Longtime Yugoslav leader / MON 1-26-15 / Tangy teatime offering / West Point newcomer / Looped calf-catcher / Shampoo in green bottle / Chinese-born American architect

Monday, January 26, 2015

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Medium-ish (my time was a teeny bit high for a Monday)

THEME: FRESH START (56A: New beginning … or what 16-, 23-, 31-, 38- and 45-Across each have?) — theme answers are familiar two-part phrases/names where first part can also be a synonym for "fresh" in the sense of … well, multiple senses, actually … I was going to say "sassy," but … just, see below…

Theme answers:
  • FLIP WILSON (16A: 1970s comedian whom Time magazine dubbed "TV's First Black Superstar")
  • SMART COOKIE (23A: Clever person)
  • PERT PLUS (31A: Shampoo in a green bottle)
  • BOLD TEXT (38A: Type meant to stand out)
  • FORWARD PASS (45A: Counterpart to a lateral)
Word of the Day: APISH (26A: Copycatting) —
1. Resembling an ape.
2. Slavishly or foolishly imitative: an apish impersonation.
3. Silly; outlandish. (thefreedictionary.com) 
• • •

This has a couple problems on the theme front. First, the "fresh"ness of someone who is forward (i.e. the guy who gets slapped by the girl for being excessively presumptuous) is very different from the "fresh"ness of someone who's just giving you lip, backtalk, sass, what have you. And "bold" feels like only the loosest of synonyms. So the "fresh"nesses see like they're offering themselves up as a coherent set, but I don't think they are. Second, BOLD TEXT … sat ill(y) with me. It googles fine, but that "type" is called "BOLDFACE" if it's called anything. I'd've liked that better, despite its X-lessness. Hell, I'd've liked BOLD MOVE better. BOLD TEXT feels "green paint"-ish. Like ITALIC TEXT or UNDERLINED TEXT. Meh. Then there's the fill. Now, I'm a big fan of the multiple long Downs, all of them at least solid. But I'm surprised Ian-not-SEAN (nice vanity clue there) (62A: Ian : Scotland :: ___ : Ireland) had to resort to such low-rent fill so often. GOERS at 1A: Attendees was just painful, and then to have RUER in the puzzle too. Nominalizing verbs w/ -ER always feels mildly half-assed, but some (say, RUNNERs) are better than others (say, GOERS). I have no issues with RISER or PARER, but here they add to an unfortunate overall ER(R)-ness.

And then APISH, oh, man. No. Here's what happens when you try to google [define apish]:

See. Google's like "Nah, you mean this other, similarly ridiculous thing, right?" Then when you insist "no, I really mean 'apish'," you get a definition that has only the most tangential relationship to the clue:

Clue says [Copycatting]. I guess the second definition pictured above covers "copycatting," in that apes are imagined to be copiers of human behavior (hence the *verb* ape, aping). [Copycatting] as APING, I'd buy. But APISH? As you can see by the helpful chart, no. That is not a word one uses these days. And on a Monday? Come on. Anyone using APISH at all, particularly on a Monday, should be a RUER indeed.

  • 62A: Ian : Scotland :: ___ : Ireland (SEAN) — botched this very badly on the first go-round because I didn't fully scan the clue. Had the final "N" and saw "Ireland" and instinctively wrote in ERIN. :(
  • 41D: "The Garden of Earthly Delights" artist (BOSCH) — blanked hard on this. Had -OSC- and could think only of TOSCA. 
  • 30D: Winning "Hollywood Squares" line (OOO) — well, it beats [Losing "Hollywood Squares" line], but not by much.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Whirred Whacks 12:10 AM  

Fun puzzle.

I did this in a little over 6 minutes (which is about the fastest I've ever done a NYT puzz). It was essentially an exercise in reading the clues and immediately typing in the letters (on my iPad Mini). I honestly don't think I could have typed the letters in more quickly even if I had known all of the answers ahead of time. Which leads me to wonder how some people are able to solve these puzzles in three minutes or so. There must be some typing secrets I'm not privy to. Anyone want to share them with me?

