Hebrew month when Hanukkah starts / 10-1-13 / 1943 penny material / Blue-skinned race in Avatar / Caffeine-laden nuts / Pitchers hitless games in baseball slang

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (more Medium for me, but posted times seem high...)


THEME: GEESE / MIGRATION (18A: With 50-Across, it's represented by 15 squares in an appropriate arrangement in this puzzle) — Vs make a V-formation, like that of a G[oo]SE MIGRATION

Word of the Day: KISLEV (28A: Hebrew month when Hanukkah starts) —
Kislev (HebrewכִּסְלֵוStandard) Kislev Tiberian Kislēw; also Chislev is the third month of the civil year and the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar.
In a regular (kesidran) year Kislev has 30 days, but because of the Rosh Hashanah postponement rules, in some years it can lose a day to make the year a "short" (chaser) year. Kislev is an autumn month which occurs in November–December on the Gregorian calendar and is sometimes known as the month of dreams. The name of the month may be taken from Akkadian kislimu, which means "inspissated, thickened" due to plentiful rains. But the name may also derive from the Hebrew root K-S-L as in the words "kesel, kisla" (hope, positiveness) or "ksil" (Orion, a constellation that shines especially in this month) - because the expectation and hope for rains. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is odd. Bunch of Vs. Hardly any theme material in the bottom of the grid. It's interesting and non-standard, I'll give it that. But the theme feels pretty thin, and the Vs don't really make much of a visual impact, so I'm lukewarm on this one. Outside of the theme, there's some nice fill here and there. I liked COP TO and LIVING WILL (which I had wondered about, puzzle-wise—sometimes the NYT likes to avoid morbidity, but apparently this answer's OK, which is good). UP TO YOU, also nice. NICE JOB, even. Real, *real* outlier here is KISLEV. Been doing puzzles a long time, can't remember ever seeing this particular Hebrew month. Needed every cross for sure on that one. Everything else was pretty familiar. After KISLEV, I struggled most in the area around LAIN / MILES, actually (LAIN, in particular, was virtually impossible for me to see—just didn't compute). Not sure why you go SHAVER / AVES when SHIVER / IVES allows you to avoid the abbrev. Both the composer and the printer IVES are pretty famous. At least as famous as NIVEN, at any rate. But AVES isn't sooo offensive (just avoidable). Like the parallel complete first-person sentences I HOPE and I WON'T. I also like baseball, which I have to get back to watching now. Even though I don't care about either of the teams playing (Tampa Bay / Texas), I'm still hooked. It's a crazy game. Watched a no-hitter two days ago that ended with the winning pitcher in the on-deck circle (32D: Pitchers' hitless games, in baseball slang=NO-NOs). That just doesn't happen. But then it did. Amazing. So I gotta go watch.



Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I kinda feel bad for the RAVEN that got run over by the damned GEESE. The OWL had the right idea and got the hell out of the way.

P.P.S. "GOOSE MIGRATION" googles twice as well as GEESE MIGRATION, and somehow feels righter to my ear/mouth.

75 comments:

Chad Montgomery 12:04 AM  

Great theme. Well done. Bravo. Took a highlighter to the theme squares and it looks great.

KISLEV / KOLAS on a Tuesday? That's going to take out a ton of people for no good reason. I expect a whole lot of darts are being thrown on the 'C' and 'K' choices. Why? KATES is the correct entry there. KISLEV - seriously? OMFG. Help it out. That isn't even a desirable Saturday cross.

Anonymous 12:07 AM  

Didn't like the theme very much, fill so-so. Best thing I can probably say is that there are no other V's in the puzzle.

I'd like to see the VIRGIN come out of its shell.


Anonymous 12:11 AM  

Note to the Times: There's more to NAVI than just "Avatar". "Numb3rs", "24", "The Legend of Zelda" and "Transformers" could all be thrown a bone now and then.

wreck 12:11 AM  

Very tough Tuesday for me .. but then again, I was watching my Rangers lose at the same time while working it! I was stuck on "HIVE MIND" for quite a while -- I just didn't think it was correct -- never heard of that phrase.

