Prince Valiants love / THU 4-11-13 / 1974 Peace Nobelist / Sprat relative / Neighbor of Perseus night sky / Thuringen thoroughfare

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Constructor: Jim Hilger

Relative difficulty: Thursdayish

THEME: WRAPAROUND SUNGLASSES — Five SHADES are wrapped around the grid. I've colored them a lovely shade of pink in the answer grid.

Word of the Day: DONUT (2D: Coffee go-with) —
• • •
Howdy, folks. Doug here. You were probably expecting another member of the 20 Under 30 crowd. Sorry to disappoint. Rex can't let the kids totally take over the blog, so I'm the token old guy this week. Got to make sure we don't alienate the over-40 demographic. The kids will be back tomorrow, with a guest reviewer who's younger than most of my shirts. Now for the obligatory '80s video clip.

Fun theme. I appreciate that the SHADES are split in every possible way. Each one is broken at a different letter. The non-theme fill doesn't have a lot of pizzazz, but I can understand why. The theme answers touch every corner of the grid. I'm willing to put up with an EMEER here and an ALULA there in the service of a clever theme. My rating: an average Thursday.

Theme answer:
  • 18A & 61A: Some beachwear ... which literally can be found five times in this puzzle (WRAPAROUND SHADES) 
The ten entries that contain SHADES fragments are technically theme answers, but I'm not listing them all. What, you think I'm getting paid by the bullet point?

  • 22A: Long-lasting living room illuminator (GASLOG) — I had the GASL part and really wanted it to be GASLAMP, even though that doesn't fit the clue or the grid. Hey, it's Thursday. Sometimes things get wild and wacky.
  • 52A: Like South Korea vis-à-vis North Korea (FREER) — My first thought: "Souther?"
  • 49A: James Woods's voice role in "Hercules" (HADES) — Nothing to say about this, but it's a good excuse to post a picture of everyone's favorite Warrior Princess.
  • 31D: Radical '60s org. (SDS) — Never sure whether this is going to be SDS or SLA. Perhaps it's time to retire both of them, along with SDI. Speaking of three-letter abbreviations, how long before RSS becomes a grid mainstay?
  • 39A: "War and Peace" heroine (NATASHA) — I like that name. Probably my favorite entry today, though a Bullwinkle clue would have been more up my alley.
  • 55D: Prince Valiant's love (ALETA) — I tried reading Prince Valiant when I was a kid. Impossible. The art was cool, but there were too many words for a lazy kid to read. And it was hard to remember the details of the story, because it only came out on Sundays. Wikipedia tells me that it "has told a continuous story during its entire history, and the full stretch of that story now totals more than 3900 Sunday strips." Maybe I'll try to get back into it after I catch up on my Apartment 3-G backlog.
  • 6D: Spent (TIRED) — That's me right now, so I'm outta here.
Signed, Doug Peterson, Factotum of CrossWorld


okanaganer 12:31 AM  

Finally a Thursday that didn't make me feel like a total idiot at 29 minutes (okay so I'm not that fast at the best of times). However, I did not get the theme until I read Doug's writeup. I need to start thinking more metaphorically!?...or more literally?

Once again, solved this between periods and after the Canucks win YET AGAIN...Van 4, Calgary 1.

jae 12:59 AM  

Cute, clever, easy Thurs.  Only erasure was MEAger to MEASLY.  

Tough decisions.  ROMe or ROMA?  With Gallia and Britannia ROMA seemed most likely.  AtWIRL or ASWIRL?  The latter seemed more spirally and SIERRA seemed more trucky.

Other than a tad to easy, not a bad Thurs., but there was some iffy fill...ING, ESS..   Kinda liked it.  Thanks for contributing Doug?

jae 1:08 AM  

Sorry Doug, that should have been a ! not a ?

Brendan McNamara 1:09 AM  

I had to come here to realize ROMe and SeTO were wrong. Dislike.

It took me forever to see the theme here. This puzzle just didn't click with me.

Anonymous 1:11 AM  

Naticked at ALETA and ESTE. Never heard of either. A half Natick at Sato, who I've also never heard of, and since it never occurred to me write ROMA in Italian/Latin, I was destined to bomb out there. I guess it's Latin because Gallia and Brittania are Latin? Bah! Whatever. Mostly a good puzzle though. Never noticed the theme till I read this blog, but in hindsight, yes, very cool and original.

retired_chemist 1:20 AM  

Didn't see the theme while solving. Oh well..... If I had, perhaps it would have accelerated my solve a tad. That is my criterion for a theme.

