1952 Gary Cooper classic / WED 2-12-14 / Katmandu tongue / Many urban cornhusker / Comic Fields who was Ed Sullivan regular / Matt who scored only Jets touchdown in Super Bowl history / Fleet member retired in 03 / Common NASCAR letters

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Medium



THEME: T-ing the T- — 15-letter phrases following the there three-word pattern "T[…]ING THE TR[…]"; three Ts in the grid (formed by black squares) reinforce the theme:

Theme answers:
  • 16A: Triumphing (TURNING THE TRICK) — is this a phrase in common usage? Seems card game-specific. Don't think I've ever heard it used generically to indicate "triumphing."
  • 33A: Traditional pre-Christmas activity (TRIMMING THE TREE)
  • 53A: Testifying accurately (TELLING THE TRUTH)

Word of the Day: Matt SNELL (23A: Matt who scored the only Jets touchdown in Super Bowl history) —
Matt Snell (born August 18, 1941) is a retired professional football player who played for theNew York Jets. He was Jets' owner Sonny Werblin's first coup, prior to his 1965 acquisition of Joe Namath. A powerful fullback out of Ohio State University, Snell's 1964 signing jolted the crosstown Giants, who didn't draft Snell until the fourth round, and offered him a fraction of what the Jets gave him as their first-round choice.
Snell currently lives in New Rochelle, New York with his wife Sharon, son Beau and daughter Jada. He is a partner in DEFCO Securities, Inc. and owns a restaurant in New York City. (wikipedia)
• • •

Whimsical and a bit odd. I don't think it's that tight a theme, but the grid shape at least makes it interesting—not the Ts (don't care), but the white spaces they end up creating, with lots of longer answers coming together in L shapes all over the grid. Non-theme stuff is far more interesting than the singsongy theme stuff, with all of the 8+-letter Downs toward the middle of the grid being real standouts. The wheels come off a bit in the west with CLIC (!?) crossing OCOME (yucky) and whatever a SHUTTLER is. I thought a loom was for weaving. Are there actual human beings called SHUTTLERs? At any rate, that quadrant was kind of unlovely, but I thought most of the rest of the puzzle held together pretty well.


Started this one by just throwing down all the short Downs at the top—luckily for me, most of them were right (all the ones in the NW, just one of the three in the NE). Got my first real traction at LAID OVER / POS / OVID, and then swept back across the top after that. For the nth time I botched the spelling on HARAKIRI. "Harikari""Harakari""harrumph." I think the colloquial pronunciation of "harry carry" is what's throwing me off. Also, I somehow associate this ritual suicide with MATA HARI. Actually, now that I think about it, the confusion is not that surprising. All "A"s and "I"s and alternating consonants & vowels. Exotic. There's lots to conflate there. This is why when it comes to ritual suicides, I prefer the term "seppuku." No confusion. Or less confusion, at any rate.


SNELL over TOTIE is a bit tough, as they are odd and dated proper nouns (I knew one, TOTIE, and  then only from doing lots of crosswords). Beneath the puzzle's equator, the only thing that slowed me down was writing in STENT for SHUNT (59A: Surgical bypass), and then blanking for a few seconds on MALACHI (not a book I've ever read, as far as I recall). Oh, and it took me almost all the crosses to get SUIT for some reason (55A: Rare sight on casual Friday). Weird.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

69 comments:

Anonymous 12:03 AM  

What I can't figure out is why the fill is so pathetic with just 3 theme entries and some cheater squares. The last one I remember that had just 3 15-letter theme entries was a ice cream theme puzzle with an Ed Sessa byline, which had equally pathetic fill. I have no idea where this ineptitude seems to come from, especially when the options seem plenty.

FearlessKim 12:20 AM  

Medium Wednesday, time-wise, but with enough solid fill to compensate for the unlovely SHUTTLER and an array of weejects (ERN, SEN, ENE, DEE, DEL, etc.). Particularly liked ADIEUX.

