Internet in your pocket sloganeer / WED 8-14-13 / Oscar winner Jannings / Electronically scored duel / Youngest 600-homer man / Norwegian import in dairy case / Beatnik's percussion / Aussie rockers with knickers-clad lead guitarist / Rotgut buyer perhaps / To whom Brabantio says Thou art villain

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Constructor: Sarah Keller

Relative difficulty: Easy for me, but looks like more Medium for others ...

THEME: THINGS WITH HOLES (56A: What 20-, 28-, 36- and 45-Across are) — pretty self-explanatory.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Norwegian import in the dairy case (JARLSBERG CHEESE)
  • 28A: Links (GOLF COURSE)
  • 36A: You can hardly believe it (FLIMSY ALIBI)
  • 45A: Bit of equipment for an outdoor kids' game (WIFFLE BALL)
Word of the Day: FRA diavolo (30D: ___ diavolo) —
Fra Diavolo (Italian for "Brother Devil") is the name given to a spicy sauce for pasta or seafood. Most versions are tomato-based and use chili peppers for spice, but the term is also used for sauces that include no tomato, or that use cayenne or other forms of pepper. According to chef Mario Batali, the spicy sauce is an Italian-American creation and is rarely served in Italy. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a perfectly adequate puzzle. A placeholder. An inoffensive straightforward not-much-too-it fabrication. I don't know why I was able to solve it in 3:19 when I'm seeing times of my rivals running 30 seconds to two minutes slower. Do people not know what JARLSBERG CHEESE is? Not sure what else could be holding people back here. I did balk at FLIMSY ALIBI, which feels mildly arbitrary in its adjective, and I stumbled around a bit in the vicinity of HEXAD / DISH (the latter was oddly slippery). SEISMS didn't leap straight to mind. Couldn't remember LEPPS or LAPPS (70A: Northern Scandinavians). Wrote FEINTS for FEIGNS. But these were all very minor setbacks. Would've liked some more colorful answers in the themes (e.g. ROTTEN TEETH)—seems like the kind of theme that could go on and on, with enough answers for a Sunday, but no way it's interesting enough for a Sunday (unless you did something quirky with the grid structure, or had some extra dimension to the "hole" concept). Fill on this is not that good. Bit too heavy on the abbr. and xwordese, nothing particularly dashing (outside the themers) besides maybe IN A SLUMP.

Discussed the various spellings of "LAYLA" (LEILA, LEELA, LAILA) while walking home from dinner in Manhattan the other night, so "LAYLA" was even more of a gimme than usual. Four variations are, in order: Clapton song, character in "The Pearl Fishers," one-eyed character on "Futurama," boxer Ali.

My favorite part of the puzzle is Will's nice update to the clue on ALIAS.

    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    jae 12:08 AM  

    Pretty easy for a Wed.  No erasures and only RES, EMIL, FRA, EPEE, and NEALE were crossword based knowledge.  ARSENE was the only WOE, but I'm not really into literary mystery genre (TV mysteries are another story). 

    This was an OK Wed., nothing too awful, nothing that great.  So, yeah, I agree with Rex.

    retired_chemist 12:12 AM  

    Easy. Failed to start the timer so I don't know how easy, but there were no serious holdups. Knew 20A straightaway but didn't put it in until a few crosses told me I was right.

    Wanted F__G__ (47D) to become FORGED, and DAMN the EPEE. But the EPEE won in the end.

    Last fill was 56A, leading to a groan. And a WTF at 46D - IP HONE? Took a few seconds to see what it really was. D'oh......

    Thanks, Ms. Keller.

    Elle54 12:16 AM  

    Carlos Danger. Best clue EVAH

    Steve J 12:26 AM  

    Found this completely underwhelming. THINGSWITHHOLES. Whee. As Rex has said about other themes in the recent past, why things with holes? Why these things? This is the ONETEN of themes, in my opinion. Random, factual but uninteresting thing with not-particularly interesting answers to go along with the theme. You could easily go with things that are red or with lines or that are soft or that are cute or any other adjective or noun out there.

    Finished in what is typically easy/medium Tuesday time for me. Only hangups were RIEL/EMIL, and my getting my Greek and Latin roots mixed up, giving me SEXAD for a bit.