Enjoy your Monday, folks!

Steve J 12:35 AM  

Easy, uneventful and mostly uninteresting Monday puzzle for me. Didn't even notice half of this due to filling in so many answers from all the crosses before I ever got to the clue.

Carola 12:36 AM  

A cute theme and lots of it plus the very nice long Downs made this a fine Monday puzzle, I thought, and a little tougher than usual. With FRESH as the theme, the "PASS" part of FORWARD PASS takes on a new meaning; TART might almost qualify as a bonus answer, too.

Possible sequence: ERR-->RAP-->PADDY WAGON-->RUER-->PEN-->ESC or FRESH START.

dreisands 12:45 AM  

I know that it ran for 10 seasons, but "Kukla, Fran, and Ollie" hasn't been on TV in over half a century. Couldn't the cluing be a bit more recent with like "Skateboard trick" or "____ Tabooger"

zac 12:45 AM  

Whirred. I've often wondered the same. My fastest Monday ever was 3:37 and I felt like I was moving at the speed of light, totally zoned in. So to see routine 3:00 solves blows my mind too! Something to strive for!

AliasZ 12:48 AM  
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AliasZ 12:54 AM  
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AliasZ 1:00 AM  

I like Ian Livengood's work. Today he is offering us an intelligent puzzle using sassy synonyms as the theme. Ingenious, novel and Monday-easy. I liked it. Not once did I feel like A PISH out of water. The fill is clean as a whistle as well, except for GOERS, RUER, IAMSO and OOO.

At xwordinfo Ian asks: "Do solvers know Hieronymus BOSCH outside of crosswords? I certainly don't.[...] BOSCH is a notch below some A-listers like Monet, Renoir and Picasso, but the highbrow entry should appeal to the NYT demographic, I think."

Ian, you should definitely know him outside of crosswords, but if you don't, I recommend you check him out. Let me assure you, Hieronymus BOSCH is solidly among the A-listers, up there with Jan van Eyck and the Bruegels. Even a cursory browsing of his grotesque and often shocking paintings are worth more than a month's worth of Internet subscription and an hour of your time. That is, if you are into fine arts. At any rate, IAMSO grateful that BOSCH wasn't clued as the German multinational corporation.

I liked the four long downs, SENIOR PROM and PADDYWAGON being my favorites.

LEMONT ART - Who is Lemont? YORE guess is as good as mine.
BOO MED - Remedy for jumpiness.
If at first you don't succeed, RETRY.

The three very different musical offerings today were inspired by TITO, PYRES and PINES: TITO Puente who needs no introduction, I couldn't resist offering Maria João PiRES playing some Mozart, and for a finale, the closing of PINES of Via Appia by Ottorino Respighi.

Have a cheerful Monday.

chefwen 1:22 AM  

I was always accused of being FLIP and sassy by my ever so staid, Europeans raised father. Oh well!

Avatar has finally lost his puppy teeth, so his NIPS are not as painful as before. Now I have to teach Rice to keep her nails sheathed while attacking my legs. I'm too old to have kids.

Really liked the puzzle, Monday easy with a very cute theme. Thank you IAN.

chefwen 1:23 AM  

Sorry, drop the s after European.

MDMA 2:20 AM  

GOER(S) is a perfectly cromulent word.

Eh? Know what I mean? Know what I mean? Nudge nudge. Know what I mean?.

jae 2:26 AM  

Easy-medium.  Add me to the cute theme not too much dreck contingent.  Nice one Ian, liked it.

And, speaking of APISH, just saw Dawn of The Planet oh The Apes last night. Good movie, although I can't  believe that franchise is still going almost 50 yrs later. 

MDMA 2:29 AM  

@Whirred Whacks

You're never going to win any typing contests on an iPad. Maybe on a desktop computer if the page in question has keyboard shortcuts so you can avoid using the mouse.

But if you're trying to set speed records in a contest setting, I think those all use old-fashioned paper. So you'd have to practice writing barely legible letters as rapidly as possible.