@ various - if ROME were the answer to 14A, the clue would have used Gaul and Brittany.

TAUS @ 33A until crosses proved it wrong. (Statistically predicted to happen.) NATALIA @ 39A (tossup). AWHIRL @ 5D (ditto).

Should 44D be STRAßE, which doesn't fit plus it screws up the crosses? Not sure what happens with upper case. Oh well...

Fill is so-so IMO. A Nike puzzle - just do it. On to Friday.

Benko 2:39 AM  

I also didn't notice the theme until afterwards. I guess it's clever, but....whatever.
Alula is dumb, but I like Gene Vincent.
SDS and SLA are hardly the same thing. My uncle was a member of SDS, which was a RADICAL SIXTIES ORGANIZATION. SLA, the Symbionese Liberation Army, was the weirdo 70s cult which brainwashed/fostered (depending on whose story) Patty Hearst. Although the SDS splintered into extremist orgs like the Weathermen, they were originally a proper left-wing protest group.

chefwen 3:31 AM  

Got the theme alright but got tired of looking for the SHADES, got three of them and said "that's enough, I'll find the others when I read the blog". Some things are better off undone.

Liked it, but missed my Thursday rebus.

Alula Crag Measly 3:42 AM  

Didn't see theme till reading clue afterward three or four times, so cool, but did not help with solve at all...

So way cool for original and clever construction, less so for theme helping with solve.

Reminds me that there are many ways to think about theme, even after all these years.

I thin pairing BOTH ING and ESS to "Govern suffix" saves them big time from ick-category (not that I ever think forced fill is that icky, it's inevitable, esp with an ambitious theme)

Hand up for MEAger before MEASLY and AwhIRL.
Plus StrEw/ SOWED too long, and Book/BERG

No super cool fill, so ALULA rises to the top for me.

Jeremy Mercer 4:34 AM  

I came here to heap praise on the puzzle, then, thanks to @Brendan McNamara, I realized I'd fallen into the ROME/SETO trap. Ahh well, I still loved the theme and the deft execution.

loren muse smith 6:31 AM  

Very clever, IMO! I dug my heels in, finally saw the trick, and doggedly found all five SHADES.

@Doug – I enjoyed your write up, and I wouldn’t have noticed that they’re all divided at different spots. Cool. And cool that you shaded the SHADES. I liked your “souther” thought. Mine was “lower.”

I started out confident and strong with “dogs” for ADES and didn’t change it until the bitter end.

@retired_chemist – the double S in STRASSE doesn’t bug me for the same reason that it’s PSIS and not ψs. Or EMEER and not حاكم. (I hope that Arabic is right.)

UNC-Duke. 1974. Down 8 points with 17 seconds left. We won in a BIG OT.

Misreading the clue, I had “arc” instead of ETC for a long time. And I kept thinking it could be “Natalia.” And lots of women – NATASHA, ALETA, GOLDA, ISOLDE, and RAISA. (ROMA Downy, and Mrs. FREER and Mrs.ORDERs at my club!)

If you listen carefully in line at a Walmart, you always get TMI. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to hear a five-minute, painfully detailed blow-by-blow on the process of tweaking someone’s thyroid medication. I try not to hear, but. . .

I agree with @Acme – the cross-reference for ESS and ING made them more forgivable. And, yes, knowing the theme didn’t help with solving. But I enjoyed sitting back and finding them all.

@retired_chemist and @Acme – both of your mistakes are interesting. Whirl, twirl, SWIRL. Hmmm. . .

@Gareth – did you want a different clue for ALULA?

Psychopop – we had sprat and chips last night. With slaw. Right.

This is what a Thursday should be. Nice one, Jim.

Anonymous 7:04 AM  

Didn't see the theme either, but, come on...didn't anyone else have the pen instead of the can for jail slang? Please?..hung me up

Z 7:15 AM  

Like the theme, but not the double naticky corners. I got the NW A correct based on Gallia not Gaul. I got the SE wrong because ALEnA sounds more like a name to me than ALETA and both ESTE and ESnE are random letter strings I've seen before in puzzles.

Ville d'ESTE - a villa in Tivoli, near ROMA.
ESnE - an Anglo-Saxon lower class worker.

Yeah - like I'll remember that (unless, of course, one or the other shows up on Saturday).