I wonder what we'll tell our grandkids when they ask us about SSTs because they are *still* appearing in the puzzle in oh, say, 2037...

Add me to the SCOUtS before SCOURS group. Also to the SNELL?/TOTIE?/CLIC? Group.

Interesting choice to give us MAC with a clue that would have worked just fine in the 1940's. Maybe we've come full-circle and everything old *is* new again?

Mere quibbles, tho. I liked the non-traditional construction, the long non-theme answers, and the overall flow of the solve. Good clean fun.

jae 12:24 AM  

Triple Ts! Fun Wed.  Medium for me too. Only erasure was changing sES to XES after I finally read the clue for 58a.  The theme and the grid design more than made up for stuff like SHUTTLER, POS, DEL... (pick your own irritation).   Plus NIHILIST, HIGH NOON, MALACHI, TOE TAG, HARAKIRI...provide some fine zip.  

Apparently, it might be a good idea to take a close look at a Monopoly board (good morning @lms).

Adrem Collie Medici 12:30 AM  

Didn't notice that the third T word was TR consistently, that makes it even tighter.
Was surpised at just three 15s till I saw the three large Ts in the grid, which elevated a lot into a work of art for me.
Theme and design.
Liked the four black corners, rarely seen which makes the design stand out even more.

So much to like: SHARPEI ( is there a funnier-looking, cuter dog?)
ADIEUX (tho I put in Xxx for 58 A), INCISIVE, SHEESH, HARAKIRI,
(maybe MATAHARI committed HARAKIRI) and STRIKEZONES, running right down the middle, like a strike zone itself.

Peter Collins can be a little sportsy for me, so I felt I got off lucky with just SNELL, with interesting trivia attached.

Hand up for SteNT before SHUNT and no idea about SHUTTLER AND
I'm afraid I don't understand POS for 2B, SS, CF.

But I appreciate the art and the fill.

FearlessKim 12:37 AM  

@Adrem Collie Medici: POS short for position. 2B = second baseman, SS = shortstop, CF= center fielder

wreck 12:39 AM  

POS = position (second base, shortstop, center field)

Pretty medium for me as well. Not a bad Wednesday!

Steve J 12:46 AM  

Ok theme. T'ing the T-something wasn't that strong a tie-in, but the theme answers are pretty solid (although I also wondered about TURNING THE TRICK; I'm sure it's out there in the language somewhere, but I'm guessing I'm not alone in associating trick-turning with something else entirely).

What really made this work were the long downs, especially HARA KIRI, HIGH NOON, NIHILIST, STRIKE ZONES.

Either early- to midweek puzzles have been in my wheelhouse of late, or I'm experiencing a sudden bump in proficiency. If I hadn't had to chase down a typo, I would have finished this is average Monday/easy Tuesday time.

Didn't find this quite as fun as Monday and Tuesday - but they were both higher-quality than the recent norm - but it was still enjoyable to solve.

wreck 1:02 AM  

I think "That'll do the trick" is more common than "That will turn the trick" -- but I think the clue and answer are ok.

chefwen 1:49 AM  

This wasn't a cake walk as Monday and Tuesday were. MALACHI was a new one for me, not too up to date on my books of the bible, I'm sure I can find someone to blame for that, Dad?

Anyway, got through it and am ready for a fun, rebus filled Thursday. Anyone else?

I'm loving these poker hands, five over twos tonight, actually three fives and three twos, but that don't add up to a hill of beans.

John Child 3:08 AM  
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John Child 3:10 AM  

Hands up for no cake walk. I had to make several extra passes through the grid to correct bad guesses like SHihtsu, POrTE and lionIZE. Good fun to work a little on Wednesday.

TOETAG and LETHAL AGENT push the breakfast rule I think. I liked that MAC over SILICON wasn't clued with Apple. NEPALI was a gimme since I live in Kathmandu. (The NYT persists in spelling the city's name wrong.)

