SUNDAY, Dec. 7, 2008 - Jim Page (Queens neighborhood near La Guardia / Dutch artist Theo / Silvery salmon / Loser of a footrace with Hippomenes)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Hey!" - letter string "PSST" in six theme answers, with the theme hinted at by 64A: Start of an announcement ... or a hint to what's hidden in the answers to the six starred clues ("Your attention, please!")

Just lost about half an hour's worth of writing when Firefox froze up on a Barbara Bain image search. I hate that %@#$! right now. Never want to see her face again.

Let's see - what did I say? The puzzle is fine. Solid. The theme is very straightforward, resulting in uniform answers (all third-person verb phrases), none of which are that memorable. Hard to find other kinds of phrases where "PSST" extends across two words. Is CRAPS STAKE a phrase? If so, it's not a good one. This puzzle's charm lies not in its theme, but in its professional fill, and particularly in the wide open NE and SW corners, which gave a feeling of expansiveness, room to breathe after the crowded, fussy feeling of the middle, with all its nooks, crannies, and small words. Best word in the NE: FRICASSEE (15D: Chicken dish). It's a word I learned from Looney Tunes, probably Bugs or Daffy or Yosemite Sam. I managed to track down an example of it in "Rabbit's Kin," featuring the hilariously-voiced Pete Puma. Enjoy.

Theme answers:

  • 23A: *Distinguishes (kee PSST raight)
  • 33A: *Does a hostler's work (swee PSST alls)
  • 48A: *Participates in a bear market (dum PSST ocks)
  • 84A: *Plays at a pond, in a way (ski PSST ones)
  • 99A: *Engages in some mutual gossip (swa PSST ories)
  • 112A: *Commits knitting boo-boos (dro PSST itches)

There were a boatload of people in the puzzle, some gimmes, some Not.

  • 40A: "Taking Heat" memoirist Fleischer (Ari) - gimme; former White House spokesperson
  • 47A: "The Story-Teller" storyteller (Saki) - know the name, but did not know the story in question
  • 52A: English actor Sir _____ Jacobi (Derek) - knew his name, didn't know how or why. Turns out he is a major Shakespearean actor. But if I'm being honest, I know him from "Gladiator" and "Gosford Park"
  • 74A: Dutch artist Theo (Jansen) - no idea. He builds gigantic walking ("kinetic") sculptures that look like something out of "Dune" or "The Empire Strikes Back" - ART (92A: Emerson's "jealous mistress"), shmart; these things Must have practical military applications.
  • 91A: "Dune" director David (Lynch) - no idea he directed that. He didn't enter my consciousness until "Blue Velvet," which blew my 18-year-old mind.
  • 89A: Ellen of "Grey's Anatomy" (Pompeo) - if you say so. Never watched a single episode, and have absolutely no desire to. And I watch a lot of TV.
  • 114A: Actress Annabella of "The Sopranos" (Sciorra) - her character had an affair with Tony
  • 59D: Barbara of "Mission: Impossible" (Bain) - I want never to hear of her again. Only Conrad, from now on.
  • 50D: Pulitzer winner for "Russia Leaves the War" (Kennan) - who what who? KENNAN JANSEN POMPEO were the Holy Trinity of WTF names today. From now on, I will refer to people unknown to me as being from DITMARS, as I've never heard of that either (107A: Queens neighborhood near La Guardia). It has the advantage of containing the word MARS, and thus suggesting that the answers are from outer space.
  • 104D: "Lady T" singer _____ Marie (Teena) - I know exactly one song by her. It is called "Lover Girl." It came out right around the time of Billy Ocean's "Loverboy" ... mmm, high school. "A little birdie told me that you feel the sa-ee-ame!"

  • 102A: Loser of a footrace with Hippomenes (Atalanta) - OK, not a real person, but a cool name nonetheless. I am always vaguely disturbed by that second "A"

The only way you know San YSIDRO (45A: San _____, locale just north of Tijuana, Mexico) is if a. you live near there, or b. you remember a horrible shooting that took place at a McDonald's there in the 80s. I have no idea if it is more or less famous than DITMARS.

Here's a brief tour of some of the more interesting sections of this puzzle. I nearly crashed the car trying to hang a UEY (63A: It may be illegal to hang one), because, I mean, really. Look at it. How often do you see ... that? It's a fine expression, and I've seen it several times in puzzles, but the odd clue had me stuck for a bit, esp. since the clue on UPN (63D: Bygone TV inits.) seemed vague to me, and I initially spelled DRYER (52D: Load bearer?) with an "I." Before I picked up the theme (or maybe it was after!) I had SELLS STOCKS instead of DUMPS STOCKS, which made the West a mess. Wanted LIMA where PERU is now (49D: Equatorial land), because I was 99.9% sure that LAOS wouldn't work. The finished West is kind of ugly, now that I look at it in the cold light of day. The dreaded, archaic, xword-only ADES (40D: Summer drinks) alongside the unappealing adjective RUTTY (41D: Like some dirt paths), along side a partial, I'M TOO (42D: "_____ old for this!") that Should have been clued differently ...

The Rest:

  • 19A: Contact sport with a purification ritual (sumo) - good example of how valuable educated guessing is. Didn't know about this ritual thing, but SUMO was the only sport I considered. Four letters ... could have been JUDO or EPEE or POLO, I guess, but come on.
  • 20A: Jobs offering of 1998 (iMac) - Jobs is Steve. I am typing on an iMac. It only *feels* like it's from 1998. Barbara Bain!! [shakes fist at sky]
  • 28A: Brightest star in Auriga, from the Latin for "little she-goat" (Capella) - why the Latin help here? I remember having to get AURIGA from Capella in some brutal clue a couple of years ago. You'd think going in the other direction would be a little easier. Barbara Bain is a little she-goat.
  • 30A: Plant with two seed leaves (dicot) - had DIPOD for a bit and was quite unhappy with DIPOD and APODAL (29D: Lacking limbs) being so close to each other.
  • 55A: Card's insignia (STL) - baseball: the ST Louis CARDinals have these letters as one of their insignias.
  • 93A: When said three times, a 1970 film (Tora) - never seen it, but a gimme nonetheless
  • 115A: Brit's oath (gor!) - made me want to exclaim GOR, as I completely forgot about this "oath."
  • 118A: Most grinchlike (meanest) - is "grinch" a non-Seussian word? Why isn't it capitalized?
  • 119A: Merino mother (ewe) - I have several products made from NZ Merino wool. In fact, wife and I spent the most money we've Ever spent in an airport at a Merino store getting supernice high-end winter wear. I wore my world's-most-expensive non-DRESSY (56A: Formal) long-sleeve shirt Friday night, and my torso was the only part of me that wasn't uncomfortably cold. So Maybe spending our retirement in that store was a good idea after all (esp. considering the recent state of the market). Put everything in Merino!
  • 9D: How to put a coin in a coin slot (edgeways) - I had EDGEWISE, which seemed unimpeachable to me.
  • 90D: Plane seating specification (exit row) - I prefer these rows, as I am 6'3" and don't fit anywhere else. I'm sure there are upsides to being tall, but the fact that the Entire World is built for people 6-to-12 inches shorter than you is Not one of them. I am having to invest a lot of time, thought, and energy into NOT becoming a hunchback by age 60.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 11:13 PM  

Easy for me but with a couple of tough crossing i.e. MINIMI/SMOLTS and DITMARS/ASSAI. Guessed right on the latter and needed input from my bride for SMOLTS. I liked this one partly because getting the theme early helped with solving. Missteps included SUN for LYE, TIRED for TRITE, TOY for TIN, and ALLOTMENT for ALLOWANCE. Also spelled SCIORRA a couple of ways before getting it right.

DITMARS was a wtf but YSIDRO made up for it because both a. and b. apply to me. As I was filling it in I was thinking this is going to be pretty obscure for most people.

Jeffrey 12:17 AM  

Nothing to hate in this one; nothing to love. Not memorable as you say.

HEY! All you namers out there (and especially Andrea). Here’s what happened to me today. I had two wrong letters, sort of. I put an A for an O (POMPEO/TOUT) and an O for an A (SWAP STORIES/NEURALGIA). So I swapped two letters, including in the word SWAP.

Now the formal technical term for this is “Two mistakes” but I’m sure there is a better way to describe it. DISLEXICON? MALA-VOWEL? BI-TYPO? MIS-ANAGRAM?

Anonymous 12:36 AM  

Funny that Rex should suggest CRAPS STAKE as a seventh theme answer, since for a while I had only letters 2-5 of 77D:SCRAPIRON filled in and wondered what that word was doing in the puzzle.

Last Sunday DECEM, today 103D:NIHIL -- that's an English word now? Not even a hint of Latin language in the clue this time.

I thought “hostler” (33A clue) is pronounced with a silent h, and the Wikipage for “hostler” agrees; but I see that the h may be voiced, making "a hostler" correct. I must have been thinking of the ostler in Noyes' The Highwayman.

65D:EYEUP -- really? (Or is this the set-up for the echo response "a-yup!"?)

@crosscan: perhaps "maloprap" ;-)


Hungry Bird 2:51 AM  

List of Top Ten topics the sum total about which I know I learned from the NYT crossword puzzle:

1. Baseball
2. Botany
3. European and Asian rivers
4. Golf and Japanese golfers
5. Edgar Allen Poe
6. Pulitzer/Nobel winners
7. Sisters of Fred Astaire
8. Broadway musicals
9. Units of (often electricity-related) measurement
10. Military ranks

Anonymous 3:43 AM  

San Ysidro is the busiest land border crossing in the world. It is the gateway to Tijuana, which makes it familiar at least to every Southern Californian adolescent male, drawn by donkey shows and other rites of passages.

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

Two points of trivia:

-- Pete Puma was voiced by Stan Freberg in his very early career.

-- It's a pity Barbara Bain crashed Foxfire because someone has placed a lot of her early TV work on Youtube: ingenue, femme fatale, sitcom guest star. She wasn't just that spy.

Unknown 9:13 AM  

I hated this puzzle. And, I think Will owes Yma Sumac an obituary for her many years of service.

JannieB 9:20 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JannieB 9:23 AM  

The was pretty easy for me - got the theme right away. Several lucky guesses (minimi and assai) and I was done.

Love the new addition to our blog vocabulary - DITMARS is perfect! And I never much cared for Ms. Bain either.

Anonymous 9:32 AM  

DITMARS? A bit obscure even for those of us who were born and lived in Queens. Technically correct according to Wikipedia, but most New Yorkers know Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, which is the neighborhood that most people think of as close to LaGuardia. Well, that and Jackson Heights. Anyway, worthwhile word to know when the Times puzzle has to reach its NYC roots.

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

Technically, "Ditmars" is a real estate term for the neighborhood north of the last stop on the N train in Astoria. No one who lives in this area would refer to it as anything other than Astoria, because no one would know what they were talking about.

JoefromMtVernon 9:58 AM  


You beat me to it...this is the second "Queens town" reference this year that was not exactly right. Ditmars is a Boulevard which one takes to beat traffic from LaGuardia to the Tri-boro (oh, sorry, RFK) Bridge. It might be what 15 or so people call it when they won't admit to be in Corona or Astoria (which I had for a while). In my 48 years of living and working in Queens, I NEVER heard of a Ditmas neighborhood. IT'S A STREET.

North of the Mason ("Your Attention Please") - Dixon Line was easy (12 Minutes), south was double the time.

No one bothered by the scrap columns (scrap iron and scraping)

Had "In Crowd" for "In Group"
Never heard of minimi (unless its a guy in Austin Powers movies), and poseurs? Congratulations, you know French. So I am Bart Simpson in the episode where he goes to the advanced school, and the smart kids get a joke he doesn't.


JoefromMtVernon 10:02 AM  

@elom666 - So, if it's North or the N Line, then, technically, it's not adjacent (next) to Laguardia. There are the 40 or so blocks (of Astoria) that are in between; 40 blocks that you can travel on Ditmars Blvd on.


Leon 10:44 AM  

I used to live in Astoria and only heard of Ditmars as a Boulevard.

Yet, a local paper lists it as a neighborhood.

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

All I can is mho (shrug)... the new meh, thanks to acme.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

oof--I didn't lose 30 minutes of work, but a glitch just blew my comment for the day off the map. You'll all manage without it, I'm sure.

Suffice it to say, I struggled today, and finally had to track down several errors before claiming my time of 11 hours plus.

chefbea 11:03 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot. Had a little trouble - had breakfast-then went back to it and all was fine.

@rex surprised there was no picture of Bart's spiky hair.

Loved Barbara Bain. Loved Mission Impossible. Met Peter Graves a while back in Peurta Viarta. He and Elizabeth Taylor were sitting at the next table with some other people having lunch. I think they were filming Night of the Iguana"

Shamik 11:14 AM  

Three letters wrong and I never got the theme until I came to this blog. Phooey. It just didn't thrill. Agree with everyone about DITMARS.

As for my three wrong letters: NEY could be illegal...maybe? And there could have been some ugly area that didn't like public television. As for being mistake-free, since none of us are mistake-free...something that is would be ABERRANT. As for doesn't fit for brisk whether it's a diaper or a head description. Only other mis-start was SMELTS for SMOLTS.

"I'm Too Sexy" always made me laugh and now that I've seen the video, I'm laughing even more.

I love flying on an airplane and never like the bulkhead. It's hard for me to reach up to the overhead compartment and I like my stuff at my feet. Seldom does being 5' have its advantages.

Campesite 12:24 PM  

Dang, MINIMI comes so close to being clued as Dr Evil's 1/8 clone.

mac 12:25 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle, thought the theme was nice, and actually helpful this time, and lots of good words all over the place.

I have never heard of smolts, and I got a lecture on salmon in Alaska. So minimi and smolts created my personal natick.

Again a couple of Dutch clues: Ditmars and Jansen. Andrea is going to like the Venn diagram, and chefbea the fricassee. Dicot was a new one, too, but I just relied on the crosses. Funny little tau is back! Not so sure about inerrant.

All in all, I had a good time with this one, gor blimey!

Anonymous 12:52 PM  

My brain is on vacation. Couldn't get yesterdays as kept trying to put the OR in the answers.

Today sailing along and get the
answer: SST & filling out all the
of the grid but still don't understand how SST fits hidden answers til I back up to PSST...double doh!

Sorry, Rex I loved Mission Improbable as we called it w/Barbara Bain.

jeff in chicago 1:00 PM  

I like this puzzle. True, the theme answers didn't snap, crackle or pop, but neither did they offend. I like this kind of theme. And it is executed well, especially with the addition of 64A. Well done, Mr. Page.

My last letter was the S in DITMARS, which crossed ASSAI, which I also did not know. Got MINIMI through the crossings, then stared at it for a while, then looked it up, then added it to my word list!

My only quibble might be with the clue for USDOLLARS. Production is tied to our dollar, but transactions occur in the currency of individual countries. It felt to me like that clue could as well have been "Medium of Applebee's transactions."

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

It was funny, I blew through the top half of the puzzle and then had a bit of trouble, so went to the bottom. That went pretty well. But then I came to a complete halt with the middle band and spent lots of time staring before finally getting it. And putting in "EDEN" for BAIN didn't help matters. Stupid Barbara Bain!! :)

PlantieBea 1:02 PM  

I've never heard of the oath gor, nor the word SMOLTS (had smelts), ATALANTA, or several of the people. Even though the clued answers and theme seemed easy enough, my end product had a mess of one box errors. It was not pretty.

On the other hand, I liked UEY, STL, and learning that Lynch directed the Dune, which seems tame when compared to some of his other finished products. Could anybody finish Inland Empire???

I saw Tora,Tora, Tora a few years ago for the first time and recommend it over yesterday's discussed Borat, Borat, Borat.

fikink 1:52 PM  

My looper today was DITMARS.


janie 2:03 PM  

>Last Sunday DECEM, today 103D:NIHIL

and INERRANT. roots're familiar, but a word i've ever used/seen in use. ITINERANT [joke!], ABERRANT, KNIGHT ERRANT, yes; INERRANT, nupe -- so here i be, livin' and learnin'!

really liked season 1 of grey's anatomy, but oh boy, did it jump the shark quickly thereafter. imoo.


foodie 2:28 PM  

@Noam D. Elkies and crosscan: I propose a slight modification, consistent with Andrea's "malapop" and yielding an apt second syllable: "malopap".

I love seeing "FLUSHING" on my way to LaGuardia... much more evocative than DITMARS..

This puzzle was pockmarked for me. Stretches of perfection, interrupted by irretrievable holes at some crazy intersections. Examples:

DITMARS/ASSAI (I love Ascai berries)

What happened yesterday? I missed doing the puzzle as I'm traveling/working but 105 comments! Wow... Now I really need to solve it and see what y'all had to say!

Anonymous 2:29 PM  

Never heard of GOR, but Cy-Gor is a character from Spawn, a cyborg gorilla-man.

Also, can we get a ruling on UEY? I've seen it as U-IE, U-EY, U-EE.
Is a U-ER then one that frequently makes U-turns?

Or is U-EY one of those like EMIR that gets variants because it's crossword mortar?

We never called it a U-ey in high school, it was always "Flipping a bitch."

George NYC 2:47 PM  

I kind of liked the DITMARS sneak. I, as many NYers I trust, smugly wrote in ASTORIA thinking "ha; lot's of people won't know THAT! It took me a long time to concede it was wrong. I agree with other posters that Ditmars is not known as a neighborhood But anyone who drives to/from LaGuardia will see Ditmars Blvd exit signs; ditto the NYC subway. It's a wacky enough name to be memorable so I think a valid answer. The clue, however, was a bit off.

foodie 2:50 PM  

Elsewhere in the NYTimes magazine, there's an interesting article called "In Defense of Teasing". It brought to mind some of our discussions on this blog. The article says that in our effort to avoid bullying or harassment, we may have become too strict against teasing: "teasing serves as an antidote to toxic criticism..."

A real question is whether one can pull it off in a situation such as ours (i.e. avoid misinterpretations). It's tricky but I think doable.

A great example is Michigan Pete, who got demoted to Ypsilanti Pete by Rex and seemed to take it as a sign of affection. Talk about emotional intelligence! And I loved a follow-up message from an Anonymous poster a few days ago (on a day where there were issues with the puzzle): "Michigan Pete, come back, all is forgiven!".

ArtLvr 3:00 PM  

@ noam -- Thanks for the ostler/hostler notes, as I was going to look that up but think Shakespeare used ostlers...

Derek Jacoby was fabulous in the title role of the BBC TV film serialization of "I, Claudius", ditto as the lead in the 12th century Brother Cadfael series from the noted medieval mysteries by Ellis Peters.

George F Kennan was a major statesman, author, professor, expert on Russia, former Ambassador to the USSR, father of "containment", the Truman doctrine, etc. He lived in Princeton NJ for many years, still writing, and died only recently in 2005, age 101. He was a warm person as well as an intellectual -- I talked with him on the phone when I lived in Princeton and JFK was running for President!

I enjoyed the puzzle and was able to finish in spite of some of the obscure fill (think EYE UP is weird.


Anonymous 3:00 PM  

I put TEE instead of TAU, which led me to TERROR instead of RAMROD (never having been to NYC and so knowing nothing of DITMARS). Never having watched Grey's Anatomy that left that part of the center unsolved for me until I googled it and saw TERROR was wrong. RAMROD was not obvious so I didn't get it or REN (of whom I have never heard either). But the theme was easy enough. I liked VENN diagrams - it's nice to remember something from high school.

RodeoToad 3:18 PM  

I always thought I was 5'8" but people the same height as me say they're 5'9". I don't think it's possible for a man to be 5'8". I like my height. No problems on airplanes and you're allowed on pretty much any ride you want at Six Flags.

SCOTUS, I like your idea of listing fields of knowledge that are entirely puzzle-received. I'm going to steal it for a song.

Anonymous 3:24 PM  

I'm from Nebraska, but visit NYC often enough to have noticed that Ditmars (Blvd) is the last stop on the N and W trains--although I've never had any reason to go there. So I loved that answer. Not exactly a gimmee, as I first thought of Astoria, but it came quickly with a few crosses.

mac 3:37 PM  

@Foodie: I think Flushing is a derivation of Vlissingen, a town in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands. Yet another Dutch thread!

mac 3:37 PM  

....and I'm on my way to Chelsea!

Anonymous 4:06 PM  

Nice puzzle. Rex's comment on the holy trinity of names from Ditmars made me LOL.
RE 76D NEURALGIA Pain along the course of a nerve: Was anyone else bothered by this one? I thought it would be illegal and hesitated to enter it initially because the answer includes "neur-" which is more or less a variation of part of the clue "...nerve". (Neur- = nerve and -algia = pain.) Maybe a better choice would have been "eg, sciatica" or perhaps "pain along the course of a sensation-detecting fiber". I dunno, but 76D just felt iffy to me.

Chip Hilton 5:50 PM  

Fun, challenging puzzle for me. I erred in SE, going with TASE (ouch!) instead of TINE. Never heard of TEENA Marie which contributed to this chaP'S STupidity.

I take it DITMARS is not named after Art Ditmar, a Yankees righthander from their '50's-60's glory years. I spent way too much time in my youth thinking of nothing but sport.

UEY? Awful.

edith b 5:57 PM  

SAIDOK EYEUP SOMEMORE EDGEWAYS were just some of the answers I thought were off and I hesitated before entering them into the grid.

FRICASSEE seemed liked a wrong spelling until I looked it up. It still looks wrong.

This puzzle seemed to be spinning in a different orbit than an ordinary puzzle.

IREFUSE does not seem like an "in the language" sort of answer.

This puzzle reminds me of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers where people were replaced by pod people which were identical in all repects from the people they replaced except..except. . . they were just a little off.

A certain je ne sais quai. Next stop, the Twilight Zone.

Or maybe it's just me.

archaeoprof 6:11 PM  

People about whom everything I know I learned from crosswords:

Bart Simpson
Yma Sumac
Pia Zadora
George Kennan

poc 7:34 PM  

Etymological note: GOR is a mutation of GOD, as in GOR BLIMEY (God Bless Me). Also written COR sometimes. Last non tongue-in-cheek use probably around 1937, or maybe 1842.

Didn't think much of this puzzle I'm afraid. Very blah theme with blah theme answers, though the non-theme answers made up for this to some degree.

Shamik 8:47 PM  

Flipping a bitch is something that the 20-somethings call it. UEY is for us old folks.

chefbea 9:29 PM  

@shamik us 5 feet tall folks

PuzzleGirl 9:32 PM  

I've been traveling, getting up at oh-dark-thirty the last couple of days so I was unable to figure out the theme and didn't care enough to keep trying. My favorite Teena Marie song has always been Casanova Brown. Kinda cheesy, but the girl's got some pipes. I had DITMARR for DITMARS. Vaguely remember that it's a subway stop out that way. Then I wondered if I was getting it mixed up with the only Detroit Piston I could stand back in the day, but that was Joe Dumars. Going to bed now.

Anonymous 9:57 PM  

@poc 7:34 -- actually "God blind me", from what I've read; I haven't seen the "bless" version, which I suppose to be another euphemization (or rather euphemisation, since it's UKish).

heck n.: Where you'll go when you die if you don't pray to Gosh.


fikink 10:48 PM  

Oh, Blinding Light!
Oh Light that blinds.
I cannot see.
Watch out for me!

green mantis 11:16 PM  

The Brit living in my hallway has never heard of this alleged gor oath, so...ouch.

Am I supposed to know assai? Sounds more Mesopotamian than musical, although it's probably been in puzzles and I blocked it out.

This was a workmanlike puzzle, as Karl Rove described one of McCain's speeches. I just have no real reaction to it except maybe drowsiness. Nighnight.

Also "malapap" (was that you foodie? I'm too tired to scroll) maybe sounds a little too much like an unfortunate medical exam of a certain kind...sorry if that doesn't pass the after dinner test.

foodie 12:14 AM  

@green mantis, LOL, I did not think about that kind of pap! That's why we should leave naming to the pros...

I have to say that Rex being 6'3" totally threw me for a loop. I'd have sworn he was 5'10" (never seen him in the flesh, but I was so sure!). It's scaring me about all my mental images of everyone (especially those of you who have human avatars). I'm thinking I really don't want to meet any of you. It's going to destroy my world.

green mantis 3:18 AM  

No it's good to have your world shattered periodically. Right? Right...

Anonymous 4:46 AM  

I concur with Green mantis (whom I originally thought was a man...) Shattering is good. (I'm 6'3 also with long straight black hair)

I'm also going to have to start doing Sunday puzzles if I'm going to get random shout outs to name stuff!
It's my day off...

But foodie, don't give up, I sorta liked "malopap"! Tho I think "2 mistakes" covers it pretty well!

mac 8:00 AM  

You all made me laugh even before breakfast....

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

All puzzle people eventually memorize that his name is spelled Edgar ALLAN Poe. Not Allen.

I have no idea why I knew it was San YSIDRO so easily. Neither of Rex's reasons apply, although I do remember the tragedy. Maybe it's all the Michael Connelly novels I've read?

I thought SST was the hidden word, and YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE was just the start of some announcement, and I thought there was something really brainless going on. And I was right!

Stan 11:41 AM  

It took me a night's sleep before 'Ditmars' (Blvd.) rang the faintest bell. Like Mosholu Parkway, it's one of those NYC place names that mystifies new arrivals...

mac 9:43 PM  

@Stan: I never noticed Mosholu Parkway until someone mentioned that it was the last chance to get to the East side from the Merritt. Now I always feel I have another option when I see that name....

Anonymous 6:13 PM  

Ditmars is not a neighborhood. It is a Blvd. Elmhurst, Astoria, Corona are neighborhoods.

Stan 9:28 PM  

@mac: Thanks for the driving tip!

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

@rex: Please refrain from using DITMARS for WTF names. It will only spur more posts from (presumably) NYers who feel they need to inform me about how it should be Astoria and it's a blvd. and driving instructions from the Merritt Parkway and blah, blah, blah.

I have a GPS so I really don't need more NYC driving tips (as if I would drive in NYC ). I would rather see a (God forbid) recipe posted than NYC driving hints.

OK, that said, I found this puzzle to be fairly bland. Once one theme answer was completed, I was able to fill in the rest without any crosses. I like my theme answers a lot more subtle.

However, I did like the vertical fill in the NE and SW corners although the clues were uninspired.

I'm sounding very negative today so I better close with something positive:

Love your blog Rex, keep it up...

Anonymous 5:35 PM  

Had ACCURATE instead of INERRANT for awhile. That slowed up the mid section.

Sharon 4:36 AM  

I liked the theme and enjoyed being able to get the theme answers without many crosses. Had trouble with smolt minimi. Had Stolt miniti and didn't know it was wrong until I came to the blog. The silvery salmon clue amde want to rmember a name for silver salmon (think there is another anme - learned them all my first couple of years in Alaska but out of touch with fisher persons for years now so I've forgotten them) when i got olt I thought "Oh, stolt". But Stolt's a neighbor - who ran into my cleaning couple's car with his snow plow recently.
someone, just scanned but did not find who, asked for a ruling on uey.
That raised a question I've had for years.
Can anyone tell me if there are actually any rules re abbreviations in crosswords? Seems to be anything goes as long as it has letters that are found somewhere in the word.

Anonymous 10:38 AM  

For a good many boomers, neuralgia slipped into place beside scrap iron and allowance nice and easy. We were inundated by those scary Anacin television commercials that promised relief from, not only headaches, but the medieval sounding neuritis and neuralgia as well.

Unknown 1:07 AM  

Ditmars???? It's either Astoria or East Elmhurst.

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