Italian scientist after whom an electrical unit is named / MON 8-12-13 / Turkish honorific / Pegasus appendage / Michael of R.E.M. / Women's hybrid tennis garment / Old Greek garment /

Monday, August 12, 2013

Constructor: Daniel Raymon

Relative difficulty: Challenging (a full minute slower than my norm)

THEME: FOUR / EYES (With 69-Across, childish taunt ... and a homophonic [not homophobic, which is how several of us here in NYC first read it...] hint to the answers to the asterisked clue) — theme answers all have four "I"s in them (and no other vowels):

Theme answers:
  • IN HIGH SPIRITS (20A: *Elated)
  • NIHILISTIC (32A: *Believing in nothing)
  • GINGIVITIS (43A: *Inflammation of gum tissue)
  • STRING BIKINIS (54A: *String bikinis)

Word of the Day: Alessandro VOLTA (15A: Italian scientist after whom an electrical unit is named) —
Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (18 February 1745 – 5 March 1827) was an Italian physicist known for the invention of thebattery in the 1800s. (wikipedia)
• • •

Greetings from NYC. Just wrapped up my annual Lollapuzzoola crossword tournament weekend with one of the single greatest days I can remember—pilgrimage to Dun-Well Doughnuts in Brooklyn with my friend Katie Hamill, followed by a singularly stunning Tigers/Yankees game at Yankees stadium with a slew of xword friends, followed by a fantastic Italian dinner back in Manhattan with the same group of friends, followed by the tiniest cupcakes, followed by hanging out in PuzzleGirl's hotel lobby solving this puzzle out loud with (again) the same group of friends (I had already solved it, so I just called out the Across clues and filled in the answers as they gave them). Their errors: SNIT for HUFF (10A: Angry, resentful state), IBIDS for CITES (that laugher courtesy of PuzzleGirl) (26A: References in a footnote), WOOER for SWAIN (29A: One who goes a-courting), and ... I think that's it. I mean, they didn't get FOUR / EYES or IN HIGH SPIRITS right away, and they didn't get GIVE / A HINT either (largely because of the cross-referencing), but otherwise, all right on the first pass. But when I solved it, alone and under normal conditions, I found many pitfalls, largely in the Downs. [Water pipes] is correct enough but not obvious for BONGS. And [Stick it in your ear] for HEARING AID? Fine clue, but tough for a Monday. Between those answers and the cross-referencing and everything else the group solvers screwed up, and the fact that I couldn't get the STRING part of the bikini answer right away, and also somehow had written in SEXTS for 68A: "lol, u r so funny" and others (TEXTS) (try saying the quotation it in your best Barry White voice...), and couldn't remember if it was "Y" or "I" in ISERE (65A: France's Val d'___), I ended up with a slow Monday time. It's obviously an easy puzzle, in general, but for Monday—toughish, or at least speed-impeding.

[Penelope Harper, Erik Agard, Doug Peterson, Angela Halsted, Addie Koiki, Brian Cimmet, Brad Wilber, Me, outside Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees had just won the game on a walk-off home run after having led going into the 9th by two ... but the Greatest Reliever In History gave up two home runs in the top of the 9th, one to the Greatest Hitter In The Game Right Now, so then it was tied, which set up the bottom-of-the-9th drama, and omg so many other things happened in this game that I can't even begin; for my authentic reaction to the whole shebang, please see the pic of me in par. 1, above]

I'll post more pics from the tournament weekend tomorrow. For now, though, you should know two things. One, you can solve the Lollapuzzoola puzzles from home This Week Only: "As of 8/10/13, you may register for the At-Home version of Lollapuzzoola for $10. This registration will close on Saturday, August 17." Go here and get them—some are very tough, but all six were wonderful (No Spoilers!). The other thing you should know is that my belief that this is the greatest crossword tournament experience currently available on the planet was firmly solidified over the past two days. Puzzles are serious, but the mood is light and friendly, no matter what your skill or experience level. Especially if you live in the NYC area, you should strongly consider coming next year. It was more popular than ever, with 170+ contestants (plus judges, constructors, organizers, the stray baby or two ...). This tournament really is puzzledom's best face. Congrats and thanks to Brian Cimmet (see him enjoying panna cotta, right) and the many people who helped him stage a great event.