NYer 12:16 AM  

@Chad, I'm the first one on the list who DNF because of the K in KOLA/KISLEV. On a Tuesday too, darn it!

NYer 12:23 AM  

P.S. What's a "HIVE MIND"?

Anonymous 12:24 AM  

Actually very few species of geese fly in the V pattern. It's the various Canada Geese which do so, but they've become more known for shitting all over any reasonable expanse of lawn.

The character in the Hundred Acre Woods is Wol. He is an OWL, but his name is Wol.

Anoa Bob 12:32 AM  

I thought this was a wonderful feast of a puzzle. The theme requires an ever-intercascading vector of vees that becomes increasing dense and challenging, grid fill wise.

That Mr. Fagliano was able to pull this off so deftly and still give us a ton of other good stuff (excuse me while I swoon over VICARIOUS & VENETIANS dropping down side-by-side) makes this one of my favorite puzzles in a long time.

jae 12:34 AM  

This was a mediumTues. for me.  However, there was enough obscure stuff so that it might be tough for early week only solvers...KISLEV (@Chad -I wonder how many folks will put a C where the K goes?), ELEVE, VOLS, VENETIANS, NONOS (as clued), NAVI, RAVEN (as clued)...

Very clever, very smooth.  A cut above the typical Tues.  Nice one Joel!


@NYer - Hive mind is the apparent consciousness of colonies of social insects such as ants, bees and termites.

retired_chemist 12:42 AM  

Agree - WOL is his name.

HIVE mind is a collective consciousness, cf. social insects such as bees. Never heard of it either. Like SLAVER/LIVE there since it's an early week puzzle.

Kinda fun. Challenging, sort of. New litter of pug puppies today so I can claim distraction (except non-puzzle wife is doing most all the work).

KISLEV - huh? MagLev I know.......

Rest of the puzzle - pretty straightforward.

Thanks, Mr. Fagliano.

Z 12:49 AM  

Is C even wrong? Transliterated letter could be either. And I swear I've seen COLA. (Care to guess what letter I got wrong?)

Started out teaching in a community with an annual goose festival. Most migratory birds use the V formation because it is the most efficient. And the character is called Owl in every reference I see. So @anonymouse 12:24, that's 0 for 2.

Puzzle is an above average Tuesday just for the great longer downs.

Paul Keller 12:58 AM  

I thought this one was cute. I found it challenging enough to not be a boring Tuesday. Surprised to see only mixed reviews.

Chad Montgomery 12:59 AM  

"Is C even wrong?"

That's the problem. 'K' is more common when referring to the nut and more correct, but the genus is COLA and you see them used interchangeably all the time. New York City Jews will bang down KISLEV, but for the rest of us, oy vey! In retrospect, the 'K' does look better to me now going across, but I couldn't get away from the 'C' going down.

Anne Copto Migrations 1:01 AM  

Puppies and baseball...
If one focuses and doesn't multitask and looks at the grid, it's pretty spectacular!

V for Victory, Joel!!!

I bet EVENS odds, if it had been GooSE MIGRATION folks would have complained that there was more than one GooSE!

Loved it, esp the cleanliness of no other Vs in the grid and REVIVAL to handle the word with two Vs.

Vs are the curse in Scrabble (no 2 letter words with V, few threes, etc.) so this one knocked me out!

KISLEV would have been a killer, but I used to make puzzles for a Jewish Magazine, so I had learned it back in the day... didn't fall for the C-trap, but still tripped and put in KavaS!!!

Also had LIVINGWeLL... thought it might be an inside joke to the magnificent Ian LIVENGOOD, his yesterday COVERTOPS still resonating!

In any case...
NICEJOB!!!

chefwen 2:26 AM  

I fell for the "C" trap because we have Cacao trees planted on the property and I am not up on my Hebrew months.

