World's biggest private employer / TUE 7-15-14 / Obama's veep / Italian hothead? / River through Flanders / "Entertainment Tonight" host Nancy / Pre-K enrollees

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Constructor: Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium, depending on how good you are at reading cross-referenced clues

THEME: Founders — Four entrepreneurs cross the companies they founded

Theme answers:
  • TED TURNER (17A: Founder of 6-Down) / CNN (6D: World's most widely distributed syndicated news service)
  • STEVE JOBS (63A: Founder of 47-Down) / APPLE (47D: "World's most admired company," per Fortune)
  • JEFF BEZOS (11D: Founder of 36-Across) / AMAZON (36A: World's largest online retailer)
  • SAM WALTON (34D: Founder of 58-Across) / WALMART (58A: World's biggest private employer)
Word of the Day: ALTE (12D: Old one, in German) —
  1. strong feminine singular nominative form of alt.
  2. strong feminine singular accusative form of alt.
  3. strong plural nominative form of alt.
  4. strong plural accusative form of alt.
  5. weak feminine singular nominative form of alt.
  6. weak feminine singular accusative form of alt.
  7. weak plural nominative form of alt.
  8. weak plural accusative form of alt. [OK, dictionary, you've made your point — via Wiktionary]
• • •

Hello, CrossWorld. Finn Vigeland here, your friendly neighborhood college-age intern, interrupting my Game of Thrones binge-watching (#latetotheparty) to sub for the man, the myth, Rex Parker. I had the pleasure of dining with Rex (and PuzzleGirl, and their families) on Saturday before he left for New Zealand. He was unironically wearing a koala T-shirt.

On to today's puzzle! A nice outing from C.C. Burnikel, injecting a higher than average, though not unwelcome, dosage of trademarked names into our grid. (From the Times' specification sheet on Cruciverb: "Brand-names are acceptable if they're well-known nationally and you use them in moderation.") Really liked seeing scrabbly JEFF BEZOS in the grid, and liked that the AMAZON crossing was at the Z and not at some lame-ass letter like O, amirite?

Anyway, I liked this straightforward theme all right, although it really would have been stellar to have all four companies be from the same field—all news outlets or tech or something. Also, was anyone else just a little put off by the way APPLE was clued: "World's most admired company," per Fortune? All the other company clues were legitimate, objective superlatives; surely Apple is the world's most something in some universally recognized measurement? But the more I think about it, the more I like it, because I'm a total Apple fanboy, and the company is certainly best known for making drool-worthy products.

Other minor nit: WALMART derives its name, obviously, from WALTON, and they cross in the grid at the L, whereas of course the other companies are not named for their founders. Slightly inelegant, but not a big deal. Would have liked to see some non-white / non-men founders, but sadly, as far as household names go, they're few and far between. Read up on some lesser-known names in entrepreneurship here, here, and here.

Tina TURNER via YouTube, which has a female CEO (though not founder)

Puzzle ran on the easier side for me, with a few holdups in the NE, because I just straight-up forgot Nancy O'DELL (15A: "Entertainment Tonight" host Nancy) and I'm a bit rusty on strong feminine singular nominative forms of German adjectives (ALTE). I know I've seen the clue on ETNA (33D: Italian hothead?) before, but, especially next to a European river (banes of my existence), it still tripped me up. I was picturing some World Cup guy in a blue jersey yelling at a referee.

The fill was fine: you have your IONE AERIE ELIA EON EDO EMOTE ADE crutches, which we're all guilty of from time to time. But I quite liked SURECANYESIKNOWBOREDOM, and BREAKSUP, which, strung together, sounds like the brief story of a failed relationship.

  • AERIE (52A: Hawk's home) — Hey, the EYRIE is a place on Game of Thrones. We've already had NED and ROBB clues updated for the Stark men, as well as SER… any chance we can use EYRIE and not have to include the dreaded "Var." tag? Will?
  • ENOTE (66A: Cybermemo) — Raise your hand if you've ever said, "One sec, just gotta shoot my friend an ENOTE." *tumbleweed* (Can we please retire this answer?)
  • BIDEN (3D: Obama's veep) — Required viewing:

See you all tomorrow.