G'night from Manhattan.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I won another trophy! Worst Handwriting! I took the title from "Jeopardy!" champion Joon Pahk! I can type that last sentence and have it be entirely true! True, he was in Korea and couldn't defend his title, but, still, I beat Joon is what is important.


jae 12:03 AM  

Dang! Tough Mon. for me too.  More of a medium-tough Tues. 

Erasure: calf for SHIN.

Stuff I only know from doing crosswords (this should be approaching zero on a Mon.):  STINE, ADELA, ISERE, EPEE, ENOL...

Liked the puzzle.  Smooth grid with a touch of know, take your BONG to the beach, turn off your HEARING AID and watch the STRING BIKINIS go by...

Steve J 12:11 AM  

Longer than my typical Monday as well (much like last Monday). But I'm liking a little bit of meat on Monday's bones. I know there's such a huge range of people solving puzzles, but for me I like something that's still early-week in its challenge but not so easy that I complete it nearly on autopilot.

And for the first Monday in a long time, the theme reveal actually helped me with the puzzle (which usually doesn't happen till Wednesday). The FOUR EYES helped confirm initial impulses on a couple. (I, too, originally read that clue as a homophobic taunt.)

Nearly naticked at SWAIN/STINE. I don't know SWAIN (in keeping with Sunday's discussion, cue someone's being appalled that I don't know something so obvious), and STINE is not one of the couple authors I remember from my childhood reading 30-some years ago. I had _WAIN and _TINE as the last unfilled part of the puzzle, and I dropped the S in because it was the only thing that made sense phonetically and orthographically.

Cluing and fill overall were both pretty good for a Monday, although I've never been (and never will be) a fan of imperative (vs. the descriptive norm) clues like 10D.

Harry Hassell 1:04 AM  

Definitely a little tough for a Monday, but still fun. Biggest error, since I started with the downs I guess, was COTTONSWAB at 10D. It fit. It must be right.

Great tournament this weekend!!

chefwen 1:39 AM  

I'll go with the consensus that this was on the difficult side for a Monday and I like that.

One write over - like Rex's buddies, wooer before SWAIN.

@Steve J - The reveal really helped me with the solve also.

Really liked it, Monday does need a little crunch. Was a little shocked at 6D, but on this rock, I shouldn't be.

Davis 1:54 AM  

This *felt* like a long Monday for me, but I finished no more than 30 seconds above what I consider my Monday target (4 min on the ipad app). I was taking that as a sign I'd fried my brain, not just my hearing, at Outside Lands these past three days, so it was validating to see that this really was a tough-for-a-Monday puzzle.

I'll back up Steve J and note that I also did not know SWAIN (but I did know STINE, so I didn't get Naticked). It felt surprising to straight-up not know an entry in a Monday puzzle.

Overall: solid puzzle, no complaints.

Anoa Bob 1:58 AM  

NIHILISTIC is nice, the word, not necessarily the philosophical position.

Yeah, some unMondaylike stuff, such as ISERE, ENOL & ADELA. ILIE crossing ILIED in the SE looks weird.

STRING BIKINI has FOUR EYES, but it's inconveniently one letter short for that theme slot. No problem, POC to the rescue!

Now if I can just remember where I put my BONGS. ANOS to all, and to all good KITES.

ZenMonkey 2:28 AM  

Enjoyably difficult for a Monday. As someone who's worn glasses since age three, I have no excuse for having FOUR but not twigging to EYES until I got the crosses. Although since I had bifocals in elementary school, I was actually called "six-eyes," which was too funny for it to upset me.

