TUESDAY, Mar. 24, 2009 - P Harrison (Clanton at the O.K. Corral / Brother of Little Joe on '60s TV / Bargains for leniency)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Relative difficulty: Medium/Challenging

THEME: POLICE (62A: They can be found in 20- and 55-Across and 10- and 26-Down) - slang words for the POLICE are found at the beginning or end of non-police phrases

Word of the Day: ALGID -

  2. marked by prostration, cold and clammy skin, and low blood pressure - used chiefly of a severe form of malaria
Yesterday at the new L.A. Times crossword blog, I wrote about a Pancho Harrison puzzle that was, in many ways, the opposite of his NYT puzzle today. That puzzle had a very rudimentary, almost non-descript theme, but the fill was solid and uncringeworthy and even had some sparkle here and there. This puzzle has a Hot theme - one I did not pick up until very late, when I had to pick it up (in order to figure out what the hell was going on in my SE corner). The non-theme fill, however, is really rough in a few places. The SE was by far the weirdest.

First, I had trouble grasping the clues. None of the long Acrosses (all fine words) came to me at first, even with their first two letters in place. Is (0,0) necessarily the ORIGIN on a graph (59A: (0,0) on a graph). Do all graphs ORIGINate at that point? Or maybe that's just the technical term for that particular point. I guess that's it. No matter, ORIGIN did not spring forth. PO- did not give me POLICE, though I didn't spend much time contemplating what the theme answers had in common at that point. And SOLDER ... I was expecting an actual alloy name here, like, say (US) STEEL (21D: J.P. Morgan co.); instead I get a more general noun that means "Any of various fusible alloys, usually tin and lead, used to join metallic parts" (answer.com).

I have no complaint about the long Acrosses down there - I think they were clued at a slightly higher-than-Tuesday level of difficulty, but that's a very subjective call. What's not subjective is the horrid monstrosity that is ALGID (49D: Chilly). Never seen it, never heard of it, never. I already have a -GID word to describe cold, and that word is FRIGID. Why anyone thought we needed a second word is beyond me. I muddled my way to a slowish 5-minute-flat solving time, and then spent something close to 20 seconds just staring at the intersection of what turned out to be ADS (49A: Some Super Bowl Sunday highlights) and ALGID. The only letters I considered putting there for a while were "Y" and "T" (YLGID? TLGID?), both of which were clearly wrong (though when I finally put in "A," I wasn't exactly confident of that answer either). Football abbrev. in -DS is (almost?) always YDS or TDS. I checked every cross in ALGID (at that point, I hadn't really looked to see how POLICE was correct). Then started sticking in vowels, and ADS seemed right, so boom. Or thud. The end. I would like ALGID next to DEICE for their reverse takes on heat, but both words are phenomenally ugly, so I have to pass.

There was one other clunker section in the grid: the far east. IS AN (28D: "This ____ outrage!") next to NARD (29D: Source of a fragrant oil) next to GUTE (30D: "_____ Nacht" (German words of parting)) is aesthetically unpleasant. Here's the NARD rule. If you have a super ugly word, one that sounds and looks bad, like NARD, then you have to dress its neighbors up in ribbons and bows and Sunday finery, or else the Ugly will expand exponentially. Luckily, in this case, the Ugly was contained by the stalwart STAN THE MAN (10D: Musial's nickname).

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Adolescent boy's growth (peach FUZZ)
  • 10D: Musial's nickname (Stan THE MAN)
  • 26D: Dehydration may help bring this on (HEAT stroke) - another clue whose answer did not come easily
  • 55A: Bargains for leniency (COPS a plea) - had noun/verbtigo here at first and put an "S" at the end of the answer at first, thinking "Bargains" was a plural
If you can make it out of the ugly patches, there's some wonderful stuff here. The theme I already LAUDED (1A: Wrote an ode to). It's hard not to love colorful stuff like KANGAROO (39D: Emblem on the Australian coat of arms) and ALSO-RANS (57A: Dukakis in 1988 and Dole in 1996) and DOOFUS (6D: Goofball), though that last one took some work. I also, inexplicably, love the clue on DASHING (27A: "Jingle Bells" starter), perhaps because it evokes an entire song with just one word - a song that makes me happy and nostalgic as we now start to leave This Brutal Winter in the rearview mirror. I also have nostalgia for Joan JETT (41A: Joan of the Blackhearts), as I used to hang out at Round Table Pizzeria playing Donkey Kong and listening to "I Love Rock and Roll" over and over. Easily the best thing about 1982 for me.