JTHurst 3:12 AM  

Sheesh can someone explain when a plural X is an exs or xes? Can we all agree to bury the SST. I agree with Fearless Kim we will still see it in 2037. Omaha is an Indian tribe and members of the tribe would be Omahas. Yet someone who resides in Omaha is an Omahan(s), whilst someone who resides in Denver is not a Denveran but a Denverite. What about someone who resides in Springfield are they just residents? No ans, ites or buts.

Zach 3:32 AM  

Has anyone ever clued "SST" with respect to the California record label? I guess SST Records' decline actually predates the Concorde's last flight, but it's a lot more interesting to me and less obscure than much Wednesday-to-Saturday crosswordese.

Apu 4:27 AM  

@JTHurst - Simpsons?

Danp 5:48 AM  

I thought TURNINGTHETRICK was something that happens on urban street corners. Never thought of it as cause for celebration.

"By turning the trick at her job interview, Melissa finally earned her husband's full respect." There might be a better way to word that.

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

Hmm, and here's me thinking this was the easiest one so far this week, relative to its own day. Over 3 min faster than my Weds average and my first top 100 finish of the week on the Magmic app.

Still, it's all relative. I'm sure that most of you calling it medium still finished it faster than I. You all are the experts who ought to know.

NCA President 7:56 AM  

DEElightful...ahem.

ADIEUs seemed far more reasonable than whatever sES might've been...so I went with that. Yeah, no.

Same for PTi, which created HARiKIRI...which seemed reasonable, though nonsensical. And isn't PTo a thing? Parent-Teacher Organization? Whateves. HARAKIRI needs to be standardized somehow or puzzle constructors will be spelling it all kinds of ways they see fit...it will be mayhem which may lead to, well, harekare. Or harikari. Or the guy who was the announcer for the Cubs with those big black glasses. Or Hari Krishna.

jberg 8:00 AM  

@Danp, I'm still laughing at that one.

Like @ACME, I didn't notice the R in the theme answers; that would have helped ro rule out TURNING THE Table a little sooner.

Some of the cluing was a bit off. You land on INDIANA Avenue, not "INDIANA;" and while AEROdynamic is "designed to minimize wind resistance," AEROdrome is not. But any puzzle with NIHILIST in it gets my approval.

Sadly, I didn't notice the French indicator at 39D, so put in S instead of X; I figured sES must be some tosh brand of men's hats. SHEESH!

Davidph 8:04 AM  

Adding to the T theme are TOETAG and THU running down the center.

Glimmerglass 8:04 AM  

One who uses a loom might use a shuttle, but to call her a SHUTTLER is like calling some who sews a "needler" or a mechanic a "wrencher." TURNING THE TRICK (other that prostituting) means accomplish some end. "I had trouble opening the jar, but vicegrips turned the trick." It doesn't generally apply to sports or battle.

John V 8:05 AM  

Medium, fun Wednesday. Mirror symmetry is the new norm, is what I'm sayin' Liked the Ts and the grid artistry.

cascokid san 8:18 AM  

Fastest Wednesday ever -- at least if you measure the time it tool me to fill the grid. But I scratched at bAT/bLIC and ADIEUs/sES, both credible wrong answers. I'm having lunch with a Québécois-American so will get the skinny on the X pluralization rule, which seems to be a thing, no?

AliasZ 8:18 AM  

The questionable TURNING THE (A?)TRICK could have been easily fixed with TURNED THE TABLES (TURNING would have made it 16 letters). True, TURNED doesn't fit the T*ING THE T* pattern, but I think in this case this pattern was not nearly as important as the trip-T's spanning the grid. But if -ING has to be, there are always other choices: tickling the toes, twisting the tail, taming the tongue, tuning the tom-tom, taking the tests, tracking the time, etc. Some of these my not exactly trip off the tongue, but are not much worse than TURNING THE TRICK.

