1935-37 home for Hemingway / FRI 4-19-13 / Waitress at fictional Lobo Lounge / New York home of painter Edward Hopper / Giverny's most famous resident / A bientot across the Channel

Friday, April 19, 2013

Constructor: Ned White

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: ROY(S) Harris (47A: Composer Harris and others) —
Roy Ellsworth Harris (February 12, 1898 – October 1, 1979) was an American composer. He wrote much music on American subjects, becoming best known for his Symphony No. 3. (wikipedia)
• • •

Nothing very eye-catching or racy here—I don't know why you make a themeless at all if you're not gonna cram it with at least a handful of marquee answers—but solid and sufficiently thorny for a Friday. Short fill definitely lists toward the crappy side (ISL over NTEST over ISTO? The dreaded triple-"S" PSSST?), but there's nothing so objectionable that it took my head out of the game. Not sure why but I think you should get to go to the British well only once per puzzle—for this reason, did not enjoy NOT A RISE (which is how my brain continues to process it) after already suffering through CHEERIO (7D: "A bientôt," across the Channel) (and ROT is kind of pushing its luck, frankly). Though no one part of this puzzle gave me too much trouble, I ran a tad slow today.

Started off fast with BRATPACKER as a gimme (1A: Rob Lowe was one), and then got the top half of the puzzle done fairly quickly, but could not make any headway down into the south. Total stoppage. Really bummed at myself for not getting 'STRO straight off. For some reason I thought the Giants played in Minute Maid Park (absurd—they play at AT&T Park), and couldn't think of any team member that started with "S." Had no idea about FRASER (34A: British Columbia's longest river). But the biggest obstacle to my progress down the grid was at the bottom of the NE, where I had FAINTING and thus could do Nothing with 37A: It might elicit a shrug (APATHY), as it ended, apparently, -TGY. Second "N" in FAINTING seemed fine, because "Love In A Ball," "Love Is A Ball" ... never heard of either. Eventually figured out my problem, but not before rebooting down below with RACE, MEETS, and MONET (53A: Giverny's most famous resident). Found the SW the hardest to get into. Even with ANGEL in place, I had no idea what the clue was after (51A: Spouse's entreaty starter, perhaps). I considered DEAR ANGEL... at some point. I think the "B" in BEAN ANGEL (which is how my brain continues to process it) was the last letter I put into the grid. Is FRABJOUS from "Jabberwocky" (34D: Splendid, humorously)? I'm not generally a fan of whimsical fake words, though FRABJOUS might have a claim to the "Most Interesting Answer In the Grid" title today. I enjoyed remembering ROSEANNE as the [Waitress at the fictional Lobo Lounge]. That might've been the highlight of my solve.

  • 15A: It reflects radio waves (IONOSPHERE) — entertained NANO- and MONO- before realizing my ridiculousness. 
  • 18A: She said "Don't be humble. You're not that great" (MEIR) — this clue would be So much better with context.
  • 46A: Classic publisher of paperbacks (AVON) — damn straight. I own scores of them. See my other blog, "Pop Sensation," where so far I've written about over 600 of the 2500+ books in my vintage paperback collection.
  • 1D: 1935-37 home for Hemingway (BIMINI) — not even sure where this is. Near Florida? Hey, I'm right
  • 43D: Sponsor of baseball's Relief Man Award (ROLAIDS) — the biggest gimme in the puzzle. I still remember the ads with handlebar-mustachioed Rollie Fingers (who won the award four times). 
  • 52D: New York home of the painter Edward Hopper (NYACK) — I went through a big Hopper phase. I didn't know that I knew NYACK, but got it easily off the -ACK.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


JFC 12:06 AM  

Two days in a row we agree. I must be getting smarter...or you're getting dumber....


jackj 12:09 AM  

Last year, there was a Saturday puzzle that seemed constructed only to inflict mental anguish for the solver and it was roundly panned by our host and most commenters who wrote of it on this blog.

One wrote, (OK, I wrote): “Then there are the crossword sadists who construct puzzles with the apparent goal of making it unsolvable by any mere mortal. Hello, Ned White.”

Ned seems to have taken our group’s reaction to heart, since his last two puzzles have been intelligent, creative, challenging and fun, including today’s which is far from being a headache inducer and has enough cleverness (maybe) to sooth the most savage of we Crossworld beasts.

It started nicely when HAVANA fit so comfortably at 1 down and that also gave an easy across answer of HEARTTHROB, until the fashion world’s KENNETH Cole reminded me that Rob Lowe was also a BRATPACKER and, surprise, Papa Hemingway was actually holed up in BIMINI in the late 1930’s.