Rubber Bullets:

  • 16A: Brighton bye-bye (ta-ta) - TA-TA would seem to have more to do with age than geography at this point. Feels antiquated, quaint. Do younger people in Britain say it?
  • 17A: Augments (adds to) - ugh, didn't know it immediately so put an "S" at the end. What's a DOSFUS!?
  • 25A: "I Pity the Fool" star (Mr. T) - "I Pity the Fool" was a TV show for about a minute in 2006. A reality series about MR. T. It's also MR. T's most famous catchphrase, which he originated as Clubber Lang in Rocky III.
  • 2D: Tree with catkins (alder) - never can remember this. The NW was another place that slowed me down a bit, though that was mainly the faulty of #$#ing U.N. DAY (3D: It's observed on Oct. 24). I demand to know who "observes" it. No one I know.
  • 9D: Clanton at the O.K. Corral (Ike) - well, I never heard of him, but he sounds reasonably famous, and the crosses were easy, so no complaints.
  • 52D: Al who created Fearless Fosdick (Capp) - yay, a comics gimme. Best of all - he's with the POLICE.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Hungry Mother 7:45 AM  

The lap dog bit me. Origin is the normal term for the intersection of the x and y axes.

Kurt 8:11 AM  

I thought that this was a nice little Tuesday puzzle, although I agree with Commander Rex about the areas of ugliness.

I was a bit surprised at some Thursday answers showing up early in the week. ALGID, NARD, PUPAE, ROEG. For some reason, I knew ALGID and it was the first thing that came to mind. The rest were harder for me, but they came easily from the crosses.

Overall, I enjoyed the puzzle. Good work, Mr. Harrison.

Jeffrey 8:13 AM  

I never saw ALGID or NARD until you mentionned them, so they didn't bother me.

How about that PEAK over PEKE? Peak-a-two, I see you!
Another ugly area is AAA/CNBC/ACS - no real words there.

It took a while to figure out what UN DAY meant. I always thought Oct. 24 was a day. Nope it's UN-DAY; drink the UN-COLA UNDERWATER in your UNDERWEAR.

joho 8:39 AM  

I knew ALGID would be the word of the day because I didn't know the word. Is is ugly.

I really like the theme as it seems new. I don't remember a puzzle featuring police. I loved DOOFUS, PEACHFUZZ, OLDSOUL and HEATSTROKE.

Nice Tuesday, Mr. Harrison!

Orange 8:50 AM  

"Noun-verbtigo" is a good coinage, Rex.

@Kurt, are you a Clone Wars fan or did you pick up "Commander Rex" from the time Rex used that as his sign-off? I hear way too much about Commander Rex around these parts, thanks to having an 8-year-old.

Glitch 9:00 AM  

- Not all graphs have an origin, but if it has a (0,0) coordinate, it does and is.

- Deice doesn't "make less chilly" unless you're talking about taking "de ice outta de drink".

- I (we) celebrated UN Day in school back in the days when we had Citizenship Education and the UN was more than a tourist stop on the East side of Manhattan.

- I'll leave Gute (and the umlaut) discussion for Ulrich ;)


chefbea 9:02 AM  

Fairly easy though I never heard of Roeg, algid or nard. Figured either algid or nard would be the word of the day.

Of course being from St. Louis and attending all Cardinal games with my dad, I new Stan the man.

Guess I have a new schedule now - NY times at breakfast and LA times at lunch. What's for dinner??

mmorowitz 9:06 AM  

Mr. T was Clubber Lang, not Lane.

I'm sure that will come up in a puzzle in the future, so, you're welcome ;)

Anonymous 9:07 AM  

@RP Someone else with more clear memories of the 80's can check me on this, but I am sure 'I pity the fool' was Mr. T's line from the show 'The A-Team'. His Clubber Lang (not Lane) character from Rocky III may not even have said it.

Could not see the other Super Sunday possibilities besides TDs, so i came here looking for SE help.

ALGID/ADS is a big Natick, IMO.