    Aside from Carlos Danger (which was a fantastic, timely clue), I didn't think anything had any zip here. The puzzle was just there. It could be an answer for whenever someone decides THINGSTHATARETHERE would make a good theme.

    Evan 12:30 AM  

    Eh, not really feeling this one. OER, ONT, OAS, SLO, RES, LAPPS, A TEST, EMER, ARSENE, SEL, RIEL, MME, FRA, COL, LAH, ONE-A. I'd take a few of those, but not all.

    I think I've heard of JARLSBERG CHEESE, but I have no idea if I've ever eaten it. That was the toughest theme answer to sort out, and it pushed me to a Medium time.

    Rex mentioned FLIMSY ALIBI as kinda arbitrary. I'd say the revealer is arbitrary too. I prefer revealers to be solid, in-the-language phrases themselves, rather than bland descriptions like 56-Across. Okay, fine, "holes" is the link between the theme entries -- simple idea, nothing wrong with that. But why not put just HOLES by itself in the grid, like in the southeast corner? Not THINGS WITH HOLES, or HOLED THINGS, or HOLY CRAP (well, that last one would be awesome).

    I did like seeing both WIFFLE BALL and the Carlos Danger reference, though.

    Questinia 12:36 AM  

    Porridge-y. Hint of cardamom. Single blueberry garnish sans mint. Lamella of milk.

    chefwen 12:46 AM  

    Just finished an Elizabeth Gorski puzzle with Carlos Danger as an answer, Yikes! Hope that wasn't a spoiler, sorry.

    Originally spelled JARLSBERG with a Y, I guess because that's how it is pronounced, fixed that when CONyOBS didn't make any sense.

    Also messed up with plopping down women at 64A and a one for 61D. No wait, that's a steak sauce, let's try ONE A. Ah! much better.
    IN USE.

    I will expand on Rex's WOD from the Food Lover's Companion - Diavolo (DYAH-VOH-LOH) Italian for "devil". Culinarily, this term describes sauces (usually tomato based) that are moderately to liberally spiced with chiles. Such dishes can also be referred to as alla diavola and fra diavolo
    (brother devil)

    PurpleGuy 12:51 AM  

    Being a cheese and fondue connoisseur, 20A was a
    gimme.You need to taste it.
    I agree with all the comments so far, although I thought it was fun solving. Didn't really feel like a Wednesday puzzle being very easy.Only hold up was ARSENE, but the crosses all helped that.
    @Evan you made me laugh out loud with your HOLY CRAP suggestion. Awesome indeed! Glad I wasn't drinking something at the time.
    Is anyone else just fed up with AROD?

    Happy Wednesday all.

    Shant -

    Steve J 12:59 AM  

    By the way, can anyone think of examples of OER being used in the sense of "done" in classical poetry? I've always encountered o'er as a contraction for the preposition indicating position above something, not the adjective connoting completion, as clued in 16A. This one struck me as odd, or at least non-standard.

    retired_chemist 1:13 AM  

    @ Steve J -

    Now the laborer's task is o'er

    Some sweet day whenlife is o'er

    Questinia 1:16 AM  

    The strife is o’er, the battle done;
    The victory of life is won;
    The song of triumph has begun: Alleluia!

    12th C hymnal.

    gifcan 1:21 AM  

    Spousal refusal seemed to run the length, NODEAR,INASLUMP.

    Steve J 2:00 AM  

    Thanks, retired_chemist and Questinia. I figured I was likely just blanking on the use. Likely a less-common usage, but clearly used often enough to make my perceived oddity of the clue something that's all on me.

    Anoa Bob 2:33 AM  

    I liked this puzzle. To START OFF, there was some crunchy stuff coming out of the gate. CON JOBS in OCEANIA? An OCTET followed by a HEXAD? Nice!

    FLIMSY ALIBI as one of the THINGS WITH HOLES is over the top in my book. I looked at it again after reading earlier comments, and I still think it's great.

    Loved Rex's write up. "Do people not know what JARLSBERG CHEESE is?" That. ladies and gentlemen, is how you do snark.