Signed, Finn of the House Vigeland, First of His Name and Slayer of Crosswords


Konrad Adenauer 12:07 AM  

I wouldn't rely on Wiktionary for too much specificity as to the gender usages in German.

Woz 12:09 AM  

If "Founder" means on of three Founders, then I have no problem with the clue for 63A

jae 12:11 AM  

Easy-medium for me, but I knew all the theme Cos./Founders.  Actually these guys are/were always in the news so Tues. seems right.

Seen a lot of SIDE B lately, but the clue was a winner.

NE corner could be tough...ODELL, ALTE, JEFF...

Quite a bit of vintage crosswordese.  What Finn said plus...ALERO, YSER, ALTE  (usually clued with the German Chancellor)...but the theme was pretty clever and nicely executed.  Like it.  Nice write up Finn, thanks for helping out.

8yo Bengali Orphan 12:16 AM  

If ৳15.00 per hour for mandatory 12 hour workdays legitimately makes you an employer, yeah, WALMART's a huge employer

Steve J 12:28 AM  

Bland theme - just names, with zero worldplay or even interesting phonetic/orthographic stuff going on - one of the two worst of the horrible slew of e-something answers, an abundance of crosswordese. An absolutely brilliant clue - "Hit back?" for SIDE B - and some scattered nice fill - UZBEK, MOROSE, BOREDOM - were the only things that saved this from complete, well, BOREDOM for me.

@Finn: Nice writeup. However, as clued, ALTE is a noun, not an adjective. It means, well, "old one". More specifically, der Alte means old man, and die Alte means old woman.

chefwen 2:24 AM  

O.K. for me, don't care for cross referencing, but I managed to get it done. Got a little hung up in the NE, didn't know O'DELL or JEFF BEZOS. Had OVER ate at 21A which really screwed up that corner. Put the puzzle down for 15 minutes, came back, changed over ate to OVER FED and all fell into place. AHH, JEFF BEZOS, of course.

Good puzzle, I like a little challenge on a Tuesday. Thanks C.C.

Clark 3:30 AM  

Der Alte is, as Steve J pointed out, the noun phrase the old one. And as Herr Adenauer suggested to those in the know, it was the nickname of a famous male person with initials KA. The noun Alte is an adjective used as a noun. The adjective form in question is the weak masculine nominative, which is curiously one of the forms missing from the wiki list.

Where is Ulrich when we need him?

Leapfinger 3:45 AM  

Waiting for


Moly Shu 4:11 AM  

Liked this one despite its abundance of crosswordese. All theme answers were easy for me, so the rest if the fill just kind of went in along with the themes. Maybe a tad too easy, but still good. Didn't get hung up by RAFTS or BCE like I did the last times I encountered them.

Thanks @FinnV. Valar Morghulis.

Gill I. P. 4:13 AM  

At first this didn't tickle my happy bone but after I finished and looked at it I did think the construction was quite clever. But really, that was it. I suppose I want an AHA on a Tuesday - instead I got an OOH! OOH's are fine, and clever takes a special mind-set to pull off, it's just that I'd prefer a few more smiles as I jot down a bunch of famous names. Jill Abramson indeed @Leapfinger!
E NOTE and SIDE B (what? no B SIDE?) gave me heartburn. TOFU will take care of that, DEAR.
Thanks Vinn - thee of the great name - for your FUN write-up...

Anonymous 6:18 AM  

Apple founder trivia.

Ron Wayne sold his founder, 10% of Apple for $800

I once worked with him, as he designed wiring harnesses. An interesting guy. He did not seem bitter, "losing" $$$


PS I thought he sold the AAPL stock for $2,000, then used the money to fund a Vegas trip

Michael Collins 7:17 AM  

Could we have some kind of movement to ban ENOTE from crosswords? Then it won't exist anywhere.

Paul Courtney 7:58 AM  

"Would have liked to see some non-white / non-men founders, but sadly, as far as household names go, they're few and far between"

Jeez, you can't even do a harmless crossword puzzle without someone having some PC axe to grind!