Adela Cites Mless 2:46 AM  

Pretty impressive to have two of the entries be just one word!
GINGIVITIS prob wouldn't normally pass the nonexistent breakfast test, were it not for the theme....
and NIHILISITIC hardly Monday territory,
but everyone seems happy with a hard Monday, so, so be it!

(But ADELA, ISERE, VOLTA, STIPE SKORT are maybe Tuesday+)

I liked the mini themelets ICI, ILIE.

Like the modern def for DRONE...
and BOSE and BONGS with STIPE has a sort of Wayne's World basement vibe.

Glad Lollapuzzoola such a success...and all seem to be INHIGHSPIRITS!

The Bard 6:13 AM  

Othello, Act III, scene III

IAGO: O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

OTHELLO: O misery!

IAGO: Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defend
From jealousy!

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

About a minute longer than my Monday average, too! But it wasn't bad to have to think a little bit.

loren muse smith 7:39 AM  

Thanks for the pictures, Rex! If this beach trip hadn’t worked out, Plan B was the tourney for me. See you next year!

Dad and I knocked this one out with nary a hiccough. DOS heads and all that.

Loved the theme and revealer!!!! Hey – no one has oohed and aahed that FLOSS and GINGIVITIS share the grid? How elegant.


HEARING AID/HUFF (Mom and Dad both wear them. . boy do I have stories. . .)


HEELS crossing UNCLE. Yay!

It’s an UNderstatement that I TENd to DRONE on and on here. But I’m headed to the surf and sand. . .!

Nice one, Daniel.

Z 7:41 AM  

Homophobes on the front page, homophones in the puzzle.

11 minutes makes this challenging. Granted, I wasn't hurrying and I was sipping my coffee, but that is still 70% longer than my typical Monday.

VOLTA as the guy, so no Burkino Faso griping today. One nit, though... Didn't the comedic Casino Royale with David Niven precede DR. NO? Off to check.

Z 7:43 AM  

Nope - my only excuse is I was pretty young then.

August West 7:49 AM  

Always like a tougher Monday. As jae and Acme and others have already itemized, plenty of Tuesday+ crosswordese in this baby. Always like when an IBEX shows up. Dunno why (see prior rants against overused fill like "stye"), but I do. Ibexes are cool.

Wooer first, then SWAIN immediately after, on WING of Pegasus. From crosswords, I know that SWAIN is the second string wooer.

My son inhaled everything by R. L. STINE as a kid, so that was a gimme. Never understood why he didn't suffer nightmares after pre-bedtime Stine stories.

EYES was my last fill-in and, thus, no assist towards theme answers, but a nice "aha" on seeing it. Finished with slightly elevated Monday time, mostly because VOLTA was clued entirely wrong. Now, had the clue been "Upper ___"...

Imfromjersey 8:02 AM  

Definitely harder than a normal Monday but well done! I was in NYC for Lollapuzzola 6 and had a great time, met @Rex, and a slew of puzzle people, too many to name. Was attending the tourney with my 70+ year-old mom. She kept saying she was disappointed that Will Shotz wasn't there. I said, well it's not his tournament. Then during the Express finals, I look behind me and Will Shortz had appeared. My mom had her picture taken with him which was a thrill for her. The most surprising tithing to me was that former ACPT champ Trip Payne ran out of time and didn't fiinish his puzzle in the 15 minutes allotted. I had an awesome time at Lollapuzzoola and will definitely go back. Everyone I met was very nice. My mom goes to a lot of bridge tournaments, and she said the xword crowd was much nicer and more relaxed, not so serious as the bridge crowd.

joho 8:27 AM  

Loved the reveal which also helped me to spell GINGIVITIS correctly. I always thought it was GINGa ...

Liked (WALKING)ON AIR over INHIGHSPIRITS which is exactly what @Rex is after Lollapuzzoola. @Rex, so nice to see you so happy. You even won a trophy!