The fill was mostly excellent except for DEE, DEL, DIA, EEK, ENE, EPI, ERN, HOI and a few others. However HIGH NOON, the typical time for a showdown, LETHAL AGENT, the CIA operative who ices bad guys, STRIKE ZONES that change with the umpires, etc. more than make up for them. TOE TAG sitting atop the bottom T smack dab in between the two T's on top: nice touch. The Florentine double reference did not go unnoticed either.

I recently posted a video of an excerpt from Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat major, Les ADIEUX, so I will spare you. Instead, let me offer a piece by Franz Liszt instead, from his solo piano cycle Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), the second book of which is titled Deuxième année: Italie. From this, here is Sonetto 104 del Petrarca inspired by the poet Petrarch (1304-1374), whose statue is one of many that adorn the Uffizi Palace in Florence.

Happy hump day.

joho 8:25 AM  

A bit depressing with HARAKIRI, LETHALAGENT, NIHILIST, AGEDOUT and TOETAG. I mean what's sadder than a dead NIHILIST wearing a TOETAG?

I liked the puzzle because it's trying something different with its unique grid. I think it's a fine example of TURNINGTHETRICK.

My favorite entry by far was STRIKEZONES.

Interesting Wednesday, thank you, Peter!



Susan McConnell 8:28 AM  

Wouldn't it be funny if Will Shortz wrote the Anonymous post @12:03? That thought popped into my mind and made me giggle.

This was smooth going for me, but there seemed to be a whole LOT of iiiiiiiiiis....in fact, I believe there are more Is than Ts, not counting the three formed by the grid.

Mohair Sam 8:31 AM  

This must have hit me directly in the sweet spot, played like a Monday here. SHEESH was likely and 7, 13, and 14A were all gimmes, as were SNELL and TOTIE. The long downs filled quickly off that (we're fine with SHUTTLER, btw), then the theme, then the entire puzzle.

Agree with the mumbling about TURNINGTHETRICK, but it can be used as clued. I would have loved to have clued that one myself.

Had Rex's experience at HARAKIRI, but most Bic's seem to CLIC so it was quickly resolved. And wrote ADIEUs until reading clue for 58A.

All the long downs seemed fresh, every one of them, which made this a fun solve. Just think it should have appeared a day or two earlier in the week.

Andrew Morrison 8:38 AM  

I liked it. Also fell for SteNT early. No problems fixing it though.

chefbea 8:38 AM  

The theme is ..three T's…the answers consist of three words starting with a T. And we have 3 black T's . Am I right???

Was a dee-lish puzzle. Guess we are going to get a monopoly clue every day?

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

I dunno. Maybe 'cause my parents played bridge, or maybe'cause I'm lots older than Rex, but I agree with wreck that turning the trick is okay. I've heard that expression many times but maybe not recently.

Z 9:24 AM  

TURNING THE TRICK is just fine as clued whether it is Bridge or prostitution.

I would not be surprised if there were a new SST fleet by 2036, so I fully expect to filling it into puzzles well into my 90's.

A fine effort by Mr. Collins.

OISK 9:34 AM  

Got beaten by the Adieux-Xes cross. Should have realized that SES made no sense, and did think of XXX, but not the contrived plural "XES" I think that 39 down should have been clued "at the end of une (or is it "un") soiree. That would have more clearly called for the French plural.

I don't like ADREM with MSN either, but did enjoy the puzzle. Well done by Mr. Collins, as usual.

cascokid san 9:34 AM  

@AliasZ Thanks for list of Ts and the tease to the Liszt. The latter made my morning.

lawprof 9:48 AM  

Interesting-looking grid with unusual symmetry. Quickly mended TURNINGTHETables and finished with a pretty fast (for me) time for hump day. Alas, I filled in 39, 40 and 48D without checking 58A, so ended up with a mistake at sES. But overall, an engaging, zippy mid-week puzzle.

mac 9:51 AM  

Fine Wednesday, medium for me only mainly because of 26D cat and 26A Clic. Never heard of it. Didn't know Snell and Totie either, but they appeared because of the crosses.