But then, things only got better and what a treat it was to find a charming “Jabberwocky” highlight, FRABJOUS, clued as “Splendid, humorously”; and the “Honey do” entry of BEANANGEL is downright FRABJOUS as well; plus who doesn’t get a chuckle when learning that baseball’s award to the year’s top relief pitcher is sponsored by “How do you spell relief?” “R-O-L-A-I-D-S”.

The weakest entry seemed to echo the words of a swooning Victorian lady as she is directed to a chaise lounge to gather herself, “Oh, I feel so FAINTISH”.

But all is quickly forgiven when one enters the brilliant two part answer often shouted in frustration, IVEHADITUPTOHERE. (Even though it more or less tracks a Manny Nosowsky clue of 2000, it’s still crossword genius!).

CHEERIO and thanks, Ned for a sparkling puzzle!

Pete 12:12 AM  

I have Pop Sensation to thank for AVON.

BRATPACKER was an instant gimme for me too, except that I refused, and refuse, to accept BRATPACKER as a word, unless that's a BRAT in your pocket, not that you're glad to see me.

If I never see another Jabberwocky entry in a puzzle again my future will be much better that I currently envision it to be.

scrot 12:18 AM  

I really struggled with the SW until I took out COALMINE and plunked down ATLANTIC instead.

retired_chemist 12:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 12:49 AM  

What a difference a day makes.  This was a very easy Fri. for me.  I too put in BRATPACKER with no crosses (Lowe hosted a National Geographic special this week on the '80s) and just kept going.  AmuLET for ANKLET and RaspY for REEDY were it for erasures.

Could be a wheelhouse thing as there were a bunch of pop-culture gimmes...KID SISTERS, ROSEANNE, DAPHNE, STRO, KENNETH, ROLAIDS...


A fair amount of zip and very little dreck makes me like it!

retired_chemist 12:50 AM  

Medium here. Minor messup in the NW where I has atmOSPHERE @ 1A, tahItI @ 1D, and AmuLET @ 3D. Enough right letters that the screwup wasn't fatal, but it sure slowed me up.

First serious traction was in the SW, where ROT and A SLIP gave me ATLANTIC, which with SOUS and FRABJOUS (LOVE that!) made FRASER clear. Helped that my fellow grad student (and the best man at my first wedding) started his academic career at Simon FRASER U. in BC.

But if my wife ever starts an entreaty with "BEAN ANGEL," I'm NOT gonna be nice about it. I will NOT ARISE.

The rest was a good guess here and another there, and eventually it all fell into place.

Nice one,Mr. White.

syndy 1:22 AM  

With A SLIP in ONE hand and a CREDIT SLIP in the other I KNEW that one of them had to go.CREDIT SLIP was embeded so I slipped the SLIP over the side! TGFR 'cause I was never gonna understand 'STRO on my own.I had gANGLY before JANGLY-thinking adolescense? but FRABgOUS was obviously redickulous!

Fugu 1:57 AM  


Benko 2:14 AM  

Had the same experience as Rex in that I got BRATPACKER immediately, finished the top half very quickly, then got bogged down in the second half. Mostly thanks to FRABJOUS and not remembering ROSEANNE as a lounge waitress before her loose meat sandwich shop.
Also had AMULET before ANKLET, but no problem changing it.
Some interesting entries and some boring crosswordese, about right difficulty-wise for a Friday.

chefwen 2:49 AM  

Boy, amulet seems to be the mistake du jour. Hand held highly.

Like jae, a lot easier than yesterdays, but not nearly as much fun. Once I had a toe hold it kinda fell like a bunch of dominoes. I do love me a AHA moment and there was not one here.

1A is what we take to Packer games.

Next time I see ROYS I want it to be clued as Restaurateur Yamaguchi, now that would be fun.

Good one Ned White, made my evening pretty stress free.

MetaRex 4:10 AM  

The central bar or INGOT and the four other INGOTS make for a v. pretty verbal/visual combo given the "Reserved bars?" clue in the SW. A v. nice grid...plentya good verbal stuff going on here, too...

Ratings and more at Ta-Ta

Anklet Cheerio Makessense 4:12 AM  

Yep, AmuLET too, gotta think it's intentional.

IVEHADITUPTOHERE with the sports refs (pun intended!)
STRO took the longest ST?O.
Saint Lo for St Louis? ST po for St Paul? Finally got it, but yecch.
Did RAIN. And ROLAIDS have to have sports clues?
BEANANGEL, and give me a break.