Did not like the clue, "Hairstyle that's rarely seen on blonds and redheads."

But I really enjoyed the puzzle. Great start to the week, thanks, Daniel!

chefbea 8:29 AM  

Agree with y'all - tough for a monday!!

@Rex thanks for the pictures and description of the weekend and congrats on winning that very large trophy.

dk 8:35 AM  

The numerous drug and sex references found within this puzzle would send me to confession if I was not 32A.

Got together with some puzzlers a while back in Minneapolis -- I have to say it is always a good time when you get together bunch of folks who spend a fair amount of time on a solitary pursuit. Rex's write up confirms it.

SWAIN schmain Froggy is the only one who goes a courting in my book.

🌟🌟🌟 (3 BONG Hits)

Now for the 50A test

Susan McConnell 9:28 AM  

I love a tougher than average Monday!

Given that he was coming off of his Lollapazzoola high, I will forgive Rex for not including this clip:

Carola 10:00 AM  

Me, too, on liking this tougher-than-usual Monday very much. From the short HUFF to the long LINE DRIVES, lots that was fun to fill in.

Didn't get the theme until I had the first three entries and tried to figure out what they had in common. Aha, suddenly FOUR _Y_ _ made sense - and STRING BIKINIS went right in.


efrex 10:08 AM  

Reading too much kids' stuff meant that I threw down STINE right away, but wanted some variant of "Frog" for 29A. Felt very Tuesday-ish overall, but got through in about my usual Monday time, probably thanks to the quick crosswordese pickups (ILIE, EPEE, ENOL, AGHA). Liked the AFRO clue.

Theme reminded me of my Scrabble days, when we'd refer to having four "I"s in one's rack as facing the "four-eyed monster." Much obliged, Mr. Raymon!

Tita 10:24 AM  

I was at Lollapuzzloah last year, and Rex's description is spot-on. Sorry I couldn't make it this time.

How funny that VOLTA post-popped into the puzzle today, with the VOLTA rant (I mean that in the kindest way) from yesterday's comments. (Was that you, @August?)

Love Chicken Kiev...try my hand at it at least once per decade...

Was it only yesterday we had AGA, and today AGHA?

Fun, crunchy Monday.
Thanks Mr. Raymon.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:58 AM  

Talk about your breakfast test! I'm surprised that "Miss OTIS Regrets" didn't get more attention!

DBGeezer 11:31 AM  

@HenryHassel, Tut, Tut. Never put a cotton Swab in your ear. As the old saying goes, 'Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!'

Masked and Anonymo4Us 11:42 AM  

thUmbsUp for the upper half-grid. It's theme could be: FOUR U's.

thUmbsUp for 60-Across. A MonPuz ?-mark clue. Spearheadin what I would consider a pretty much moocow-less Monday cluesmenship experience. Produced a fun little puz, IMO.


thUmbsUp to havin a mowed lawn. Had let it go way way too long, because it's been dry. The creepin charlie was startin to stand up and bark at the neighbor's dog. Was wreckin my view of the rusted-out Chevy pickup in our front yard. But I digrass.

M and A

Rob C 11:47 AM  

Seemed Wednesday-ish to me. Just out of curiosity, I looked up on xwordinfo how many previous NYT entries have 4 i's. Results may not be perfectly accurate, but came back with 1,438. So, it's a somewhat loose theme, but really brought together nicely by a fun revealer. Clever!

Liked most of the fill. Disliked TREED.

I thought the clue for HEARING AID (Stick it in your ear) was cute, but it seemed a bit off. I get the play on words, but should it have a ? or maybe quotes since it's written as a directive?

M and A almost forgot to have 11:50 AM  

p.s. thUmbsUp for 4-Oh's award trophy. Hope yer family had help, carrying that beast out of the tourney hall. And real glad U had such a great tourney weekend. Keep up that good work on yer pensmanship.

thUmbsUp on the primo write-up. Turn around. Good to see yer back.