Anonymous 9:22 AM  

Rene Descartes is important in both philosophy ("I think, therefore I am...Point is everything except my existence is subject to doubt, including your god) and mathematics. In math, in invented the x,y coordinate system and said where the x and y lines intersect (0,0) is the origin. To this day it is called the Cartesian coordinate system.

Using the word algid on a tuesday left me cold.

Rex Parker 9:26 AM  

LANG yes. "A-Team," no.

The name of the show ["I Pity the Fool"] comes from Mr. T's catch phrase coined by Sylvester Stallone: "I pity the fool!", itself from Rocky III, where he played James "Clubber" Lang, a boxer facing Rocky Balboa in a match. When asked if he hated Rocky, he replied, "I don't hate Balboa - I pity the fool." (wiki)

Chorister 9:26 AM  

Since usually if I watch the Super Bowl it's for the ADS (not this year!) that was a gimme.

Knew NARD, probably from xwords.

My big problem was accidentally clicking the bookmark for this site instead of NYTXword, and actually reading a little before I woke up. So I spent the puzzle trying to ignore the theme as that would be an unfair advantage. It still didn't come all that easy, because some of those words already mentioned are not Tuesday words even for people who are fully awake.

It's a good one though, ugly and all.

mac 9:28 AM  

Another good, solid and fun to do puzzle from Pancho (love that name).

I had a few small snags. Not knowing Mr. T and is vocabulary very well, I had PRT, since I thought par = scratch in golf.
The algid/ads corner took a little too long, too.
I liked the sad "also-rans" and got Stan the Man easily, but misreading Musial thought Stan Getz was meant. No harm done, though.

The Brits now use the term "cheers" for thank-you, and sometimes for tata.

@Kurt: didn't you also use the title General for Rex?

Kurt 9:28 AM  

@Orange, I've never heard of Clone Wars (Geezer Alert!). And while I vaguely his earlier sign-off, I think that given his role and performance here, Rex deserves various honorifics. In recent weeks I've referred to him as the General, Captain, Admiral & Commander. All done with the utmost respect and admiration.

ArtLvr 9:49 AM  

Silly mistake! I'd read a clue wrong and was seeking an Austrian motto for Australian emblem. This led to "Kann ****" as in "Alles ich kann" or whatever -- and that left me with a Kannaroo.

So much for DASHING along in the wee hours, not checking spelling at the end and not reading every clue! There were several other clues I didn't see, like those for PUPAE and MARG which came out okay, but it wasn't as much fun just trying for speed and not savoring the whole. I did see the clever theme though.


slypett 9:51 AM  

ADS was the first choice for that clue, which is pretty specific.

At first felt difficult, but courage triumphed.

PEACHFUZZ was the hardest, because I wanted to put an E after the Z from LISZT.

Suzy 9:52 AM  

The two that almost undid me were unday and roeg. Didn't even notice nard until you pointed it out - I don't think I looked at the downs on the finished puzzle.

One of my fastest finishes in a long time.

Rex can have any title he wants.

Ulrich 9:54 AM  

My reaction, too, is that it is a nice Wednesday puzzle (with some rough spots) that ended up in a Tuesday slot. Love my kangaroos as long as they are not in a court.

@Glitch: Kudos for remembering! I won't go again into a discussion of the direct object case in German--suffice it to say that it's "Gute Nacht", not "Guten Nacht" (as in "Guten Morgen") b/c Nacht is feminine and Morgen is masculine.

The real discussion I would like to have, but this is not the time or place, is the distinction between languages like English with natural gender and languages like German where the gender of nouns has nothing to do with natural gender. Mark Twain ties himself into knots by not realizing this (in his otherwise very funny essay "The awful German language").

HudsonHawk 10:01 AM  

MR. T did use the phrase "I pity the fool" in The A Team, at least according to IMDb (and my FUZZy memory). But as Rex points out, he used it first in Rocky III, which came out a year before The A Team.

And yep, ALGID is ugly. That A was my last square also.

Xavier 10:17 AM  

I once ran across a website in which you could input some basic personal information and it would calculate your Mr. T name. No matter what you entered your Mr. T name would be: Fool.

(0,0) always represents the origin of the Cartesian plane. It's placement is arbitrary, but it determines the formula for a function. Move the origin, change the formula.