Tight and creative theme, I thought. Yes, I could go for a rebus tomorrow, then I can check out my iPad XWP app that has a rebus button.

quilter1 9:53 AM  

As no one has actually explained SHUTTLER I will, although I'm not sure it is really a weaving term. When weaving the shuttle conveys the thread across horizontally thus creating the fabric. The weaver presses a pedal that changes the alternate threads so every one is under and over. The weaver then passes the shuttle through. The vertical and horizontal threads are called the warp and the weft and someone should put those into a puzzle.502
As for the puzzle, I started at the bottom and worked up. Medium to me only because of the sports answers.

Doug 9:58 AM  

I have never heard turning the trick used as a definition for triumphing. This seems well out of the sphere of normal use. Agree with Rex. Thought Matt was Sauer and forgot Snell. Had stent for shunt. I never remember sharpei. Other wise I would have done this fast.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:11 AM  

Fine puzzle overall, but another hand up here for finishing, on paper, with One Wrong Square at the intersection of Foreign Word and Sports, ADIEUS/SES.

Carola 10:18 AM  

A fun one to solve and to look over afterward and savor. Thought the multiple trios of Ts were a treat - three themers with three Ts crossed by the 3 Ts of TOETAG THU and then the 3 big black Ts stamped in the grid.

Definitely on the mordant side, though, with references to bidding ADIEUX to life - HARAKIRI, LETHAL AGENT, TOE TAG, HIGH NOON, STRIKE, the knife-like INCISIVE (along with SHARP hidden in SHAR PEI - just kidding).

Learned how to spell HARAKIRI from a previous late-week puzzle where I failed to TURN THE TRICK because I misspelled it to rhyme with harry carry. Learned TURN THE TRICK here, after "Tide" was too short and "Table" was at least one table short.

loren muse smith 10:20 AM  

@jae - yeah - Monopoly is becoming quite the little darling of xword clues! I guess I should study a board. I will when I get the, uh, chance.

I’ll go stand over with the “stent” for SHUNT group. SHUcks. (Anyone besides probably M&A notice the three SHUs?

@Gill I.P. – I think I know why we always want HOI polloi to be snooty – because of “hoity toity” maybe? HOI polloi definitely feels like a group I would want to belong to. And I guess I do. Hah!

@John V re grid symmetry – spoken like a true Student of Chen. I had the same thought. Speaking of the grid – it had to be tough to get seven, count’em seven, downs to cross the top two themers. Nice TRICK, Peter!

Fortunate cross – HARA KIRI crossing SHARP. Quicker. Just sayin’.

COLLIE crossing IDOLIZE. A child of the 60s, I definitely thought Lassie could do anything. She even single pawedly TRIMMed THE TREE in one Christmas episode.

@Susan McConnell – I did consider and admire the I’s in INCISIVE AND NIHILIST for a while. SHEESH I need another hobby - maybe I'l look into becoming a SHUTTLER.

Would have loved a clue like “Pudgy middle?” for 29D.

Liked the grid art, liked the puzzle. Thanks, Peter.

Notsofast 10:39 AM  

This was a breeze for me until I put in DSL for MSN. The ADREM/MSN cross was a little unfair. And I was a little stupid. But I loved SHEESH. Good job, P.A.C.

Two Ponies 11:01 AM  

Not only did I frown at Turning the Trick but is Aged Out a real thing? Shuttler seems made up.
Other than those small nits it was easier than my usual struggle with Mr. Collins.
I am also hoping for a nice rebus Thursday.

Steve J 11:06 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve J 11:30 AM  

@glimmerglass: Thanks for an example of TURNING THE TRICK. Still sounds odd to my ear, though; I'd say "the vise grips did the trick" in that example. "Turn the trick" (outside of cards) must be a regionalism or an idiom from a different era than mine.