Lewis 11:53 AM  

@dk -- I'm with you. I had "afrog" at 29A.

You Lollapuzzoola people, it would be worth doing the NYT Saturday puzzle. Tough and rewarding, IMO.

I enjoyed the bit o' crunch in this Monday puzzle, but I do believe that Monday should be as easy as Saturday is tough, that the puzzles should be fair to the entire spectrum of solvers. So this puzzle should have run tomorrow.

Grid gruel: ENOL, AGHA, EDS, ANOS, ADELA, ISERE, ACTI, ILIE, and ESE. Yikes!

ASKEW crossing STRINGBIKINIS got my imagination going, UNHITCHED seems fitting to cross NIHILISTIC, and ONAIR seemed a nice cross for BONGS.

mac 12:23 PM  

Definitely took me a little long for a Monday, but I like crunch. Lots of Is in addition to the theme answers.

No trouble, even Volta and swain rolled right into the grid.

Good to be back in very green Connecticut.

LaneB 12:41 PM  

Maybe a bit tougher than the usual Monday, but an ego restorer after yesterday's DNF. Marched through the puz non-stop, but I seldom have the urge to time myself. Let's just say that minutes don't count; sometimes hours are the proper increments. Some days one is "on"; others nothing seems to click.. Left INHIGH SPIRITS. Thanks for that Mr.Raymon. Hope my golf game goes as well as your construction did.

Campesite 1:05 PM  

Man, I love hearing about Lollapuzzoola and I absolutely must make it next year! Sounds great.

I like this puzzle for two main reasons: 1) It has my complete former home, Val d'Isere in it, not just the river, and 2) BONG!

The IIII's have it.

mac 1:25 PM  

My avatar (tree) has disappeared. Anyone know how to fix that? It says invalid url, but I still have it on Facebook.

ahimsa-NYT 2:15 PM  

Definitely a bit harder than your average Monday. I enjoyed it just fine but I would not recommend this for a newbie.

I liked HUFF. I laughed when VOLTA showed up after the recent discussion about FARAD and TITER. STINE was new to me -- I'll have to google him/her.

I also thought the clue for HEARING AID seemed a bit off. I had no trouble filling in the answer and I get that it was supposed to be word play on a well known retort.

What I don't get is how the clue works within the basic rules that the clue must be the same part of speech as the answer and so on. Maybe someone can explain?

Guy Noir 2:19 PM  

He grabbed the blonde by the upper arm, twisting just enough for effect, and snarled "You mess with me Lola and, ..." Lola was so disconcerted by the divergence between the hatred in his voice and the deadness in his eyes that she failed to notice that the oaf, cruel as he was, couldn't finish his sentence.

As he sought to find a voice for his hatred, he threw his e-cigarette to the ground which prompted him to finish: "I'll snuff you out as easily as I snuff out this fag". He stomped on it for maximum effect, but the metal rod that was his cigarette caused his plantar fasciitis to flare up, and he hopped around on one foot, moaning like a little girl.

Lola sachayed away, not a care in the world.

August West 2:24 PM  

@Tita 10:24A: Not I. I was first in yesterday, lauded the puzzle, and stayed out of the fray. Upon further review, tho, blaming ignorance of Steely Dan on youth is, simply, indefensible. I blame the parents.

::..insert snickering Muttley avatar here..::

chefbea 2:39 PM  

@Mac your tree is there!!! It wasn't when you were in Holland, was just a question mark but it has returned

MandA Help Desk 2:58 PM  

@ahimsa-NYT: This 10-Down question of yours is a subtle point in the law of crossword cluing.

What if we said "You can bank on it"? And the answer is POOLTABLE. POOLTABLE would be the "it" referenced in the clue. Seem ok?

