Toon with size 14-AAAAAA shoes / WED 6-19-13 / Toon voiced by Jim Backus / Jagged as leaf's edge / Game with multiplier

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Constructor: Richard F. Mausser

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Face value? — same clue for five different theme answers, each one featuring the FACE and the VALUE on particular denominations of American paper currency (denominations represented by letters—"I"s for ones and "O"s for zeroes):

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: AGFA (59D: Big name in photography, once) —
Agfa-Gevaert N.V. (Agfa) is a Belgian multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, and distributes analogue and digital imaging products and systems, as well as IT solutions. The company has three divisions. Agfa Graphics offers integrated prepress and industrial inkjet systems to the printing and graphics industries. Agfa HealthCare supplies hospitals and other care organizations with imaging products and systems, as well as information systems. Agfa Specialty Products supplies products to various industrial markets. It is part of the Agfa Materials organization. In addition to the Agfa Specialty Products activities, Agfa Materials also supplies film and related products to Agfa Graphics and Agfa HealthCare. Agfa materials is a fantastic part of Agfa. // In the past, Agfa film and cameras were prominent consumer products. However, in 2004, the consumer imaging division was sold to a company founded via management buyoutAgfaPhoto GmbH, as the new company was called, filed for bankruptcy after just one year. The brands are now licensed to other companies by AgfaPhoto Holding GmbH, a holding firm. Following this sale, Agfa-Gevaert's commerce today is 100% business-to-business. (wikipedia)
• • •

I like the theme based entirely on the cluing concept—"Face value" is a meaningful phrase where money is concerned, and here the theme answers literalize the phrase, giving you both the face and the value. I also like that the value is represented by letters (I and O), which work just fine in the crosses. The rest of the puzzle is mediocre and forgettable. Also, pretty easy. The only difficulty I encountered (beyond the initial problem of "what the hell is the theme?") was remembering who was on the $IOOO and the $IO,OOO. I learned about Salmon P. CHASE (who was, among other things, Secretary of the Treasury during the Civil War) from crosswords—I think his full name was an answer in a puzzle once.

OLIVE OYL (40D: Toon with size 14-AAAAAA shoes), MR. MAGOO (27D: Toon voiced by Jim Backus), and JEAN AUEL (3D: "Earth's Children" author) form a nice triad of long (and symmetrical) Downs, and OCCUPY has a nice contemporary clue, but most of the rest is the white noise of crosswordese and its close cousins. I had trouble with AGFA (another name I've never seen outside crosswords, and  can never seem to remember). Also, SAVE AS (just could've think of it / parse it) (48D: Computer command under "File"). Everything else, a cinch. Finished just under 4. That puts it firmly on the Easy side of the fence. Not much else to say about this one.

See you tomorrow,
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    jae 12:12 AM  

    Although I don't time myself Wed.-Sun. this one seemed to go faster than yesterday's.  So, easy for me too.  No erasures and only AGFA was a WOE. 

    Gimmes from doing crosswords: ISERE, CAVERNS, NEMEA, ALT, NEU, EROSE

    Liked yesterday's better.

    And, my Stand Alone Crossword iPad app will not load up.  I just get the Crossword logo followed by a blank screen.  Should I wait it out or do something more drastic like delete it and reinstall?  (Yes, I did reboot my iPad twice).

    okanaganer 12:16 AM  

    Being Canadian, I have not the slightest idea which figure of American history is on each denomination, but oddly enough it didn't hurt much. All those Os after the name of Mr. Chase (who?) remind me of the egg puzzle a few years ago where the central answer was two rows of OOOOOO representing a dozen eggs.

    I was again tripped up by being too familiar with a subject. For 1D: "Alernative to .jpg" I put TIF. (GIF is not a viable alternative to jpg, in that it is limited to only 256 colors. But whatever...) And for 5D: "Cartoon squeals" I had YUKS. Thus premieres the previously unknown action figure TI JOY!!!!

    Steve J 12:27 AM  

    Agreed, nice theme, everything else was rather unremarkable. The one downside to the theme was, once I figured out the conceit, all of the answers fell quickly. Although, I suspect I'm in a minority in knowing most of the US currency values and faces, even obscure ones that haven't been in circulation for decades, like the Cleveland and Chase notes. I read the World Almanac for amusement as a kid - yes, I was a complete nerd - and stuff like that stuck with me. It's why my family refuses play Trivial Pursuit with me.

    (I would have been really impressed had the constructor worked in WILSONI00000 - the largest note ever issued in the US, although it never had public circulation and was only used for interbank transactions within the Federal Reserve. The CHASEI0000 was the largest US bill ever in general circulation.)

    I got tripped up with the ISERE/JEANAUEL crossing (I had ISORE/JOANAUEL). This was a Natick for me, as I am unfamiliar with or don't recall either, and either one is phonologically plausible.