@cascokid san: The X pluralization in French is pretty easy: If the noun ends in a U (preceded by some other vowels, like au, eau, etc.), the plural becomes X instead of S. There are some scattered exceptions where a U-ending noun gets an S, but they're rare and they're words that aren't likely to show up in crosswords. (Same for the occasional words that end in L that get an -aux plural.)

The challenge, as was evidenced today, is when you have a French word that's become an English word as well, and therefore may indeed get pluralized according to standard English pronunciation - like adieus (chateau is another one I've seen both ways in puzzles).

Gill I. P. 12:04 PM  

Like @Two Ponies I thought AGED OUT was a made up phrase. Other than that little HUH?, I really liked this puzzle.
I learned about TOTIE from this blog. I looked her up and she really was funny. Speaking of: @Loren I tried sending you an E-mail with a very funny Jonathan Winters "SCHTICK." Let me know your new address...
Yes HOI POLOI gets me every time and I have to look up the meaning because I use that word all the time and I'm TELLING THE TRUTH..
Good job Peter Collins...
I got four 8's...Do I win something?

Anonymous 12:04 PM  

An easy Wednesday, someone who works a loom is a "shuttler" someone who makes baskets is a "weaver". Turning the trick is a bridge and spades card game phrase. Clic Stic is what I used to do the puzzle with. Like I said an easy and quick Wednesday, is Will setting us up for a wicked Thursday?

Anonymous 12:10 PM  

I thought the fill was pathetic. I got a big fat DNF because 1) thought a bopper was a bat (not cat) and had never heard of a clic stic, and 2) 39D clues "they're said" which to me meant plural ending in s, and I could not figure what a bowler had to do with SES (thought it might have something to do with hats). I had never seen adieu with an x at the end. Guess I should have taken French in high school.

Hopeless Child Advocate 12:30 PM  

AGED OUT of the system is very common terminolgy for when we take helpless children, treat them like crap until they're 18 and then tell them that they're now on their own. That is, until our brethren in the criminal justice system takes over and starts to compound our mistakes.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 12:39 PM  

T-lishush! Let me list the ways...
* Neat grid layout. The Big T trio and that other kinda symmetry. And corner pockets. Reminds M&A fondly of Jeff Chen's flyin U's grid of I Fink U Freeky legend. Jeff Chen and Jim Horne (the xwordinfo dudes) did the La Times puz today. Ain't solved it yet, but it sure has a big old letter splatted in the middle of its grid design! But I digress.
* Only 69 words. 24 of em are weeject-size! As 4-Oh has so sharply observed, this lets the long dogs out to hunt.
* Only 3 TTT-themers, matchin up with the three grid T's. This seems appropriate. Puz is Thinkin in Threes, Today. Primo.
* Feisty fillins, like: MALACHI. OMAHAN. AGEDOUT. HIGHNOON. HARAKIRI. MEDICI. STRIKEZONES. NIHILIST. PONTE. ADREM. SHARPEI. This is not merely yer grandma's soft-boiled PEWIT list.
* ERNEPISEN! (Above that first Big T.) Sorta sounds like @muse goin after the shorebirds. p.s. @muse: turned the trick on Monopoly INDIANA off just the endin -A. har. Spoils of a misspent youth of perpetual board-gamin. Hopin to use my Cabby game experience, soon.

T-T-ThUmbsUp, Collins dude.

M&A

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

I thought bopper was a hat.

LaneB 1:30 PM  

Despite some awkward clues [e.g., for ADREM, AGEDOUT,AYE, MAC and POS], I man aged to finish pretty quickly for a Wednesday. Nor had I heard the phrase TURNINGTHETRICK as a synonym for 'triumphing'. Perhaps the clue should have read: "Hooker changing customer's position."

I'mm old enough to remember Matt SNELL and TOTIE Fields thus smoothing the way in that section.