Another trouble spot was at 1D and 17A, Jon and I had the same letter missing, we both had to guess at the third letter down at 1D. Not up on my Revolvers and never have seen Avatar, I guessed at "D", Jon guessed "N". We waited patiently for Rex to show up. When Jon found out that he was right and I was wrong, he did one of those receiver things when an difficult pass is caught for a touchdown and the guy gets down on one knee to THANK THE LORD. It was pretty funny, but I guess you had to be there.

@Ret_Chem - Congrats on the new pups. We request pictures please.

Anonymous 2:35 AM  

Disagree with Rex about UP TO YOU.

The clue, "Not my call" doesn't mean the decision is "yours" to make.

I'd argue that "Not my call" is used most often when defending or distancing oneself from a decision made by somebody other than "me" or "you."

mathguy 2:48 AM  

Enjoyed it very much. Though that the fill was fresh and stimulating.

mathguy 2:50 AM  

Sorry. Meant to say that the fill was fresh and stimulating.

Steve J 3:13 AM  

Liked the idea, and for a puzzle that relies on geometry, it definitely deserves credit for pulling off its idea without creating excessive clunkiness, dead zones, etc. But I wasn't excited by it. I think it's the revealer that dims this for me. GEESE MIGRATION sounds clunky. Can you hear anyone looking up at a V formation and saying, "Hey, look at the geese migration"? Something like MIGRATORY GEESE would have sounded better (but, while fitting, would have made some of the crosses harder to fill well), or MIGRATING GEESE (both of which introduce a problem, however, in putting the revealer in reverse order). It's probably the best compromise in terns io construction.

Agreed that KOLAS/KISLEV is going to be cruel to a lot of Tuesday-level solvers. I've run across KOLA(S) enough in puzzles, and know enough about Hebrew to know a C wasn't likely, to have successfully picked the right letter, but it's going to be a coin flip for a lot of people.

Steve J 3:15 AM  

@chefwen: You're thinking of the wrong kind of revolver. The clue misdirects to a gun, but the VANE is of the weather variety, not a firearm's brand name.

chefwen 3:49 AM  

Thanks @Steve J - That really confused me, I now see the light. Guess I'm easily misdirected. DOH!

Gill I. P. 5:38 AM  

I'm in the loVed it camp despite having LAVINGWIRL and just leaving it.
The only answer I didn't like so much was BAD for the past expiration date.
There's a picture of ONEAL in our paper lifting gov. moonbeam's wife over his head - just like a sack of potatoes. He's strutting his stuff here in Sacramento now that he's bought into the Sacramento Kings (formerly know as the Queens).
Nice Puzzle Joel but I think this really was a Wed. in disguise.
P.S. @Ret-Chem. Yes, pictures please....

MetaRex 7:01 AM  

Like the visual and the vibe...

Don't like GEESE MIGRATION...GOOSE MIGRATION is also clunky...

Like GEESE MIGRATING...but I like my alternate fill of ANNICA/AILES, BAIG/BIOS, NOSES/ALPE a lot less than Joel F.'s actual fill. Yep, constructing is hard...

jberg 7:08 AM  

As I recall, he's called OWL - Pooh and Piglet call him that, as does the narrator-- but he has a sign on his door that says "WOL" -- some kind of joke about bad spelling. So that's OK.

GEESE MIGRATION is not OK, though. Never said -- it's like speaking of the fall geese hunting season, it just doesn't make sense. GEESE MIGRATIng, fine.

Other than that, I loved the theme -- noticed the line of Vs coming down from the NW corner, then had to break it with sCANT before I noticed it went back up; didn't really need the revealer.

If you look at the grid, you can see a goose flapping its wings -- raised straight up on top, then a 45 degree angle, nicely bent (as they are in real life), and finally horizontal for gliding near the bottom.

On KISLEV - I don't know Hebrew, but I can't think of any words with a C unless it's in a CH.

Nice puzzle, except for those GEESE.

Mohair Sam 7:39 AM  

Yikes! Seemed like an easy Tuesday but we got a DNF on cOLA. Will have to add Hebrew months to the list of things we need to learn to be puzzle-proof.