    I liked the clues for MARGIN and OGLE. Nice twists on fairly standard fare (especially OGLE). Meanwhile, the "desert fox" addition to 53D seemed gratuitous and unnecessary, especially for a Wednesday.

    Agree with the easy-medium ranking. Ended up a little bit less than my average Wednesday time.

    Jen from LI 12:54 AM  

    Long-time gawker, first time poster. So perhaps you'll forgive this tardy Comment on yesterday's puzzle.

    Loved seeing Selassie in the clues - after all, he was Haile regarded. (Ouch!)

    Will always remember that diminutive man walking in JFK's funeral procession from the White House to St. Matthew's Cathedral next to the tres tall Charles de Gaulle. Quite a contrast. And the latter was featured in the puzzle a few days ago.

    retired_chemist 1:06 AM  

    Easy - medium works, but it was on the easy side. No problem with AGFA - used to use their film at times, back when cameras used film.

    Nothing really interesting about the cluing or the answers - they were just THERE. Once I saw WASHING____ (61A) I filled it in and figured out face value. Then the apparent strings of O's made sense. Best clue: 42A.

    Not surprised that the French acronym for NATO is OTAN. Happens a lot - Nuclear Magnetic Resonance is NMR here and RMN in France.

    Thanks, Mr. Mausser.

    Evan 1:12 AM  

    Fairly easy Wednesday....loved the clue for OLIVE OYL. I'm not really a fan of using I and O to signify 1 and 0, but here it's okay because it's at least part of a consistent theme. It grates on me whenever I see it in general fill (which thankfully isn't often).

    Checking a couple of databases, I'm a little surprised that AGE ONE is such a rare crossword answer. I don't really know how I feel about it -- it seems legit, though I don't know where you'd see it written, except maybe on a drawing where the kid's parent writes their child's name and "Age: 1" on it. Perhaps it's a little uncommon in spoken word because we often refer to young children's ages in months until maybe they turn two or so. I dunno -- I'm not a parent, so maybe others can chime in on that.

    I have doubts that I'll ever commit AGFA to memory, but it'll be a lot easier if I see it again in another puzzle soon -- it usually takes me two tries in a relatively short span of time to feel confident that I'll remember an uncommon answer like that.

    Man, I'm still shaking from that Game 6. I'm not a Spurs or Heat fan but that was one amazing game.

    Benko 1:25 AM  

    AGFA was the one thing I didn't remember--needed all the crosses and even then, I looked at it "Is that really a thing? yeah, I think so."
    @Steve--This is a forum for NYT crossword lovers. Trust me, you're not the only one here who read the almanac for fun as a kid (or as an adult!).

    Ageone Caverns Mrmagoo 1:30 AM  

    This was a lot of fun to have the numbers as letters and not have it be awkward...and I loved seeing the CHASE10000. Is that the CHASE of CHASE Bank?

    The tiniest part of me that is OCD would have liked to see the numbers in order, but as a constructor, I know that is a ridiculous constraint or request or desire.

    I didnt think the other answers just sat there...
    particularly the clues for OLIVEOYL and NATO and making you bone up on your Spanish and German.

    RALPH, ADZ, OCCUPY...lots to like at face value.

    Despite being born in Virginia, I had Luray tAVERNS. Who knew? I thought it might be a bar chain.

    And GIJOE as word one was fun!
    @Okanaganer your comment about TI JOY is very funny!

    AGEONE is a bit odd, for the reasons you mention. Usually you here "At AGE TWO...thus and such happens" but otherwise it does seem to be in months which as a nonparent I have always found annoying. "He's 22 months..." ICK. Just say he's almost two! Who cares how many months or how many inches long someone is at birth. WAY needless info!
    (Then again, I am 1/36 of "No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood"...the others are meaner and funnier about said subject! Check it out!)

    chefwen 2:05 AM  

    @Ageone - Your comment to @Evan had me almost falling out of my chair with laughter. Everything you said has been in my brain for years. He's 11-1/2 months, just say a friggin year! Round it up already! I'm almost done with the book, have been reading in fits and starts and loving every word of it.

    Puzzle was, again, on the easy side for me. Someday I will learn that it is MAGOO not McGoo, hope it happens soon.

    Most embarrassing moment was when I figured out that 59D was AGFA not AftA which I had first put down. Idjit, AFTA is a after shave not a film, and you call yourself a photographer. Pshaw!

    Good one Mr. Mausser.

    chefwen 2:18 AM  

    Forgot to add, favorite clue was 41D check the figures and 60A HI-strung instrument. As an aside - OCCUPY Honolulu has reached a point that makes me want to pUKE! Enough is enough!

    syndy 2:31 AM  

    Very tuesdayish!@ STEVEJ even Cleveland wouldn't call their river an I-SORE!