Aketi 6:23 AM  

@whirred whacks i did watch the clip of Rex solving. He had a crazy double headed eraser on his pencil but he never used it. And yes his writing was sloppy. II instafilled this one but my time was double yours because I'm very slow on the iPad.

The advantage of the iPad, however, is that I can sip my cappuccino (since the dh is an early bird and brings it to me) and do the crossword in bed. Harder to do that solving with a pencil. This morning I finished the puzzle before the dh brought me coffee. The whole point of doing the puzzle for me is to have an excuse for staying in bed longer.

GILL I. 7:21 AM  

Very manly, name-ish, Monday....
BOSCH (never, ever, liked his work)
STAN and OLLIE (Laurel and Hardy.!!!Love them...
TITO (Puente in my book)
Otherwise, I too didn't feel like A PISH out of water....@Alias Z!
Question: Why is a COOKIE SMART?

Glimmerglass 7:21 AM  

As a measure of just how ancient I am, I watched Kukla, Fran, and OLLIE as a child. It was one of my favorites, almost as good as Time For Beanie.

Mohair Sam 7:32 AM  

Great theme for a Monday, @Rex is totally full of it this morning. Yes Rex, there are different kinds of "FRESHness", and?

Read @Alias Z at 1:00 AM for an accurate assessment.

joho 7:49 AM  

Great write-up, Rex! I did this last and wrote three things in the margin: APISH??? (If the clue had been, "Copycattish" it would have been so much better ...not!). GOERS Ugh! BOLDTEXT? Should be BOLDFACE!

I really like to get off to a great start at 1A. I even said to myself, "Please don't let "Atendees" be GOERS.

Regardless I still enjoyed this puzzle due to the saucy theme and spot on reveal. Also I really like seeing FRESHSTART on a Monday as that's what the first day of the week gives us.

SMARTCOOKIE was my favorite.

Thanks, Ian!

NCA President 7:55 AM  

@Whirred: If you watch Wordplay, there is a guy on there solving a puzzle on a computer. There is a video game quality to how he does it...it's crazy to watch. There is also a video on YouTube that shows someone solving a Monday puzzle with pencil and paper and he basically is just filling it in, albeit fast and furiously.

Personally, I enjoy pushing myself to complete the puzzle quickly, but I don't enjoy doing it so fast that my hands shake and my heart rate goes up.

If you haven't seen Wordplay, I highly recommend it.

Susan McConnell 7:59 AM  

Fun, Monday-ish. My father-in-law used to use tell us we were being BOLD if we told an off-color joke, or swore, or said something rude. He always said it with a little impish grin. He's been gone 20 years now...I am glad the puzzle reminded me of him using that word, it brought a smile.

Rhino 8:20 AM  

I've finally done enough nyt crosswords to know that if it looks like lasso, walks like lasso and sounds like lasso, then it has to be RIATA.

Horace S. Patoot 8:35 AM  

In the culture I was raised in, FRESH referred to just about anything a kid said that was either annoying, obtrusive, or impertinent, i.e. anything that disturbed the peace or challenged the illusion of parental infallibility, so to me the term blanketed all of the theme answers perfectly.

Z 8:58 AM  

BOSCH and Goya are the punk rockers of Art; More Iggy Pop/Sex Pistols/Husker Dü than Taylor Swift/Justin Timberlake/Jay Z. Nothing like a rich fear of Satan to imbue some great art.

I can't remember when I had this many write-overs on a Monday: BOLDface->BOLDType->BOLDTEXT, Nbc->NPR, LEMONzest->LEMONTAng->LEMONTART which caused ANgSt->ANTSY, dOERS->GOERS (I don't know why), and APIng->APISH (copycatting led me astray). I don't time myself on paper, but it felt average even with all the errors.

I liked the fresh theme. Rex is right on the lack of definitional cohesiveness but I see this as a feature, not a bug. As for FRESH=BOLD, have you ever seen a coffee ad?