You are not alone 7:16 AM  

anon7:04 - yep

Anonymous 7:24 AM  

And let's not forget to acknowledge the eye candy for women that über sexy Kevin Sorbo! We like our pin ups too!
Enjoyed the puzzle and somehow couldn't find the theme because I couldn't find my error ROMe - and I knew I was looking for a non English spelling!

MetaRex 7:25 AM  

Had no idea about the theme...had the idea that the cryptic reveal could be read (W)RAP AROUND SUNG LASSES, i.e., references to famous girls and women...lotsa them in this puzz.

So how to balance out the key if possibly irrelevant fact that this puzz contains the sacred word META w/ the equally key if possibly irrelevant fact that it exposed my dumbness? The rest of the solving story along with the resolution of my ambivalence is at The Future's So Bright

Gill I. P. 7:34 AM  

I liked this puzzle but it scared me. I was just plunking in all the answers but kept looking around the corners trying to find the gimmick. He was in the SHADE far too long and I had to come here for my rescue.
ALULA, ALUMS, ALETA. Where is avast? OOPs with THE CAN. I think of that as being the s$!t house. So @Anonymous upstairs, I too had PEN. NATASHA came to my rescue.
Thanks Doug for the write-up. Short and sweet - just like I like them

Glimmerglass 7:45 AM  

One more person who couldn't find the theme after solving the puzzle. Didn't think of the modern meaning of WRAPAROUND (e,g. a computer screen). Kept trying to make right angles. Even tried Metarex's idea (SUNG LASSES). However, the theme had no bearing on the solve for me. I object to the clue for ING -- ING is an ending for any verb.

Anonymous 8:09 AM  

Fearless Kim here -- @jae @lms @anon7:04: yes, i experienced all of those things! Also agogo before ALULA, Orion before ARIES, and a mala-malapop (that thing where you try to put something in the puzzle that doesn't belong in the *other* place in the puzzle where you tried to put it) at 23A, with pen before STY. I tried, pen, I really did...

Good concept, well executed, even with some of the short fill deficiencies noted earlier. Liked it.

Jim Walker 8:18 AM  

Liked the puzzle and finished with one error. tIERRA and AtWIRL. However, strongly object to the revealer! SHADES is most definitely NOT literally WRAPAROUND SUNGLASSES. The use of the word literally was simply an error.

joho 8:25 AM  

Clever theme! However I created some of my own theme answers: one of my SHADEs wrapped around the upper right corner, not split across the top row. And my SHADE at the bottom right wrapped upwards around the corner with the "E" at the end of ESTE completing the word.

So I got the theme but didn't quite figure it out correctly!
No matter, still thought this to be a tricky, fun Thursday.

Loved your write-up, Doug!

jberg 8:33 AM  

On the one hand, I have to love any puzzle with BERG in it!

On the other hand, I never figured out the SHADES. Even after I got WRAPAROUND SUNGLASSES, I was looking at the ends of the long answers, and I was looking for different words for glasses, or maybe different brand names for sunglasses -- somehow, SHADES just never occurred to me. It would have helped a lot with HADES and SHAD, too. (I almost went with wASTE, but fortunately wADES just didn't sound like a character in "Hercules."

So, now that I see the whole thing, clever puzzle! And I can even forgive ADES, an otherwise lame answer.

By the way, the robots seem to be appearing more and more often here.

evil doug 8:36 AM  

Useless, invisible theme, serving no purpose except to dumb down the fill. A camouflaged Tuesday, transmogrified into a wasted Thursday.


jackj 8:41 AM  

This one got lost on its way to Games (magazine) and unfortunately found a place at the NY Times.

A quick solve, it offered a theme that had an easy reveal but lost its punch when the WRAPAROUND SUNGLASSES turned out to be a Family Dollar store brand that left one cross-eyed, rather than the super stylish Ray-Ban Aviators we had hoped to find.

The fill was generally good, with the little clue “Form” leading the way by morphing into a nifty nine-letter debut word, ESTABLISH and likely was blessed by its mirror entry that carried the EMILYPOST seal of approval.

But, we needn’t DESPAIR even after being forced to abide ASWIRL since ALULA, of the Gene Vincent Be-Bop-ALULA's, was there to soften that indignity.