    Ellen S 4:24 AM  

    How strange, all these people who know AGFA only from crosswords. I know it's less than 15 years since I gave up trying to resurrect my lovely old Rollei 35, not because I could no longer buy film for it but because nobody could fix the built-in light meter. It still took great pictures even when I just guessed at the appropriate f-stop and shutter speed. Wasn't AGFA film sold at every Walgreens? They didn't go out of the "consumer imaging" business until 9 years ago. Is that such a long time?

    @Okanaganer, I didn't figure TIFs are an alternative to .jpg, because you can't put them on a web page.

    In any case, although I didn't have any trouble with the puzzle, I found the crosswordese answers cleverly clued, and smiled a lot, which hasn't happened for a while. So, many thanks Mr. Mausser!

    Gareth Bain 4:37 AM  

    Yeah, AGFA's heyday as a household brand ended with the end of film cameras. They were one of the commonest brands, (along with FUJI) at least here... Nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia! If you buy x-ray film I think you may still come across AGFA? Rex's WOTD blurb seemed to confirm that anyway...

    Ruth 6:38 AM  

    @ageone and chef wen, at my next birthday I'm planning on telling people I'm 732 months. By the time they do the math, I'll be out the door!

    MetaRex 6:58 AM  

    1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000, yay! Not in order as acm notes...oh well...

    The matched combo of JEAN AUEL and OLIVE OYL is v. good...maybe RexWorld can start a campaign to advance them as candidates for the 1000000 and 10000000 bills?

    John V 7:24 AM  

    Nice theme, easy; had a snag with JEANAUEL, but, whatever. Got the them at WASHINGTONI/1 and the reast was easy.

    Congratulations on your debut, Richard Mausser and see you again soon!

    Z 7:29 AM  

    The solve was fine, but this one just didn't move me. I went through rev and hep before finally getting AMP up, otherwise an unremarkable solve.

    @AGEONE- as the proud father of a 255 month-old, a 233 month-old, and a 199 month-old, it is disturbing that people of your ilk don't find everything we have to say about our off-spring to be of the greatest import. (Just in case - I'm kidding - you know, hyperbolic overstatement of the opposite to indicate agreement)

    Susan McConnell 7:35 AM  

    Anything I can zip thru at 10:00 pm has to be on the easy side. I liked it though. Theme was fun.

    Milford 7:37 AM  

    Fun theme again today, got it at FRANKLIN100.

    AGFA gave me slight pause, but more so I got stopped in the NW with the ISR/ISERE cross.

    Had Alice before RALPH because I thought it was more crossword-friendly. Happy to change it!

    My sister and I are tall with double-digit shoe sizes, so we always felt endeared to poor OLIVE OYL.

    Re: AGE ONE - I agree with @Evan, it is more something written on a photo, and even then it would be AGE 1. I'm sure I annoyed plenty with saying my kid was 14 months or whatever, but my only defense is that every month for a baby can be so different from the last, that you really do focus on individual months. But it's true that random people asking your kid's age don't really care if they are 17 months old. And I'm positive I never would have said 23 months! :)

    evil doug 7:56 AM  

    "Will always remember that diminutive man walking in JFK's funeral procession from the White House to St. Matthew's Cathedral next to the tres tall Charles de Gaulle."

    Didn't realize Mr. Magoo had been there. Or did you mean Rommel?

    Always fun when those without experience think they know better. Not that women bypassing parenthood would appreciate it as we new grandparents do, but big changes happen so regularly in tiny tots that the months really do make a difference and offer useful perspective. (And how much longer do the gratuitous--yes, narcissistic!--book ads go on? We get it, you're an author, congratulations, now get out.)

    For Wednesday? Pretty doggone fun puzzle. While I knew ol' Salmon P. Chase (the NKU law school bears his name), the trivia about Cleveland was new to me. When I saw 'Hamiltonio'--before getting the gouge--I thought we were going for some unknown Italiano, or maybe a horse race....

    Liked the caverns clue and Olive's shoe size (my wife tried to text me "I love you" one time, and it self-corrected to "Olive U" somehow; that's now our code phrase). LaGuardia as the airport alternative is true, although LGA's runways are half as long as JFK's, so it's not a good fit for some jumbo jets or during emergency landings. I would have clued 'possum' as Pogo______. Enjoyed ragtop (although my EOS is a hardtop convertible), ornate rococo, shaker and bloc.