The FLIP WILSON Show is shown on a regular basis on ASPiRE TV, a network that seems to specialize on 1960-70's era African-American starring shows including Julia and (until very recently) The original Bill Cosby sitcom. It is an interesting network to watch for the sociologically minded.

Teedmn 9:03 AM  

This took me twice as long as I think it should have - I'm attributing it to my solving it in complete darkness by the glow of my iPad while I wait for my cabin-mate to wake up. I'm sitting in a very snug cabin in a MN state park about an hour NE of the Twin Cities and we just got the tiniest amount of FRESH snow over night so it might be enough to make X-country skiing possible . Yesterday, there wasn't enough snow so we hiked. Weird world where NY is awaiting a blizzard for the ages and I'm languishing in 40 degree weather in January!

RUER, GOERS, APISH, brought the same reaction as many of you had. BOSCH was a gimme - as a child, I was amazed at the myriad figures in his paintings and horrified/fascinated at what they were doing. I liked the theme and needed the reveal to tie them together. A great start to the week, thanks Ian Livengood.

Fred Smith 9:04 AM  

Ian, Alias --

Another place where Heironymus Bosch lives is in the Michael Connelly police procedural novels, where he's an LAPD detective. He was named after the 15th century Dutch artist.

Airymom 9:07 AM  

The first week of January, my kids and I went to Carrabba's for dinner. The hostess asked where we would like to sit (restaurant was not busy at all). I said, "a booth in the back in the corner in the dark." My kids and the hostess looked at me like I was nuts.

I wish that some cable station aired repeats of "The Flip Wilson Show". He was hilarious. 16A made my day.

Stay safe and warm everyone. Here in the Baltimore area, just a dusting of snow so far, but more to come.

Hungry Mother 9:09 AM  

Easy using only Down clues.

RooMonster 9:12 AM  

Hey All !
Got the revealer, but still thought it couldn't be right, as that seemed a far stretch of the themers. Just IMO.

Quick solve, I don't go all out on trying to be speedy, I like to read and get every clue. Hate to fill in a bunch of Acrosses and have the Downs filled before I read the clues. Hey, to each their own, right?

If you do the puz online at the NYT site, there is a column on the right that lists the times various people complete the puz. On Mon/Tue, there are times less than 2 minutes! Even on a SatPuz, the fastest time is just over 3 minutes. I would love to know how they can fill the puz on so fat, and also, on Saturday, how they can know the answers that fast. SatPuz's are hard! If these people are that smart, they need to use their IQ to bring about world peace, or something.

Back to this puz, I did like it. Always a nice break after Fri-Sat-Sun.


chefbea 9:19 AM  

Got smart cookie and lemon tart and was happy it was going to be a food themed puzzle!!!

Pretty easy puzzle for me

@Glimmerglass - loved those shows and Howdy Doody too.

@Airymom..we love Carraba's. Gor there all the time

jberg 9:32 AM  

IMO, APIng=copycatting, but APISH=loutish. And BOLD TEXT is almost cheating. But I liked the theme OK, I agree that the varied nuances of fresh are a plus, not a minus.

But I'm a RUER, all ANTSY, since learning that my time zone leads to an STD.

I'm pretty sure those folks with the <2 minutes times are solving the puzzle first, typing it in later.

Bird 9:40 AM  

Hi all. Are my fellow New Yorkers ready for some snow?!

Theme is fine with me as it's Monday afterall. Fill on the other hand is lacking and I agree with all of Rex's nits. When are we gonna stop seeing "verbers"?

Charles Flaster 9:46 AM  

Easy and liked theme. Agree with Rex on theme-- not unified use of FRESH but does not detract from puzzle.
OLLIE can also be clued from Love Story-- Erich Segal is an underrated writer IMO.
Who was the puppeteer on K ,F and Ollie?. Remember not to use friend Google.
No crosswordEASE-- strange for a Monday.
Thanks IL-- always enjoy your Freshness.

Tita 10:01 AM  

Sure - who doesn't hate GOERS (as a dreader PoC -ER no less!).
BOLDface sat there for a while too.

Did like both a PEN and a STYE for my pigs.

I worked with a fiercely proud Scot in Prague whose name was Euan - is that the "real" spelling?

Syncronicity - I just stumbled upon Google NGrams
, and then here is one in Rex's writeup.
If you want a new time sink, click on "Advanced", and happily compare away to you heart's content.

IAN et al - do, as @Alias suggests, check out BOSCH. Don't let @Gill sway you!!

Thanks Mr. Livengood, and thanks again to Alias Z for the musical interludes.

Lewis 10:06 AM  

I like POSSE opposite FISTS, and GAFFE opposite RETRY. I like the early RISER, and the over-ANTSY PARER. Can FLIP, SMART, PERT, BOLD, and FOWARD be seen at times as FRESH? Yes they can, so I have no problem with this Monday theme.

Since the start of the year, the Monday puzzles have had a little more crunch IMO than the typical Monday before -- just a little less easy but still easy. I like this level better. Stay with it Will, and thank you Ian for a perky start to the day.

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

This was a fine Monday. Rex is a dick. Rinse. Repeat.

Whirred Whacks 10:24 AM  

@NCA Prez

Thanks for your comments regarding 3-minute solvers. It's been five years since I've done the paper version of the NYT. Perhaps I should give it a try again to see if that's a faster medium than my iPad.

Actually, I care only a little bit about my speed. If I were solely focused on how fast on I could solve each puzzle, I'd think I'd lose much of the enjoyment (studying my thinking) and comprehension (learning new words and being reminded of old things) that currently come with the solving experience.

One of my very favorite paintings is Hieronymous BOSCH's "Garden of Earthly Delights." I've visited it twice at the Prado Museum in Madrid, and both times I was amazed at just how much brighter the colors are in the original as compared to any reproduction of it I've ever seen.

Steve J 10:26 AM  

GOERS didn't bother me as much as it apparently bothered many. It's actually in common use, albeit with a location attached to the front: e.g., theater-goers, moviegoers, etc.

I am as bothered by APISH as others. Clue and answer have to be the same part of speech, and these obviously aren't.

@Rhino: Good one. When I see a clue that point to lasso, I always wait for a cross to see if, in fact, it's going to be RIATA. And it see,s like it is more often than not.

Hartley70 10:26 AM  

This took me a little longer too and I don't know why because the answers were fairly evident except for boldface. I couldn't see the theme as I moved along and even the revealer wasn't really a satisfying aha moment, more an okay, yea thing. I label this a serviceable Monday only because I agree with @Lewis that the bar has risen. I remember a time when this would have been fabulous.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:43 AM  

Hand up for BOLDFACE before BOLDTEXT. Even gave it a quick crosscheck, thought 39 D, Warty creature, just might be a FROG!

Funny puzzle? FLIP WILSON followed immediately by NIPSey Russell.

Joseph Michael 10:46 AM  

Who says a word can't have more than one meaning? Thought the theme was OK and ditto on the fill. Appreciated the shout out to Hieronymous BOSCH. Liked PADDY WAGON but it got me wondering if that's an Irish slur.

Good luck to the East Coast with today's big storm on the way. Hope you have a lot of crosswords to keep you busy.

Casco Kid 10:59 AM  

More sussing than usual for a Monday, so at 22 min, it ran a little long, including chat time with Mrs. Kid, as we did this one @Mohair Sam-style last night. BOSCH SEAN COSMO BOLDTEXT AXED OSS RUER(BOLDface first) PERTPLUS APISH all took a couple of passes to pattern out/recall, but ultimately doable.

@Whirred, 6 minutes is about the speed of my retype-nearly-from memory time using an iPad, so I think you really did it as fast as the ghost of Steve Jobs will allow.

Evidently, speed solvers don't solve one clue at a time, but whole blocks of clues. They do it in their heads in a few seconds, probably using sets of consecutive downs to define the blocks, then they scratch down 6-8 answers before going on the next block. So I hear.

Numinous 11:03 AM  

Unlike @Rex, I found this one very easy. In spite of being thrown by BOLDface and having to change it to BOLD TEXT by searching for typos, I still finished more than a minute and a half below my average time. Would have been two and a half without the typo check.