There was a cute clue for STOOD as “Went off one’s rocker?” that did double duty when it also served as a cross-reference for its opposite, SAT and there were two “Suffix with govern” clues that batted .500 for the game; ING, a MEASLY pop-up, was an easy out, but ESS proved to be a 400-foot game winning tater.

(The other double-play in the puzzle deserves special applause for making two little three-letter words, with 176 prior Times uses between them, seem fresh when separately offered to represent the slammer as THE and CAN).

A valiant effort, but the WRAPAROUNDSUNGLASSES really were specs from HADES.

leah712 8:48 AM  

Some pouting here, because it would have been a great Thursday time, but ROMA/SATO made it a great big DNF.

John V 8:54 AM  

Pretty easy Thursday, but the theme felt like an afterthought. I recall that Patrick Berry's Friday puzzle in the week long contest had a wrap around which I likewise didn't see. Keep looking for reach-around but no luck so far.

So, fun, easy.

OISK 9:13 AM  

A general thumbs up from me. Only one piece of pop trivia (ALULA) to annoy me, balanced by Isolde. I found the theme once I had completed the puzzle - not great, but worth a smile at least. I am one of the many who wrote "ROME", but as someone pointed out, the clue clearly suggested that "Roma" was better. I think that "Prince Valiant's Love" crossed with "Villa d'" will yield a Natick for many, but both Aleta and Este are extremely common in crosswords. I know Villa d'este because I have been there, but Aleta only from crosswords. So, despite my one error, a pretty good Thursday. Well done, Mr. Hilger.

Masked and Anonymo3Us 9:18 AM  

@loren muse smith: Ash. har. Ridley would approve.

"what a Thursday should be"
"useless invisible theme"
"fun theme"
"specs from Hades"
"clever theme"
"robots appearing more and more often"

So, we're all in agreement, then. Love this dump.

Miss whatever it is 4-Oh woulda had to say about this one. Good sub job, DP; tried to sneak an X in, with that there Princess poster.

MikeM 9:25 AM  

Anyone else want Book for BERG? I guess that was intentional. Only write over was TMI, I had oMg at first. I got the theme early and it helped me getting SHAD in the southeast. Nice puzzle. Thursdayish.

Milford 9:28 AM  

Fastest Thursday in a long time, maybe ever. But I DNFed at something completely different - I sloppily spelled 20A EULeGIES (may have been thinking "elegy", too), so although I did have ROMA correct, I had SATe for 4D. Oh well.

Couldn't figured out the WRAPAROUND theme until I read it here. I like it better now, seeing that SHADES was parsed every way. Pretty cool.

I must say that I think of WRAPAROUND SHADES not so much as beach wear as Oakleys for exercicing, or as a fashion statement from 1983.

Carola 9:37 AM  

Nicely done! I needed the entire reveal, though, before I saw the 5 SHADES. Even with the reveal, like @Glimmerglass I first I looked for something sunglasses-y that turned a corner in the grid. Great wrapping job!

Liked how SHADES, as denizens of the Underworld, also go with HADES.

Mind in the gutter 9:40 AM  

@John V - You might want to restrict your usage of reach around (Urban Dictionary, NSFW) in polite society.

lawprof 9:44 AM  

Hand up for the ROMe/SeTO trap. I'm a little red-faced for not knowing a Nobel Peace laureate. (But maybe I did know...I just forgot momentarily? Maybe?)

Otherwise, pretty easy for a Thursday, although 5A (Pin, say) held me up when I wanted brooCH or broACH for a while before ATTACH came into focus.

I got the theme; at least I understood that it involved some sort of broken word or phrase. But couldn't for the life of me find the theme answers. Somehow, SHADES never occurred to me. So...thank you DP for the explanation.

Laurence Katz 9:58 AM  

Has anyone ever said, "I'll have an ade, please."?

I wrote in "ices" first, which made "cream" a coffee go-with. Straightened that out before too long, but still fell in the rome/seto trap.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:31 AM  

Very impressive construction, so-so solve. (Have I been following Rex too long?)

@Laurence Katz - re:1 A - I believe the word "Sidewalk" in the clue is meant to specify a kid's lemonade stand, and all anyone says is, "Yes, I'll have one [and I hope you have washed your hands sometime in the last hour, and that I'm getting a clean cup, and that your dog didn't have his nose in that pitcher, and really I'm only doing this so your mother won't think I'm a mean old @#$% who won't give a kid a quarter for lemonade . . . ]"

Two Ponies 10:45 AM  

The shades were indeed invisible to me. Oh well.
Lots of things to make me go Hmm today.
I thought Hades was a place.
Sato or Seto all the same since neither rang a bell.
While we're retiring answers could Prince Valiant go away too?
South v North - saner?
Wanted Agony Aunt for Ms. Post.

