Lost lady in Raven / SUN 9-14-14 / Philippine province with repetitive name / Cleaning aid since 1889 / 2012 gold-medal gymnast Raisman / Ocho Jamaican resort / Clove hitch sheepshank / German city on Baltic / Hip-hop record mogul Gotti / Speedy Northeast conveyance / Great White Hope director Martin

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Constructor: Tony Orbach and Patrick Blindauer

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Celebrity Spoonerisms" — just what it says. (Definition of "spoonerism" HERE)

Theme answers:
  • CAINE PILLAR (from "painkiller") (26A: Actor Michael's means of support?)
  • FEY HEALED (from "hay field") (28A: Comic Tina recovered from her wound?)
  • LEE SCION (from "sea lion") (42A: Heir of martial artist Bruce?)
  • FIRTH BOTHER (from "birth father") (52A: Annoyance for actor Colin?)
  • GERE BOGGLES (from "beer goggles") (68A: Thunderstruck critic's review for actor Richard?)
  • SHEEN CLEATS (from "clean sheets") (88A: What actor Martin calls his athletic footwear?)
  • WEST MYTH (from "messed with") (97A: Urban legend about rapper Kanye?)
  • BYRNE TACK (from "turn back") (114A: Musician David's equestrian accouterments?)
  • POEHLER SOUR (from "solar power") (117A: Tart cocktail named for comic Amy?)
Word of the Day: ALY Raisman (59A: 2012 gold-medal gymnast Raisman) —
Alexandra Rose "AlyRaisman (born May 25, 1994) is an American artistic gymnast.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she was captain of the gold medal-winning US women's gymnastics team, and individually won a gold medal on the floor and a bronze medal on the balance beam. She was also on the US teams that won a silver medal at the 2010 World Championships, and a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships. In 2013, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars. (wikipedia)
• • •

Very straightforward theme that rides entirely on whether the spoonerisms (and/or their clues) are funny. Spoonerizing for spoonerizing's sake—who cares? Spoonerize your way into a gloriously ridiculous phrase—bingo. The more unlikely and outrageous the spoonerism is, the better. I thought these were mostly pretty good. Some—like CAINE PILLAR and SHEEN CLEATS—felt a little dry, but FIRTH BOTHER is great for both the weirdness of its surface as well as the unexpected base phrase; POEHLER SOUR and BYRNE TACK both have radical respellings despite being perfect spoonerisms, and so have a certain visual interest; and GERE BOGGLES is just a home run on all counts. It belongs at the center. My main criticism of this theme is how loose and arbitrary it seems. I mean … I assume you could do several more Sunday puzzles with this same conceit. I don't think "Celebrity" is a narrow enough category. Something a little narrower, something that could've lent itself to a halfway decent title … I mean, this title's not even trying. You're very close to all actors here. LEE was an actor, and you could clue WEST as an actress, so it's just BYRNE that's holding you back. Actually, I take that back: Gabriel BYRNE is a pretty prominent actor, actually. So maybe all actors and a title that plays on the word "acting" somehow … I'm just saying that not a lot of thought appears to have gone into making the theme tight, or the title interesting.

The clue on FEY HEALED (Comic Tina recovered from her wound?) is kind of unfortunate, given that she was in fact wounded, with a knife, as a child … I mean, not that she'd be offended or anything. There was just a violence about that clue that made me wince a bit. She did, however, heal nicely, so … maybe it's a triumphant clue after all and I'm just looking at things the wrong way. Let's talk about something else. How about difficulty? I blazed through most of this except for the NE—where my [Blade in the back?] was a SPATULA (!?) and the Polo-CATHAY connection made no sense to me until after-the-fact (CATHAY is Marco Polo's name for "China"). I also had some trouble in the East, where OH HAPPY DAY (39D: "Praise the Lord!") provides an object lesson in the Dark Side of Great Answers. Tony and Patrick must've *really* wanted OH HAPPY DAY because right down the whole length of that thing, the fill gets markedly uglier and more forced than it is anywhere else in the grid. The top part is the worst, with AOKS (!) UNHIP KIEL and ALY awkwarding up the joint pretty badly. That KIEL / ALY crossing very nearly killed me. Never heard of the gymnast, but luckily remembered that a. KIEV is in Ukraine, and b. KIEL was a relative obscurity I complained about a few months back. I briefly considered KIEM / AMY, but to my credit, couldn't take KIEM seriously. Further down the OH HAPPY DAY ladder we get ORA and RPTS (no and no) and then ANS. As always, the problem isn't a single entry but a gruesome pile-up. Was the trade-off worth it? That's the question.