@Whirred Whacks, a few days ago, @Carola showed off her iPad keyboard. I use this one. I'm working on my third. I spilled water on the first and lost the "w" key and the return key. The second one was stolen during my last hospital stay. Having a KB cuts solving times enormously.

I enjoyed this puzzle and especially enjoyed the lack of incromulent ESE. Thanks @MDMA for the new word.

Numinous 11:03 AM  
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wreck 11:10 AM  


I've been considering an external keyboard, but have a question -- What happens to the on-screen keyboard in the NYT Crossword app?


Numinous 11:15 AM  

As an aside, I hope y'all with Google or Blogger accounts aren't still indulging the CAPTCHA. If your Google Account ID is listed below "Choose an identity", google already knows you're not a robot! I've been ignoring the CAPTCHA for weeks now.

Numinous 11:17 AM  
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Numinous 11:20 AM  

@wreck, the on-screen KB simply sinks below the bottom frame on the iPad. If it doesn't, the "disappear the keyboard" button works to make it vanish. Overall, with more screen space, the puzzle looks much better.

wreck 11:36 AM  

Thank-you! I presume you then use the arrow keys to navigate?

Master Melvin 11:43 AM  

National championship winning basketball coach at UConn: Kevin OLLIE.

Numinous 11:47 AM  

@wreck, yes indeed, all the keys work for the NYTXW app. Sadly, they do not all work for the iPad version of Across Lite which I use for the LAT puz. I live with it especially since the AL keying interface is so lousy for the app. Otherwise, the KB works exactly as expected for every other app that can use one.

Masked and Anonymo3Us 11:48 AM  

78 words. 38 black squares. 6 themers. 4 looong down fillers. Few (3) exculpatory U's. This can mean only one thing...


* GOERS. Not really a weeject, but day-um, what a neat, desperate, way to start off a MonPuz! Fresh.
* {Poem of praise}. We have our moo-cow-Monday clued weeject winner, and it is good ol ODE. Speakin of smooth moos...
* {Looped calf-catcher}. Wanted DRUNKDROVER. But I digress, weeject-wise...
* MLB-OOO. Some quality weeject-stackin, here.
* LUC. Better clue: {Bad LUCK at a spelling bee??}. See? Double-?? clue; always a crowd-pleaser.
* APISH. Just wanted to mention how much I liked @63's chart-based research on this noteworthy desperate fill. Primo. Do more.
* OSS. Here Ian attempts to put out yer STD grid S-O-S, but is forced by the crossword fill god (Mr. Tawn Pufene) to settle for an anagram. Sassy.

Fun MonPuz, which lots of lil gems within. thUmbsUp.



... * POT! AOKay!

** snowed-in dudes: gruntz and also a big sob ACPT practice puz **

Ellen S 12:16 PM  

@Charles Flaster -- the Kukla, Fran & Ollie puppeteer was Burr Tillstrom. Everybody knows that, if they're ancient enough. (Well, he was Kukla and Ollie's puppeteer; Fran Allison was a person.)

Speaking of puppeteers, I'm going to sue my eye surgeon. I glanced at 56D and read "Jim Henson's do" and thought, when did Jim Henson sport an AFRO?

I like BOSCH, myself. I bet Oliver J. Dragon liked him, too.

Ellen S 12:24 PM  

Oh, iPad keyboards. I have an iPad 2, for a while used a standalone bluetooth keyboard, but banging around loose in my bag, it started losing keys. Also, the arrows and whatnot didn't work. I had bought a separate keyboard because I already had a case, but finally I succumbed and bought a Brookstone case with keyboard and it is heavenly. When I'm typing I can actually use the Apple shortcuts, Cmd-Z for undo, etc., the arrows work and everything. It even has a function key for screen brightness, that works (in fact I keep hitting it reaching for the exclamation point). My only disappointment is Puzzazz doesn't recognize external keyboards at all -- if I don't want to hand-write the answers, I have to use the app's built-in keyboard.

mac 12:27 PM  

Nice little Monday puzzle, but the Goers right at start weren't very elegant.