Now let's up the ante. What if we said "Bank on it"? The clue's intent is to still be pointin at the "it", while gettin you to start focusin on the "bank" part, instead. Misdirection. Should have a ? in the clue, but "Bank on it?" just don't look right. Better, especially in a MonPuz, might be:
1. Bank on it, perhaps? or
2. Where bankers hate to scratch? or
3. Thing to bank on? or
...well, you get the idea.

Overall, I gotta agree with U, on a MonPuz. They should probably stick that clue in their ear.

Sarah in NYC 3:51 PM  

Any puzzle that has both NIHILISTIC and GINGIVITIS in it is my kind of puzzle. But one that also has BONGS... that is sublime.

Here is my question, though: the answers to the starred clues all had an "eye" sound in there somewhere, except for "string bikinis." Was that a mistake? Am I missing something? Can someone explain?

Sarah in NYC 3:57 PM  

Oh, now I get it (Rex explained it right up top). It's all I's, and nothing to do with whether they are long or short (although it would have been nice).

Joe The Juggler 4:11 PM  

I'll bet there are more than four eyes on your typical string bikini. . .


ahimsa-NYT 4:26 PM  

@"MandA Help Desk", (LOL!)

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on crossword clueing. (Hmm, why does the spell check software think that word is misspelled?)

By the way, I loved your visual jokes about HORSESHOE prints the other day.

sanfranman59 5:04 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 (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 7:35, 6:09, 1.23, 98%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 5:06, 3:47, 1.35, 100%, Challenging

retired_chemist 5:37 PM  

@ Sarah - I didn't think either NIHILISTIC or STRING BIKINI had a long I sound, but the dictionary confirms that one pronunciation of the former IS with the first I long. Learn something every day....

Tough Monday, 2 1/2 minutes slower than usual. But a good and crunchy puzzle. No complaints.

It always amuses me that, in crossworld, the go-to carbon compound is an ENOL. I'd guess there are some ten million or more known carbon compounds, of which my guess is that (stable) enols comprise, generously, a hundred or so. I know why constructors use ENOL, but I still think it is funny.

STIPE could have been clued botanically - more Mondayish to me than a REM member.

TESLA for VOLTA at first. Am I the only one?

Thanks, Mr. Raymon.

ps my captcha picture has NO alphanumeric characters. is this a trick?

jae 5:47 PM  

@coaststarlight from yesterday. I meant to recommend that as a newer solver you should click on the "Crossword Fiend" link on Rex's blog and buy Amy's book.

S. Falk 6:04 PM  

I was walking in Manhattan yesterday with my boyfriend when we happened to see a guy wearing a "knuckleball" shirt and thought that it was cool. Today I go to Rex's blog, like I do everyday, and there's a picture of the guy in the knuckleball shirt! How strange is that? I'm a big fan, but didn't recognize Rex in person. Is there a story behind the shirt?

Z 6:21 PM  

The LAT puzzle is by @Gareth Bain, today.

I just used 42 on another site for the second half of a captcha. It worked.

John in Philly 7:06 PM  

The worst Monday time in ages - am I the only one who read "homophobic" instead of "homophonic"? Had sexts too.....

mac 8:00 PM  

Thanks, Barbara! I can't see it, but it's good enough for me

anon b 8:20 PM  

Am I the only one who does the puzzle for enjoyment and to appreciate the ingenuity of the
To time myself and try to race through it would spoil it

Rex Parker 8:54 PM  

@S. Falk—

The shirt was made by Left Field Cards. She does amazing work:

Anonymous 8:55 PM  

Dear Anon B,
We've gone around and around this question here in the comments over the years. People who solve fast can't go slow. Their brains simply don't allow it. Just because they go fast doesn't mean they don't enjoy it. Everyone solves and enjoys whatever way suits them.

Sandy D.

Tita 8:56 PM  

@Z...of's the answer to life, the universe, and everything!

(Unless42 the captcha IS 42...)