M and Also 1:39 PM  

O.K., @Bob K. Read it and weep (har):

www.xwordinfo.com/Solve?id=49960&id2=203882439

All my other Rexville friends: Here is a puz that I am sendin out a little early (hint), cuz I was afraid U would hurt yerselves tryin to do that puz above, which is just for the Kerfuffle-meister. Make sense? Really?!? woot:

www.xwordinfo.com/Solve?id=49961&id2=1325782258

M&A

Acme 1:44 PM  

@carola, @wreck
Thank you! But now I take back my comment that peter wasn't too sportsy this time!

@alias z
TURNINGTHETABLES doesn't have the TR in table.

@stevej
I agree something like a jar DOES/DID the trick.
I'm not a bridge player so I orig put in winNINGTHETRICK. Figured TURNING was a bridge term.

Bird 1:55 PM  

Liked the puzzle, including the grid layout with the 3 T’s. Like OFL I struggled with HARAKIRI (I always start with HARI KARI). Hand up for not connecting 16A with its clue, but not bothered by it.

Long downs are nice, but there are a lot of 3-letter answers.

58A was XXX.

Happy Humpday!

AliasZ 2:33 PM  

@Acme,

I saw the theme as triple T's suggested by the grid design, that is T*-ING THE T*, not T*-ING THE TR*. Was I wrong?

Job not Malachi 2:41 PM  

Chapter 7

Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?
As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work:
So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.
When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.
My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Merry Wives of Windsor , Act V, scene I

FALSTAFF: I went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor
old man: but I came from her, Master Brook, like a
poor old woman. That same knave Ford, her husband,
hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him,
Master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell
you: he beat me grievously, in the shape of a
woman; for in the shape of man, Master Brook, I fear
not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know
also life is a shuttle. I am in haste; go along
with me: I'll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I
plucked geese, played truant and whipped top, I knew
not what 'twas to be beaten till lately. Follow
me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave
Ford, on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I
will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow.
Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.

[Exeunt]

Lewis 2:59 PM  

I would like to see some backup for TURNINGTHETRICK with the meaning of "triumph". I'm not finding it anywhere. There's lots of turningAtrick, involoving prostitution, but I'm still looking for what this puzzle has. Has anyone found a confirmation? Will?

That said, there is a lot to like in this puzzle, and it was a joy to solve!

sanfranman59 3:15 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 9:38, 10:26, 0.92, 32%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:35, 6:19, 1.04, 60%, Medium

wreck 5:41 PM  

@ Lewis :

WorldReference.com :

do or turn the trick

definition | in Spanish | English synonyms | in context | images

WordReference English Thesaurus © 2014
do or turn the trick
achieve the desired result,
attain success,
accomplish,
succeed,
achieve,
attain,
be successful,
work,
get sth done,
do,
manage,
manage to do

Anonymous 5:58 PM  

The phrase "turning the trick," or more specifically "turning tricks," has nothing to do with "triumphing" in my understanding, unless having sex for money is considered a way of being "triumphant." The phrase as I have always understood it referred to working as a professional sex worker.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:55 PM  

@M&A - Thank you once again for two puzzles guaranteed to draw a smile. I'm sure I am not the only one who enjoys your work greatly.

I never intended to be a special recipient of a puzzle. I have just posted my real times as a measure of my struggle, which is directly related to my enjoyment.

(Had a busy day today, Sorry it took so long for me to respond, but just got home.)

There really is a difference: the puzzle you posted "for everyone" I *demolished* in 3:01 (i.e., 3 min, 1 sec) But I say that knowing that Rex can do a 21x21 Sunday with half the answers in Aramaic in 3 minutes flat.

That said, I did *my* puzzle in nine minutes flat, and it was good to do it online, since on paper the write-overs would have rendered the whole thing unreadable. I won't suffer "remoras" for 1 A, but it got a lot easier when I realized I needed something more U's-ful.

I'm happy to report that I have reached the stage where I needed no outside help.