Annoyed as many are about GEESE when goose is much better - had MIGRATIng until MONICA bailed us out.

Very impressed by the neatly fit V formation with no strained clues. Nicely done.

Susan McConnell 7:55 AM  

I really liked this one, which is saying something because, like acme, I hate Vs in Scrabble. It felt easy to me, and I caught onto the V formation after popping in the first 3 answers in the NW, then went ahead and filled in the rest of the Vs.

I don't know ALL of the Hebrew months but I have the holiday ones down. Fun fact: Chanukah starts on Thanksgiving this year, a very, very rare occurrance indeed.

Doris 8:12 AM  

Re LAIN: People who cannot use these correctly (if they are native Anglophones) had better stay away from me! Violence may ensue. LAIN is the (only) correct past participle for LIE. Failure to use these properly is a deal-breaker. See below:

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/lay-vs-lie

John V 8:23 AM  

Dnf. West was a mess, could not see the theme. Fill was more Thursday grade,IMHO.

HIVE mind? Really?

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

"HIVE MIND" is the most obscure clue I've ever seen, especially for a Tuesday. I'm surprised Rex didn't jump all over that one.

Norm C. 8:31 AM  

Got the V theme early, so filled in all the V squares, speeding things up. Then put formATION in before MIGRATION, which slowed things down. Things EVENed out in the end.

Yeah, the C/K potential Natick was annoying, but guessed correctly, so no harm, no foul.

Happy October, everyone.

JFC 8:35 AM  

@Z, I think it was 1962. It was the only game the Pack lost that year. The next year - 1963 - they tied and the Bears won the conference over the Pack by 1/2 game (ties counted 1/2) so it was also a loss in a sense.

I also remember that short OT.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS8OHJBn5aY

JFC

dk 8:37 AM  

G. Holder made the KOLA nut famous in his 7 UP send-up ad.

GEESE flying south is a harbinger of winter here and the delightful honk of their return brings warmth. Touching puzzle theme.

IMES buyers are no doubt snickering at the ALPO comparison.

Saw we broke BAD in the lower right.... sorry in withdrawal.

Wanted vane glorious bastards in the grid but "ya don't always git what ya want."

One of the better and more creative Tuesdays and as the stars are UPTOme:

�������� (4 Stars) Go Joel.

dk 8:40 AM  

Doris has LAIN down a gauntlet. Danish Kings beware.

John Child 8:46 AM  

I am amazed by the negative comments. I loved this and finished in exactly Tuesday time for me. @jberg has the Owl / Wol issue just right. The same discussion surfaces every time a "Hundred-Acre Wood" clue is used for that answer. (I would love to see Wol as an answer, but I can't remember one.)

I know nothing about the Jewish calendar, but I thought the crosses were just fine.

Excellent puzzle IMO.

loren muse smith 8:46 AM  

Ok. Hand up for "cola/cislev," so I didn't finish. Actually, I see now that I forgot to run the alphabet and guess that VA_E/_AVI cross. So oh well.

I'm a big fan of Joel's puzzles. I wasn't surprised one bit that there were no other V's in the grid. I didn't even consider that there would be. He's just that good.

I gauge early week difficulty on what my Dad will think; it took me a while to convince him that he could handle a NYT by himself, so when he actually paid for a subscription I was thrilled. We discuss the puzzle every morning, and it's been a really fun addition to my daily schedule. I haven't spoken to him yet, but I imagine this one was tough for him. Four French words, that Hebrew month, NAVI. . .

Almost shout-out to Mom – Trudy DEEMs Lefler Muse!

My husband and I have very different opinions as to what constitutes a LOAD for the washing machine. Sometimes I'm stunned to see what he can cram into the washer.

Everyone is saying that GEESE MIGRATION isn't really said. (I had to erase the O's, too). In my opinion, the *real* not-in-the-language thing in the grid is LAIN. Sorry, @Doris - I know it's the past participle of the intransitive lie, but I would feel like a jerk if I actually used it correctly.