Yeah! What was ASLIP doing with CREDITSLIP.
Did you EVAH?

Super challenging despite putting in BRATPACKER right off the bat...solve eerily similar to that @rex guy.

Did love JANGLY and the clue for AVERTED.
Love those "what do these things have in commom?" clues...eyes and disasters! Cool!

imsdave 6:04 AM  

Medium here as well. The J of FRABJOUS/JANGLY was the last letter to fall for me. Enjoyable despite the double SLIP slip.

Be sure to check out the Chronicle of Higher Education puzzle today. Fine stuff by our friend Loren Muse Smith.

loren muse smith 6:05 AM  

Since an amulet *is* a charm, I felt a bit mimsy entertaining it and thought I would keep that embarrassing little slithy mistake to myself. Here’s the beauty of this place – I find out that I’m in terrifically smart company and everyone went there first! Callooh! Callay!

Following others’ progress, I whiffled through the north very quickly and then nothing. I thought I was being very funny and as a joke put in “jingly.” Chortled when I fixed it.

@Pete – funny!

@Acme – me, too, for ST “lo.”

Terrific cluing and fill – I counted eleven multi-word entries. Loved the puzzle, Ned. FRABJOUS!

Billy the Kid 6:44 AM  

There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.

Anonymous 6:45 AM  

Never read "Jabberwocky" and therefore hated FRABJOUS.

Eat Me 6:47 AM  

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

MetaRex 6:54 AM  

Thx much imsdave for the link to the Chronicle puzzle by loren! I like the edgy reveal...also like (A)LMS at the top...and is that a junior-set UPDO on her avatar du jour? Not to be too sappy, but maybe especially on this morning of continued Boston-area tension I am really appreciative of her and of so many other Rexeans all together under the sign of the 40...

Danp 7:08 AM  

"This clue would be So much better with context." Perhaps, but this insight would be So much better with an explanation.

Rex Parker 7:11 AM  

Yes to AMULET mistake. Forgot about that.

Jonathan Alexander 7:14 AM  

Got it cause of the jabberwocky reference, but can someone please explain to me "evidencing change" and JANGLY?

Gill I. P. 7:19 AM  

@Loren Hee, Hee..What - no galumphing?
I also had Havana before BIMINI for Hemingway's home. Ergo, Robe Lowe was about to become a "hot potatoe"
Dan Quayle and I have a lot in common.
I had to Google FRASER because I just wasn't moving in that FRABJOUS area. Didn't know DAPHNE nor ROLAIDS. I had West instead of MEIR, Baleares instead of ATLANTIC and so my Friday went pffft.

Anonymous 7:29 AM  

Liked the puzzle, but is it kosher to use "slip" twice?

Doris 7:30 AM  

@Jpnathan Alexander: JANGLY is the jangling CHANGE that a lot of men still carry in their pockets.

Until I started reading this blog, I wasn't bothered too much by repetitions, but now I'm annoyed by the two SLIPs (only mildly annoyed; I like almost every puzzle).

Anonymous 7:56 AM  

I'm with @Doris - none of the things that @Rex mentioned bothered me, but ASLIP/CREDITSLIP was disappointing to see. Overall though I enjoyed the puzzle, some of the most interesting and fun cluing I've seen in a while.

Gareth Bain 7:58 AM  

I'm willing to bet those "marquee answers" include FRABJOUS and BEANANGEL, which are great! I was going to break the news of Loren's puzzle, but Dave beat me to it!

dk 8:09 AM  

Could I get by with FRABJOUS in Scrabble? I think not. That fill and JANGLY left me saying what EVAH this fill makes noSENSE…

Thus with eyes AVERTED I say

🌟🌟 (2 Stars pass the 43D I feel 13D)

mac 8:17 AM  

Amulet as well. I sort of like Jabberwocky clues/answers but I'm at a disadvantage not having learned the thing by heart as a child. I made up the term "air sisters" for 65A. It sat there for a while.

Odd how the two "slips" slipped by the editors.

Jonathan Alexander 8:18 AM  

@doris...ah! Duh:)

Floor Levelling Sheffield 8:47 AM  

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evil doug 9:13 AM  

Thought I was clever when I put 'raid' in for 'game-stopper'---y'know, a back-room poker game or speak-easy gambling or somesuchthing.

My wife starts her entreaties with a similarly pleasant phrase: 'Get off your ass'.