Mohair Sam 8:19 AM  

Really nice Tuesday puzzle and a fine commentary from @Finn.

Liked the theme, something different. But did have the aforementioned small nits to pick about WALTON/WALMART and STEVEJOBS. See some complants here about "ese" but I hardly noticed it, maybe because the theme was refreshing.

Nifty new clue for SIDEB (yes, the much abused SIDEB). ODELL/ALTE crossing might have been a natick here, but the "L" was as sussable as they get.

Agree with @Finn that we need more "Game of Thrones" clues. Am currently binge reading (on book 2), as opposed to binge viewing, and am as ready as I never was ready for Harry Potter clues. A year ago I gave in and read two Potter books (seemed like the same book twice, but never mind) and now the Potter clues have nearly evaporated. Hope to have a better payback on GofT.

AliasZ 8:20 AM  

@Leapy, is Jill Abramson the founder of The New York Timette? Maybe she should be. The NYT needs some serious competition.

CC has come up with a fancy theme for a Tuesday, and reading her comment at xwordinfo, her original idea of ELON MUSK could have worked, crossing TESLA MOTORS at the M.

Musk however never really founded anything by himself, he was mostly a major early investor (PayPal) or a co-founder (Tesla, SpaceX, Solar City) with a team of others. He did propose a rail transportation system using a network of sealed tubes in partial vacuum, in which pressurized capsules would travel at super-high-speeds (avg. 598mph, max. 720mph) on a cushion of compressed air. Attractive as it sounds, I think this will remain a pipe dream.

SOFA appeared in every puzzle SOFA this week. Can we stretch it into Wednesday? Thursday? How about every day? One never knows, do one?

Since when is TOFU pretty? Tasteless yes, pretty, far from it. Broccoli is pretty. Pretty tasteless.

Being ON TOP is equivalent to being a winner. Depending on who is ON TOP, it can also diminish some of the BOREDOM.

EMOTE crossing ENOTE: one is acting outside the box, the other is in your inbox.

One-L Lamas, he's a lover.
Two-L LLAMAS, they have udder.
And I bet my TOFU supper
Three alarmers are another
matter entirely.

Let me leave with the Danza Española No. 1 from the opera La VIDA breve by Manuel De Falla (1876-1946). Watching this video one gets to really appreciate the skill and art of playing the castanets (castañuelas).


Susan McConnell 8:20 AM  

Easy. Theme fell kind of flat for me. Finished it and just sorta what?

jberg 8:26 AM  

But if we banned E-NOTE, we couldn't have had today's ENOTE/EMOTE crossing. (But then, I like the taste of tofu, too.)

One minor nit, though -- you're either secular with BCE/CE, or you're a devout Christian with BC/AD. Cluing BCE as 'pre-AD' is just wrong.

Is there really some showbiz type using IONE SKYE for a name? That's either the best (or the worst) pseudonym since "Erica Heath."


Baffin Ellsmere

SenorLynn 8:36 AM  

How bout Trump crossing Trump? Bet he'd like that.

chefbea 8:37 AM  

Tough for a Tuesday especially the northeast. Did not know odell and like @Chefwen had over ate...great chefs think alike.

Good write-up!!

Casco Kid 8:40 AM  

Read Macy's, thought FAOSchwartz, wrote beAR. YESIKNOW. Fun Tues.

Mrs. Kid, @cascodog and I camped at Francis Slocum State Park in greater Scanton, PA on Sunday night on our trip to Ann Arbor. In case you are looking for accommodations in PA, I you can't do better on $23/night, dogs OK, than the award winning PA State Park system. Hot showers. Better water pressure than at home, in fact. Highly recommended.

Now, to score some Lansing Lugnuts tix . . .

Leapfinger 8:44 AM  

As always, Burnikel is very constructive, but the theme founders, and the embeds EN FINN helped not at all. The Female Founders -- so many so young, and representing so any countries outside the US -- deal mainly with social media, fashion, weddings and kids, ie, are mining GENDER BIAS. The last link was wurst, with stats about RAFTS of Latina/women of color entrepreneurs. YES I KNOW...Mani-pedi, house-cleaning, food-prep, child care. Thanks for trying, Finn DEAR, but


OTOH, there was UZBEK and TOFU TOO, which I'm assured has 96 ways to inject some flavour. I just haven't found them yet.