"Man, I need to get up and do something! I've LAIN here for three hours now."

I would go to great extremes to get around that one. I wouldn't say laid because I'm too proud, but I would probably say been lying instead.

I'm curious why they went with PLEB/ABE and not pled/ade. PLEB was a new one for me.

Liked the puzzle, liked the appearance of the grid. Off to call Dad now.

dph 8:48 AM  

Fun puzzle. Seems no one has noted yet that we begin with the wind vane, and the geese are headed south!

Z 8:51 AM  

If you read much science fiction you will run into HIVE MINDs, so it was a gimme for me.

I'm still stinging over the cOLA nut cISLEV krossing. I will add that my first name is often misspelled with a K, so I have an innate partiality to C.

I did a little research on the whole OWL/WOL controversy. Apparently, OWL's house gets blown down, Eeyore finds him a new house, which turns out to be Piglet's. Owl's new house is called The Wolery. I haven't quite figured out if this is a metaphor for the Banking Industry or the Occupy movement. I'll let you decide.

John V 9:01 AM  

May I humbly add that I am not a Tuesday level solver and KISLEV knocked me straight to Natick, MA

Doris 9:03 AM  

@DK: I guess you were kidding. I have LAIN in bed, but I have LAID down the gauntlet. If you were serious, stay away from my door!

joho 9:06 AM  

I love that all the V's in the puzzle helped create unusually ViVid answers like VICARIOUS, VENETIANS, LIVINGWILL and LOVERSLANE among many others.

I have half a mind to carp about HIVE mind, but upon reflection I really liked learning this term which is new to me.

Lately when bike riding near the river the V formations of GEESE are honking overhead which makes this puzzle perfectly timed for publication.

This is a wonderful Tuesday puzzle, Very nice, Joel!



Lindsay 9:09 AM  

Anyone else look at 1A and think, Hey! A new way to clue tits"?

I didn't fall into the "c" trap with the Hebrew month, but still rue having spelled a Japanese name with a "g" rather than a "j" at last spring's ACPT. Ruined an otherwise perfect puzzle.

I know we flogged New England accents to death Sunday, but can't refrain from reporting that yesterday I received a constituent email that used the word "agender" 3 times. As in, The selectmen can't discuss anything that's not on the agender, but the chair has his own agender when he sets the agender.

Constructors take note.

quilter1 10:01 AM  

I had MIGRATIng GEESE at first but straightened that out. However I prefer MIGRATIng GEESE. It sounds better. I rate this one easy for me. It went by too fast. What is surprising is that I came here before 9 central time and there were already over 40 comments. The puzzle must have been stimulating.

long-time listener, first time caller! 10:05 AM  

HIVE mind & KISLEV just about sum it up. Days like this I loathe doing Will's puzzles. V's? Canada Geese are only good to sheite up the golf course.

A colonoscopy is way more fun.

chefbea 10:13 AM  

When I printed out the puzzle I immediately noticed that the grid looked unusual...then notived all the V's as I was solving. What a great puzzle.

Also had the C-K problem with square 28 and never heard of hive mind

Elle54 10:13 AM  

This was great! Really cleVer. Was able to see what was happening so filled in all the V's.
We get a lot of these honking "V"'s flying by at this time of year so a great fall tribute.
I agree that HIVE mind is unusual. Most of the time it's HIVE mentality.

Anonymous 11:01 AM  

Solved it without a hitch. But had to come to Rex to figure out the thee because the Vs did not appear sufficiently prominent for me to catch it.

Evan 11:06 AM  

Agreed with @Steve J's comments. I didn't even see the V's when I solved this in Pleasantville last Friday. Amazing how I completely missed them until after I was done. What really stopped me cold was that I had NICE-O-. What is it? NICE DOG? NICE BOY? I'm sure there are some pet owners out there who say that to encourage their dogs. Only when I finally got BAJA did the rest of it become clear.