Not an easy puzzle to me, but I didn't know Flip and Ollie. No problem with Bosch, of course.

We're ready for the storm, as much as you can be ready. The first selectman wants us to be prepared to stay put for 72 hours.

MikeM 12:32 PM  

Elln, I was going to guess Shari Lewis, although I thought may have been wrong. I think "Lambchop" belonged to Shari. My mind is going... I am 56 and it is hard to remember

Lewis 1:04 PM  

Factoid: The FORWARD PASS became legal in college football in 1906 in an effort to open up the game, after the 1905 season in which 18 players had been killed and 159 seriously injured on the field. (Chicago Tribune, via Wikipedia)

Quotoid: "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the REST of the world." -- Oscar Wilde

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

I bet Molly is a GOER. Know what I mean? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Masked and Awardymous 1:53 PM  

I Fink U Freeky – 4th Annual Awards
"Celebrating the Rodney Dangerfield of vowels in crosswords"

First, a musical warm-up act, over here:

2014, In Rev-U:
May-yerd, mon amigos. Tough year for the lil darlins…
Average U-count, for all puzs in the 2014-Universe: 3.975. Some puzs actually had none! (gasp)

Top 2014-ers, in no particular order:

* Xan Vongsathorn – LAT, Feb 14. Each themer has its first two letters reversed, creating wacky results, with each altered themer endin up startin with a U. Examples: USBSANDWICH, UPTONTHEDOG. Only 9 U's, but really liked the theme's upfront sentiments.
* Bruce Haight – NYT, Nov 10. 12 U's. Best count, overall. Theme was not U-related.
* James Mulhern – NYT Nov 11. 11 U’s, including each themer having 2 U's. (Theme revealer: DOUBLEUP.)
* Brendan Emmett Quigley – His own site. Puzzle (entitled "W") doesn't have a date on it. 9 U's. Each themer has two U's added to stuff, producing wacko phrases, such as: USUALLYFIELD, TRUEBLUECLEF, etc. Primo theme idea.
* @RooMonster – Originally at runtpuz.blogspot.com, but unfortunately this puz has since been removed. 7x7 runtpuz, where all the vowels are U's. Had to recall this one from M&A memory, so not sure how many U's. Thanx again, @Roo! Coolest runtpuz, ever.

Thanx so much, and a standin U-vation to y'all.


mathguy 2:13 PM  

Tita: Sorry, what does the graph on Ngrams represent?

Whirred Whacks: Thanks for reminding me that I saw Bosch's great painting at The Prado. As you say, it was stunning. Do you know about the free app DailyArt? Every day it shows a famous painting with some of its history.

RooMonster 2:37 PM  

I'd like to thank the academy.....

Wow, thanks M&A, what an awesome shout-out/acknowledgement! I can't remember how many U's either! I'll have to wait till I get home and look it up. What happened to the Runtz over there?


Anonymous 2:51 PM  

The best, and I mean the absolute best, keyboard for an iPad is Microsoft's Surface Pro 3.

Tita 3:04 PM  

@mathguy - word occurrence over time...in books...

Go to "About" at the bottom of the page - it tells all, and, shows advanced parameters you can use.

Here is a TED Talk about it, which I am going to watch - perfect activity as I watch my woods fill up with snow.

djogba 3:10 PM  

I've been doing NYT crossword on my iPad as a bedtime activity (I live in Hawaii, so it comes out early for me), until I read that such devices disrupt sleep and hinder alertness. (Study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). So now I print out the puzzle from the website. It's a more pleasant experience to do the physical writing (though you're not automatically timed). Less frustrating, if you, like me, have trouble scrolling or hitting the wrong buttons.

Charles Flaster 4:27 PM  

Great work. He was a real genius.
Liked Fran(Allison) too.

Big Steve 7:28 PM  

OK from here. Little Crunchy.
Want a challenge try doing only downs,
using your non-dominant hand.