    Amici Costa Mme 3:23 AM  

    I mixed my beer with cheese try to choose between kARLSBERG AND cARLSBERG.

    I thought it was hard, because i thought ACDC was INXS, considering how the lead singer died. Also i didn't know. ACDC was Aussie (nor whether or not INXS is)

    And thought WIFFLE had an H, as in WHIFF.

    HEXAD... Hard! Weird with OCTET next door.
    Bleedover WETBAR (maybe they should be renamed O'ERLAPPS!

    MME felt poignant...never realized my dads monogram was the abbrev for Madame. That will now look different for me in a puzzle.

    I wonder if CARLOS DANGER will even be remembered by the time this puzzle appears in syndication! But yay for Will for not worrying about ten year shelflife.

    @Evan is absolutely correct, a reveal like HOLEYCRAP would be so much better, some in the language or double entendre. Since HOLEYCRAP would never fly (or if it did, you better duck!) How about HOLESINONE?

    Just felt SEISMS! Better go!

    Ellen S 3:50 AM  

    hi, folks. I wanted to comment on yesterday's (I mean Tuesday) puz, but @Rex's blog wouldn't load even though my iPad said it was connected to wifi. Finally betook myself out of bed to see what was up on my computer; local wireless network okay but no internet connection there. So I had to reboot my router. By the time contact with the outside world finally restored, I had lost interest. Story of my life these days. Attention span of a mayfly.

    Found this puzzle easier than Tuesday. THINGS WITH HOLES isn't exactly brilliant, but the theme answers were zippier than the Battleship thingies.

    "Internet in your pocket sloganeer" is iPhone?? Aren't companies, like Apple, usually considered the sloganeer, rather than their products? Do products talk? Is that metonymy? Synecdoche? Did iPhones talk before Siri?

    Doris 6:52 AM  

    Carlos Danger definitely fails the Breakfast Test.

    Rex Parker 7:18 AM  

    "This is the ONETEN of themes" = gold medal comment. Thanks @Steve J.


    The Bard 7:22 AM  

    Othello , Act I, scene I

    IAGO: I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter
    and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.

    BRABANTIO: Thou art a villain.

    IAGO: You are--a senator.

    John V 7:29 AM  

    O'ER: Former Governor of NY?

    Pretty easy, indeed. Theme, meh.

    Hand up for liking ALIAS.

    Tita 7:34 AM  

    "His alibi is full of holes - he's gonna fry for sure." I'm quite certain that Jimmy Cagney or Bogie uttered something like that . I FLIMSYALIBI is totally full of holes.

    There - I defended that themer.(Hah - in devoting 3.7 seconds to googling so that I could back up my defense with just the facts, the only fact I found is that there is a 3-hole Cagney - it is a faucet.
    So there!

    Surprised that OFL didn't elucidate us on Will's ability to make timely any given puzzle, if he is so willing.
    We hear all about how puzzles are published years after their acceptance date, etc., etc..

    So how does something like "Caros Danger" make it in as a clue? And why not also acknowledge the current state of 35A as something like "The most recent over-paid athlete to fall from grace"

    WHIFFLEBALLs are made right here in Connecticut - not China - can you believe it?
    The same family has been making them since the 50's. Here's a WSJ article about the family and the icon.

    Anyone else have NONPg for 42A?

    Puzzle was fun - certainly not one of my top 10, and maybe some dreck, but still a good solve. Should I expect that every NYT puzzle be a Top Ten? Yup - I guess I should hold them to a higher standard, since I pay them and all.

    Thanks Ms. Keller. Oh - I also liked "Zero-star fare"...!!

    Milford 8:01 AM  

    Not the easy Wednesday many had, more of a medium here. A few writeovers, plus the cluing was just odd for me at times, for whatever reason.

    Like @acme, I confused my Norwegian cheese with my Danish beer and had cARLSBURG CHEESE. But AC/DC is always a gimme answer with Angus Young rockin the knickers.

    Stuff I didn't know was ARSENE, EMIL as clued, SLO as clued.

    The complaints about the arbitrary nature of the theme remind me of the $10,000 Pyramid game show. The celebrity coming up with GOLF COURSE to get the contestant to yell THINGS WITH HOLES!