@Anonymous 12:11:

I'm very, very happy that someone mentioned a possible "Legend of Zelda" clue for NAVI -- that fairy annoyed the crap out of me every time I played it, but "Ocarina of Time" has been #1 on various Best Video Games Of All Time lists, so just for the nerd/nostalgia factor alone, I'd definitely use that as a clue. Of course, that's why I'm never going to be Will Shortz's successor....

First time poster 11:06 AM  

Hive mind is central to the 'Ender' books by Orson Scott Card. They're a great sci-fi read.

Carola 11:32 AM  

Unusual theme, liked it. After the first few entries, I enjoyed writing in the diagonal march of the V's and then filling in the words around them, admiring the constructing feat. Great long Downs - LOVERS' LANE, LIVING WILL, VICARIOUS, VENETIANS And I just like the sound of OVAL-SWIVEL-REVEL- REVIVAL. And remembering David NIVEN.

Haven't seen any V's overhead here yet, but soon. Fun to have the puzzle marking the season.

Ray J 12:17 PM  

@Rex – I think the craziest thing about MLB is the one-and-done wildcard round. Playing 162 games and then deciding who advances to the playoffs in one game is just nuts.

I didn’t notice the V-formation until I had all but one of them, but I liked it when I finally saw it. Cool symmetry today. Liked the OWL and WHO pairing – cute. MOI and POI are a couple of odd ducks.

If the geese are messing up your lawn you can try putting up some fake owls to scare them away. Good luck with that.

Notsofast 12:18 PM  

Astounding and Brilliant! What Rex and the rest of you have missed is that there are no "v's" in the bottom, or "South" of the grid because the geese are "en route", i.e. migrating South for the winter. This is an All-Time Great puzzle. I'm in awe.

Lewis 12:34 PM  

I also had MIGRATIng, and agree with Quilter that migrating geese sounds better than goose migration. I would have preferred having "migrating" and the clue on that word.

@doris -- calm, calm

I loved the four long downs, learned HIVE MIND, somehow pulled KISLEV out of my Jewish youth. NICE JOB, Joel!

@lms -- good point on AdE/PLEd.

I didn't figure out the theme until I came here and now see that it is so obvious! I was looking for permutations of GEESE and didn't stop to look at the puzzle objectively. I do remember thinking "lots of Vs here", but didn't follow up.

I like TASER adjacent to COP.

The puzzle is symmetrical left and right, but not all four ways...

mac 1:16 PM  

Excellent Tuesday! I like it better now than last Friday, when I had no time to look over the finished grid.

The V formation went past me entirely unnoticed, as did "hive" mind. The crosses and fairly easy clues took care of it.

I do remember looking at GEESE and wondering if goose wouldn't sound better.

DanielB 1:23 PM  

@First Time Poster 11:06 -
You beat me to it. The Ender series is a damn good yarn! Hive mind indeed . . .

Great Tuesday puzzle. Reminds me of a Gorskey Sunday from a couple of years ago.

~Daniel B

Carola 1:37 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carola 1:43 PM  

Liking the puzzle even more after reading comments!

When I first posted, I hadn't appreciated the individual V's as representing the wings of the flying GEESE in the large V-formation. And...

@Notsofast - I hadn't appreciated the southerly MIGRATION. Thank you!

Bird 2:03 PM  

Appreciate the construction, but solving experience was meh. Nothing jumped out, nothing exciting.

After getting a few V’s I plunked in FORMATION at 50A and I still think it’s a better answer.

Also had RETIRES at 67A and tried to get RAIDER to fit at 26A.

Rex Parker 2:13 PM  

"HIVE mind" is a common expression, especially to anyone who has ever read or thought about social media. Didn't even blink at that one. I wonder if there's a generation gap w/ that answer (Joel is in his early 20s).

RP

Keldy23 3:06 PM  

I for some reason have heard of HIVE mentality, but not HIVE mind, even though a Google search indicates it is considerably less common. I guess I'm the outlier there (but I was able to complete through the crosses).