Loved, PEAK over PEKE. Hungarian composers I know: LISZT and BARTOK. Any others that are particularly crossworthy?


Anonymous 10:27 AM  

Algid state and gelid state are learned in medical school and refer to the condition of the human body when exposed to extreme elements. Cholera and circulatory problems can also bring on algidity. I find the 'chilly' definition a vague reference to the actual usage of the word. It left me gelid.


Anonymous 10:28 AM  

Since when does oil remove rust? Never heard of that, quick internet search shows nothing.

Two Ponies 10:31 AM  

I love a Tuesday puzzle that teaches me a new word. I loved the theme and level of difficulty. Tuesdays can be boring some weeks but this was great.
I don't recognize this constructor but only in the last few months have I paid close attention to authors. If this is typical of Mr. Harrison I say "Give me more!"
Wondering if the common expression "You the man" comes from Stan the Man?

Kurisu 10:32 AM  

I had the same feeling about oil removing RUST.

I was able to get ALGID because I immediately hit upon ADS as the Super Bowl clue. But ISAK/PEKE was a Natick for me.

Doug 10:45 AM  

@Ulrich -- I vote "Ja" for a lengthy discussion on the direct object case in German. But I draw the line at debating the omission of the umlaut!

Anyone know why the puzzle was so late getting up last night? I had visions of Ellen Ripstein glued to Dancing With The Stars before having an "Oh s**t!" moment at 9:59. Of course that's not how the system works, but one has to amuse oneself.

Lots on stimulating fill and same comments on ALGID etc.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

Hi -- I thought this was pretty easy, and had fun solving it. The "ADS/ALGID" intersection was my last entry -- never heard of "algid" but no other letter made any sense at all!

The funnier part for me was "U.N. DAY," which, until I read the blog this morning, I did not get at all! All the crosses (which I had filled in easily) were clearly correct, but "unday" didn't parse.

Now I know -- a new word, and a "new holiday."

Doug 10:52 AM  

Will tell me what AANDE is?

Kurisu 10:55 AM  

A&E, a US cable TV network.

Anonymous 11:06 AM  


hey redanman,

golfclubatlas - brad klein

remember ?


Anonymous 11:07 AM  

It was fresh and fun and a bit challenging and I liked it. I did the LA puzzle last night and so recognized Pancho's name. I never used to pay attention to things like that.

I had a bit of trouble in the NW and SE - I didn't know what a wink was for one thing and I have never heard of algid. Pairing it with gelid will help me remember it.

I always thought solder was a verb.

And the Cartwright brothers were Hoss and Adam in addition to Little Joe.

I don't think oil dissolves rust; maybe someone will comment on that.

And I think Mr. T said pity the fool on the A-team. I wonder if should be embarrassed to openly have an opinion on that. Well, I'm not.

fikink 11:16 AM  

Terrific puzzle. My favorite Tuesday thus far.
What is Natick-y about the crossing of ALGID and ADS, RT?

PlantieBea 11:38 AM  

ADS was my first entry for 49 Across, but I erased it for a while when I saw ALGID, a new word for me too. It sounds like something green and slimey--algae. I struggled for a while with STEWARDS since I fell into the ETA trap (instead of ETD). Didn't know MR T so WAR was a struggle.

This made a nice pairing with the Monday puzzle. Thanks Mr. Harrison.

edith b 11:48 AM  

Inexplicably, I knew ALGID, equally inexplicable I couldn"t see ALSORANS until I had all the crosses. Never did see NARD or ROEG, both ugly word.

When I was in college, I wrote a paper on the Earp family (a fascinating bunch) so I knew IKE Clanton, who was at the OK Corral fight.

Like Rex, I thought the cluing was a litle beyond the Tuesday level but, all in all, except for splotches of ugly, a satisfying solve.

George NYC 11:55 AM  

Don't think OIL removes rust in the sense of dissolving it. But it can carry it away, as when you spray WD-40 on a rusty bolt: the lubricant loosens up the corroded metal and allows the nut to push it away.

Daniel Myers 11:58 AM  

Brits do still say just "ta" these days quite often, in a bit whimsical manner, mind you. For the person troubled by "AANDE" think "A AND E"--Arts And Entertainment network.