Puzzle of the Week this week was easy to decide. You definitely owe it to yourself to subscribe to Fireball Crosswords (what is taking you so long?) and immediately solve the latest puzzle by Peter Broda, a meta puzzle called "Cross Hatching" that is truly clever. I would discuss it more, but it's a contest puzzle, and the deadline hasn't passed … or maybe it has … I'm too lazy to check, so I'm gonna play it safe and stay mute.  But Broda's "Cross Hatching" is not my Puzzle of the Week. No, that honor goes to Patrick Blindauer's "Change of Heart" puzzle (NYT), which broke the internet, or at least the parts of the internet attached to CrossWorld. It rattled more cages, more loudly, than any puzzle I've ever covered. Ever. So for looming large over the puzzle week (and likely the Puzzle Year), … point to Mr. Blindauer.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. if you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and check out Matt Gaffney's superb new Mental Floss article on how crossword puzzles are made WORD-WEAVING 101: HOW TO LOVINGLY AND SKILLFULLY CREATE A CROSSWORD PUZZLE"). He builds a puzzle right before your eyes, letting you in on his thought processes at every stage. It's the best concise explanation of crossword construction basics that I know of.


jae 12:33 AM  

Medium for me and I struggled a bit in the UOMO/UN HIP/ALY/KEIL area which is not the smoothest part of this grid.  

OK Sun. but perhaps Spoonerisms aren't really my cuppa.

Moly Shu 12:37 AM  

Mostly easy and fun. Liked all the phrases and the cluing was very good Sunday-ish. However, hopelessly naticked at the K and L in KIEL. Couldn't suss AOKS and didn't know ALY. Liked CATHAY and ARSENIC. Somehow remembered INNIS. Nothing to really complain about.

Anonymous 1:01 AM  

AOKS: Wha? I don't geddit.

jae 1:44 AM  

Astronauts would reply to Houston A OK if they weren't in a heap of trouble.

Michael Stack 1:56 AM  

Thanks, Jae. No major "click" on that answer, but I guess I get it. That one was really bugging me.

paulsfo 2:12 AM  

Cluing something with "It came down in 2001" on September 14th is an amazingly bad idea (though it was clearly unintentional and apparently I'm the first commenter who it hit the wrong way).

"Turn back" and "messed with" are not (adjective+noun) phrases and, especially the latter, do not stand by themselves. I'm not at all a stickler for thematic consistency but these two are really poor.

On the (meager) bright side, some of the theme answers were good and there were three (by my count) clever clues.

chefwen 3:06 AM  

I think this was Patrick's way of saying "O.K. I'm sorry for causing so many of you angst on Thursday maybe this will cheer you up", for me it did. Loved this one! Over sooner that I would have liked to have been.

@Rex - spatula? That really made me laugh.

Two favorites were CAINE PILLER and POEHLER SOUR. Oh, LEE SCION was pretty cute too!

@ACME tomorrow, I have told her how much we all miss her. Sniff...

John Child 3:41 AM  

I found this difficult on several grounds. I don't see much American tv or movies, so some of the celebs were WOEs here. In the top half of the puzzle I felt as though every time I went looking at crosses for help with names I didn't know, the crosses too were names or proper nouns. E.g., the NW corner where there are four names (plus Caine) in a small space.

And as usual with a PB2 puzzle, the clues often brought nothing to my mind at first and, eventually, left me with Meh rather than Aha! What's particularly rural about an anvil? Being strapped doesn't evoke "armed with a weapon" to me. I'd buy ATLASES covering the world but not going around it. .

SPYFI googles very poorly, and there are no examples in Google Books of the term used in print. I don't think I've ever heard OH HAPPY DAY in the wild except as sarcasm.

There's good stuff too. EVANESCENT and ENTANTES tickled me, and the clues for ARSON and WESSON made me laugh.

Anonymous 3:45 AM  

Too easy, not clever enough, no fun at all. Worst Sunday puzzle in ages. I felt like I was doing Sunday puzzle junior.

Bandit 5:13 AM  

What the heck does the saying mean, "His wife could "eat no" lean???

Bob Kerfuffle 6:38 AM  

Nice puzzle, no terrible manipulations to upset the masses, and yet, so much complaint!

Some day I will lose my cool and ask, where do these people come from? "Jack Sprat could eat no fat, and his wife could eat no lean." Is that obscure?

Since the invention of the automobile, anvils used by blacksmiths have been more closely associated with rural areas where there are still horses.

No credit today for 107 D, with its innocuous clue for SKINS?

I fell into one write-over, 50 A, had INNES before INNIS. (There is a street called INNES Road near me.)

Just a fun puzzle, and I thought all of the Spoonerisms came off perfectly, and I don't see why it is a demerit that other Spoonerisms are possible.

RAD2626 7:39 AM  

Fun puzzle all around. Had same problems as most - AOKS clue was a total loss for me and I did not know KIEL so lucky guess at the end. WESSON clue threw me also. Like @paulsfo was a little jarred by clue for MIR. Just unfortunate coincidental timing. Spoonerisms were all well done I thought.

Arlene 8:08 AM  

I'm a sucker for spoonerisms - was always intrigued by them, and associated them with Freudian slips.
These were really good - and were really hidden until solved because of the complex spellings.

Finished with barely a Google - only to check some guesses - not really up on my Baltic cities or Olympic gymnasts. All in all, a fun Sunday (and now assuaged that I don't have to run the other way when I see "Blindauer"!)

Glimmerglass 8:15 AM  

"Jack Spratt could eat no fat, and his wife could eat no lean. . . " Re: Spoonerisms. Many years ago and far away, there was a student in a school where I was teaching named (I am not making this up) Witt Shingle. My wife went to high school with (also true) Mary Hess.