I'm in the cOLAS/cISLEV crew, but when that wasn't accepted I diverted to K and success.

sanfranman59 3:51 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)

Tue 9:14, 8:15, 1.12, 77%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:29, 5:10, 1.06, 65%, Medium-Challenging

mac 5:04 PM  

@Keldy23: I thought the same thing, hive mentality sounds more familiar.

ahimsa 5:33 PM  

@Rex and others, I'm over 50 but I had no trouble with HIVE mind. I immediately thought of the Borg from Star Trek (on both Next Generation and Voyager, I think). :-)

I thought the puzzle was pretty good. Interesting grid, nice visual of all the Vs in a GEESE MIGRATION formation, and lots of cool V words. NICE JOB, Joel Fagliano!

I just wish it could have been done without the KISLEV/KOLAS cross. I managed to get all the letters but it was a pretty obscure word.

For example, I could list months from the Hindu calendar but unless you're planning on fasting or puja (worship) for some holiday then you probably don't care about that kind of trivia, right? Learning about various religious holidays (Hanukkah or Sukkot, Divali or Holi) is interesting. Learning the names for the months from the Jewish or Hindu calendar? Not so much.

So, as far as obscure words go, I'll take something like COHIBA over KISLEV any day. Just my two cents. :-)

Z 7:33 PM  

Ender is a great Sci Fi series of novels. I just find it hard to reconcile the concepts of recognizing "The Other" in the books and the author's stance towards other people. His works exceed him, apparently.

Another great HIVE MIND Sci Fi book is Starship Trooper. Citizenship only through military service, sex, and violence. Ahhh, nothing like post WWII juvenile fiction for exploring the what ifs of insane ideas.

@Lindsay - You win the prize for best wrong answer of the day. My first thought was Titans, but I regret that TITS never occurred to me, even though it does fit the clue.

Tita 8:05 PM  

Massive DNF - for a Tuesday, that is...
HaVE, because I figured a doctor would direct you to be LaVING something - as in Latin root for wash...
Dunno Avator, or Tennesse teams, and just gave up 'cause I must get back to work.

Annoyed that I didn't see the "V"s - I even said to myself - "there's lots of "V"s in this puzzle"...
But found hte revealer late, and thought it meant the black squares.

Also had LOVERSLeap for forever, because there is a Lover's Leap Stae Park nearby, where an Indian princess Lillinonah and her lover leapt to her deaths.

Had I noticed the Vs, woulda liked it better. And probably woulda F'd.

Hand up for COLAS for that particular PoC.

Cool, @jberg - flapping bird for sure! And, headed south, as @dph said!

Thanks, Mr, Fagliano - one of those puzzles that I appreciated so much more after reading the 1000 points of light in this blog and comments.

sanfranman59 12:06 AM  

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 6:45, 6:07, 1.10, 87%, Challenging
Tue 9:17, 8:15, 1.13, 78%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:12, 3:50, 1.10, 85%, Challenging
Tue 5:21, 5:10, 1.04, 60%, Medium-Challenging

Noam V. Elkies 11:39 AM  

Of course "geese migration" beats "goose migration" on Google. For "geese migration", use Geegle.

spacecraft 10:40 AM  

OK, first of all, rant alert!

Will somebody please, PLEASE!! get the syndi-dates right? And DON'T tell me to "just scroll down the right-hand column till you find it." It is very often, as in month-changeover dates, not that simple. Then I have to backtrack to the original search site and try to put in a clue that doesn't appear often in puzzles, to qualify it. Sometimes it takes me 15-20 minutes just to get to the right blog. I'M TIRED of it! I DON'T WANT TO HUNT ANY MORE! I WANT THE CORRECT PUZZLE TO BE THERE WHEN I HIT "SYNDICATED!" IS THAT TOO DAMN MUCH TO ASK???

[All-clear siren sounds]

Now. Today's puzzle is chock-full of great words. But who wrote the clues? As already mentioned, IWONT does not mean "Not gonna happen." It just means I'm not gonna be the one who makes it happen. COPTO means "admit" or "confess;" not "Acknowledge as true." I can agree it happened--but I didn't do it! And of all the things that might fill the blank of "____ mind," HIVE would be one of the last. What an un-Tuesday way to clue that!

