Polynesian island whose internet suffix is tv / MON 9-15-14 / Old British rule in India / Diana Rigg's role on Avengers

Monday, September 15, 2014

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: JELLY (67A: What quivering legs feel like … or a word that can precede the starts of 17-, 27-, 45- and 60-Across) —

Theme answers:
  • BELLY DANCER (17A: Performer who may have a navel decoration)
  • FISH AND CHIPS (27A: Some British pub food)
  • ROLL OF THE DIE (45A: Risk, figuratively)
  • BEAN SPROUTS (60A: Common stir-fry ingredients)
Word of the Day: TUVALU (47D: Polynesian land whose Internet suffix is .tv) —
Tuvalu (Listeni/tˈvɑːl/ too-vah-loo or /ˈtvəl/ too-və-loo), formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway betweenHawaii and Australia. It comprises three reef islands and six true atolls spread out between the latitude of  to 10° south and longitude of 176° to 180°, west of the International Date Line. Tuvalu's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers an oceanic area of approximately 900,000 km2. Its nearest neighbours are KiribatiNauruSamoa and Fiji. Its population of 10,837 makes it the third-least populous sovereign state in the world, with only the Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. In terms of physical land size, at just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than theVatican City at 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi), Monaco at 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi), and Nauru at 21 km2(8.1 sq mi). (wikipedia)
• • •

Quaint. A "word that can precede" puzzle. Feels like I haven't seen one in a while, though I do so many puzzles, maybe I have and I just forgot (they don't tend to be memorable). JELLY Bellies and JELLY beans are really too close to one another. In a puzzle like this, your themers (in this case, your JELLYs) really should all be quite distinct, one from the next, and as far as I know the only difference between your bellies and your beans is that the former is a brand, and … maybe it's smaller and less waxy? I don't know. I do know that they're too related to hold down different theme positions. This theme is stretched a little thin. Hard to do. DONUT isn't going to give you many good answer options, and you've already got the edible sweet "jelly roll" represented here. Jelly sandals are definitely a thing, but maybe not a Monday thing? Anyway, I call "foul" on the JELLY Belly / JELLY bean redundancy.


I would've called foul on "ROLL OF THE DIE," because I have always heard "dice," but there's plenty of attestation for the answer in the grid. Overall, the fill is pretty decent, for the most part. OENO-, S'IL, and (*especially*) -ISE have no place in most grids, but especially in an easy Monday grid. The -ISE is clearly a casualty of the rampant Scrabble-f*cking there in the SW (you can see the same thing happening in the NE, only the result there are slightly less dire). Just for fun, I redid those corners, maintaining all the gratuitously Scrabbly letters.


I like mine better, though some may balk at IMO and/or IGO—and of course my best advice is Never Do This. Make the grid as Good as it can be, not as chock full o' "Z"s as it can be. This is especially important for new constructors. Trust me on this. Go for smoothness and overall high quality over superficial 'zazz that means you have to stomach "-ISE" in your grid.

["Dr. JAZZ Dr. JAZZ, make my JELLY roll…"]

Mid-range non-theme answers in this puzzle are quite good. EMMA PEEL + "The PRISONER" = '60s TV fabulousness and the JOHN DOE / FATALLY symmetry is very nicely done. Perhaps not intentionally done, but who cares? KIDNAPS, also good. Wish "ARCHER" had gotten the TV clue it deserves. Speaking of "TV," what is up with that TUVALU clue? (47D: Polynesian land whose Internet suffix is .tv) It's true, that is the most obscure thing in this otherwise easy grid, but it seems a little much to give away two letters in the clue. Crossword clues very rarely just hand you letters like that. Ouch, just saw INAS. Gonna stop now before I notice more warts. Puzzle was OK!


    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    72 comments:

    jae 12:14 AM  

    Easy for me.  Sports, history, literature, music, geography all topped with a dollop of jelly.  Sweet Mon. Liked it.  Told my granddaughter she would have fun with this one.  Nice one Andrea. 

    retired_chemist 12:14 AM  

    Easy-medium fits.

    Not a fan of themes generally, and surely not if they are no help in solving. This one was close to no help, but possibly that was because it was an easy Monday and I had three of the theme answers (although no rationale for a theme) before I got to 37A.

    All pretty much on target for a Monday. Nothing to quibble about.

    Thanks, Andrea.

    thursdaysd 12:46 AM  

    Went down easy, except I choked on that pub food clue. FISHANDCHIPS are NOT pub food. These days you may find them at some pubs, but the proper place to get them is a chippie (dedicated shop). "Pub food" should be cluing ploughman's lunch, or possibly scotch egg.

    Steve J 12:51 AM  

    The DRECK is front and center in this one.

    Ok, not really. While there's a bit more than there should be - ISE, SIL, OENO, SNL (please, can we have a moratorium?) - I really just got a chuckle out of that being the center entry.

    Theme's decent - hadn't noticed both jelly bean and Jelly Belly at play (on par with having both Ford and car be theme entries) when I was solving, but that does indeed come off as a little repetitive - with good phrases. Some nice downs, and I'll always be in favor of recalling Diana Rigg as EMMA PEEL.

    Sorry, Rex: While I agree that Scrabble-f'ing often (usually) leads to some bad fill, IGO isn't any better than ISE in your redone grid. If the pangram had to be done (which it didn't have to be, but whatever), either grid seems to do it reasonably well, 62A aside.

    Z 12:54 AM  

    My time says medium. Seemed easy enough. Far less critical of the fill than Rex. OENO- and S'IL seem perfectly Mondayish to me. It's Monday and that means three letter words in the corners. These are fine. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the puzzle is the central DRECK. I think the constructor is winking at us.

    Rex is often highly critical of the fill forced by pangrams. This puzzle shows that it can be done with minimal impact. Well done.

    Clark 1:08 AM  

    Monday gold. It had the smooth experience that I love in an ACME puzzle. Thanks, Andrea.

    Anonymous 2:04 AM  

    How about: St. Nick's nickname
    for jelly belly?

    The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
    And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
    He had a broad face and a little round belly,
    That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

    Moly Shu 2:19 AM  

    DRECK and GRUEL in the same grid? Only from @ACME. Nice and easy Monday. Just what I needed after my DNF Sunday.

    Like (most) everyone else, thanks Andrea.

    chefwen 2:40 AM  

    Nice one Andrea, put me in the liked it column. JELLY BELLY and JELLY BEAN didn't bother me for a second.

    Mom and one of her friends were visiting us in CA, they took a trip up to the Bay Area, had a tour of the JELLY BELLY factory and mom brought us back a bag of rejects, I guess @M & A would say weejects, misshapen and oddly formed candies. They call them BELLY flops, mom thought that was hysterical and couldn't pass up buying a bunch to take home as souvenirs.

    Cute puzzle!!! Andrea, thanks for letting me borrow a few exclamation points.

    Gill I. P. 4:42 AM  

    Since @chefwen hogged all the !!!!!,
    I'll borrow @jae's zippy to add to this Monday puzzle.
    Now I can't get the image of a JELLY BELLY DANCER out of my head....
    Fun Andrea....has your signature all over it. VROOM VROOM.

    Susierah 6:42 AM  

    Dnf on a Monday because I never heard of Tuvalu or dues ex machina! Is this too obscure for a Monday?

    Kris in ABCA 6:59 AM  

    A jelly belly refers to wiggly jiggly belly fat - I didn't think of the Jelly Belly brand name till I read the blog.

    sburgernutr 7:10 AM  

    I too thought of jelly belly as the body part, not the candy.

    sburgernutr 7:16 AM  

    Jelly bely is often a topic of commiseration in the women's locker room at my MMA class. If you've had kids, the
    jelly belly never completely disappears no matter how hard you train.

    George Barany 7:27 AM  

    Enjoyable puzzle by @ACME. I was quite surprised to see TUVALU in a Monday, but filled it right in since earlier in the day I had seen the exact same answer word in @Peter Broda's Fireball puzzle "Cross Hatching" -- the one that everyone is raving about, and rightfully so.

    NCA President 7:36 AM  

    Complete crossword construction rube here, but please tell me how Rex's fix (getting rid of ISE) is any better? Specifically, how is IMO or IGO any better than ISE? I know Rex goes on and on about crappy fill, but I'm really curious to know what the standard is with which you judge three-letter fill.

    I can see that ISE is a suffix, but his IMO is an abbreviation and IGO is a partial. So what gives? What am I missing?

    I do agree that BELLY/BEAN was redundant...and it did contribute to a wee bit of confusion when I was filling them in thinking that can't be right.

    Seems like EMMAPEEL is getting a workout...wasn't she in a very recent puzzle from last week?

    And you gotta love English...the plural of DIE is dice, but when someone dies they don't "dice." It's a wonder this language lives at all as ornery as it is...

    RooMonster 7:40 AM  

    Hey All!
    Very enjoyable Mon Puz! Hardly any DRECK! The pangram didn't seem forced to me, I like how she knocked out a whole bunch of letters in the SW, LQRSTUXY. I wonder if she had the SW corner filled first, which led to the pangram, or if she filled it in order to get it. Either way, cool corner! I see SISSY Spacek again, wierd how these things fall. Also liked how the very last Across is the revealer. The Jelly Belly posts about it being stomach fat cracked me up! Is that like my beer belly?

    I ADVISED LEWIS not to QUIT paying his LABOR TAX. "ICAN FLEECE the SISSY ARCHER, HIC!" What a LULU! Too much SKY vodka on the ISLE, methinks. SAVEAS good. :-)

    RooMonster
    DarrinV

    AliasZ 7:51 AM  


    Lovely ACME creation for a cool, smooth and easy Monday. The pangram was an added bonus, not the focus.

    Nice to see our friend LEWIS given the prominence he deserves at 1-Across. Rubbing DRECK in our faces right at the very center was likewise an exquisite touch, telling us in essence that we won't see any other DRECK in this one besides the word DRECK itself.

    But ACME, really, is it nice to call Ms. Sheedy FAT ALLY?

    What would a JELLY-themed puzzle be without JELLY ROLL(OF-THE-DIE) Morton? He is finger-breaking good.

    Have a cheerful DRECK-free Monday.

    jberg 7:53 AM  

    Well, I love a pangram, unlike some. And you can't blame it for IN AS, the only really bad fill, since there's another V there already. And I liked the Yiddish and Hebrew in the center, forming the shape of a cross. Not sure what the hidden meaning is there, but it's intriguing!

    Too many football clues for me, though. If we hadn't had ELWAY a cople days ago, I might have been stuck.

    I think it's an age thing -- I never thought of the candy until I read Rex's complaint. The brand hasn't been around all that long, and people had jelly bellies long before that.

    As for 45A, Julius Caesar started the metaphor when he crossed the Rubicon, and he used the singular, "Alea jacta est."

    I agree about 27A, though; not pub food. You need the deep fryer, which traditionally pubs did not have.

    Fun puzzle, @ACME, let's see some more!

    RAD2626 8:02 AM  

    I just assumed jelly belly referred to Santa or a generic fatso, so did not think it was redundant. Agree with comments that pangrams are just a constructor's conceit; certainly they never come into play when solving: "Oh, that word must have an x in it - no x yet". But cool at the end to see all the scrabbly letters.

    Accepting Rex's concern, hard to figure a clue that would fit Tuvalu particularly on a Monday.

    Fun early week puzzle.

    joho 8:21 AM  

    It's Monday and happily it's Andrea Carla Michaels at the top of the puzzle! VROOM! VROOM!

    Who else would think of a such a fun theme complete with a jiggle? It never occurred to me that JELLY BELLY was anything but the DANCER'S. So, no redundancy there.

    Andrea's puzzles always have a certain lightness and bounce which I love. Plus if we're lucky we'll get a pangram like we did today.

    Loved the boozy RYE HIC OENO line.

    No GRUEL here, thanks, Andrea!



    Mohair Sam 8:25 AM  

    So there's a submarine sandwich chain (franchise?) in northern NY State called Jreck's. Many decades back I met one of the founders of the company at a party. I asked him if he knew what the sound of his store's name meant in Yiddish. He gave me a grin, "Yup, but 95% of our customers do not."

    Great subs, btw.

    My father did some boxing as a young man and was a huge fan of the sport. He'd have friends over for "Friday Night Fights" on TV when I was a kid. They had all been boxers and they all referred to any fighter with any kind of gut as a "jelly belly." Rex is wrong here, there is no redundancy - it's like saying you can't use the word "Focus" in a puzzle if you've used "Car".

    Susan McConnell 8:50 AM  

    Very much enjoyed this sweet Monday puzzle from acme.

    Ludyjynn 8:59 AM  

    I solved this from the NW corner, in order, to the SE corner, as is my habit on Monday, so this one went down as a pleasant themeless.

    Easy, peasey, bright and breezy Monday. Surprised that Rex didn't whine about the redundancy of LEWIS and LOU, since he was picking lots of nits today! Also, two consecutive puzzles cluing SISSY SPACEK.

    Liked the placement of HIC and OENO right next to one another on the grid.

    Thanks, ACM and WS.

    Maxwell 9:04 AM  

    A moth makes a cocoon, which is wrapped in a silk covering. A butterfly makes a chrysalis, which is hard, smooth and has no silk covering.

    Arlene 9:05 AM  

    It startled me to see DRECK right in the middle, as my understanding of the word, growing up, was that it was akin to "S**T" and not generally said aloud in polite company. I guess its usage has evolved.

    I never heard of TUVALU - a bit unexpected for a Monday - but live and learn.

    As for JELLY BEANS - ever try Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, of Harry Potter fame? You haven't lived until you've experience "booger" and "dirt" flavours!

    Anonymous 9:09 AM  

    I solved using the ipad app and the puzzle had a completely different NE. What's up with that?

    Thursdaysd 9:26 AM  

    I solve on an iPad and my grid is the same as Rex's. But I use the Crossword app, and not the NYT one, plus I solved last night. Maybe it changed at the witching hour?

    mac 9:36 AM  

    Perfect Monday, and an unforced pangram. Of course it's Andrea!

    Light and cute, and I also like the word "dreck" best.

    Pubs in England serve a lot more food than they used to. We often eat at "gastro pubs" in London, very sophisticated menus.

    Now I'm going to look for that little bag of "tropical mix" jelly beans.

    Anonymous 9:39 AM  

    Never mind-- not enough coffee. I was looking at Rex's revised grid when I commented that the puzz in the app was different. Really should make sure I'm fully awake before commenting!

    dk 9:48 AM  

    🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

    Hmmm correcting a puzzle in a blog. I wonder if that is akin to taking the wind out of ones sails….

    Classic ACME Monday. All the Bellies and Beans made sense to me.

    The clueing (if that is a word) seemed odd as I often found myself penning incorrect fill. For example had Mrs. Peel as she was never referred to as EMMA in the show. !d also caused me trouble.

    I chalk all of this up to blurry eyes from watching a double feature las night.

    Off to address issues related to the patron of nature…..not!

    Anonymous 9:55 AM  

    Looked forward to this offering by Andrea, and she does not disappoint!

    Always a lively, scrabbly, fun experience with DRECK front and center to give me a laugh!

    Not to mention the pangram.

    @Rex- You really should Not WEST MYTH ACME's puzzles! Her's is better than yours.

    chefbea 9:59 AM  

    Fun Monday puzzle - Thanks Andrea

    I too thought of jelly belly as a tummy..not the candy. although you could get a jelly belly from eating too many jelly beans

    Lewis 10:02 AM  

    Acme on Monday feels like home, and of course I love the first answer. With Acme you know you'll get pop and sizzle and this puzzle did have that bounce. I think one or two more difficult words like TUVALU are fine for a Monday. How one feels about a puzzle often depends on whether one comes into it seeing it as half full or half empty -- and I must admit that I always come into Acme's Monday with a half full outlook. Another good one, Ms. Queen of Monday!

    Factoid: VROOM in other languages often sounds similar:
    In Batak, ngong, ngooongngng
    In Catalan, rum, rumm
    In Czech, brmmm brmmm
    In Danish, vrum vrum, brum brum, nøn nøn
    In Dutch, broem, vroem
    In English, vroom vroom, broom broom
    In Finnish, vruum vruum, bruum bruum, prööm prööm (spoken)
    In French, vroum vroum
    In German, brumm brumm, wrumm wrumm
    In Italian, brum brum
    In Hungarian, brum brumm
    In Korean, bureung bureung 부릉부릉
    In Polish, brym brym, brum brum
    In Portuguese, vruum vruum
    In Romanian, vrum vrum
    In Spanish, run run
    In Swedish, brum brum
    In Thai bruen bruen บรึ๊น บรึ๊น
    In Turkish, vrum vrum (truck), han han (car)

    Quotoid: "We do not QUIT playing because we grow old, we grow old because we QUIT playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:03 AM  

    What, no ACME in the grid?!? But there is something about that clue for SNL, 49 A . . . .

    :>)

    Anonymous 10:03 AM  

    TUVALU was bad enough but MEWL was awful.

    Steve J 10:35 AM  

    I honestly have zero recollection of the phrase "jelly belly" outside the jelly bean brand. Clearly it's a real, different thing, so my earlier criticism of that isn't valid. And I have my something new I learned for the day.

    @thursdaysd and @jberg: The clue did say *some* British pub food. I've been in pubs in the UK with FISH AND CHIPS on offer. There's such a diversity of pubs there now - neighborhood boozers where the most food you'll get is a bag of crisps, places with ploughman's lunch and maybe some cold meat pies, places with basic kitchens and places with gourmet (or gourmet-aspiring) menus - that it's pretty well impossible to generalize about them.

    evil doug 10:36 AM  

    From Xword Info: "Will Shortz notes: 'Andrea's original manuscript had her own name, ANDREA, at 13A. While I don't mind inside jokes in constructors' puzzles, they shouldn't detract from the fill — which, unfortunately, is what happened here.'" 

    Evil

    Headgame 10:42 AM  

    I am surprised that Rex did not insert a link as to the fact that Tuvalu is " sinking" and it might be the first country to be totally evacuated due to rising sea levels. Currently it's citizens have a pass for immigration into most countries in the world.

    thursdaysd 10:54 AM  

    @Steve J - these days you can get almost any kind of food in a British pub, true. Which makes the clue essentially meaningless - it could have equally been roast beef and veg, or the latest gourmet take on pork belly. But FISHANDCHIPS are specifically associated with different places altogether, namely chippies (or chippys), usually as take out. Just because you can get a burger in some restaurants, I doubt you'd clue it as "some restaurant food".

    andy 11:03 AM  

    Easy even for a Monday, in my opinion. @thursdaysd, having lived in England for a number years recently, I'm sorry to report the chippie is all but dead. I may have seen 2 or 3 - FISHANDCHIPS have been relegated to the pub.

    quilter1 11:04 AM  

    We were in London in June, always ate in pubs and there were always fish and chips on the menu. I never thought of a brand of candy for JELLY BELLY-don't buy or eat them--but thought only of a body, namely mine.
    Good to see Acme's byline again. Thank you, Andrea.

    John Child 11:11 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    John Child 11:12 AM  

    @anon 10:03 MEWL is a beautiful word.

    All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players.
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

    DigitalDan 11:25 AM  

    @Steve J:
    Not to be outdone by J. Child:
    He had a broad face
    And a little round belly
    That shook when he laughed
    Like a bowlful of jelly

    @Lewis:
    When I floor my EV in neutral, the sound
    is " " " ".

    DigitalDan 11:30 AM  

    That was supposed to be
    "          " "          "

    Mohair Sam 12:07 PM  

    @andy - You're right - Lived in England in the '60s and we called all the little fish and chips take out places "Fishies". Visited again in 2001 and was surprised how hard the Fishies were to find. Stopped in a small restaurant near Buckingham Palace and ordered Fish and Chips and got them on an expensive plate (with a water cress garnish for Heaven's sake). Sad turn of events, I wanted them served in yesterdays newspaper.

    Joseph Michael 12:38 PM  

    @Rex, I enjoy your blog and appreciate the time and effort you put into making it happen each day, but your rewriting of today's crossword seems only like a jealous and/or insecure attempt to assert your superority over the constructor. Her original version, in my opinion, is better. Give credit where it's due.

    mac 12:46 PM  

    Fish and chips are served in the nicest restaurants now! Last time I had it in London was at Bibendum, in the Michelin building.

    Anonymous 12:52 PM  

    Apparently everyone works the Times puzzle electronically, and so does not have the pleasure of reading the other parts of the NYX every day, as I do.

    Last week there was a front-page article on Tuvalu - they're making millions by selling their .tv domain name to television/game streaming sites.

    wreck 12:54 PM  

    Hands up for not knowing TUVALUS/DEUS cross.
    SNL .............. yet again.... ultimate DRECK.

    Charley 2:16 PM  

    Never heard it said as "roll of the die."

    Anonymous 3:08 PM  

    "Gee,, I'm rex, and I happen to like my version better than the original." Cocky asshole. I sometimes think I'm better than other people too. I keep it to myself, like an adult.

    Masked and Anonymo9!Us 3:28 PM  

    I guess I'm with Charley on the dice/die issue. If I'm gonna put myself at major risk, I'm gonna need a pair.

    @63: Outstandin grid rewrite. Bullets:
    * Lost a U. Lil darlins.
    * Lost a Z.
    * Gained an extra X and J (and F).
    * Got yer musty old URN and ANON.
    * Got yer IGO partial. (If not partial, would need creative cluin, such as: {"Tarzan need potty break right now"}.
    * Got IMO AND IMIN in transit, along with IGO. Lotsa I, my stuff.

    Not bad. M&A would keep the @63 NE corner version, but would keep workin on that SW jobber.
    Somethin like this, perhaps...

    Q U A Y
    U R L
    I G A
    Z E N

    Advantage there is you got yer IGA Jelly (store brand). Weren't able to save that extra U, but did resurrect ALAN (ALDA), who probably has been in jelly commercials before.

    PETROLEUMTANKER woulda been a cool themer, if U don't want both beans and bellies.

    fave dab of desperation (always an element of charm, IMO): INAS.

    Good, as always, to see another fun ACME pangram.
    Thanx, Andrea. (Now also known as Alaska, evidently).

    I go.
    M&A

    sanfranman59 4:05 PM  

    Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

    All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

    Mon 6:04, 6:04, 1.00, 49%, Medium

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 4:02, 4:02, 1.00, 44%, Medium

    Sfingi 4:16 PM  

    @Andrea - nice puzzle.
    @Mohair - nice story.
    @Wreck - same here.

    @Anon308 - He got the reaction he wanted, so who's the---?

    @JBerg - any football is too much football for me. Now that the truth is coming out, that they're Neanderthals, parents are sending their sons to soccer and basketball.

    Question, re: Captchas - are numbers harder for robots than letters? Then, I guess they're like most H.S.kids.

    M and Also 4:30 PM  

    p.s.
    I guess the themers are all JELLY___, and no ___JELLY.
    So, my slick PETROLEUMTANKER just sunk.
    Wrong again, M&A breath.

    But... how'bout STONECOLDSOBER?
    GRAPESOFWRATH?
    CLUBSANDWICH?
    JARJARBINKS?
    SPINEDTHOPTER? (beginnin to sputter, a little bit, here...)

    M&A
    "More New Jellies, Next Month"

    RooMonster 5:45 PM  

    @M&A, cracked me up again! Love the Alaska thing!! Thanks for a smile after a wierd day at work!

    Theory on the Anonymeeces who disparage this site and Rex, and use foul language as shack value: If we all just never respond to them, they might get bored and leave. So, let's give that a try.

    RooMonster

    JFC 6:21 PM  

    Alas, poor Andrea/Acme/Alaska. She must experience the classic approach/avoidance conflict coming here (assuming she still bothers to read this Blog). She has so many fans here (me included) yet the Blog Meister and The Evil One give her such abuse it’s almost a chargeable offense. Rex tries to improve upon her puzzle’s pockets and fails. Rex needs to seriously re-think whether he should ever critique one of Acme’s puzzles again. And Evil can’t help but pounce on some words by Will Shortz, taking them out of context merely to underscore his disdain for what he considers her constant self-promotion. But, on the other hand, that’s what makes this Blog so enjoyable to read.

    JFC

    bswein99 6:25 PM  

    Before a jelly belly was a candy, it was a term for a soft, jiggly middle section. So if it's THAT definition of JELLY BELLY that we're talking about, it's quite different indeed from JELLY BEAN.

    851 7:12 PM  

    Thanks for your post, Doug. As usual, a positive contribution. Not!

    olympiasepiriot 9:02 PM  

    I do the puzzle in the paper. In red ink. My NE was totally different. This piece of DRECK took about 7 minutes to fill. As soon as I hitCOCOON, I lost all respect. A butterfly emerges from a chrysalis.

    O_o

    Z 9:06 PM  

    @Evil - How dare you quote somebody and cite the source!

    I must say, though, that Shortz' comment was not particularly informative to me. Constructors including personal easter eggs is the kind of insidery thing that I care about not a whit. Well, I might care if Mr. Mxyzptlk ever writes a puzzle, but otherwise not. If something like ANDREA was in the puzzle and the fill was fine, cool. If it were there and the fill was bad, I'd wonder why the editor had let it through. Finding out that the editor edited - that's "dog bites mailman" news.

    Hey - @John Child 11:12 - no anonymouse pointed out that you didn't write that. How do you rate? (Har)

    Dirigonzo 10:31 PM  

    @JFC wrote: "And Evil can’t help but pounce on some words by Will Shortz, taking them out of context merely to underscore his disdain for what he considers her constant self-promotion. But, on the other hand, that’s what makes this Blog so enjoyable to read." No, it's not.

    sanfranman59 12:36 AM  

    This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

    All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

    Mon 6:03, 6:03, 1.00, 49%, Medium

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 3:48, 3:57, 0.96, 24%, Easy-Medium

    Leapfinger 7:08 AM  

    Better late than never?

    Tough to work in JellySTONE Park, @M&A did a good job there, but I still like Vaseline PETROLEUM Jelly better, fore or aft.

    TUVALU or not TUVALU? That is the question. About a year ago, at least some of the Solomon Islands' were evacuated. Elsewhere, The Maldives is on the list: elevation about 6', maybe less now.

    @LEWIS, I was thinking 'warum, warum'. Not not. @dk's 'idle'comment cracked me up, especially the correction.

    @NCA Prez' on the English language: I used to make lye soap, using lice

    "Don't be GRUEL" Monday isa good follow-up to "Blue SWAYED SHOES" Sunday.

    Puzzle wrap-up:
    A. C ME!
    B. Do ME!!
    C. Love ME!!!

    Andrea, the Giant of the Monday puzzle!!!!

    spacecraft 11:13 AM  

    What, you couldn't find a clip from JELLY ROLL Morton? Or is that too "old-farty" for you, OFL? Anyway, nice to see ACME again, pangram and all.

    But for shame, dear lady! How can you define LABOR as "childbirth?" The two are inextricably related, for sure, but--well, you're a mom, aren't you? They ain't the same thing.

    A predictably pleasant pastime to start the week. (If you can pangram, I can alliterate!) B, for some DRECK in the fill, plus TUVALU on a Monday? For real?

    4810, I fold.

    Solving in Seattle 12:32 PM  

    Hey, Andrea, thanks for a tasty Monday puzzle that spurred a slightly snarky nest of comments.

    My only pin poke is the non-Jewish solver's natick of DRECK crossing ALEPH. I guess I'll just have to learn the Hebrew alphabet.

    Loved seeing EMMAPEEL (what teenager didn't have the hots for her?) and EVITA.

    While flying to London from Seattle several years ago, Mrs. @SiS was, as usual, reading the travel books and found that the "best FISHANDCHIPS in London" was served at a particular spot. So to avoid going immediately to sleep upon arrival at our hotel, we asked directions to the place and struck out for a great meal. It turns out it was about a two hour walk, and to make things worse, the fish and chips were super greasy and tasteless. The coup de grace was that we were way off the taxi circuit and had to walk almost all the way back to the hotel before we could flag one down. Slept for 12 hours.

    BTW, world's best FISHANDCHIPS are served at the walk up window of Ivar's Salmon House on Lake Union in Seattle. Ask for the halibut and chips.

    3315 - ain't gonna hold up.

    rain forest 2:08 PM  

    A fine Monday. Smooth and crunchy at the same time. Nice to see that ACME is still constructing, and it would have been nice had she dropped in to comment.

    Jelly belly, jelly bean--big deal. They're different, if similar--so what? I thought @rex's rewrite was quite sanctimonious, to be blunt. Totally unnecessary, and I'm getting tired of his constant reminders of *his* ideas of what a puzzle *should* be as though it were scripture. Usually he'll throw in some humour, but he couldn't muster it up here. Illuminating.

    3424 a card too many

    DMG 3:33 PM  

    A neat Monday. Learned that my often used DRECK is Yiddish and, once again, how to spell ONEO. For some reason my brain recalls it as OenO every time! Until tomorrow...

    286 Maybe a winner?

    Dirigonzo 4:34 PM  

    @spacy asked, "...well, you're a mom, aren't you?" In fact, Andrea is not a mom, and she recently contributed a story to a book titled, "No Kidding" which is a collection of stories by childless women who wrote about their reasons for not having children.

    3029 - DMG is looking good.

    Dirigonzo 5:58 PM  

    I just discovered that Jelly Roll Morton was born on October 20, 1890, - that kind of syndi-synchronicity deserves something special so here's a clip of Jelly Roll Blues (@spacy, I'm dedicating this to you.)

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