Speaking of toe-prints....
[Jerry's girlfriend has a secret she calls 'the tractor story', and Jerry and George are trying to guess what it means...]

George: Oh! Okay, here it is, I got it! She lost her thumbs in a tractor accident and they grafted her big toes on. They do it every day...

Jerry: You think she's got toes for thumbs?

George: How's her handshake? A little firm, isn't it? Maybe a little too firm?

Jerry: I don't know...

George: Hands a little smelly?

Jerry: Why do I seek your counsel?


John V 9:23 AM  

Hand up for amulet. Otherwise, pretty easy.

Congrats, Loren! Will have a look.

JayWalker 9:40 AM  

My problem is with the clue for 58A: Not taken by. Since the answer is "on to" shouldn't the clue be: Not taken IN by???? The clue as written seems to imply not "liking" something - rather than not being "fooled" by something. Is it just me?

Lindsay 9:44 AM  

Apart from the NW, where I had 1D tahItI and 3D AmuLET crossing 15A atmOSPERE as described by @Retired Chemist, the puzzle seemed a tad mild for a Friday.

Though I did get screwed up by entering STRO where AERO belonged and not noticing the error forever. Minute Maid used to be Enron, remember?

Móĥặmeḓ Bưffón 9:58 AM  

thank you for this post

الموسوعة الشاملة |  ازياء |  برامج مجانية |  صور |  تحميل البرامج

Kris in ABCA 10:16 AM  

Callooh! Callay! Must be my day! I was tickled to get FRABJOUS just from the F. Simple pleasures. I didn't have the sticking points that others had - having lived in Houston I filled in STRO immediately. Really liked this one.

Carola 10:26 AM  

REDID is my word of the day for the NW. Like others, I went wrong with havana, atmoSPHERE, AmuLET.

However, I think I may be alone in having Rob Lowe as a former meATPACKER, when I had Hemingway living in madrid. That was after mouseketeER wouldn't fit.

Anyway - liked it a lot, especially BE AN ANGEL, JANGLY, FAINTISH, SEMPRE, KID SISTERS...and some nice fake-out clues, too.

@chefwen - Shock and dismay last month when we discovered the Roy's in Kihei was closed!

@Jonathan Alexander - Don't feel bad. It took a long time before the penny dropped for me on that one :)

@loren - Exciting to hear about your puzzle! Off to find it.

Milford 10:30 AM  

Distracted by news right now, but taking a short break.

Puzzle was flying along for most of the time, especially for a Friday, even with the AmuLET write-over. Many of the clues felt odd for me, not really sure why. But I did like the puzzle overall. Many, many things were unknown to me, but good guessing and helpful crosses made it all doable.

That said, I was totally stumped by the FRABJOUS/JANGLY crossing. Had to try many letters (L?, G?)before app accepted my grid.

I can say with certainty that if my spouse started any entreaty with the phrase BE AN ANGEL, it would lead him absolutely nowhere.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

i believe the answer is Notarise (a Notary Public providing a seal on a document), not "Not A Rise"

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

i believe the answer is Notarise (a Notary Public providing a seal on a document), not "Not A Rise"

Ellen S 10:51 AM  

Can't keep track of all the EVAH-changing ballpark/arena naming rights, and STRO? On the other hand, FRASER River was a gimme. By the great Joe Hill, sung by the late, much missed Utah Phillips.

chefbea 10:58 AM  

Haven't finished the puzzle. Haven't read the comments. Glued to CNN. Maybe later

OISK 11:01 AM  

Enjoyable puzzle, finished in average time for my Fridays. I assume Scooby-Doo was some kind of cartoon? No idea, and there are better ways (for me, anyway) to clue Daphne. Small bush with highly fragrant flowers, for example, if one wants to avoid the reference to Chloe as too easy for Friday. I also never watched Roseanne, so that took a while to fill in, but I have been to British Columbia - Fraser no problem. I don't like the clue for "Notarise" either. "Stay down" is better I think. But there will always be quibbles, and this was a well constructed, well clued, solvable but not too easy Friday. Thanks!

Two Ponies 11:03 AM  

This was a slog for me.
Since the clue for frabjous said "humorously" I was thinking it would be something more modern along the lines of fantabulous or ginormous.

Way to go Loren!

Yikes, two robots got through and one appears to writing in Arabic.

Sandy K 11:03 AM  

Hand up for STlO before STRO, AmuLET before ANKLET, and thought "Hmmm for FAINTISH... Rex is gonna be madish!"