The natick didn't bother me that much; Hebrew is LOADed with Ks--not that I knew the month, but I felt pretty confident with the K.

So, the puzzle itself: NICEJOB. The cluing? Well, full marks for "Thing often of interest" for DEBT, but otherwise, not so much.

DMG 2:34 PM  

Figured I must have really messed up the NE because HIVE couldn't be right, but turns out it was. On the other hand, I made the C mistake. So an almost finish after all! Liked all the V,'s. Such sights are rare where I live, but I remember once, years ago when something made me look up from gardening to see an enormous V winging silently overhead. Can stIll recall the thrill.

@spacecraft. My mother would have said she guessed you got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning. But I sympathize with you.Hunting for the syndi post can be frustrating. My trick is to save today's post. To get tomorrow's simply hit the "newer post" option, and there it is. A word of warning, this does not work for Sunday, where the puzzle presented doesn't match the one in my paper. But cycling past the unwanted Sunday will bring the wanted Monday. I find this much easier than sifting all over Rex's blog or wondering which key word will bring t he desired puzzle.

@Ginger: If, like me, you were surprised by Lacoste's stats, you should look up Tilden. I'm reading Bill Bryson's "One Summer", and his description (pg 91ff) makes you wish for a game between Tilden and Federer when both were at their peak. As an aside, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good smiley read!!!

Ginger 3:50 PM  

There's a 'flyway' near here and I love watching geese heading north or south overhead. They are amazingly noisy (when they're low enough to hear). The 'V' formation allows them to draft on oneanother, with the leaders frequently changing places. I think many of them 'winter' here, too, as I see often them in January and February. Even then, they fly around in circles, but always in formation.

Joel's geese fly high in the grid, and my inner 14 year old imagines all the 'Os' in the lower half to be their 'leavings'.

@DMG thanks for the Tilden Tip. I googled him and, as you mentioned, his Championships are mighty impressive. Interesting premise comparing players of different eras. I'd love to see matches between Johnny Mac, Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, all at their prime. Throw in Rafa, Lacoste, Tilden, Stan Smith and I'm sure a few others; fun to contemplate.

Anyway, Liked this one more than most of the commentators, or OFL did. Checked out XWordInfo, and unless I'm wrong, it appears Joel is a Sr. at Rex's Alma Mater.

SyndicateBob 3:59 PM  

@DMG Need to add that you click on the old, Unupdated. Link to the old puzzle and scroll to the bottom of the comments before you can hit the "newer post."

Often guest bloggers don't know how to update for us syndy solvers. The blog tool that Rex uses is. Not perfect or easy. My peeve is that it notes the time but not date each comment.

Dirigonzo 4:57 PM  

I thought I might have to settle for a "NICEtry" but eventually I figured out KISLEV and all the squares under it to get a "NICEJOB".

strayling 7:19 PM  

Nice (coincidental?) "V" for Guy Fawkes Night.

Solving in Seattle 8:20 PM  

Tough Tuesday, Joel.
Wanted noway before IWONT appeared on crosses.
Liked TORPEDO crossing the British sailors.
How about VIRGIN crossing EVIL, IHOPE and NONOS. Which one is it?
Wasn't it Oscar Levant who said virginity was its own punishment? Maybe it was chastity and maybe it was Churchill.

@Longtime listener, First time caller, 10:05. You said a colonoscopy was more fun than this puzzle. To paraphrase Bum Phillips, either you know something about colonoscopies that I don't, or I know something about cwpuzzes that you don't.

Capcha: earskets. What a hobbyist uses to makes ears?

Dirigonzo 8:55 PM  

@strayling - it's Guy Fawkes night in the UK, but it's election day in the US and I saw a post elsewhere that interpreted V for VOTE. Either way it's another eerie case of syndication synchronicity.

strayling 7:21 PM  

I wonder if the lag between NYT and syndi-land is predictable enough for compilers to play those games.

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