    Geez, it's 48* this morning in Michigan. Some August!

    August West 8:04 AM  

    What Steve J. And Evan said.

    ::..Your 60 seconds begins...NOW..::

    "Okay, a donut, your left sock..."
    "Things that are moldy, uh, ..."

    "Jarlsberg chese, a proctologist's office, your left sock..."
    "Things that stink..."

    "A golf cour..."

    "No. A brothel, a tooth with a cavity, Wednesday's puzzle..."
    "Things that suck?"

    "A flimsy alibi, a do...nut, Will Shortz' credibility..."

    Anonymous 8:05 AM  

    I loved this puzzle, as I did yesterday's! Fun themes. My time was roughly my Weds average, about 8 min so no world beater here but that was still good enough for 104th out of 3000+ so far.

    Anthony W 8:29 AM  

    Here's my New Yorker Cover.

    dk 8:31 AM  

    Toured the Wiffle Ball Plant in Shelton CT many years ago. Ahh the world of intellectual property. They made me a Wiffle Ball with a Wiffle Golf Ball inside. The cats loved it.

    This puzzle is like Mama Bears bed. A little too soft. 12D had me going for some whiles but in the end..

    🌟🌟 (2 Stars) A thing with holes.

    Acquiring a 1948 Feathercraft runabout for a winter restoration project. A friend restores old Airstreams and has taught me the tricks of making old aluminum shine. The glare in the sky from Wisconsin next summer will be my fault. I hope to replace the gas motor with an electric motor (inboard preferred) capable of 20hp. Any tips on the electric motor will be appreciated. Just click the little picture. Grad school - HAH! Glad I took metal and wood shop in HS.

    "...absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

    Susan McConnell 8:35 AM  

    Oh, how we would be raving if the reveal were HOLEY CRAP! Brilliant, Evan!

    I knew JARLSBERG - it's similar to Swiss or Gruyere. We've been seeing LOTS OF IAGO lately. I also saw Carlos Danger as an answer in a puzzle recently...not Ms Gorski's though.

    mac 8:40 AM  

    I did not love this puzzle, although it was competent. It was looking back over it that it seemed full of boring words and abbrs. So tired of A-rod.

    The best part was Carlos Danger!

    chefbea 8:44 AM  

    Fairly easy for me. Had trouble in the southeast

    Also had women at first for 64 across

    Noticed the mini theme of Norway...the cheese, Lapps, Odin

    Bob Kerfuffle 8:44 AM  

    OK for an early week puzzle; not much to say.

    So let's go looking for offense! :>))

    What is 42 A, NON PC? How about 70 A, LAPPS? According to Wikipedia, "The Sámi are often known in other languages by the exonyms Lap, Lapp, or Laplanders, but many Sami regard these as pejorative terms." Can we expect an apology from the NY Times?

    joho 8:46 AM  

    My only write over was NOtPC before NONPC.

    My favorite theme answer was FLIMSYALIBI because it's not an actual thing like the other answers so it's not so flat-footed.

    that's a good one!

    Loved the Carlos Danger clue.

    One fun thing this puzzle leaves you with is a making your own list of THINGSWITHHOLES. See @August West at 8:04 a.m.!

    joho 9:16 AM  


    Lewis 9:41 AM  

    I'm already over Carlos Danger, thank you.

    Blue collar Wednesday. I found the south harder than the north. Naticked at RIEL/EMIL. SEISMS is not in my everyday vocabulary. Getting a sense of why AROD is the youngest 600 homer-er. Not surprised these days (years) that "pols" and SLOP are related.

    M&A -- waiting for your list of things with holes.

    Carola 10:09 AM  

    Cute, fast Wednesday. We LAPP up JARLSBERG around here, so that went right in. I guess my "aha" level is lower than most, as I had THINGS WITH and an empty SE - couldn't guess it until I had the L from SLUMP. Made me smile.

    Had fun with the Lollapuzz... at-home puzzles yesterday. Hope @Rex might comment on them later, as I don't really get the theme for one of them. Hats off to all who finished in the allotted time - I ran over on two. Thought puzzle 4 was genius.

    quilter1 10:14 AM  

    I have shopped in Cambodia so RIEL was a gimme. I liked this as it felt timely. I did not know LAPP was pejorative so thanks @Bob. Four reboots before I could read the prove you're not a robot code.