On to Wednesday.

Ludyjynn 8:53 AM  

Very nice, smooth Tuesday outing. Just for yucks and chuckles, skipped around as I solved the grid and enjoyed the process a lot due to the cross- theme. No BOREDOM, just a BREEZE.

ALTE brought a smile, making me recall the older folks at family functions referring to other old folks as alte cockers!

Thanks a lot, ZB and WS and Finn.

NCA President 8:53 AM  

Since we're all picking nits, *most* of the time when you're talking about 45-rpm records and the two sides, you put the letter first: A-side, B-side. I suppose there's nothing wrong with saying Side B, but Googling supports letter-first so yeah, it must be right.

I agree with jberg that BCE is not equivalent to AD...I also agree that that, too, is a nit.

otherwise, this puzzle is what it is.

Arlene 9:03 AM  

This was really a nicely constructed puzzle, with its perfect symmetry. Nice solving experience for a Tuesday.

joho 9:14 AM  

I loved this concept and think C.C. did a great job executing it!
The whole idea of this puzzle is totally original and therefore to me anything but cause for BOREDOM.

In the margin I wrote, "Hit back" Great clue! I'm glad to see others feel the same way.

Superior Tuesday puzzle in my book!

And thanks for the write up, Finn ... @Rex is lucky to have such a wealth of talented guest bloggers like you.

Leapfinger 9:25 AM  

I shouldn't have overlooked the set a DIRE-DEAR, the SIDE-B clue, and the quite AMAZON' Finn V writeup. Am hereby nominating FINNV as successor to LEOV.

@Woz, that's what happens when all the emphasis is on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! So much easier to spell, TOO.

@Alias, that's what 'Waiting for' was supposed to indicate. [sigh] Shall try to do better.

I shudder at yet anudder rudderless pipedream. Before we go any fudder, we gudder get us a better idea. Just ask yer mudder.

Say what you will about tofu, okra and even Musk Melon, but go easy on my broccoli.

dk 9:32 AM  

🌕🌕 (2 Moons)

Sailed through this puppy. When I was done I just started to sing: Is that all there is.

Had the oft heard WALMART and wage conversion last turkey day: My take is in semi rural areas where there are no jobs -- is a Walmart job….. I will take a poll here in Western Wisconsin where the most common store front sign is: Building For Sale.

Casco Kid and Dog: Ann Arbor - Zimmerman's But I will bet you know that.

Also SDS was founded there. Check for a historical marker

Bob Kerfuffle 9:43 AM  

Decent Tuesday puzzle; not the same-old, same-old.

Fine write-up from Finn. Now that we know where Rex is headed, we can expect a week or two of different, interesting voices. (That sounds like a knock on Rex, but it wasn't meant to be!)

But regarding 56 D, Valentino, e.g., LABEL: Got it easily from crosses, but, I yam what I yam, I never heard of it, had to Google post-solve to understand!

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

@ A-Z, Forgot to add: A little ODE'LL do ya

@dk, yesterday I pulled up RexWorld on my cellphone, and discovered for the first time that what comes up as little squares on my laptop really are little moons. And Planet Earth too. Very cool.
Sorry about the 'for sale' signs.

Soar Thumb

Z 10:02 AM  

Ugh. Spare me the ode to a couple of our country's worst. Where's Teddy Roosevelt when you need him? There are very good reasons to legislate away or highly regulate monopolies and Walmart's impact on local economies along with Amazon's general anti-competition behavior (google "amazon hachette" if you need an example of what I'm referring to) demonstrate why. I love Apple products, but they are hardly shining examples of corporate good citizenship, either. What next, a puzzle featuring AIG, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs? Ugh, Ugh, Ugh.