    Heading to the first-ever reunion of my old USAF squadron. 40 or 50 pilots and navigators honoring our 81-year old former commander. "War stories"--anecdotes and lies, mostly---galore....


    dk 7:59 AM  

    @EllenS try Midwest Camera Exchange for the repair on the Rollei. I had the same issue and just opted to use a light meter. Although now I use said Rollei to take pictures of objects in shadow boxes where I control the light. Nice camera (medium format) for that work as one has limited issues with depth of field.

    Speaking of limited issues. Tried to get a CHASE10000 back in the day for some reason and was told they were not in general circulation.

    For most of the puzzle I found the theme to be annoying but I warmed up to it.

    AGFA got me thinking of Kodachrome then random wool gathering.

    🌟🌟 (2 Stars) Needed some counterfeiting clues and G-Men to round out the theme.

    WA 8:00 AM  

    Easy as the get. Age one is minor transgression.

    loren muse smith 8:17 AM  

    Hey, Richard Mausser! Congrats on your debut. Great puzzle/theme!

    @Steve J – the clues for MARGIN and OGLE were my favorites, too. And “I read the World Almanac for amusement as a kid - yes, I was a complete nerd - and stuff like that stuck with me.” That’s why I adore this place. So many learned people!

    @Jen from LI – love it when “long-time gawker”s post for the first time. I was scared to death my first time. I’ll look for more from you.

    @Evan – “checking a couple of databases. . .” so many times I marvel at how seriously we take our beloved crossword. Again, I love this place and all of the posters. How’s school going?

    @Acme – I, too, thought it would have been way cool to have them in order. But I liked the puzzle just fine. (I wonder if Richard tried it that way first with 1, 5, 10 20?. . . The downs could have been HOLE IN 1, NINE TO 5, THE BIG 10, TWENTY 20. . .)

    MR MAGOO crossing GAZE and sharing the grid with blind as A BAT. Nice!

    Huge cartoon sub theme: OLIVE OYL, MR. MAGOO, FRANKLIN the turtle, Swee PEA, Little LOTTa, Pogo the POSSUM. . I bet I missed some.

    I knew it! I was able to intuit INUIT from the T.

    No, no, no – my take on AGEONE: it looks like some kind of Greek PLAY written by RALPH ISERE NEMEA.

    RAGTOP – mercifully, my son recently got a haircut.

    SHAKER – Gareth – why do dogs who have just emerged from a pond insist on getting right next to you before they SHAKE off the water? Every. Single. Time. Look into it and just get back to me, ok?

    BIOLOGY – I recently discovered a forgotten Tupperware container in the fridge. Can SPOILed mold be ORNATE?

    A PLUS, Richard. Enjoy your day in the spotlight!

    mac 8:18 AM  

    I liked this puzzle a lot, it was a trip down memory lane!

    When I was little my father, a photographer, would take me to get film and other paraphernalia at his friend's photo shop. Above the door was a great big AGFA sign.

    Our son loved Popeye, so I was well aware of Olive Oyl, and a little G.I. Joe figurine rarely left his hands when he was about 5. Think he still has the box of those little characters. Star wars figures were popular, too, my favorite was Yoda with his furry coat.

    @Ageone: Walking especially is always noted in months. There is a big difference in 11 or 14 months. Also, when you have been sleep deprived for 183 days, you're being kind when reporting the child's age in months.

    joho 8:30 AM  

    @Steve J, I loved the clue for MARGIN, too, because that's what I do on every puzzle I solve.

    @Ruth, very funny, and just imagine if the cake has a candle for every month!

    AgeoneCaravanMrmagoo, I have GIJOE/GIF in my MARGIN as a "great start!"

    Seeing JEANAUEL brought back "The Clan of the Cave Bear." I was once fascinated by the heroine, Ayla.

    Seeing SEVE made me sad.

    Congratulations, Richard F. Mausser, for coming up with this super original theme! It was fun filling in all those OOOOOOOO's!

    Alfredo Binda 8:39 AM  

    How could I not like a puzzle with money, cycling and photography in the answers? Bring back Agfa Brovira printing paper, please! Somewhere I might have a pair of toe straps twisted between the pedals and the eyelet of the toe clips.

    @dk - what do you print on? Just used Ilford fiber Multigrade for the first time a couple weeks ago - not bad.

    Thanks for the puzzle, Herr Mausser.

    MikeM 8:43 AM  

    Guessed JoANAUEL instead of JEAN.. Anyone unfamiliar with Salmon P Chase I recommend Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Excellent book

    Anonymous 8:53 AM  

    Enjoyed much of it, utterly thrown by CHA_E/ERO_E.

    jackj 9:12 AM  

    Richard Mausser gives us a puzzle that would make Ben Bernanke happy.

    From Washington’s singleton to Chase’s double Madison, it’s all about money; no weak clues about “Abe” for the fin (or the penny) though in the puzzle’s context it’s nothing but names and numbers without fleshing out values. (A Salmon CHASE10000 dollar bill? Shrug.)