    Anonymous 10:32 AM  

    Mildly pleasant way to start Hump Day.

    ahimsa-NYT 10:50 AM  

    Fun puzzle, kudos to Sarah Keller! Maybe the reveal phrase could have been more interesting than THINGS WITH HOLES ("holy crap" - LOL!) but it was still a fun solve for me.

    As Carola said above I just had THINGS WITH for a while, not seeing the connection, esp. with only JARLSBERG CHEESE and FLIMSY ALIBI filled in. GOLF COURSE was hard for me for some odd reason. Even though links is such a common name for a GOLF COURSE I somehow thought 28 A was going to be GOLd-something for awhile since FRA was an unknown for me.

    I was amused (but not offended! *grin*) by the clue for NONPC because it's so different from how I view the concept of being PC. For an alternative view, check out Guante's video, A Visit from the PC Police -

    Thanks for the info on the Sámi, @Bob.

    dogbreath 10:56 AM  

    Thought this was a very fun solve and loved the humor behind it. Bravo Sarah Keller!

    Ray J 11:16 AM  

    I don’t normally keep track of such things. Is 17 Os a lot? Was Ms. Keller purpOsley perfOrating the puz?

    Happy to see WIFFLE BALL - a childhood favorite. No One O cat in my neighborhood.

    Z 11:29 AM  

    "your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs" - You just have to love Billy Shakespeare. I'm thinking that somewhere in Twelfth Night there is an appropriate Carlos Danger line to be found.

    Puzzle - Meh+

    Acme 11:36 AM  

    Nothing wrong with theme...
    what it lacked was a sparkly reveal.
    As folks have pointed out THINGSWITHHOLES sounds like a borrowed line from $10,000 Pyramid.
    As a theme that's fine, as a reveal, not so much...
    so otherwise fun, clever puzzle lands with a bit of a thud instead of a smile...
    but don't confuse that with the theme itself being bad or random.
    All themes are random on some's how they are executed. Sarah Keller otherwise chose interesting concepts from CHEESE to ALIBIS and linked them in an interesting way.
    In this sense, I think HOLEYMOLEY also would have been a super fun reveal.
    Just wanted to clarify the critiques a bit. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    I also think that's important if we can get such an uptodate clue for ALIAS we deserve an uptotheminute one for AROD.

    Rob C 11:38 AM  

    Same experience as most others, easy-medium Wed., stared at THINGSWITH***** for a while, until it all fell into place. Theme was fine, revealer, meh. Although if you ask 100 people for a cheese with holes, I'll bet 99 say swiss, not jarlsberg, so that was a noticable omission.

    Outlier was FLIMSY ALIBI, as it doesn't have an actual, physical hole. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other "holes" that aren't actual holes.

    A-TESTs and EPEEs can cause holes-bonus theme answers. Would have been funny if the constructor worked ASS into the puzzle as a bonus theme answer.

    I enjoyed the Carlos Danger clue as much as many others, however, I wonder whether it will mean anything to anyone in a year of two when published in a crossword compilation book.

    Rob C 11:46 AM  

    Oh yeah forgot to mention, I miss jackj. It's been weeks. Anyone know where he is?

    Melodious Funk 12:31 PM  

    @August West!

    Waaaahaha! My new best friend. More lacunae, please.

    Masked and Anonymo3Us 12:35 PM  

    Holey WedPuzs, Batman! @Lewis: har. That list'd be too easy, my son. But see below.

    Hey, now... Congrats to Sarah Keller, on her 50th NYT grid, according to xwordinfo. Golden grid.

    Speaking of xwordinfo, startin tomorrow they're gonna have constructor/editor comments attached to the solution grid, somehow. Do constructors normally do that, on their NYT submissions? Self-editing? Or is Jeff Chen interviewin each constructor? Be afraid; be very afraid. Any constructors out there that have gotten de-briefed yet? Curiosity ensoos.

    Top suggestions for the award name for worst crossword puz handwriting:
    * WTF-ER
    * GUB (Anyone get the movie reference, here?)