Liked BRATPACKER. @Carola- LOL picturing Rob Lowe as a meATPACKER!
Also JANGLY, I'VE HAD IT UP TO HERE and BE an ANGEL were fun answers!


MountainManZach 11:13 AM  

Soooo.... no one's going to touch the fact that Rex admitted to not being able to make headway "down south"?

jberg 11:42 AM  

My whole city is "sheltering in place" because the police have some guy surrounded 15 miles away. Kind of absurd, but we all want to do our part - at least it's a day off work, and the paper delivery guy managed to get through before the order took effect (or maybe he just ignored it).

I needed some help from my BEAN ANGEL to get BRATPACKER - I thought maybe he'd been head PACKER in some movie (Steinbeck's Cannery Row?) - at least I knew he was an actor! And HavaNa did fit very nicely at 1D, crossing atmOSPHERE, N-TEST, and aS TO. Finally saw BIMINI - if they'd said Adam Clayton Powell, I'd have got it right away.

Also Did you EVer, bIg SISTER (and then lI'l SISTER), Dell before AVON for the classic paperback, and lOu Harris (actually a pollster, not a composer, I think - though there are so many composers maybe one did have that name).

This was a good day for knowing where painters and writers lived. At least we can be grateful that Hopper never lived in Islip, my first guess - that would have been three SLIPs in one puzzle.


retired_chemist 11:45 AM  

Arabic robot, per Google translate, is:

Disclaimers | Fashion | free software | Photos | Downloads

Mohair Sam 12:39 PM  

Oh well, put a jabberwocky non-word next to a Roseanne (history's worst TV) clue and I'm fried.

Thought I could fill the SW anyhow thanks to some easy crosses, but I thought my change was jingling in my pocker all these years. So I never filled FRABJOUS.

Fun puzzle, but just too far off my sweet spots. All it needed to drive me nuts was a Robbie Burns clue or two..

Tyler 12:49 PM  

SW was impossible for me. FRABJOUS???!!!

retired_chemist 1:02 PM  

For those interested in Jabberwocky, the Wikipedia article has a lexicon of terms.

For all others, if you hated FRABJOUS, you would really have hated a puzzle I can't find today, about 1-2 years ago, in which the theme clues were definitions of jabberwocky terms and the answers of course were the terms themselves.

If anyone knows this puzzle I would love the reference.

Masked and Anonymo3Us 1:02 PM  

SOMI: +15

Hard as nails FriPuz, imo. Learned a lot. Some of the small stuff were kinda wee-jects, but overall, enjoyed the cranial workout.

Speakin of learnin, am off to savor the high-probability U-fest at that there Chronicle of Higher Musin place.

Eric 1:13 PM  

ehhhhhhhhh, notsomuch.

Too many questionable answers in here for me to really enjoy this one.

Also, the propensity of crap like PSSST, ISL, ISA, SSE, SITU, STRO, CVII, and NTEST gave me enough reason to put this puzzle down and not care anymore.

I mean, I finished it, but still.....I didnt feel good about this one.

JC66 1:20 PM  


Just finished your puzzle and enjoyed it very much.

Sandy K 1:20 PM  

@retired chemist

If you type in Jabberwocky in Rex's search bar, you will get the puzzle I think you're referring to:

It's by Matt Ginsberg, on Thurs, Apr.8, 2010.

I vaguely remembered it too, once you mentioned it.

Carola 1:36 PM  

@loren - Really enjoyed your puzzle! In return - I think you'll like this German headline.

bigsteve46 1:38 PM  

Now, in addition to the general obnoxiousness of all baseball stadium names being bought by corporate swine - offensive enough in itself - is the indignity that now a whole batch of crossword answers that I used to know automatically - Candlestick, Astrodome. Shea, Three Rivers, etc. - are now stumpers. And boring and offensive stumpers, besides!!

I guess that's what happens when you reach the age where you "wear the bottom of your trousers rolled."

Notsofast 1:44 PM  

At first, I had FRABGOUS, crossed by GANGLY, which also works! Then I saw my mistake. JANGLY is better. Love FAINTISH!!!!! A fun Friday.

M and A further 1:45 PM  

@lms: U done good, girl. Mucho Congrats. Would gush over the puz details, but must not be a psoiler...

Susan Jo 1:49 PM  

Isn't there a phrase "there's many a miss between a mister and a mattress"? I left in "miss" forever, I was so sure of it.

We're also in lockdown in Newton......