F.O.G. 8:33 AM  

Liked this a lot. Finally got the Across Lite congrats pencil by switching from AMY to ALY on 59A.

Have seen ITASCA a number of times but never can remember the spelling. Good for me the cross fill was easy.

Maruchka 9:09 AM  

Interesting to solve. I'm more of a Malaprop gal, tho. For safety sake, I googled 'spoonerisms' and found that Constable Dogberry links to it as well(!) Two great roles for great comic actors. I would LOVE to have seen Mary Boland as Mrs. M.

All in all, the clueing felt secondary to the answers. A SKOSH forced, methinks.

Fav of the day - SHEENCLEATS

@ Glimmerglass - Haha! I had a school mate whose last name was Muckenfuss.

@ chefwen - SCAPULA really confused me as a child, due to the 'scapular' worn in catechism class and the 'spatula' Mom used for cake batter. I just threw them over my back, licked the bowl, and prayed..

Kretch 9:19 AM  

Initially winced with @Rex at the Tina Fey clue and like his reevaluation of it. Giggled when I saw 107D and a clue that was suggested in a recent blogpost. Thought all the Spoonerisms were clever but was DNF for my Natlick that involved an unknown (to me) American gymnast that didn't live in an (also unknown to me) European city.. Learned a couple of things on an early Sunday morning.

Magenta Crayola 9:37 AM  

Please don't speak for ALL of us. ALL of us might not be as enthusiastic about her as you are and don't really miss her school marm comments to Rex.

AliasZ 9:56 AM  

Prinderella and the Since

Tonce upon a wime there was a gritty little pearl named Prinderella. Prinderella had two sisty uglers and a micked wedstutter, who made her flub the scroors, wean the clindows, pine the shots and shans, and do all the wirty dirk. Wasn't that a shirty dame?

One day the Ping issued a kroclamation that all geligible earls were invited to a Drancy Fess Ball. Prindella's two sisty uglers could go, but Prinderella couldn't go because she didn't have a drancy fess, only a rirty dag that fidn't dit. Wasn't that a shirty dame?

All of a sudden, in the eyeling of a twink, Prinderella's gairy fodmother appeared, and turned the cumpkin into a poach, the hice into morses, and Prinderella's rirty dag into a drancy fess. But she warned Prinderella that she must be home by the smoke of tridnight. Wasn't that a shirty dame?

Well, Prindella went to the Drancy Fess Ball, and she pranced all night with the Cince, and at the smoke of tridnight she ran down the stalace peps. But on the bottom pep she slopped her dripper! Wasn't that a shirty dame?

The next day the Ping issued another kroclamation that all geligible earls were to sly on the tripper. Prinderella's two sisty uglers slipped on the tripper but it fidn't dit. So Prinderella slied on the tripper, and it fid dit! So Prinderella and the Cince were married and haved lippily ever after.

Now that wasn't such a shirty dame, was it?

Maruchka 10:00 AM  

@ paulsfo - I also was dreading the answer and sure they just didn't see it. Sept. is tough enough..

jberg 10:06 AM  

DNF-- generally a long slog for me, and somehow never thought of KIEL. No excuse for that -- used to play Risk, and the KIEL canal is strategic. No idea about ALY, and went with iOnS (didn't make sense, but they fit the 'positive' part). So I didn't do this one TOAT.

@paulsfo, me too on the unfortunate midsirect at 100A.

@John Child, here's a non-sarcastic use of OH HAPPY DAY. There are plenty more.

Put me in the @ACME come back crowd, but it's true that she has her detractors. But hey, that's what makes this blog so interesting.

Finally, I have to point out that I suggested the clue for 107D only a couple of days ago.

Nancy 10:33 AM  

Much fun and very cute, if pretty easy. I agree with chefwen -- it's the puzzlemaker making up to us for the misery he caused in CHANGE OF HEART on Thursday.

chefbea 10:35 AM  

Great puzzle!! Got the theme at Sheen Cleats.

@Bandit..and so between the two of them they licked the platter clean!!

Loren Muse Smith 10:41 AM  

I think my first themer was LEE SCION, and I rubbed my hands together in anticipation of seeing all the others.

Agreed – GERE BOGGLES is just as good as it gets. POEHLER SOUR was great, too, but an early misspelling led me to a department store section of "sloes." Hmmm. Also, something about making a clonsonant custer work with a Spoonerism ramps it up for me – SHEEN CLEATS pleased me enormously. Hi, @Maruchka.

I never chime in and complain about rap's presence in grids. Those clues/entries resonate with me about the same as opera ones. So I'm no expert, but something about Kanye always sets off alarms in my head. Is he really that great, or is WEST MYTH redundant? My son tells me Kanye is extremely gifted.

I put in for that airfare comparison site "kiosk." And felt all current and with-it.

I thought I read somewhere that the suspected cause of Napoleon's death was German measles.

@Bob K – I especially liked your comments today.

A trick as amusing as this one really tempts me to play around with it.