Questinia 9:10 PM  

@ retired chemist, the other go-to compound seems to be ester.

sanfranman59 10:05 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)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:52, 3:47, 1.29, 99%, Challenging (2nd highest ratio of 191 Mondays)

Definitely a tough puzzle by Monday standards.

retired_chemist 11:50 PM  

@ Questinia - good point. ESTER is also common, and that one doesn't bother me. There are a lot of esters - it's a common class of compound.

the redanman 3:45 PM  

anatomic gripe, again

low part of leg : shin

L ower extremity consists of: hip, thigh, knee, LEG, ankle, foot. Front of LEG is SHIN. Anatomic bunch of nincompoops

Anonymous 4:29 PM  

I do not understand why the use if the letter i in the theme words is described as homophones-they are not all pronounced the same way. I would call them homographs-written the same way but pronounced in different ways. I'm a novice at puzzles but not so much in definitions.

Bob Kerfuffle 4:46 PM  

@Anonymous, 4:29 PM - What the clue says is, "childish taunt ... and a homophonic hint to the answers to the asterisked clue".

"FOUR EYES" is a homophone of "Four I's" (adding that apostrophe only for clarity - let's not get into rules of pluralization), and each answer contains the letter I four times, so the condition is met. It doesn't say they have to be long I's.

spacecraft 11:19 AM  

Whew! I must have hit the wrong spot yesterday and was taken to a totally foreign site: just a plain succession of solved puzzles with selected definitions atop--and a place to comment but no view of others' comments--including OFL's. I thought this page was gone--and darn near wept. Still don't know what I did, but I hope I never do it again.

And now to today: a fun solve. Peppered throughout with enough gimmes for a Monday, it still wasn't the automatic fill-in that some are (thank goodness). I note with satisfaction that the letter in the center square is--what else?--an I. This was very well put together, the vicissitudes of theme density held to a minimum. In particular, the long downs--tens rubbing against nines--were well-pulled off. I wonder if Daniel is an individualist from Mississippi. I look forward to his next visit ICI.

Dirigonzo 4:35 PM  

I judge a puzzle's level of difficulty based on the number of white squares that remain blank after my first run through all of the clues. On an "easy" Monday that might be none or just a few and by Saturday it could well be all but a few. Today it looked more mid-weekish with several open clusters around the grid but that's OK with me - all easily resolved, and I spotted the theme before I had FOUR EYES filled in so bonus points for that.

@spacecraft gets the "Eagle-I" award for spotting the I in the center of the grid.

Ginger 5:01 PM  

Once I got 1-A, I knew the EYES have it. The rest of the puz, was not so easy. Rarely have write-overs on Monday, but there was wooer and UNHarness.

Thanks @Bob Kerfuffle, for your answer to Anon 4:29. I was having the same struggle.

@Joe The Juggler 4:11 great line!

Solving in Seattle 6:21 PM  

Just got out of jury duty where I did the puz in a room with thirty very quiet people. Agree that this was not a typical Monday. Very clean fill and clever construction.

About the SKORT, IMO, the worst fashion disaster yet invented. STRINGBIKINI, maybe the best.

My very blond sister-in-law sported a jumbo AFRO in college.

Cracked up reading my capcha: rooducho. Possibly a minor character in The Merchant of Venice?

Go Hawks!

Waxy in Montreal 7:19 PM  

@SiS, Hawks won bigtime last night demolishing the 49ers. Must be joy in Mudville, er, Seattle today.

Great Monday challenge - count me in the camp of those who misread the 1A clue and was misdirected concerning the taunt.

Didn't the NIHILISTIC STRINGBIKINIS, DRNO's ORG. of ROBOT DRONEs, also sport AFROs and SKORTs in the movie?

Anonymous 8:46 PM  

I liked how the two long down answers on either side of the puzzle only had two "eyes" - LINEDRIVES and HEARINGAIDS. In fact, there's a lot of "eyes" in the solve.

Z 9:24 PM  

@Seahawks fans - In these parts, "Go Lions" is usually followed by, "please."

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP