Philosopher Robert who wrote Sceptical Chymist / FRI 2-13-15 / Critical mass energy project founder / Old-style office job / Single-price auction purchase informally / Biogenesis scandal figure of 13 / Zeus trapped Typhon / Oxi Complete detergent / Biblical figure said to have married his sister Noam / Queendom in I Kings
Friday, February 13, 2015
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: TBILL (9A: Single-price auction purchase, informally) —
United States Treasury Securities are government debt instruments issued by the United States Department of the Treasury to finance the national debt of the United States. Treasury securities are often referred to simply as Treasuries. Since 2012 the management of government debt has been arranged by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, succeeding the Bureau of the Public Debt.There are four types of marketable treasury securities: Treasury bills, Treasury notes, Treasury bonds, and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS). There are also several types of non-marketable treasury securities including State and Local Government Series (SLGS), Government Account Series debt issued to government-managed trust funds, and savings bonds. All of the marketable Treasury securities are very liquid and are heavily traded on the secondary market. The non-marketable securities (such as savings bonds) are issued to subscribers and cannot be transferred through market sales. […]In 1929, the US Treasury shifted from the fixed-price subscription system to a system of auctioning where 'Treasury Bills' would be sold to the highest bidder. Securities were then issued on a pro rata system where securities would be allocated to the highest bidder until their demand was full. If more treasuries were supplied by the government, they would then be allocated to the next highest bidder. This system allowed the market, rather than the government, to set the price. On December 10, 1929, the Treasury issued its first auction. The result was the issuing of $224 million three-month bills. The highest bid was at 99.310 with the lowest bid accepted at 99.152. (wikipedia)
• • •
Started this puzzle on a bummer because I woke up to find David Carr had died. I always liked his writing, and he was the only good/memorable thing about "Page One" so R.I.P. to that guy for sure.
[This. All day long. This.]
[Note the wrong KEPT AT at 22A]
Now I head into the NE, and man oh man that place is trouble. I figure I'll throw some short stuff across those longer answer, then pick them off one by one, badda bing etc. Only I can't seem to throw any short stuff down. The whole western side of that NE section proves completely recalcitrant (a word favored by P.D. James, I'm finding out, as I work my way through Innocent Blood (1980) … but back to the puzzle …). At 11D: Like the sun god Inti, I put in AZTEC (strike) and then INCAN ("confirmed" by ENOS, which was a guess), and then hail-maryed LLANO in there at 12D: Vast prairie. And I swear to god if it hadn't been for that INCAN/LLANO pairing tipping me to the CAR in ECONOMY CAR, I might still be wildly swinging up there in that damned corner:
[God bless you, ECONOMY CAR]
[Continue noting the wrong KEPT AT at 22A]
STEW (that is, seethe) for a while before deciding on the only guess that makes sense: I opt for the answer that is a Thing that I've seen Before (T-BILL), having no idea why I'm doing so. Fast forward to Correct! And then I look up what a T-BILL is and somewhere in the fifth wikipedia paragraph or so is that bit about auctioning that I quote up top. So the most memorable part of an otherwise beautiful puzzle is now the part where I had to guess, and then read deep into a boring wikipedia article about the technicalities of finance (zzzz) before finally understanding. Final lesson for the day: treat your obscure proper nouns (in this case BOYLE) carefully. Cross them fairly. Save your overly cute clues for other parts of the grid.