    Whatever, it’s still a mildly entertaining theme though the “WOW” factor was missed when there was no inclusion of the WILSON100000 or to get really silly, if it included money from other countries, there could have been a mention of the 100 lire notes that were issued by Italian dry cleaners, (and others, before Italy switched to the Euro), in lieu of any official small denominations being available to make change.

    The fill was generally light of touch with MRMAGOO, RALPH Kramden and OLIVEOYL, (she of the “I’m no Cinderella” shoe size), being plusses and the double Monopoly clues for RRS and AVES being minuses, along with the NASA launch clue that tries too hard to be cute, super obscurities ALT and NEU and my least favorite bit, PLAYON, weakly clued as “Not stop a musical gig”.

    A mixed bag for this debut but we did receive our $11,111 worth.

    Miss Manners 9:22 AM  

    So, a guy who treated us to a rape joke at 7:21 Monday morning sees fit to reprimand someone who jokes about parents over-specifying thier children's age?


    chefbea 9:24 AM  

    Good puzzle though I did not know who Chase was. Knew Agfa and have been to Luray Caverns.

    @Jen from LI...welcome

    of course love osso bucco and stew....(and pea is in my captcha)

    John V 9:28 AM  

    OT, but go see Gareth's puzzle at LAT. Wow!

    ArtO 9:32 AM  

    Jean Auel wrote about the earliest female hero Ayla in a series of books that are well worth a read.

    As others, loved the clue for OGLE and generally found the puzzle zippy once the theme revealed.

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:02 AM  

    Should we chalk it up to ego that the (45 D) Unsers, ALS, named their pet wading bird (8D) AL IBIS?

    Gill I. P. 10:12 AM  

    What a fun puzzle. I give it an A PLUS.
    SHOOT,all of my comments written in my MARGIN have already been used up.
    Ok @Z - here I thought the clue Virginia's Luray CAVERNS was a senator and I thought for sure he would fit in the unctuous pedantry category or maybe is an ostentatious non-sequitor..... Hah! ;-).
    @Milford - I know we share the same birthday - maybe the same shoe size? I had to have my shoes made for me in Spain since 10-1/2 was even large for men! OLIVE OYL indeed.
    My favorite is TI JOY....
    How come the POSSUM lost his O?
    Thanks Richard Mausser for the very good Wed. puzzle - hope we get lots more.

    Sandy K 10:26 AM  

    Thought it was a fun theme and I liked most of the fill.

    Agree with @chefwen- fave CLUES were 41D and 60A. Also OLIVE OYL's shoe size was a cute way of cluing her, and OCCUPY made it 'Modern'.

    Hand up for JEAN AUEL reminding me of "Cave of the Clan Bear" which Everyone was reading on the beach where I was hanging out- and then made into a movie with Darryl Hannah as Ayla. It got panned, but I loved it...

    AGFA and GIF were NEU to me.
    Where's the Bard with PLAY ON?

    Since You Asked 10:32 AM  

    I'm not The Bard, but this is The Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene I:


    If music be the food of love, play on;
    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken, and so die.
    That strain again! it had a dying fall:
    O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
    That breathes upon a bank of violets,
    Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
    'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
    O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
    That, notwithstanding thy capacity
    Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
    Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
    But falls into abatement and low price,
    Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
    That it alone is high fantastical.

    Sandy K 10:47 AM  

    Make that "Clan of the Cave Bear" NOT "Cave of the Clan Bear"!!
    I'm consistent- I ALWAYS mix that up!
    Also Daryl NOT Darryl Hannah.

    @Since You Asked-
    That was a LOT TO type so fast!

    Since You Asked 10:54 AM  

    @Sandy K - What is this word "type" you use? I do not know it. For me, everything is Copy and Paste. Click, click, click!


    Evan 11:05 AM  
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    Evan 11:06 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Evan 11:07 AM  


    The puzzle constructor in me -- I've been checking a bunch of databases a lot lately since I'm getting ready to send in a couple of crosswords of my own. I can do that now because school's out for the summer and I can do all the puzzle-building which I was too busy to do during the school year.

    (Now here's hoping I won't screw up my comment a third time....)

    Sandy K 11:14 AM  

    @Since You Asked-
    Duh! That's how tech-challenged I am!

    Plus, when I do this thing called "type", I Always make mistakes- as seen above! It's getting too frustrating...

    Z 11:15 AM  

    @Gill I.P. - If Luray CAVERNS and Duke Orsino refuse to fully fund our efforts to prevent illegals from entering our pristine union our stentorian counter-terrorism efforts against Canadian squirrels are doomed to failure and I fear for the future of our nation.

    How's that?

    @Evil - Have fun at the reunion. You should write a book. There's nothing truer than a good lie.