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

Never watched "Roseanne" and can't stand the woman, think she's a crude, ill-bred, untalented, unfunny jerk (and so undoubtedly has a huge fan base in our despicable, snarky, LCD (that's 'lowest common denominator,' not 'liquid crystal display') popular culture), so SW corner of puzzle was tough for me; after struggling for a while I decided to try "frabjous" and "rot," then it all fell into place, with a quick Google of "Lobo Lounge" to confirm "Roseanne." I too tried "heartthrob/Havana" before doing some of the other down clues and eventually corrected to "brat pack/Bimini."

LaneB 1:56 PM  

Got through a
Friday with some Google help. Used ever instead of EVAH and that slowed things down. Also FRABJOUS is a terrible clue and answer, making for much delay. Better than a not uncommon Friday DNF.

Anonymous 2:00 PM  


Knew it was "ever" or "evah" but went with the latter pretty quickly because of 14-down gimme": "threeday."

Suzy 2:06 PM  

The change in your pocket goes jingle/jangle

Lewis 2:15 PM  

I liked this puzzle and felt like it had a good amount of zip. I was fooed by the clue for MAKESSENSE, and loved the clues for AVERTED and JANGLY. Not a fan of FAINTISH. Had no clue on 65A. Most troublesome area was Baja.

It gave me a good workout, and thanks JackJ for giving this puzzle some context!

chefbea 2:44 PM  

Where is Loren's puzzle?? I didn't read the early comments

retired_chemist 3:03 PM  

@ Sandy K - Thanks!

Rex has a search bar? I can't find it.

retired_chemist 3:15 PM  

Found the puzzle though - the NYT archives are easy to search if you know the date. Thanks again.

mac 3:16 PM  

@loren: nice one!!

Masked and Anonymo6Us 3:20 PM  

Woops. That's "a spoiler".
@chefbea: Loren is at Chronicle of Higher Education. Easy to get, thru cruciverb.com.

sanfranman59 3:40 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

Fri 20:49, 22:14, 0.94, 38%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Fri 13:23, 13:22, 1.00, 51%, Medium

Sandy K 3:40 PM  

@retired chemist

I found Rex's search bar all the way at the top of his page, on the left-hand side after the orange blogger sign...when I was trying to figure out how to get the blogger sign- which I still have not figured out.

jackj 4:23 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jackj 4:26 PM  

Loren Muse Smith-

Fantastic debut!!

Too bad the reviewer at the Fiend web site got so wrapped up in a (p)sophistic hissy fit .

Keep 'em comin'; you obviously have the knack.

Chip Hilton 4:37 PM  

A confident start with AnOutsider for the Rob Lowe clue. I soon realized that wouldn't fly and things went well from there until the SW totally threw me. JANGLY (originally JiNGLY) provided the breakthrough, leading to ROSEANNE and the rest. I came here wondering how many letters I had wrong in FRABJOUS. None!? Really? I guess I should've been reading the classics instead of Sport Magazine as a child.

Brandy 4:37 PM  

Went to Chronicle of Higher Education and did a search for "Loren Smith" - no luck. Tried "crossword puzzle" - no luck. Where is the puzzle? Thanks!

loren muse smith 4:44 PM  

Thanks for the comments. I hope someday I can construct a themeless like Ned’s with two triple 10 stacks, two triple 8 stacks, and entries like FRABJOUS, I’VE HAD IT UP TO HERE, and KID SISTERS. MAKES SENSE, right?!

retired_chemist 4:53 PM  

@ Sandy K - D'oh! I didn't look way up there. But there it is!

retired_chemist 5:12 PM  

@ Loren - just did yours. Very nice! Won;t comment otherwise as I don't want to be a spoiler.

@ Brandy - got to cruciverb.com, where you can click on Chronicle of Higher Education under "Today's Puzzles." But do it soon before it becomes yesterday's puzzle.

Brandy 5:15 PM  

Thank you very much!

Brandy 5:32 PM  


I followed the instructions, but when I clicked on The Higher Education puzzle, it didn't come up in crossword format. I guess I have to now do something to get into Acrosslite. I give up! However, thanks for the info

retired_chemist 6:12 PM  

@ Brandy - AL .puz is one download option. I used it. Not sure why you can't get it.....

joho 6:31 PM  

Great puzzle! I thought the cluing was really good i.e. "Unlike radio shows for SEEN.

Yes, I fell for AmuLET,too. Happy to be in such a good crowd.

@Loren, just did your puzzle, congratulations! LOVE the reveal.

Ebenezer 6:58 PM  

@dk, for what it's worth, FRABJOUS is in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Not that I ever heard of it - I've never seen a Jabberwocky here, although we do have Bigfoot.