"Oral stories about actress Meg?" RYAN LORE
"Actor John's step?" WAYNE GAIT
"Spotting actor Harrison?" FORD SIGHTING

Tony, Patrick – I really had fun with this. Great Sunday, great time!

chefbea 10:50 AM  

Did everyone see the other crossword puzzle in the NYT magazine..At the front ..advertising tonights program on PBS..The Roosevelts. Doesn't give the constructor's name???

Gill I. P. 10:53 AM  

@AliasZ: That was brilliant! I just woke my husband up with my hysterical laughter.

Charles Flaster 11:07 AM  

Liked the theme.
Medium /45 minutes to complete with Kiev and not Kiel.
CrosswordEase----Itasca(missed it but got it with crosses).
Loved clues for Arsenic and Scout.
Thanks PB

Joe Dipinto 11:08 AM  

An African-American-musician Spoonerism:

"Phones R&B singer Staples?" DIALS MAVIS

This was fun. My one minor quibble was that, as paulsfo noted, TURN BACK and, especially, MESSED WITH aren't stand-alone things like the rest. Otherwise, I enjoyed it.

Charles Flaster 11:09 AM  

Enjoyed the Spoonerisms

billocohoes 11:15 AM  

KIEL could've been clued as "Jaws" - 7'2" actor Richard Kiel, the villain in two James Bond movies, passed away this week

Maruchka 11:21 AM  

@ chefbea - Thanks! Tried the link to see if the constructor's name is there, but kept sending me to the home page. Grr..

RooMonster 11:34 AM  

Hey All!
Cringed when I saw PB2's name! But a normal lettered puz, thankfully! I thought this was a neat and easyish puz. The Spooners were great! My fave was POEHLERSOUR (although I spelled her name wrong at first) .

Missed KIEL, had the v there. Also, RPTS, had a blank space at the R, can someone explain that?

Some neat clues, 13A, SCAPULA, 16D, PHEASANT, nice misdirect, was thinking of the family, 128A,WESSON, different oils! 126A, GETSANA seems to big a partial. Also problem with SPYFI, really?? Are these two trying to coin a new phrase? Only one writover! Had ransom for EULOGY.

@AliasZ, simply amazing. Haven't read it yet, nut skimmed it, your brain is on another wavelength!

@LMS, miss ya during the week.

@Acme. Re: I believe she was here when I first started reading this blog, she seemed normal to me. I can't think she could have been worse than that Anon who keeps posting calling OFL Rexhole....

Nice feeling to flow nicely through the puz. I LOLed at Rex about the breaking the internet thing!


joho 11:35 AM  

I did the same thing as @Rex and connected all theme people as actors until Kanye West. He's just doesn't fit but loved MESSEDWITH.

I got a huge kick out of these with FIRTHBOTHER, POEHLERSOUP and GEREBOGGLES being my favorites but all appreciated.

Super fun Sunday, thanks to Tony and Patrick!

Keep'n anon for this one 11:40 AM  

GG --

On unfortunate names:

I had a schoolmate named Peter Abbott.

An unfortunate last name is just an historical oddity. But why a parent would give a kid a first name that was embarrassing when combined with the surname is a mystery to me.

-- Fred

(Actually just a nickname, my real given name is F$&kknuckle.). ;-)

chefbea 11:47 AM  

@Maruchka I tried to find the puzzle on line so I could share it but couldn't find it...did you?

Maruchka 11:52 AM  

@ chefbea - Alas, no. I don't speak #hash-tag, so maybe that's a path?

Steve J 11:56 AM  

Had a better impression of this one after I finished than I did while solving. Most of the spoonerisms seemed flat to me during the solve - other than GERE BOGGLES, which is great both as written and in its spoonerized form - but upon reviewing them when I was done, most of them are pretty good.

This was 90% easy and 10% just not on my wavelength. I could not finish off the NW and SE corners, not sussing POEHLER SOUR and not thinking of which actor named Michael (I couldn't get Cera out of my head, since he's rapidly becoming crosswordese), and I couldn't piece together either of the 7-letter downs in those corners (MEASLES being a relic of the past by the time I was born, I had no idea they came in different flavors).

@paulsfo: I had the same reaction to the 2001 clue. And then entered GDP since that was a recession year.

Good thing Fuddrucker's wasn't referenced in this one.

Z 12:00 PM  

DNF - forgot to go back and figure out what I had wrong at NRe/EVeRESCENT. I hate when that happens.

@Magenta Crayola - personally, if there is someone here whose writings I don't care for I try to keep it to myself. It isn't that I'm never judgmental, it's just that I try not to hurt peoples' feelings unnecessarily. These comments have come dangerously close to looking like the rest of the internet a couple of times lately. I would prefer that this didn't happen, and I think most here would agree.

optionsgeek 12:16 PM  

Puzzle was fine but I didn't care for clue to 119A - "Wireless network components". ROUTERS are components in all networks, not just wireless one so the clue was degraded by adding an unnecessary word.

Kretch 12:20 PM  

@Options.. Agree.. Lived in the techie world since there *were no routers*.. And, sadly, this one took too long to fill for my liking. Still remembering the power of the 300Baud modem here..

George Barany 12:28 PM  

Several commentators have suggested cluing KIEL to the 7 foot 2 inch "Jaws" player who passed away earlier this week. Given the production schedules of the Times crossword, particularly the Sunday one that appears in the magazine, that would have required extraordinary prescience on the part of the editor and constructors.

Kretch 12:28 PM  

and.. somehow thinking about this "router question" made me recollect a web page I visited on a Mosaic Browser some time ago when it was made available to the viewing "Information Super Highway" folks. I recently corresponded with the owner of the page that says as long as e is alive it will remain up. A tip of the cap to the pioneers of this world that many of us now consider a part of our lives. In our current age of "viral" I thought it was interesting that at the bottom of the page he indicated that the page had been: "In October 1994 alone it's been accessed more than 2000 times."

Fred Smith 12:35 PM  


I too started on the 300 baud modems. Remember the earmuffs- like devices we used to use with the phone handle? And the scree-ing sound while it tried to sync up? As I recall, I was able to buy an optional hi-fi phone line from my local provider that let me get up to 9600 baud. course, pretty much everything was text then.

And I actually had to pay AOL, my ISP, a monthly fee. And I think I used to see Tyrannosaurus Rexes in my back yard. ;-)

Anonymous 12:36 PM  

The story AliasZ plagiarized is all over the internet.
For example:

Leapfinger 12:41 PM  

The SPATULA is a free-floating bone, held in place by 17 muscles. The only thing harder than learning those 17 muscles, their origins, points of insertion and innervation, is trying to make it interesting for a bunch of students dozing off in a dim-lit amphitheater.

Again started in NW, soon had CAINEP, thought "CAINE PUTINY? They wouldn't dare, not after Tursday!" Mercifully, PB/TO came up with a much better trick. Thought LEE SCION a really gudong and learned about Beer Goggles; suspicions of a difference between men and women now confirmed. Still seems that MIRTH BOTHERS too.

INNESmuch as the partridge family and the road to KIEL were gotchas, I'd like to offer Patrick a NEL, and Tony a SON, ie a half-NELSON apiece. The clue for INOR was perfection, obvious to anyone who took a CATNAP while Fluffy decided.

I thought the enjoyment of the co-constructors in producing this clearly shone through, and was absolutely infectious.

EULOGY, EI-LOGY, OUI-LOGY together, just superb fun. Now I'm putin on my blue SWAYED SHOES, dancin' outta here. SUNNI not Blue today.

That's all she RITT.

Anonymous 12:41 PM  

I did not understand NRA as an answer to "org. That takes donations for the strapped" - with the added question mark which suggests a pun or other non-literal answer.
Any ideas?
2 gals in Charleston

Leapfinger 12:41 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kretch 12:42 PM  

@ Fred.. Acoustic couplers?? I remember working on hardware that used a standard cassette player to load software.. The interface was a jack from the "earplug" connector on the player. And, yes, I had a Compuserve and Genie (General Electric Network Information Exchange) account. Ah, the stories I could tell that I heard related around the campfire while dining on Stegosaurus ribs.

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

AliasZ didn't write that. He copy/pasted it.

Z 12:48 PM  

@anon-12:41 - The National Rifle Association accepts donations to protect the interests of those who "strap on" weapons. The play on words is that it is not "strapped for cash" as suggested by the accepting donations part of the clue.

Leapfinger 12:53 PM  

Wrats, I've been duped!

I remember that 'scree' sound, C/: and all the squirrels.

Anonymous 12:54 PM  

Re:"strapped" --

On pistol-carrying, the old westerns I read would use the term " heeled. "

...FWIW, not much, I guess ...

Fred Smith 12:59 PM  

@Leap --

Yeh, but do you remember the floppies that were really floppy? Not the 1.25MB 3 1/4s, the big thin ones.

-- Fred

Fred Romagnolo 1:04 PM  

Why isn't SPACEK a sissy? Is it because she decimated the other kids at the prom? I'm guessing that lean is just anything that aint fat. I can never remember ACELA which is very East Coast, and I'm WEST. The KIEL Canal means that ships don't have to go around Denmark to get to the Baltic Sea from the Atlantic. I liked the clue to 27 down. Love Spoonerisms, on this blog I once mentioned my favorite: when the Reverend Spooner was toasting Victoria - "Here's to our queer old dean." I'm not sure why the NRA takes donations for the strapped. Anyone? Why is LACE Teddy material? What held me up the longest was wanting "want" for 10 down; that's what I say to any of my dogs.

floatingboy 1:05 PM  

114 Across refers to musician David Byrne, best known for fronting Talking Heads. Not actor Gabriel Byrne. The clue even says "Musician David."

Kretch 1:05 PM  

Hmm.. I have the standard 8" floppy diagnostic disc on my desk as a reminder of where I've been..and, yes, 8 inch.. If memory serves 360K.. Dual sided 720K was just a pipe dream then..

Leapfinger 1:11 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
D 1:13 PM  

Lees son was killed tragically, and Tina was slashed traumatically as a girl. For a second there I thought this was going to be a really morbid theme. Had to look up whether Colin F has illegitimate children... or is Amy P. has a drinking problem.

Fred Smith 1:15 PM  

@Kvetch --

Well,you're really raising the stakes here on me. So-o-o ---

Me, I designed h/w and wrote firmware for 4004-based controllers. Felt like I died and went to heaven when the 8008s came out. M6800s? Fuggeddaboudit!

-- Fred

Kretch 1:19 PM  

Wow - You a dinosaur (said with respect) - Now I feel like a newb.. Just happy to be keeping up with the times -somewhat- here.. :)

Fred Smith 1:37 PM  

@Kretch --

Actually, I go back further than that. In '65 I was just moving into the IC era. TI's Quad NAND gates, dual flip-flops, four -bit shift registers. Ah-h-h, heaven compared to putting down discrete components on breadboards...

-- Fred

(Sorry to others for all this arcane history)

mac 1:54 PM  

That was a fun exercise on a beautiful Sunday morning. Had a little trouble at first sounding out some of the spoonerisms, but it all worked!

Leapfinger 2:00 PM  

Clearly I'm outclassed in the Archeocomputology field, but yes, @FredSmith, I do still have a floppy floppy, kept for historico-sentimental reasons. And a sly drool, and an abacus.

Someone please mail a lacy silk Teddy to @FredRoma.

wreck 2:01 PM  

Ok - I cheated before I started and googled "spoonerisms."
It took a little time to suss em all, but pretty gettable for the most part. Nice workout for a Sunday morning.

Gill I. P. 2:12 PM  

I just received a blushing crow. YOU DIDN'T WRITE THAT? No matter, it still was brilliant and made me laugh...
Spoonerisms are fun and frankly it's such an inexpensive way to make people get a good chuckle.
GERE has always BOGGLed my mind.
Didn't Bush also get the BIG EARs treatment?
Fun, entertaining Sunday...
p.s. Any of you smarty pants out there. I can't get my comments to show up in my e-mail address. This has been going on for several weeks. What can be the problem?

AliasZ 2:31 PM  

But of course I didn't write the Prinderella and the Cince story. It has been around for at least 7 decades, if not longer. A different version of it exists by one Colonel Lemuel Q. Stoopnagle [My Tale is Twisted! or, The Storal to this Mory. New York: M. S. Mill Co., Inc., 1946], but my best guess is that it is even older than that.

The version I presented I heard the first time from my ex-wife, a schoolteacher for 35 years, who had learned it as a child from someone who probably also heard it as a child from someone else, and so on. Thus it is in the public domain, not plagiarism. I found at least three or four different versions of it with slight variations on the Internet, but this one was the closest to what I remember hearing from my then wife at least 30 years ago.

Once again I overestimated at least two anonymice to see my intentions. But I don't care, as long as a few more people read it for the first time, and will continue to propagate it as a humorous, spooneristic way of enjoying the English language.

Campesite 2:44 PM  

I'll take a collaboration of these two constructors any day. This is a cavil, but Hip Hop was a clue and un-hip was in the grid. Good puzzle.

The commentariat is better with ACME's participation--I miss her as well.

Whirred Whacks 2:45 PM  

I love Spoonerisms and found this puzzle to be a delight!

To combine what one person wrote about last week's theme, here is what I have to say to the constructors:


Also, thanks to @R.alphBunker for his thought yesterday about puzzle clue-writing:

"Is it possible that you have to be an engineer to build a grid and a poet to make up the clues?"

Gill I. P. 2:46 PM  

@AliasZ. It wouldn't have surprised me one bit if you HAD written this yourself.....
I'm glad you shared it because I had never read it before...;-)

Anonymous 3:04 PM  

AliasZ said...

"But of course I didn't write the Prinderella and the Cince story."

you say after not citing the source and letting two posters compliment you on it without correcting them. Next time just provide a link, and your intentions will be clear.

Melodious Funk 3:55 PM  

Anyone ever see Ladle Rat Rotten Hut?

Word-shifting that amused me greatly many years ago. It somehow relates to these spoonerisms and AliasZ's comment. And the Mural at the end has been engraved in my memory.


Maybe you'll enjoy it too.

Z 4:22 PM  

@Alias Z - "@AliasZ. It wouldn't have surprised me one bit if you HAD written this yourself....." If it had been me I would have used "Colonel Lemuel Q Stoopnagle" instead of my own byline to avoid any confusion. Or a link. Granted, this isn't some academic journal, but what we post here does show up in search engines.

@Gill I.P. - I only vaguely recall "baud" so others are more qualified, but I would suggest looking at your google account profile and see what email account is linked there.

I did the Roosevelt puzzle in the magazine. The Roosevelt specific cluing toughens it a little bit so that it is "easy" rather than "very easy."

RooMonster 4:29 PM  

@AliasZ, still like your posts! I don't care if you don't correct my praise! I've read enough of your original ramblings to believe you have a great imagination.

Oh, wanted to add to my last post about malaprops. I don't think they are as good as spoonerisms. Just my opinion! :-)

Leap/PointyFinger 5:00 PM  

Another good one: Mots d'Heure Geusse Rhames
But you have to be willing to take on soi-disant French, but it's really good with hilarious annotations.

Note: my spelling of the title could be off by several inches.

Leap/PointyFinger 5:11 PM  

Another good one: Mots d'Heure Geusse Rhames
But you have to be willing to take on soi-disant French, but it's really good with hilarious annotations.

Note: my spelling of the title could be off by several inches.

Leafinger P 5:16 PM  

I give up.
I give up.

Anonymous 5:38 PM  

jae Thanks for answering my question about liking puzzles you didn't finish. Appreciate it.

Anonymous 5:39 PM  

From yesterday of course.

jae Thanks for answering my question about liking puzzles you didn't finish. Appreciate it.

sanfranman59 6:07 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 5:28, 6:02, 0.91, 10%, Easy
Tue 7:28, 7:54, 0.95, 33%, Easy-Medium
Wed 9:38, 9:39, 1.00, 50%, Medium
Thu no data
Fri 15:38, 19:45, 0.79, 15%, Easy
Sat 31:42, 25:49, 1.23, 94%, Challenging
Sun 26:54, 28:21, 0.95, 39%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:42, 3:57, 0.94, 17%, Easy
Tue 5:18, 5:24, 0.98, 41%, Medium
Wed 6:29, 6:12, 1.05, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Thu no data
Fri 10:31, 12:52, 0.82, 21%, Easy-Medium
Sat 22:44, 17:17, 1.32, 93%, Challenging
Sun 19:53, 21:41, 0.92, 28%, Easy-Medium

Asked and Manonymous 6:13 PM  

This Blindauer dude just don't quit. Good for him.
Compared to that Thursday Beast puzzle solve, I found this as smooth as drinkin lobster straight from the faucet. (So to speak.).
Good for him and Tony Orbach.

I completed this puzzle in just a few minutes, in the sense that I am just a few years old. Worked it right after chasin the woodpecker off the bedroom side of the house. I made this fake owl out of a large oj bottle with some frilly construction paper wings and horny head taped on. Just grab my oj-owl by the handle and throw that puppy up there, and that pecker takes off with a sqwawk. Keeps his visits down to about once every Blindauer puz. Only trouble is the early wakeups -- and them dayum holes. Heck of an owl design, tho. @muse might, grade it pretty high, in her art class (younger one). But I digress.

POEHLERSOUR. BOOLA. RPTS (Spoonerism for TRPS). Poehlitzer Prize.



Gill I. P. 7:32 PM  

Hi @Z. Thanks for the help. It didn't work though. My E-mail is correct in my Google blog so I don't know why I can't get the follow-up comments....[sigh]

paulsfo 8:56 PM  

@AliasZ: luckily this wasn't your PhD thesis so you probably won't be prosecuted for plagiarism. :)
In college I ran for student senate and used a campaign speech of Davy Crockett's which included lines such as " I can run faster, dive deeper, stay longer under, and come out drier, than any chap this side the big Swamp."
I wasn't accused of plagiarism but I did have to explain once or twice that I didn't deserve any praise directed to the author.

Someone asked about RPTS, i think. Think of 'studies' as a noun. EG, Scientific studies = scientific reports.

@Gil I. P. : not sure what's going on but I do this if I don't see the checkbox for sending followup comments. Sorry for the length.

If I see this:
Choose an identity
Google Account
You will be asked to sign in after submitting your comment.

Then I write my comment, select Google, and deliberate get Gotcha word wrong.
Then I click "Publish your comment".
I am asked to signIn to google and do so.
Then I go back to the bottom of the comments and see that my comment is still there.
Now it will show one of two things.

Choose an identity
paulsfo (Google Account) – Sign Out
Follow-up comments will be sent to abcde@gmail.com.

Choose an identity
paulsfo (Google Account) – Sign Out
[ ] check to receive followup comments at abcde@gmail.com.

if it's A, then confirm that abcde@gmail.com, else click "Unsubscribe' and ...

If it's B then, if the address is yours, then check the box and click "Publish your comments" again.

Hope that helps. I know it was a bit involved.

retired_chemist 8:58 PM  

Good puzzle. Blindauer and Orbach collaborate and all is well. I (heart) this one.

Spoonerisms were fun.

AliasZ 9:52 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
AliasZ 9:55 PM  

I don't expect many readers to read this, and it really doesn't matter to me. However, I just wanted to clear the air for the record: my original "Prinderella and the Cince" post came almost entirely from memory, exactly from the source as I previously described, which is why I did not feel it necessary to reference any source. I found one version on the internet (there are many variants) that was almost word for word as I remembered it, and I used that one as a reference to make sure I didn't miss some of the spelling.

It was a tribute to the playful cleverness of a generation, and I considered it more-or-less common knowledge and a familiar version of the Cinderella story among people of a certain age. In this, my judgment was obviously wrong.

The Stoopnagle version is an entirely different matter. It seems to be either the expanded version of a core original, or indeed the original from which all other versions were drawn, but it would be rather difficult at this time to say for certain one way or another. It is definitely not how I came by it.