Psychopop on St. Ives. I recited that riddle just yesterday.

Sandy K 10:52 AM  

Hand up for ROMe/SetO goof. OOPs!

Another hand up for not seeing where the SHADES WRAP AROUND. Like @Glimmerglass, kept looking at right angles...DESPAIR ensued.

Puzzle was clever, and more fun if you found the SHADES.

Wikipedia 11:00 AM  


jae 11:21 AM  

@Fearless Kim - Thanks for reminding me, me too for oRIon. The RI worked and I have zero knowledge of how the night sky is configured. I'm usually too busy catching up on pop culture at that time of day(night?).

chefbea 12:00 PM  

Had no idea there were shades in the puzzle. Did not get it. DNF.

Captcha = gem there...was this a gem of a puzzle???

Notsofast 12:29 PM  

Fairly easy fill; but I kept thinking the whole time,"where the hell is a 'wraparound'? Totally baffled. Now that I see it, it's cool. Not fall-out-of-your-chair great; but cool. Props.

Masked and Alulamous 12:36 PM  

Many shades of opinion on this puz.

Fave fillins: ING/ESS duo, tied to a common clue. EMILYPOST, whom I aim to displease, at every opportunity. ALULA - nice oldies ref. Backed by the Blue Caps, right?

Fave comment so far: "I liked this puzzle but it scared me". Flat out makes yah wanna get into the puzzlin business.

Better clue for BIGOT: [Extra period in the championship game].

Miss 4-Oh. Hope he's A-ok. Also miss Dr. Fill. May attempt to construct a similar device out of my kaput GE refrigerator. Could call it Dr. Fridge. Could use it to sub for m&e, when I'm on the road.

dk 12:54 PM  

see @evil doug's post

☀☀ (2 black (shaded) suns)

Read Prince V comics as a kid as they were always available. Brother and sisters had the Archies.

mac 1:37 PM  

I did the whole thing (minus the A in Sato and Roma), and figured there would be shades, but I tried to boggle/anagram and could only come up with 4.

My biggest problem was in the NE with etiquette for Emily Post.

Villa d'Este was about the best hotel I ever stayed at, and tonight I'm preparing shad roe.

Thank you, Doug!

Hope Rex is feeling better.

Acme 1:40 PM  

As Doug Peterson, the nicest and most modest man alive (in addition to most helpful, stepping in for sick Rex despite working for a place where April 15 looms large for his working life) did not point out, he is the author of the swell FIREBALL puzzle today...check it out and subscribe.

For some, Peter Gordon can be difficult and sports laden (for me those things being intertwined) but others will attest best bang for your buck puzzlewise and great fun challenges...
And Doug's today!

@wikipedia 11:00
Thanks for link, i tried to google SATO post-puzzle to learn more and he doesn't even come up first ten entries! A pop singer actor does, not the man who signed a nuclear ban! So that says a lot.

Eric 1:56 PM  

Cute theme...though I didn't really pick up on it until the very end.

Side note: Did anyone else notice a lot of ladies coming up today? NATASHA, RAISA, ALETA, ISOLDE, GOLDA, EMILY POST....

Overall a solid Thursday.

Nigel 2:29 PM  

@Z - ALETA and ESTE are hardly naticks since they are common puzzle fill.
On the other hand, I didn't see the theme until reading the blog - and it left me cold. Clever, perhaps, but cold. I liked 31A and 42A - STOOD and SAT. Two vehicles showed up - ALEROS and SIERRA, as well as all those women. LIke other solvers didn't like ADES, one has a lemonade stand not an ades stand. Because they usually don't offer two flavours. Anyone else start with "vane" for the windmill. ELLERY was the clue that changed my mind - how apt.

Lewis 2:37 PM  

@doug -- very nice writeup, loved Souther!

Because I didn't know IVES, ALETA, this definition of META and NATASHA, the SE was thorny for me.

M&A -- always enjoy your comments

Lewis 2:38 PM  

Also, waiting for the wraparound BOA CONSTRICTOR puzzle...

Ellen S 3:48 PM  

i got "ROMA" but was left with SA_O, because I just couldn't believe "IN IT" as "Not yet out of the running." I think of the "it" as what you didn't want to step in, or, "You're in big trouble now!"

And never heard of SATO; I'm ashamed of my ignorance of Nobel Laureates, but he's apparently another flawed one. The Wikipedia article starts out with his Nobel-winning accomplishments:
"Satō introduced the Three Non-Nuclear Principles on 11 December 1967, which means non-production, non-possession, and non-introduction of nuclear weapons. He later suggested the "Four-Pillars Nuclear Policy".[clarification needed] During the prime ministership of Satō, Japan entered the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Diet passed a resolution formally adopting the principles in 1971. For this he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974."

And then continues

"However, recent inquiries show that behind the scenes, Satō was more accommodating towards US plans of stationing nuclear weapons on Japanese soil. In December 2008, the Japanese government declassified a document showing that during a visit to the US in January 1965, he was discussing with US officials the possibility of using nuclear weapons against the People's Republic of China.[4] In December 2009, his son reported that his father agreed in a November 1969 conversation with US President Nixon to allow the stationing of nuclear warheads in Okinawa once it was restored to Japanese sovereignty.[5]"


New York State Lottery 3:52 PM  

@Ellen S - See from your blog profile that you are a Californian, so we can excuse you for not being familiar with the NY State Lottery line, "You've got to be in it to win it." (Though we might suspect others have used that same line.)

LaneB 4:02 PM  

Surprisingly easy for a Thursday. No tricks. Didn't kn ow ALURA or ARI in the top half. Otherwise, a grinder but ultimately avoided a DNF.

Stevlb1 4:05 PM  

Don't forget the "well over-40" demographic!

sanfranman59 4:19 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)

Thu 14:03, 16:58, 0.83, 18%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Thu 9:04, 9:56, 0.91, 29%, Easy-Medium

Susan McConnell 4:49 PM  

Guess I'm in the evil doug camp today :-/

Z 5:23 PM  

@Nigel - agreed, hence "naticky." Actually, ESTE/ALETA is closer to a Paul Rean. ESTE and ESNE are both common enough crosswordese and ALEnE certainly could be a a name.

@Ellen S - a political leader acting political? "I am shocked, shocked to discover gambling going on here." At least he did get the non-proliferation treaty approved.

Elle54 6:36 PM  

Stunning! Could not find the wraparounds!
ROME mistake made. Trouble in the SE.

JenCT 6:37 PM  

@Bob K 10:31: LOL

Meh for me; didn't get the theme either.

Great write-up!

What's going on with OFL?

retired_chemist 8:38 PM  

@ Two Ponies - Prince Valiant is not going away, because ALETA and ARN are too useful as fill to give up. Offer a non-Valiant clue and Crossworld will grovel at your feet.

Anonymous 9:56 PM  

I started watching Xena on Netflix about a week ago. Thank you for that plug. A lot of the younger generation don't know who Xena is and they all look at me weird when I mention her. Sounds pretty Xenaphobic to me.

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 5:33, 6:10, 0.90, 10%, Easy
Tue 7:16, 8:15, 0.88, 15%, Easy
Wed 9:50, 10:16, 0.96, 40%, Medium
Thu 13:57, 16:58, 0.82, 18%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:22, 3:42, 0.91, 9%, Easy
Tue 4:25, 4:49, 0.92, 15%, Easy
Wed 5:12, 6:04, 0.86, 12%, Easy
Thu 8:37, 9:56, 0.87, 22%, Easy-Medium

Idahoconnie 11:05 PM  

I do the syndicated puzzle so I am a month or so behind. I just finished reading the comments from Evan and Evil Doug on the Hot Corners puzzle. I just want to say that I read Evil's comments first before anyone else's so keep on truckin' Evil. I also always look for Loren Muse Smith's commenting. You can call me a groupie.

evil doug 3:30 AM  

Idahoconnie: Hey, thanks! I went back and looked at that Hot Corners discussion---fun day! And Loren's about the Most Valuable Poster here, so you have supremely good taste.


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Spacecraft 1:44 PM  

Well, I finished it, but certainly with no love for the task after seeing the leadoff entry: the NON-word ADES (I won't bother to repeat previous rants on the subject). I looked AROUND for the "five" examples; suspected something with the word SHADE, but never put the rest of it together till I saw the pink-outlined grid here. Truth be known, I just didn't care that deeply about it from the get-go.