For some reason, even after I figured WEST WINGER was wrong for 1 across, did not come up with BRAT PACKER - I think I saw that RAT PACKER didn't fit, but got my packs mixed up.

The SW was over my head. BE AN ANGEL is nice. FRASER came to me late, but we've heard of it in Seattle - didn't know it was BC's longest river.

The IONOSPHERE/ROASTS cross was very nice, as was ROLAIDS/KID SISTERS.

I actually first had MARL (doesn't roll off the tongue) for Minute Maid Park, then remembered it in Houston and the aSTROs.

Hopeful that Boston will get back to normal soon - what a horrible week.

Rob C 7:05 PM  

Was on the easy side for me. Until I got to EVAH and abandoned ship. Didn't believe that could be a word(now I see that it's been used before and it relates to a song). Caused me to erase THREEDAY and I wasn't to confident in FAINTISH to begin with. Never recovered so DNF.

Off to find LMS's puzzle. Congrats on that!

Anonymous 7:09 PM  

I initially had ArSE for "projection for some kneelers." Depends on how one kneels, of course...tired Catholics have been known to slouch a bit. Seemed plausible at the time, even if a tad on the edgy side.

Gill I. P. 7:37 PM  

@Loren....Although I only have two, TWENTY thumbs up. Phantastic phuzzle.

triggerfinger 7:51 PM  

Can someone explain "tag" for "make it?" Thanks

chefbea 8:04 PM  

@triggerfinger..the game of tag...when u tag someone they are it

chefbea 8:05 PM  

I still cant get LMS puzzle

retired_chemist 9:19 PM  

@ Brandy - send your e-mail address to caldwel2@airmail.net and I will e-mail you an AL version.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:40 PM  

44 A - There's many A SLIP . . . in the Victoria's Secret catalog. :>)

(Sorry to get here so late. Long day driving to/from Birthday Lunch with 103 year old cousin.)

jackj 9:41 PM  

Downloading the CHE puzzle on a Mac:

For people trying to download the CHE puzzle in AcrossLite, if you are using a Mac, hold down "Option" on your keyboard and click your cursor on the AL logo.

The puzzle should immediately appear for you to solve on-line or to print out.

jae 9:51 PM  

@Loren -- Delightful! Made me chuckle.

If you have the Stand Alone Inc. app on your iPad The Chronicle puzzles can be down loaded for free. Just go to puzzle providers and tap the circle next to The Chronicle.

sanfranman59 10:14 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. 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 6:12, 6:14, 1.00, 47%, Medium
Tue 9:31, 8:15, 1.15, 82%, Challenging
Wed 9:44, 10:13, 0.95, 40%, Easy-Medium
Thu 25:05, 17:17, 1.45, 94%, Challenging
Fri 20:49, 22:14, 0.94, 38%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:51, 3:43, 1.04, 69%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:28, 4:49, 1.13, 81%, Challenging
Wed 5:58, 6:02, 0.99, 46%, Medium
Thu 14:47, 10:01, 1.48, 92%, Challenging
Fri 12:25, 12:52, 0.96, 43%, Medium

Brandy 11:03 PM  


Perhaps I should have mentioned I have a Mac. Your tip worked and I was able to get the puzzle successfully. My thanks to you, and others, who were nice enough to offer help. You are a nice group of people!

Brandy 11:20 PM  

Got it! What fun!

Z 11:30 PM  

Just a little distracted this morning by the news. Didn't much enjoy the solve, I was just off (Shasta is a mountain so maybe it's a river, too. A really long river)

On review, it looks like a conversation between a BRATPACKER and his KID SISTER. I'VE HAD IT UP TO HERE. BE AN ANGEL. YES SIR. So on further review, it MAKES SENSE to like this puzzle.

Mike 12:31 AM  

I actually was a big Roseanne fan and was thrown by the Lobo Lounge clue. She wasn't really a waitress there, except for in a single episode in which she took a second job. She was a waitress on the show for quite a stretch, but that was at the department store luncheonette. So, the clue is technically correct, but it's a little like referring to Lucy Ricardo as a "chocolate factory employee."

Spacecraft 11:34 AM  

Dude, if ROSEANNE is the "highlight of [your] solve," you are in serious need of a life!

I found this one tougher than medium. My finished grid is a mess: besides AmuLET and EVer, I had JiNGLY (took forEVAH to find Ms. Barr--and was sorry I did), plus the poker dealer's take on "Took from the top:" RakeD.