I did not need to explain myself like this.

The anonymous ad hominem drive-by sniper shots however have a way of poisoning even the friendliest of blogs, which is what most likely caused, at least in part, our beloved ACME to no longer participate. As much as I miss her, I can't say I blame her one bit.

Gill I. P. 10:23 PM  

@AliasZ. They only poison you if you take a bite...Don't. Please.
There are some wonderful people on this blog that just make this so much more special. Without sounding vomity, you are one of them.
F..ck those that always have that big fat pepper mill hanging over your head just wanting to grind some of it into your perfect Steak Diane.

LeapingFinger 11:30 PM  

What @Gil said, pretty much.

Up until the end, anyway. I do like quite a lot of cracked pepper.

Anonymous 11:30 PM  

I was surprised to see so many who initally thought that KIEV might be in Germany, including Jeff Chen at xwordinfo.com. After all Ukraine has been in the news a lot lately.

AnonyMaven 12:57 AM  

Oh, they were probably led astray thinking of Chicken KIEV.

I understand it's a popular dish among certain anonymice.

Maruchka 7:38 AM  

@ Alias Z - The dogs bark... and the bossy boots are boring and annoying, which are you not. Courage!

@ Leap/Pointy Finger - I lent out my copy of 'Mots d'Heure' decades ago and can't find it in print. Any suggestions? 'Un petit, d'un petit'...

Anonymous 9:36 AM  

Another pop culture quiz -- full of crappy Hollywood movies and TV shows and rap. "Easy" -- yeah, easy if you imbibe all those empty calories. THiS IS NOT A CROSSWORD PUZZLE!!!!

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

Hated this. "Boola", "Spyfi" "Skosh" and "AOKs" are some of the worst fill I've ever seen. I finished this puzzle with regret that I had wasted my time on it. I'm astonished at the amount of affection for it being lavished by those herein. Why is Spacek not a "sissy"? For all we know she is the biggest sissy in the world. Why is spry "surprisingly" agile? Nothing in the definition of the word includes an element of surprise. The spoonerisms were forced and not funny or surprising to me.

This was just a hot mess.

Anonymous 3:13 PM  

Finished Monday. Got Naticked all over the place. Fortunately the spoonerism names were retro enough so I got them first, of all things. Except the center. Never heard of beer goggles, but I got it anyway. No Googles. Flattened forehead once I turned short to sheen before cleats. I checked Rex today to see if I really got everything. Yup. Tough and fun and yes, mighty awkward especially in the East.

Best, Jon

pauer 4:05 PM  

So many haters, so little time on this planet.

It's AOK if you didn't enjoy it, but you might wanna consider finding a new hobby. I hear knitting is nice and relaxing!

Lena 6:01 PM  

Thank you @floatingboy for pointing out David BYRNE. Yeeesh! I guess Brian ENO is more famous in the crossworld.

Late to the game, but I thought the puzzle was fun. Who doesn't love spoonerisms!

expobill 7:15 PM  

how do they get away with such vagueness?
excellent site, this save sky sanity!

rain forest 1:38 PM  

This puz provided some good fun. I sailed through it (with a fair amount of tacking and jibing) pretty quickly, for me. Had to guess at the ORA/RPTS cross, and still don't understand RPTS as an abbr. for studies. Anyone?

The best version of a Spoonerist Cinderella that I've heard is Victor Borge's. Hilarious, even if he plagiarised it.

A nice embossed address which is
125. Can it prevail?

paulsfo 2:35 PM  

@rain forest: think of the noun, not the verb. Scientific studies = scientific reports = scientific RPTS.

rain forest 2:43 PM  

@paulsfo D'oh! Thanks.

spacecraft 3:25 PM  

DNB (did not bother). Oh, Spoonerisms (yawn). And not even good ones. Naticks all over the place, and ridiculous "sayings." The worst one has to be WESTMYTH for "messed with." A partial? You're kidding me. Messed with??? Get outa here.

GEREBOGGLES. Has to be "beer goggles." What is that? I never knew you needed special eyewear to drink beer. The whole thing makes no sense, and by the time I got to the hiphop clue, I'd had it. A big fat F on all counts.

Dirigonzo 5:43 PM  

I knew many of the celebrities' names so those Spoonerisms came fairly easily, but actor Colin, musician David and comic Amy all had to wait for a lot crosses to make the answer appear. Most of them gave me a chuckle, although FIRTHBOTHER just doesn't ring true to me. GEREBOGGLES was my favorite (@spacy, Rex put in a link to a very informative article on the topic in his list of theme answers.)
Learned upon coming here that I blew the puzzle on the WOD - I went with AmY; never even considered there was any other possibility.

My favorite comment came from one of the constructors, @pauer - if you missed it, it's pretty close to the end of the comment thread so scroll up a ways and check it out.

300 - no, just no.

Anonymous 11:27 PM  

Did not enjoy either; slogging through spoonerisms not a joy. Made me long for puns!

Dad2e2e 6:10 PM  

The earliest rendition I can recall of "Rindercella and the Pince" is Grandpa Jones doing it on Hee Haw! Mid-70's

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