And just to solidify my mood, now we apparently have Greek letters in our captchas. I'm getting increasingly annoyed with the whole concept of captchas, if they can't stop entries like the one at 4:33 PM. There seems to be at least one of these non-invitees every day any more. The captcha program should either address this issue--or just dissove altogether. I really don't care which.

Syndi Solver 2:05 PM  

I liked this puzzle mostly because after I had it filled in I still had to stare at it for a second to find the theme. I kept looking for things that turned corners (e.g., the lower right has a SHADE that turns the corner). Then I finally got what was meant by WRAP AROUND. Yeah, makes a lot more sense! Duh. :-)

This was one time when theme did not help with the solve for me. But that's okay because I was able to solve without it and enjoyed the surprise when I found it.

Favorite clue - "It may come off the shelf" (BERG). I fell into the Book trap on that one.

My least favorite fill has to be ALEROS. The crosses help me get it so it was not a barrier to solving. But I agree with others that this was probably a tough grid to fill.

Kudos to Jim Hilger!

@Spacecraft, I think it's a losing battle to rail against ADE and ADES in crosswords.

For me it's like trying to explain to people that "the internet" was not invented in the mid 1990s. I think what they mean is "the world wide web, HTML, etc." But that's not what they say. Trying to explain to folks that the internet (USENET, PLATO, gopher, TCP/IP, ...) has been around much longer than the 1990s is simply not worth the effort. :-)

DMGrandma 2:14 PM  

The world tells me I missed on the ROMe/SeTO thing. Otherwise i would never have known it was wrong. Beyond that this puzzle presented a lot less challenge than the usual Thuesday. The only ???? was ALULA which fortunately filled from the crosses. Other than that, cross wording experience helped fill a lot of the spaces, even ADES which, as @Spacecraft notes, again, is not a word.
Got the theme, found one example, and said enough, but it was cleverly done.

Now for the Captchas which are longer and weirder than ever and yet, obviously, unable to deflect Spammers. So what's the point?

Waxy in Montreal 2:17 PM  

Echoing @Spacecraft, @Olgun, please be gone with these inane posts.

Shared the SETO/SATO problem; must say the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize really came in under the radar vis-à-vis 1973 when Henry Kissinger & Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam were jointly awarded the prize for allegedly negotiating an end to the Vietnam War.

And in reference to that other Asian conflict, first thought the relationship between the two Koreas (52A) would be ATWAR, since the 1953 armistice is technically just a ceasefire.

NM Robin 2:54 PM  
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Solving in Seattle 2:55 PM  

@IdahoConnie, I'm on the same wavelength with you. I read OFL's post, then I look for ED, Loren and ACME comments. (Hopefully I won't be accused of stalking.) Then I read my fellow Syndie posts. To read all ~100 daily comments takes too much time.

My mom made my sister and I read EMILYPOST when we were kids.

Kinda wish Jim Hilger would've had Boris in the puzzle to keep NATASHA company.

NM Robin 2:59 PM  
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NM Robin 3:04 PM  

@Spacecraft: I agree that ADES is a non-word but we will continue to see it. It was the first answer I entered though.

I found this puzzle to be easy. I finished a Thursday which I do not do OFTEN.

I know being in syndiland the previous commenters will not read this but....

@Nigel: I had vane before SAIL also.

@retired-chemist: I already had the S from TEASERS so it had to PSIS which looks really weird.

Since we have a GMC SIERRA truck and had an ALERO both were a piece of cake, ETC.

I try to read all the comments but definitely read our syndi bloggers.

Good puzzle Mr. Hilger.

Ginger 4:25 PM  

This one tickled me. High points; clues for 31-A and 42-A, passing remarks, judges ---, and form. That last one bit me, just couldn't decode it, wanted something out of 'Word'. So, another DNF GRRRRR. And, it really is Tuesday/Wednesday easy.

Good to hear from Doug, miss Rex. Hope he's having some much earned time off, and not fighting some bug.

Dirigonzo 5:17 PM  

I am hanging my head in shame due to a total fail on this puzzle - I had WRAPAROUND SUNdreSSES (you know, like the ladies wear to cover their bathingsuits when they leave the beach) and never, ever considered it was wrong. I even convinced myself that the nonsensical words it created might somehow be right. Even my laptop thinks I'm a total moron because as I started to type this post it unexpectedly shut down and restarted for no apparent reason.

Oh well, I wouldn't have found the shades anyway. But still...

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