    Sorry, 4-Oh. Couldnt resist.

    Blue Stater 12:49 PM  

    Way OT, but am I the only one getting a message, "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable" when I go to the NYT website (ultimately, try to download and do the puzzle)? All my other sites are working OK. Mac OS 10.6.8. TIA for all aid.

    Chip Hilton 1:02 PM  

    Error in NE with dEISMS making sense to me. Gods are quite the earth movers, no?

    Bob Kerfuffle 1:07 PM  

    @Blue Stater - Just now (1:06 PM, 8/14/13) heard on radio that New York Times's web site is down, reason unknown.

    Chip Hilton 1:09 PM  

    Also, Great moments in Wiffleball history: The day my friend Kenny threw me an ultra-slow breaking ball, which I took. It absolutely shattered a garage window. Talk about, "Aw, hell!"

    M and A holefully 1:25 PM  

    list, part deux...

    @Melodious: Finally finished last weekend's Across-Tick. Knew trouble was a-brewing, when I could only get three answers, off the bat. H., M., and S. Thought I had T. Answer J. was last to fall. Put up a fight. Furniture overturned, at my house.

    @blue stater: yep. http/1.1 error msg here, too. Was no prob, earlier. NYT is lost in the Gumdrop Mountain pass.

    Bird 1:44 PM  

    I kinda like this puzzle despite taking forever to get the NW corner – I just could not think of any answers quickly enough. Amazing that I only had one erasure – WOMEN before IN USE. Theme is just fine.

    Same thoughts on sloganeers as @Ellen S
    Same thoughts on themes/theme answers as @Acme

    Happy Humpday!

    Husband: I’m off to the GOLF COURSE with the guys.
    Wide: NO, DEAR. You need to clean out the garage.
    Husband: DAMN.

    Blue Statr 2:24 PM  

    Thank, Bob Kerfluffle and M & A. The NYT has now (2:24 ET) returned.

    Questinia 3:10 PM  

    @ August West. Life time's worth of Rice-a-Roni averted..

    Anonymous 3:10 PM  

    It's three-ten and I'm heading to Yuma!

    Earl of 3:27 PM  

    I admired how the puzzle began with START OFF and ended with CLOSERS. Had SCISMS instead of SEISMS, which really made OC? crossing A?SENE tough. Needed a Z-axis clue there.
    Better enroll me in the JARLSBERGCHEESE club, too -- I've never heard of it. Twas a hole in my cheese knowledge.
    Interesting blog and comments. Some of these commenters are a square or two short of a full grid. Hilarious. I guess a lot of crosswords will do that to a person?

    NYer 4:06 PM  

    Could August West and OFL be one and the same? Or at least related? The snark factor of each one is up there.

    MetaRex 4:41 PM  

    Math is good! Are CWers ready for ONE TEN clued as, "Square the sum of these two numbers and then subtract the sum to get this number"?!?

    jae 5:15 PM  

    @MetaRex -- Nicely done!

    sanfranman59 6:20 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 10:21, 9:43, 1.06, 71%, Medium-Challengin

    Top 100 solvers

    Wed 6:17, 5:35, 1.13, 82%, Challenging

    LaneB 8:12 PM  

    Steady march to the finish with only HEXAD and XING causing a problem. Guessed correctly, but didn't see ( and still do not) see what a Pedxing is-- other than an abbreviated zone for walkers at a crosswalk ( which it no doubt is.). Not as hard as some Wednesdays but enjoyable nonetheless. Nice puzzle Sarah Keller!

    LaneB 8:23 PM  

    ISteady march to the finish with only HEXAD and XING causing a problem. Guessed correctly, but didn't see ( and still do not) see what a Pedxing is-- other than an abbreviated zone for walkers at a crosswalk ( which it no doubt is.). Not as hard as some Wednesdays but enjoyable nonetheless. Nice puzzle Sarah Keller!