Not a fan of RUER, GOER, etc.
One would be OK, but both, that's pushing it.

For APISH, would "boor-like" have worked?

Also, APISH reminded of A Big Bang Theory, I watched 30-seconds of.
It was the Pancake Batter Anamoly.
Basically Sheldon gets sick and the guys go to a Planet on the APISH festival to kill some time.

see a fun still.




btw, captcha = icesh (wow!!)?

GILL I. 8:35 PM  

Yikes....Hope you Easterners remain safe!
You're welcome to come to California...just bring some rain with you.

Leapfinger 5:44 AM  

I always thought there was a touch of something Hieronymous Boschesque in the opening and final credits of Monty Python's Flying Circus, know what I mean?

A PISH tosh
On the transnational BOSCH,
But they have the SMARTs
For automotive PARTS.

I never meta Livengood I didn't like, and he still hasn't deteriorated.

Leapfinger 5:57 AM  

Whither thou goest, thou art superlative.
Thou go, and that's definite!

So, thou art a GOER, comparatively.
No problemo, QED!

Leapfinger 5:57 AM  

Whither thou goest, thou art superlative.
Thou go, and that's definite!

So, thou art a GOER, comparatively.
No problemo, QED!

DigitalDan 12:03 PM  

Agree with Rex. Scouts do NOT earn MERITS. In BSA, the word is used ONLY in the singular as an adjective modifying BADGE or BADGES.

lee woo 12:33 AM  

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books - especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day. See the link below for more info.


spacecraft 10:47 AM  

Hand up for BOLDface, my w/o of the day. And now, because I enjoy @Burma-Shave's POETry so much, here's a little something:

I had a COSMO in a flagon;
To the SENIORPROM I was draggin.'
I made a BOLD GAFFE,
Made my POSSE laugh--
Now I'm off in the PADDYWAGON!

[Sent from the KLINK]

I certainly hope I gave more entertainment than I got today, because what I got was...not much. Theme was stretchy but OK; fill, outside of some nice long downs, very APISH. I'll give it a D. Wait, good ol' STAN 'n' OLLIE ought to count for something. Make it a C-.

Do the name Ruby Begonia strike a familiar note?

rondo 12:58 PM  

After FLIPWILSON and SMARTCOOKIE I thought the revealer might sak for the starts of the answers to be types of phones. But no.

Anoter hand up for BOLDface, then the TOAD made it BOLDType, and then it all fixed itslf, but looked like a late week write-over inkfest.

Other than that I zipped though this very quickly, but not in 3 minutes. No way I could get there that fast AND be able to read it. No sense in me going to one of those competitions apparently.
But today was not terrible.

rondo 1:01 PM  

Sorry - ask, and another - again, my re-built left hand.

@Spacey - thanks for the FLIP comment re: Ruby Begonia. Here come da judge. Sock it too ya.

DMG 1:29 PM  

Only write-over here was replacing APing with much reviled APISH. And I admit to a long pause before accepting GOER - that's a stand alone word? Otherwise this was the kind of puzzle that gives me the courage to keep on practicing with the hope of some day mastering the TFS posers.

@Spacecraft: yes, Ruby Begonia does "strike a note", but I'm going crazy trying to remember which one. How about a hint.

Captcha is KOTZEBUF where do they get this stuff?

Burma Shave 1:36 PM  

ODE to @Spacey’s BOLDTEXT

SENIORPROM GOERS AGREE, couldn’t be truer!
Have NIPS of ALE, smoke a LOAD of POT, don’t be a RUER.
With @Spacey share a COSMO
In his hot ROD Dodge MONACO,
Make a FORWARDPASS at YORE date (you might doer).


rain forest 1:37 PM  

I'll bet that 38A originally was BOLDface, because it results in completely possible crosses, although 39D would be somewhat risque. BOLDTEXT is namby-pamby.

The ACPT is coming and I'm sure many in this crowd will be GOERS (ugh).

Other than those two, not a bad puzzle, which I completed in just a few precious nanoseconds above or below my fastest time ever, heh.

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