. Tried McCain for MAVERICK, but it didn’t fit so I went with what’s-her-name.

I don’t know anyone who says, “OH, BOTHER”. I have heard, “OH, BrOTHER”. A lot.

@PuzzleGirl – Get well real soon! I’m not a lawyer, but as you said there are plenty of shows on TV, movies on the big screen and books to read that none of this was obscure.

TGIF!

jae 6:03 PM  

@miriam b -- you were on the right track -- ASA Gray is a famous botanist who occasionally shows up in crosswords.

@Evan -- never watched Fresh Prince so missed that TREVOR. Hoffman used to play for the Padres so he was the first one that came to mind. Howard was British actor who died in 1988, very likely before your time.

Shamik 7:15 PM  

Puzzle Girl...feel better...was laid up with broken ankle in 2010-2011 after some surgery. A walking cast? I would be surprised...and very happy for you.

The puzzle? Easy medium.

jberg 7:25 PM  

What, the theme was law? I thought it was golf - right there across the center. But either way, there's an extra, unsymmetrical short theme answer cluttering up the puzzle.

A themed Friday might be fun - if there was no revealer telling you to look for a theme. But here the surprise was lost, so it was just, "oh, OK, there's a theme."


@PG, my sympathies! Don't worry about usefulness, you've given us something delightful here, can't be much more useful than that. But be careful about not noticing God, she doesn't like that.

miriam b 7:31 PM  

@Puzzle Girl: Keep calm and carry on. My youngest daughter had two elective surgeries for bunions (one foot at a time) and became really fed up with temporary limited mobility. Her husband and teen age daughter helped a lot, especially with her two little boys.

@jae: Of course, Asa Gray! Thank you; that was bothering me.

mac 7:58 PM  

@miriam b: I call it chevron osteotomy and I'm sticking with it!

ANON B 8:02 PM  

What did the two girls whose pictures were in the write-up have to do with anything? I think one was Demi Moore buyt the other?
Clicking on them didn't help.

PS. First Capcha that read like
plain letters and numbers

Carola 8:26 PM  

@jae - Thanks for the reminder of TREVOR Howard. The Trevor I thought of was Trevor Nun, director of Cats and Les Miz.

chefwen 9:08 PM  

@PuzzleGirl - Hope that you mend quickly. I literally "ate dirt" about a month ago. Rushing down the driveway to talk the cow guy, I tripped over a rubber tube that was sticking out of the dirt and went down like a sack of potatoes. Probably walked past that thing a thousand times, this time it got me. Cow guy scraped me off the driveway (rocks and red dirt)and my entire left side turned into one, big hematoma. Not very attractive.

Anyhoo - hope you are up and about soon.

Liked the puzzle, but it didn't play out easy for me. Never heard of PROG rock, going just by the name it's probably not something that I will like. Will have to check it out.

Z 9:11 PM  

@Anon B - The first picture is of Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld fame and currently starring during this TV SEASON in VEEP.

sanfranman59 10:02 PM  

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 6:17, 6:46, 0.93, 23%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:44, 8:58, 0.97, 50%, Medium
Wed 12:49, 11:49, 1.08, 72%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 13:29, 18:47, 0.72, 7%, Easy
Fri 18:03, 24:22, 0.74, 11%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:43, 3:41, 1.01, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:06, 4:41, 1.09, 77%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 7:01, 5:57, 1.18, 89%, Challenging
Thu 7:12, 9:23, 0.77, 17%, Medium
Fri 9:43, 12:10, 0.80, 18%, Easy

In case anyone's paying close attention, the numbers I reported earlier today for the All Solvers group were wrong. Those above are correct.

Anonymous 10:03 PM  

Somebody please tell me why the clue for PEC is good and/or funny or actually really accurate at all.

syndy 11:02 PM  

a pec is short for (contracted form) of Pectoral-a muscle that is often contracted ie flexed! also pgirl as someone who spent 6 months staring up at my casted ankle-hangeth thou in there

Anoa Bob 11:04 PM  

Anon @ 10:30, as I recall, the clue was something to the effect "Contracted muscle". It took some help from crossings, a but I came up with PEC because it's a [air quotes begin]contracted[air quotes end] form of the pectoral (chest) muscle.