    Ellen S 11:22 AM  
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    quilter1 11:26 AM  

    I haven't weighed in lately as the grands are visiting and I've been busy. Found today's puzzle easy and the theme interesting. I thought IRS was timely. I expect the news of the week to appear in BEQ puzzles, but not so much from NYT.

    Joe The Juggler 11:26 AM  

    This has got to be one of my favorite Wednesdays in a while.

    Ellen S 11:26 AM  

    Miss Manners, here you go again, not modeling the behavior you demand in others. I recommend you pay closer attention to the way your eponym approaches bad behavior.

    @ACME can hold her own against @Evil, and vice versa, so I am just interfering here without any standing, but as a woman who has been raped and didn't find it amusing, I was nevertheless able to appreciate @Evil's warped humor last Monday. I don't think it qualified as a "rape joke" because it did not seem like he was making light of the act as much as dissing the perpetrators.

    So unlike the gentle readers who write to Judith Martin for advice, I don't think any of us here need or are asking for your advice.

    (speaking of which, thanks for the camera tip, @DK. If I still have the Rollei, and can get it fixed, how do I get film and can Walgreen's still develop it? I think there was something else wrong because I dimly remember considering or maybe getting an external light meter.)

    acme 11:38 AM  

    The real reason AGEONE bothered me a bit is bec you have the number 1 as a theme answer in WASHINGTON1... so since AGEONE is rather odd to begin with there might have been a better entry to go there so there was a 1in the theme and the word ONE in the same puzzle.

    @Miss Manners
    I wildly welcome your input! There is a very funny blog called that we stumbled upon when doing cross-promotion for our two month old, 8 inch book: (available on Amazon, but please support your local bookstores if possible!)

    ATTN: MInnesotans:
    We are having an informal gathering at Butter Cafe in Mpls 6-9pm tonight put together by George Barany. I will be there along with Tom Pepper, dk, Zhouqin (Of the PAPA puzzle last week), and we hope other constructors from the area (Victor Baracas, Andrew Ries, David Bael) PLEASE COME BY!

    Lewis 11:38 AM  

    I'd rate the puzzle easy for a Wednesday -- maybe my fastest Wednesday ever. The cluing, with only a couple of exceptions, was straightforward, less tricky IMO than the usual Wednesday.

    Happy neighbors include the TOE EXAM, the INANE POSSUM, the RED GAZE, and the OCCUPYERS, with some ORNATE EEKS, and the mysterious OSSO POT DRILL.

    Happy hump day!

    evil doug 11:41 AM  


    Why, I already wrote one. Gave it to my wife, my kids and my sister. But now I'm thinking, hey, it's okay to advertise books on this blog---maybe I should try to sell it here....

    "From the Flight Kitchen to the Flight Deck", by Evil Doug: The incredible, even true story of a courageous young man whose first airport job is slopping dishes at United's giant kitchen at O'Hare Airport after high school. This remarkable story goes on to tell of his brilliance handling sweat-inducing academic demands as an AFROTC cadet and then earning his wings after an indescribably challenging year of risk-laden pilot training. The reader will be overwhelmed by the Sullenberger-esque trials and tribulations our hero faces serving us and our proud nation as a worldwide transport pilot in our Air Force, and then as he safely delivers thousands upon thousands of smiling, satisfied passengers to their desired destinations from Bangor to Boston---his beautiful wife standing loyally by his side each step of the way...."

    No COD's


    Gill I. P. 11:54 AM  

    The propinquity of Canadian squirrels is, by aggrandizement,a nacent but efficacious albeit somnolent problem.
    Animadversions of this subject appear hebdomary. Although they are efficacious, they have become sententious. How, you ask, can a squirrel (or POSSUM) cause our great nation such infelicity? Well, we are a meretricious nation and so we excoriate.
    At the end of the day, there will be declention. [sigh]

    John in Philly 12:03 PM  

    Super Naticky with Isere crossing GIF and Jean/had Joan Auel and ISR for Acre? other than that, great.....

    Casimir 12:25 PM  

    " If Luray CAVERNS and Duke Orsino refuse to fully fund our efforts to prevent illegals from entering our pristine union our stentorian counter-terrorism efforts against Canadian squirrels are doomed to failure and I fear for the future of our nation.

    How's that?"

    More mature, sophisticated political satire in a crossword blog. Wow, truly sidesplitting. Keep it coming, you're proving my point.

    mac 12:28 PM  

    CBS News: Gorilla twins born in ARNHEM.

    Carola 12:35 PM  

    Thought the theme was creative, liked finding out about CLEVELAND and CHASE as well as OLIVE OYL's shoe size.

    I'd like to AMASS a few 52As.