After I REDID the grid, I both liked and disliked it, by turns. Wonderful sentiment: "Don't be humble. You're not that great." I didn't know who said that, but I thought, whoever she is, I like her. Turned out to be the golden Golda. Toldja I liked her.

Loved FRABJOUS, and the whole Jabberwocky thing. But PSSST, CVII, NTEST and fergodsakes STRO? IVEHADITUPTOHERE!

First captcha word is Great. Be humble.

Syndi Solver 1:04 PM  

So, Rex is kicking himself for not seeing the obvious 'STRO, huh? Then there's me, thinking, "O FRABJOUS day! I finished a whole Friday without needing help!" only to find that STlO is wrong and it should be 'STRO.

Other than tennis I rarely get most sports clues. I finished with STlO/FRASEl since I thought it could stand for St. Louis. Even though STlO is usually clued as a battle site at least it's something I recognize. STRO has probably been in a puzzle before but I don't remember seeing it.

The top half was amazingly fast for me. I put in EVAH and then quickly guessed the IVEHADIT and UPTOHERE (which was the high point of the puzzle for me, other than FRABJOUS and JANGLY - cute clue!).

Bottom half was brutal. I, too, just could not believe that 63A could be CREDIT SLIP since A SLIP was at 44A (one of my earlier entries). I guess in some puzzles the editor decides that a repeat is okay? How do they decide?

(Sheesh, the captchas are getting as hard as the puzzle--I keep reloading to find one I can read)

DMGrandma 1:31 PM  

Missed by more than one square this time! Couldn't complete the NE: never seen Scooby Doo and have no familiarity with music terms, tho in retrospect this one seems pretty obvious. Also, no idea as to the source of the quote, and still wonder who Mrs Meir was chastising? Beyond that, even with only the I and the N missing, I would never have thought of FAINTISH, seems like a non-word to me. And, despite the fact I can quote nearly the whole poem, I missed FRABJOUS! Ended up with a G and wondered why gANGLY evidenced change. Decided it must refer to a growing teen-ager! Thanks to whoever made the reference to coins in your pocket.

On to tomorrow!

Solving in Seattle 1:43 PM  

FRABJOUS totally on crosses. New one on me. dEArANGEL before BEANANGEL.

Can someone explain how NOTARISE is "Put a seal of approval on, overseas?"

Have a good Memorial THREEDAY weekend, Syndie Solvers.

Syndi Solver 1:56 PM  

@Solving in Seattle said:

Can someone explain how NOTARISE is "Put a seal of approval on, overseas?"

It's the British ("overseas") spelling for NOTARIZE, e.g., putting a legal seal of approval on a document.

Solving in Seattle 2:16 PM  

@Syndie Solver, thanks, and big forehead slap. I just couldn't parse it.

Syndi Solver 2:25 PM  

Speaking of not parsing things correctly, I once looked at ALIENTO and thought it was unfair to have a rather obscure Spanish word in a Tuesday puzzle. It took me a while to see that it was meant to be 2 words, ALIEN TO.

rain forest 3:30 PM  

This was the easiest Friday for me in a long while. Almost everything just clicked. IONOSPHERE and MAKESSENSE went in without crosses, and I just sped from there. Living a half mile from the FRASER river, I experinced glee, and really not much else to say that hasn't already been said. Frabjous day, if not quite a frabjous puzzle.

Dirigonzo 5:45 PM  

Last letter in was the initial F in the BC river/Jabberwocky cross, and it was a total guess.

My 3 dogs (rude,crude and obnoxious) are known collectively as the BRATPACK so it was fun to see that name materialize at the top of the grid.

It's the start of a THREEDAY weekend for U.S. syndisolvers and the official beginning of "tourist season" here in Vacationland. Enjoy it everyone, and please take a moment to remember those who sacrificed so much.

Ginger 6:08 PM  

The SW killed me. Never heard of FRABJOUS, and I couldn't parse JANGLY, so DNF.

However, loved the puzzle. How can you not love a puzzle with REHYDRATE, NOT A RISE ;-), DAPHNE, and IVEHADITUPTOHERE.

@Diri - your dogs sound like fun.

@rain forest - I found the FRASER River gorge to be pretty impressive. Beautiful country you live in.

16-A must refer to this blog, a following line is "What a swell party this is!"

Waxy in Montreal 6:24 PM  

Easy Friday except for the SW corner which was anything but FRABJOUS. Count me in the DEARANGEL/GANGLY crew. Don't think much of STRO as an abbreviation for ASTRO either.

As per @DMG, On to tomorrow!

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