Besides the theme leaving me colder than cold, the grid layout is one I don't much like. Each founder/company corner is a little mini-puzzle. The NE and SW are especially isolated with just two squares providing access to the rest of the puzzle. And then there is ENOTE/EMOTE as well as the naticky ODELL crossing JEFF. Does 25% of the solving population actually know JEFF BEZOS? Nancy ODELL? I guess if you get the rest only the E makes sense in J-FF.

Beer-Rating: Bud Light.

Lewis 10:10 AM  

Finn, that was one terrific writeup -- funny, insightful, confident, and with spark. Not that I agree with everything you said. For instance -- are you kidding? Here the constructor found four very well known companies whose founders each had nine-letter names, and had the founders crossing their companies -- this is quite a feat! And you are complaining that the companies are not all in the same field? Maybe that dinner with Rex rubbed off on you a little. But, I repeat, I did love your writeup.

The puzzle felt Tuesday level to me, with a serviceable theme, and, as mentioned, excellent construction. Bravo, Zhouqin!

POST PUZZLE PUZZLE (PPP): Let this be a group project, and see how many we come up with. Right off, I see at least four. Which answers in this puzzle are the first words of the titles of well known songs? (One is a title all by itself.) I will start out with ONTOP, for On Top Of Old Smoky. Okay, join in!

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

@Z, I am SPANG in your corner.

Corporations are only as good citizens as they have to be. Can you spell 'dividends'? How about 'lobbyist'?

fvigeland 10:28 AM  

@Lewis: Thanks for the kind words. Re the company similarities, it's not just me! C.C. told Jeff Chen that she also set out to make the theme tighter, but couldn't make the symmetry work. (I had just considered that BILL GATES and JERRY YANG were also 9. Then again, fitting MICROSOFT into the puzzle would take a lot of grid finagling.)

@everyone smarter at German than I: I defer to you, but isn't ALTE a nominative form of alt, which is an adjective?

Steve J 10:35 AM  

@fvigeland: ALTE is both adjective and noun. You'll see it most often as an adjective, but German allows for creating nouns of adjectives - usually in reference to people - simply by putting a definite article in front of it. As clued, it's a noun. If it were an adjective, the clue would just be "Old, in German", without the "one".

@Lewis: I get four: DEAR is one of mine.

evil doug 10:38 AM  

Yser, That's My Baby....

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

Oh the irony. Notice how 43 down "Just gets by " (Scrapes) crosses with 58 across "Walmart"? Wonder if that was intentional. Hope so!

evil doug 10:48 AM  

Anno A Place....

evil doug 10:54 AM  

Ets Only Love....

chefbea 11:06 AM  

@DK I know Zingererman's well. Ari is a good friend of my daughter - the foodie who lives in Rome

Lewis 11:08 AM  

@ED -- those crack me up, especially YSER.

@steveJ -- why don't you list your answers, so we can all share?

Masked and Anonymo3Us 11:09 AM  

TOO Much. Elvis.
SEA of Love. Phil Phillips.
ENT That a Shame. Fats Domino.
HAIR. Cowsills.
DEAR One. (I forget)
IONE Want to Be with You. Dusty Springfield.


Carola 11:20 AM  

Admirable constructing feat, delight quotient low. Agree with @Steve J re puzzle BOREDOM and @Z re WALMART and AMAZON as corporate citizens - I react to those names like others reacted to JOE CAMEL some puzzles back - has nothing to do with the quality of the crossword, I know, but does with the fun of the solve.
@dk - My SC Wisc. hometown is currently aroil with a decision about a Walmart supercenter. Goodbye, Main St.

I did like the sort-of nod to the Beatles: "LET [it] BE" on the APPLE LABEL, possibly SIDE B.

Enjoyed your write-up, Finn!

AnonySongFest 11:24 AM  

WOE is me
TOO ra loo ra loo raTOO Old to Cut the Mustard
ARMS [Chritina Perri, who else?]
STAR STAR [Stones]
SEA of Love

YSER that's my baby [dang you, Evil D]
BIDEN my time
ONES are the loneliest numbers
ALE, ALE, the Gang's All 'Ere

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

ANNO Sunshine When She's Gone
TOTS The Way I Like It

AliasZ 11:40 AM  

@Lewis, this was too easy.