    Oh, man - "Clan of the Cave Bear" - housework and all other responsibilities flew out the window.

    @loren - I didn't have a chanceyesterday to post the results of my research into the history of the state abbreviation for Ohio. In brief: "O." was the official abbreviation in 1931.

    @Steve J - Thanks for the information about the Wilson note. With just the "W" in WASHINGTON in place, I wondered if it was going to be Wilson with some fabulous value.

    @acme et. al. - I know what you all mean about "22 months," etc. And yet I'm keeping track of my new(ish) granddaughter practically day by day. Eight weeks today :)

    @Gill I.P - On "POSSUM" - I think it's because the clue has "critter," calling for something similarly "dialect-ly."

    Evan 12:39 PM  

    For those interested, Will Shortz chimes in on Amy's blog in response to her complaints about some of the more crosswordese answers in today's puzzle (here and here). It's interesting to see how editors look at different short fill and decide whether it's interesting enough to warrant inclusion in a puzzle.

    Masked and Anonymo4Us 1:22 PM  

    @Evan: Looks like Amy's blog was down on some really neat weejects: ADZ and LAH. Thought they were some of the pick of the sizable litter (of 26). Altho, honorable mention to the IRS/ISR near-SIRmmetric pairing.

    I'd say the Shortzmeister made a pretty darn good call, running this puz, as is. I'd certainly be proud to have it published under my name, if I had one.

    fave fillins: MRMAGOO on POT.

    fave word to re-clue: FOYER. M&A's fearless suggestion... "Mo ___ money".

    thUmbsUp to a kUle debUt. Especially liked the 1's and 0's.

    And thUmbsUp to Amy and Will, for the interesting discussion on a topic, I suspect, without end.

    LaneB 1:30 PM  

    The puzzle theme clues, after getting the first one, HAMILTON on the $10 bill, made this Wednesday edition much easier for me --less than 1/2 hour and no Googling other than to check on the portraits and corresponding denominations. Feeling good about this one
    Also, I am constructing one of my own and am getting a true sense of how frustrating it can be. I have my draft down to the cross of 2 five- letter words and it is taking forever to figure out how to make the SW corner work. Very much fun and challenging nonetheless.

    Two Ponies 1:48 PM  

    Late to the party but I got the theme early so this was over in a flash.
    I've never heard of those caverns and nothing in the clue was a hint to me.
    @ ED, I'd read your book!

    Bird 1:55 PM  

    Very good puzzle with a great theme. NW a little slow as I wasn’t sure about 14A and didn’t know 3D (coulda been JOAN, but I didn’t think ISORE was right) and 2D had a tricky clue. Didn’t care too much for ALS and XED, but I liked OLIVE OYL and MR. MAGOO.

    Write-overs include . . .
    ALL at 19A
    TEST at 33A
    GRAM at 58A
    DINER at 68A

    Happy Humpday!

    sanfranman59 4:34 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)

    Wed 8:43, 9:44, 0.90, 28%, Easy-Medium

    Top 100 solvers

    Wed 5:54, 5:40, 1.04, 62%, Medium-Challenging

    Rob C 4:59 PM  

    About average for a Wed. Caught on to the theme early so that helped. When I caught on at FRANKLIN, I didn't think I'd enjoy it, but by the end I was a believer.

    Overall I thought the fill was good. Didn't like AGE ONE though. Struck me as one of those things people could say but not a phrase unto itself.

    Delaware 5:16 PM  

    late anyone left after I post? Oh well, leaving tomorrow for St. Thomas for 5 days vacation so I doubt anyone will miss me. Thought this was easy once I got the theme, but at first looking at ones and zeros had me really freaked. Didn't know Chase - I thought it would be all Presidents. Also never heard of AGFA and it looked really weird to me. Very up to date with IRS and Occupy. Otherwise, nothing too exciting

    chefbea 5:30 PM  

    @Delaware..I think we all check the posts all day long, I know I do. Have fun in St. thomas

    John V 6:57 PM  

    Yo! Will and Amy continue to chat at Amy. Go there.

    Oscar 8:11 PM  

    Didn't delete my own comment, so I'll say it again: Evil is a disgrace to the USAF and a grade-A turdburger.

    sorry for feeding the troll!

    sanfranman59 11:58 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 6:07, 6:12, 0.99, 43%, Medium
    Tue 8:12, 8:16, 0.99, 48%, Medium
    Wed 8:43, 9:44, 0.90, 28%, Easy-Medium

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 3:42, 3:49, 0.97, 28%, Easy-Medium
    Tue 4:59, 4:55, 1.02, 55%, Medium
    Wed 5:37, 5:38, 1.00, 48%, Medium

    spacecraft 11:58 AM  

    Like @John in Philly, I was naticked in the NW--in fact, doubly so. Had absolutely NO idea what 1d is. And what is "Acre?" Not the word acre, I don't think. Maybe it's a city, pronounced "ah-cray" or something. Either way, I never heard of it, but looking at I_R and __ERE, I tried to draw on my most meager knowledge (?) of European rivers, which includes, unfortunately, YSER, old xword favorite. I supposed that the French might colloquially add a final E to that, so went with ySERE. Thus, DNF. On a Wedensday. And you guys LIKED this?