Anonymous 12:06 AM  

Thanks for all the nice comments. FWIW, the puzzle was made in March of 2011, was specifically created as a Friday puzzle to look themeless. Will edited more than half the clues, did his usual good job, but stripped the puzzle of another mini-theme that I hated to lose. In addition to law and golf, guitar music is one of my pastimes. My clue for 55D, SMILE, was ["Illegal __" (John Prine classic)] and for 27D, PICO, ["__ De Gallo" (track 8 on Trout Fishing in America's "Family Music Party" album)]. Vic

Ry 12:36 AM  

Incorrect clue for refry. See this entry .

Anonymous 6:50 AM  

@anoa bob and @syndy

Thanks, makes sense.

Tita 8:46 AM  

Liked NABISCO, makers of OREO there in the grid.
Had to wait to see if it was wilkes or OHARAS.
Liked clue for SMILE. Guessed the camera sense right away, but posed wouldn't fit, so that took a while too.
This did play more like a Thursday for me, but all in all, was fine.

Spacecraft 12:45 PM  

I feel like such an outsider. Folks, I had no clue that today's constructor was either a judge or a golfer. I'm just a member of the public. Is this a New York thing?

Anyway, I SAILed through the top half smoothly after the gimme 15 at 17a. Then came PRO_ rock. I ran the alphabet: nothing. So I had COURT__ for 12d but "appointment" is one letter too long, so then I didn't know what it was. Later, after the correct ANSWER made its APPEARANCE, I had to admit I don't think of a "date" as that. The word kind of shoved "appointment" into my brain and it wouldn't leave.

So there I was, with STAND__ standing alone at 3d and not parsing it into a longer word, and the D of STUD making a __DD___ employee of 40a the paid driver--and STILL my foggy morning brain refused to make the connection. Only when I got down to the SW corner and tried to make sense of 62d did it hit. Then, despite a couple of writeover hiccups (I FLEd before I FLEW, and PROducEd my evidence before PROVIDing it), the rest filled in.

PROG rock???? DEARGOD, what in blazes is that? I took note of the THRALL bleedover. Angelique Pettijohn, that's her name. OHBOTHER!!

Anonymous 1:57 PM  

Spacecraft @12.45: I believe the "prog" refer to progressive rock similar to using the prhrase progressive jazz. Just had to get my 2 cents in even though I'm always late. Fleming also used "scrip" for prescriptions which, at first, I found ellusive. In my house we call them "meds." Oh well, that's the way the "words crossing."
Ron Diego, 12/21/12 from Beautiful Downtown San Diego 11:55 A.M.
P.S. Enjoyed the write-up sans usual rants and raves.

Longbeachlee 2:03 PM  

Never heard of TWP, but the Department of Water and Power, normally abbreviated DWP rules in SoCal. That with NSF, why not ISF made the midwest a double natick for me. Slope ended up caid, and never saw the light.

DJ Stone 3:07 PM  

Finished on a Friday so this couldn't have been hard, but still don't care for puzzles that rely on an excessive number of abbreviations. (Still have no idea how an Rx for drops produces ENT.)

Aside from that, I agree with Evan above on one particular clue. Outside his circle of friends and family, and directors looking for someone who probably works for cheap, there is absolutely no reason for anyone on else on Earth to know who the fuck Trevor Morgan is. Just an absolute shit clue.

Miss Prim 3:34 PM  

@DJ Stone - Apparently you were not able to read the entire clue:

64. One who might write an Rx for drops : ENT

An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist is an ENT. The abbreviation is signaled by the use of Rx for prescription.

I suspect your vision was impaired by the blue haze rising from your vocabulary.

Soapy Mouthwash 4:51 PM  

@DJ Stone, this is supposed to be a fun blog. Don't appreciate language like yours which normally is associated with NRA members and the like. Few people know who Trevor Morgan is but TREVOR can easily be teased out from its crosses. Please do not leave your frustrations on our doorstep.

Dirigonzo 9:35 PM  

PP and I had no trouble with the long answers but struggled with some of the short ones. THRALL was our last entry, after some interesting and revealing guesses by PP ("excited" was her first guess but it didn't fit). Like @Spacecraft, we had to work the grid without knowing the constructor's avocation or interests but the theme was readily apparent.

@Longbeachlee - TWP is a common abbreviation here in Maine fot "Township", as in TWP 7, R (Range) 6, to designate the parameters of an unorganized territory (yes, we really have those).

@Miss Prim and @Soapy Mouthwash - I love syndiland for the civility of the comments, so thank you.

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