AMORE (Santana)
DEAR Prudence
STAR Spangled Banner
SEA Shanties (any number of them)
ENTertainer (Scott Joplin)
SOFAr Away (Rod Stewart)
UNDO the Right (Willie Nelson)
ALTE Kameraden (trad. German march)
BREEZin' along with the BREEZE (Perry Como)
SOPerfect (MYMP = Make Your Mama Proud)
ARMS Across America (Tigers Jaw)
ERŐS vár a mi Istenünk (Hungarian title of "Ein feste Burg" by Martin Luther)

The following were relegated to SIDE B:

BREAKSUP is Hard to Do (Neil Sedaka)
AREA on the G-string (Bach)
AERIE on the G-string (ditto)
RAW Raw Raw Your Boat
LABELle Helene (Offenbach)
'ALE to the Chief
OVERFED, overfed, send the word, send the word overfed... (George M. Cohan)

I tried to find something like "EMO,TE amo" or "ENO,TE amo" but no luck.

I am sure there are many more, but I give up.

We got Us TOO many Anonymi going 11:44 AM  

APPLE-ause [Lady Gaga]
APPLE Scruffs [George Harrison, who almost gives Us a two-fer with SCRAPES]
APPLEs and Oranges [Pink Floyd]
APPLEsauce [Animal Collective]

Lewis 11:44 AM  

@aliasz -- Easy because it's right up your alley, and after all, it is Tuesday. Good ones; I especially loved SOFAr Away...

mac 11:48 AM  

Perfect Tuesday level puzzle. Hand up for "overate".

A good construction feat, but a little flat for me.
It may, of course, be the muggy, grey, more rain storms expected day...

Charles Flaster 11:54 AM  

Very Ez. Took 6 minute(Bols). Manute Bol would need some great crossword clue.
Side B or B side is interchangeable but clue was great.No Game of Thrones for me. Never watch it.
Eon ---Near eternity is a big ? for me.
Tonight =End of GAME honoree for MVP.
Prediction ---Bautista.

DigitalDan 12:09 PM  

Retirement candidates:
(especially ZINE)
RAREE (rare, recently)
(sports) UTE
RCA as major electronics mfr.
Just getting started.

DigitalDan 12:11 PM  

Retirement candidates:
E(almost anything else)
(especially ZINE)
RAREE (rare, recently)
(sports) UTE
RCA as major electronics mfr.
Just getting started.

M and A and DJ 12:13 PM  

Ok. Let's dance...

DEAR Lady Twist. Gary U.S. Bonds.
CAP and Gown. Marty Robbins.
AERIE a Boy or Aerie a Girl? Barbarians.
SOFA Away. Carole King.
SOP! In the Name of Love. Supremes.
ONES Ummer Night. Danleers.
(the) BREEZE and I. Caterina Valente.
BAJA. Astronauts.
E DOn't Love You U Like I love U. Jerry Butler.
ELIA-in Eyes. Eagles.
RAW-Hide. Frankie Laine.
ARMed and Extremely Dangerous. First Choice.
STAR Spangled Banner. Rosanne.
ALTE Sprach Zarathustra (2001). Deodato.
WEBuilt This City. Starship.
TOTS AMORE. Dean Martin. Some extra points, here, port o vore.
SATE Elmo's Fire. John Parr.

I'd rip off a couple dozen more, but I see that old @Zeke is startin to turn blue. Let's just cruise on outa here, with the juicy doowopper...

WOE Put the Bomp (In the Bomp a Bomp a Bomp)? Barry Mann.

All The Digressin All The Time

Andrew Heinegg 1:05 PM  

Z is spot on with the observation about Wal-Mart, Apple and Amazon. When you read/hear about the behavior of Jobs at Apple meetings, humiliating people for poor or inadequate performance in such a manner so as to be completing degrading, you cannot help but wonder, given Apple's products and success whether being a complete jackass is integral to being at the top of the pile.

The flip side of all this is that if you knew everything about everything you ate or bought, you would probably die of starvation or paranoia.