    The theme is OK, but two of these bills are extant only in museums (probably only ONE museum, at that!), so how are the rest of us supposed to know whose face belongs on them? Sure, CLEVELAND came on crosses, but I had another bad time in the SW, not knowing EROSE (not a word, BTW, in my Scrabble dictionary), but inferring the S of CHASE. Yet another natick barely avoided.

    Then we have to translate one foreign language into another--never mind English--and then find an antonym. And you call this easy.

    To top it all off, I'm a definite NON-fan of "XED." I dunno, I can't understand all the love. Me? I just don't see it.

    YRS (ugh!) truly, MRMAGOO

    rain forest 1:01 PM  

    Just as there are courses for horses, there are crosswords for solvers, I guess. I found this medium, and I'm Canadian. However, I have absorbed enough of American "culture" through the NYT puzzle, and I took first-year German 50 years ago, some of which lingers. I, too, thought Virginia's Luray --- was some person until CAVERNS revealed itself.

    When did I start walking? At AGEONE. Seems in the language to me.

    The theme is a new one, and there was enough in this puzzle to keep the interest level up, so I liked it.

    Evil Doug is a complex character.

    Acme can stop mentioning her book.

    I continue to enjoy this blog.

    Waxy in Montreal 1:38 PM  

    Another Canuck here who has absorbed enough US history to make the theme answers quite straight-forward. Must say though I'd like to have a few of the $10K banknotes in hand, of course simply to verify that Secretary Chase does indeed appear on them...

    Only error was the ISORE/JOANAUEL goof that a few people also reported 5 weeks ago. Guess I should be familiar with "Earth's Children" but am not. NEMEA was also a big, fat unknown but readily available from its crosses.

    Overall, certainly rates an APLUS as Wednesday puzzles go.

    Solving in Seattle 1:49 PM  

    In a hurry this morning cause I'm off to watch the Mariners hopefully make it 9 in a row, so I only read the Syn city comments.

    @Rain Forest made me go read Acme's and ed's posts. Yes, they are BOTH complex characters, and they need each other.

    Really liked the puzzle. A clever theme that I had to work around to finally realize was about US currency. Snapped on CLEVELAND1000.

    I give Mr. Mausser an APLUS.

    capcha: howntbo. After seeing the movie "10," how into Bo was I?

    CaliTina 2:22 PM  

    The theme of this puzzle went totally over my head even after I filled a few with the crosses. Just couldn't see it. Also agree with @Spacecraft that going from one foreign language to another was a stretch for me. Not a great outing for me at all.

    DMGrandma 3:12 PM  

    I liked this puzzle. It took awhile to figure out why so many answers ended in multiple OOO's. Worst problem was remembering AUEr for AUEL even though I've enjoyed her works. At any rate, it gave me a problem in working out CLEVELAND, which also crossed the only semi-familiar SEVE. Unfortunately no g-note here for reference!

    I prefer "one year old" to AGEONE. And, i agree with those who note that when babies are babies a month is a long time, and sees many changes. Compare a new born who is really quite helpless with the 11 month old who is just discovering walking and where it will take him. Besides, if someone is less than a year would you say "this little one is 0 years old?

    Captcha: Ltdamen - short prayer response?

    NM Robin 7:49 PM  

    I liked this puzzle once I figured out the multiple Os. I finished it, so I considered it as easy.

    A lot of this was crosswordese. Things that I have only seen in the puzzles, such as ISERE APLUS.. etc.

    @Spacecraft: I have no idea what ISR is in reference to 2D. I got that completely from crosses. I also didn't know AGFA. It came from crosses also.

    Good puzzle Mr. Mausser.

    DMGrandma 8:12 PM  

    @Spacecraft and NM Robin. Acre is a city in ISReal. No idea how it should be pronounced. I say it the same as the land measurement, but I'm sure at can't be right.

    spacecraft 8:15 PM  

    @NM Robin: Only thing I can figure for ISR is Israel, for which ISR is the common three-letter designation in, for example, the Olympic Games. Just Binged it. Wikipedia says it's a city in Northern Israel, the "holiest city of the Baha'i faith." Now I know.

    NM Robin 4:44 PM  

    @DMGrandma & spacecraft: Thanks.

    You guys are the best.

    Saqib younus 12:28 PM  

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