    Anonymous 9:30 PM  

    Pedestrian Crossing

    sanfranman59 10:00 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 7:35, 6:09, 1.23, 98%, Challenging (5th highest ratio of 191 Mondays)
    Tue 9:26, 8:16, 1.14, 82%, Challenging
    Wed 10:26, 9:43, 1.07, 71%, Medium-Challenging

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 4:52, 3:47, 1.29, 99%, Challenging (2nd highest ratio of 191 Mondays)
    Tue 5:41, 5:00, 1.14, 82%, Challenging
    Wed 6:12, 5:35, 1.11, 79%, Medium-Challenging

    mac 3:40 PM  


    spacecraft 11:39 AM  

    @earl of: Welcome to our klatsch. Interesting handle: "earl of--" what? Duke? Seems only fair. Ah, but that's the fun of it; we can fill in our own.

    To today's DISH. Almost had DASH, with AMICA, but luckily reread the clue and saw the plural. But wouldn't that be AMICAE? I guess if the friend were male he'd be AMICUS, and so, OK, AMICI. Man, 10th-grade Latin...seems so long ago.

    LOTSOF fill I didn't care for. To mix your -tets with your -ads is irritating. Give us an OCTAD with our HEXAD, or a SEXTET with our OCTET; or better yet, find better fill. Also, and especially: NONPC. There is no such thing. "Non-PC" = PI. Period. I have long thrown penalty flags for unnecessarily-elongated abbreviations found ONLY in croswords, and today is no exception. Five yards, because this one's at least original--and I'm in a benign mood.

    Theme is OK; rather, uh, open-ended IMO, and this group of holy mackerels is...not very fresh, excepting possibly GOLFCOURSE. Had the CHEESE part, and later even ____SBERGCHEESE, without knowing the rest. Snark indeed, FL. Tsk.

    On to tomorrow. GO EAGLES: beat your former coach! Please!

    Ginger 12:29 PM  

    Same problem as @spacecraft at AMICa, but I didn't catch it, so DNF. Ugh, and on a Wed. Otherwise, a fun and gettable puz. JARLSBERGCHEESE is new to me, had STARTout, DArN, and REaL, all easily fixed.

    @SIS linksGOLFCOURSE brings to mind Bandon. And, to answer your question from yesterday, yes, I'm a Couverite.

    BedfordBob 12:37 PM  

    Darn -had AMICa and hASH. HEXAh didn't make sense but HEXAD didn't either.

    I hate to DNF on a Wednesday!

    Anonymous 2:22 PM  

    In Hicksville , we get the puzzle 7weeks after the initial printing .
    I love how modest you all about your times ???Don't forget we lowly beginners who struggle catch on to all the gimmes you already know. It was a bit of a challenge for me but got there eventually.

    Dirigonzo 2:38 PM  

    Seemed to be about the same level of difficulty as the last two days - Maybe Will has decided to average the level of difficulty of early week puzzles to make his job easier.

    A prime-time commenter fretted that Carlos Danger might have slid into oblivion by the time we syndi-solvers got the puzzle; (s)he needn't have worried. Speaking of prime-time, was that the day when someone hacked the NYT web site and took it down for a while?

    @Ginger - my list of write-overs mirrors yours exactly.

    rain forest 5:50 PM  

    I don't mind a bland theme every now and then, and even this one had a mini AHA,(not to be confused with NOKOMIS' daughter) moment where I read the revealer clue, looked at the theme answers, and it came to me THINGSWITHHOLES. It's like that thing you do in Grade 4 or 5 where the teacher asks, "what do these things have in common?" Not so bad. Better than the change a letter thingy we see so often.

    capcha: comiTT I mean COMMIT, DAMMIT.

    strayling 7:46 PM  

    46 Down was just plain wrong. The rest was a bit crossword insider-y which is ok, but that one clue kinda spoiled it for me.

    Dirigonzo 8:54 PM  

    @strayling - your comment sent me to the recycle pile to retrieve the puzzle, but I can't see the problem with 46 down - what am I missing?

    Cary in Boulder 12:26 AM  

    I had HEXAs and AMICa, knew saSH wasn't right but moved along and forgot about it. But what the hell, the sun has been out here for two days running and the gurgling HOLE in my basement has subsided.

    Captcha: abholle. A belly button?

    strayling 8:02 PM  

    iPhone is the product, not the company. The sloganeer was Apple; the sloganeed was the iPhone.

    I just can't see a way that the clue works, but I'm open to learning how it does.

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