All that aside, I thought this was a well constructed and appropriate puzzle for a Tuesday.

Anonymous 1:19 PM  

@Lewis, looks ASIF you hit a gusher. Nice to see that the usual suspects aren't SURECAN' their duty.

Picked up the day for me, that did... esp since I petsit kleine doges and cates.

SOFAr as anyone turning blue is consarned, just remember that
A little cyanosis now and then
Is walcumed by the best of vascular surgeons.


Benko 3:50 PM  

@M&A: You forgot that old spiritual AMAZON Grace.

Steve J 4:09 PM  

@Lewis: Didn't share titles as I didn't want to short-circuit others.

Now, let's see if I can remember the ones I thought of earlier. I confined myself to real words and titles, not that some of the puns aren't quite funny (like YSER, That's my Baby) (although, AMAZON Grace is a huge leap; doesn't a pun have to be at least remotely phonetically related?).

DEAR Prudence (Beatles)
STAR 69 (R.E.M.)
TOO Much (Dave Matthews Band)
ON TOP of Old Smokey

Didn't spot HAIR earlier, but it's there.

Last Silver Uzbek 4:22 PM  

@Benko, I once dated a real tall old gal by that name. She had a heapa spirit, all right. Still tryin to forget her...

................. Advertisement ...........................................

Have U checked out the latest muse and M&A runtpuzs? Challengin. How challengin? Wilder than Amazon Grace on steroids.
Hot off the press, at Really. Just posted yesterday. Avoid the rush.
Comments at
Instructions at


Anonymous 4:45 PM  

@Casco Kid: Thanks for the info on Pa state parks.

sanfranman59 5:03 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 7:51, 8:14, 0.95, 35%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:12, 5:21, 0.97, 38%, Easy-Medium

Amy Biggs 5:26 PM  

The soccer player is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a half Bosnian half-Croat Swedish-national who (at picture time) played for Inter Milan. I believe he is celebrating a goal and shushing the crowd, rather than, umm, yelling at the ref...

@cascokid 8:13 PM  

@chefbea @dk Ari is a family friend here too. He has better name recognition than every current candidate foe Ann Abor mayor and is deminstrably smarterbas hens not running.

sanfranman59 1:49 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 5:37, 6:02, 0.93, 18%, Easy
Tue 7:46, 8:14, 0.94, 32%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:47, 3:55, 0.97, 28%, Easy-Medium
Tue 5:04, 5:21, 0.95, 28%, Easy-Medium

Anonymous 12:24 PM  

Yellow Card!!
Come on man. A picture of Zlatan Ibrahimovic?! Probably the most famous player to NOT be in the World Cup this summer. A non-Italian. Step your photo insert game up...

spacecraft 11:57 AM  

I really like our guest blogger's "brief story of a failed relationship." Gave me a heehaw.

YESIKNOW the founder's name is in WALMART--also in the bulk division Sam's Cub--but whaddyagonnado? Also agree about the dubiousness of the clue for APPLE. A real stretch just to sneak in a superlative, if you ask me. But overall, a fun solve, as is par for the Burnikel course. Fill good as can be expected. B+.

Nice and clear for a change; unfortunately, no better a hand. 110 needs help.

Waxy in Montreal 5:21 PM  

those who remember their early West German politicians will recall Konrad Adenauer was "Der ALTE", first becoming Chancellor at age 73 and holding the post for 14 years. (Hope for some of us yet.)

Not a BREEZE nor a SNAP - an okay puzzle for a Tuesday, I guess, but not one bringing TOO much AMORE.

1143. YSER!

rain forest 6:23 PM  

Whether anyone likes/admires/venerates/lauds any of these companies is completely immatestical, IMHO. Just because I refuse to shop at Walmart doesn't mean it can't be included in a frickin' crossword puzzle. I also don't like what Russia is doing to Ukraine, but I wouldn't care if Putin appeared herein.

I liked this puzzle for its different sort of feel. And, let's face it, it gave those who can't restrain themselves a reason to parade their wordsmithery.

1418 Well, I tried.

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