Thanks again.

M and A Constructioneer Feedback Desk 7:26 PM  

@Bob K. . . Very well done, on the solvin times. I am impressed. I always gauge my puzs' popularities by how many folks are gunshy to admit that they ever looked at the little varmints. har. So far, I'm feelin pretty day-um popular.

I have one M&A 7x7 puz in reserve, that Dan Feyer would solve in approximately 6.7 seconds. Each clue was made as painfully easy as I could make it. Then I made a couple of them easier, by breakin some standard cluein rules, just to be on the safe side. Maybe someday, when you really need a laugh or an ego boost...

M&A

Bob Kerfuffle 7:46 PM  

M&A - Just did that LA Times Xwd you recommended. Horne & Chen have a heck of a highly honed theme!

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 6:00, 6:20, 0.95, 24%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:01, 8:15, 0.97, 40%, Easy-Medium
Wed 9:40, 10:26, 0.93, 33%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:44, 3:59, 0.94, 17%, Easy
Tue 4:47, 5:12, 0.92, 18%, Easy
Wed 6:13, 6:15, 0.99, 47%, Medium

Alan Abraham 1:49 AM  

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spacecraft 11:20 AM  

"Triumph" for whom--the pimp? Arright, enough of that. This puzzle has been brought to you by the letter--what? not T?--no! the letter I. No fewer than 21 times, including an incredible seven entries ENDING in I, plus those triple-I goodies at 7 and 12d mentioned above. Yes, I was Taking The Time to count them.

Synchronicity: just saw "Gattaca" last night, starring Mr. 56a Hawke and another, much more frequent, visitor to the xword page, the DEE-lish UMA Thurman (Yum!)

Is AGEDOUT a thing? Doesn't "outgrew" cover that?

Mini-theme with SHARPEI and COLLIE. Another with SNELL, STRIKEZONES, POS and LENGTH (as clued); all sportsy. Agree that SHUTTLER is questionable: aside from the extremely contrived definition in the clue, this word never needs the -R ending.

Nit having been picked, I liked this one. For some odd reason, as I was filling in 23d, I was struck (!) by its rhyming to Spike Jones--OK, for you 21st centurians, Spike Jonze. Doing it was easy; this gamer knew INDIANA right off, as both Kentucky and Illinois are too long. Hand up for the X writeover at sq. 58.

Ginger 1:45 PM  

Easy Peasy Wednesday. SHUTTLEd right through it. Funny lady TOTIE was a regular on Jack Paar, don't remember her on Ed Sullivan. Needed to dredge SNELL from the nether regions of my brain. And then I DNF due to the infamous ADIEUs/sES cross.

I suppose TURNINGTHETRICK could refer to Duplicate Bridge where the player actually turns the card to indicate who won it, however I think the common usage is in prostitution.

full house, 8's over 4's

DMG 2:05 PM  

Doesn't Bic make a CLaC stic? Someday I will learn to spell that Japanese suicide thing! Other than that, no problems except my sail had an Ensign before It turned into an EYELET. Three solveable puzzles in a row has me dreading the rest of the week.

Thanks to those who explained POS.

@Ginger: Saw Mrs F. But, sadly, missed seeing the twins.

Four 4's!

Dirigonzo 4:14 PM  

I'm surprised that @M&A didn't mention that 007 is a LETHALAGENT. POS is also an acronym but we needn't go there. I, too, choked on the Franco-pluralization of ADIEUX, but then I was naver a good bowler.

I can't beat four of a kind.

rain forest 6:36 PM  

Full disclosure here: as a kid, I never lost at Monopoly--I was always the banker, at first because no one else wanted to do it, but then because I learned a few little bills-sticking-together tricks. I do feel shame, now...

Good level of enjoyment today with the T's in the themers and the T's in the grid, and also TOTIE crossing TOETAG was themish.

Having the letters of SST begin words, rather than end them, is a better use of the term, if it has to be used.

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