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

redanman (any-none-mus-ly)
Hey FrankD! Hit my blog.

Mr. Thursday/Sunday puzzle level man loved this one. ADS was an easy gimme (since the game so often is a dud), goes to show how a low-to-mid puzzler looks completely differently at c.ues that does the world's bestest. I pretty much always
get stuff from crosses, so while this was more challenging than a typical Tuesday, it was easy to feel confident with NARD and ALGID (agree, UGH!)at my level.
Fun for me. Thanks to fat thumbs and E61i Nokia for any tyops in this post. :-)

V. 12:04 PM  

Way too many TV and movie clues. Hated NARD. Loved ORIGIN.

Sandy 12:13 PM  

Wow, no one here got as annoyed at the puzzle as I did. ALGID? Really? On a Tuesday? In a puzzle that already has NARD? I don't mind learning things, really, I don't, but this seemed pitched high for a Tuesday. You don't know how long I considered TLGID. It seemed about as possible.

When neither SKATED, JUMPED, nor WILLOW fit in 1d and 2d I got worried.

Kiwis say "ta" to mean thank you. "Ta Ta" feels like what they might say when farewelling a baby.

Off now to the LA Times. Hey, does anyone blog the Newsday puzzle that is buried deep in our paper's classified section, along side Mary Worth and Crankshaft?

Anonymous 12:15 PM  


since bernard darwin combined golfers and puzzlers i often wondered.................

anyhow, king klein indicated what an azz he is, again, on the topic of college course lists which LINKS magazine recently put out

what blog ?


PS - also spoke to doak re doral if your interested

Jeffrey 12:15 PM  

@Sandy - I am thinking of blogging Mary Worth.

Sandy 12:33 PM  

Crosscan, there's the Comics Curmudgeon, and then there's this

Jeffrey 12:50 PM  

@Sandy - It figures. Too late again. I'm going to write a blog about crossword bloggers.

First post is a braking scandal - it appears some do not use their real names! Orange is actually a tangerine.

Jeffrey 12:51 PM  

Of course, I'll have to spell better.

jeff in chicago 12:56 PM  

A perfectly delightful Tuesday IMO. Yes, a couple ugly words, but easily gettable by the crosses. Lots of double letters today, AA, EE, DD, LL, OO, TT, PP, SS, ZZ.

And in the 4th row we have that common teen condition PEACHFUZZ ANGST.


jae 12:59 PM  

Had exactly the same experience as Rex in SE only it probably lasted a couple of minutes longer. I actually did a re-write on ADS as I didn't believe ALGID at first. That said I enjoyed the puzzle, clever theme and interesting fill.

@Doug -- My puzzle arrived very late also. Did this happen to anyone else? I checked Orange's blog at 8:00 pm PST and she had already posted it, so it must have arrived in Chicago before it hit the west coast?

Anonymous 1:07 PM  

I usually have the same trouble spots as Rex, but last night I had no problems with ORIGIN or HEATSTROKE. I did have a double take at ALGID (which I don't remember at my medical school) but I didn't even notice NARD. And I'll agree that Joan JETT is very cool.

The bigger Mr. T question is, were there any shows in which he did not pity any fools?

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

Sandy -- I was pretty annoyed by ALGID, especially since it was next to DEICE, which also eluded me. I was surprised to find myself unable to solve a Tuesday puzzle. Along with TDS I tried FGS (since some Super Bowls have been decided by field goals), but that didn't help.

Anonymous 1:15 PM  

Yeah, a great theme, which I missed completely because I noticed the substring ANTHEM in 10D and then thought 62A:POLICE was some kind of p*p music reference that somehow had to do with SAP or SAPLE in 55D and who-knows-what in 20A and 26D. Too much pap culture in the grid in any case (9D:IKE as clued, 11D:MARG, 26A:HOSS, 41A:JETT), and specifically too much b*seball -- 10D is a theme entry and 35D:OTT is a crossword cliché, but there must be better Tuesday clues for 13D:EAST. And yes, the clue for 50D:DEICE is iffy, and 49D:ALGID three or four days too early (or too late) in the week. 29D:NARD and this definition of 59A:ORIGIN were also surprising this early in the week, though these surprises I enjoyed.

Other nice touches: the already-noted PEAK atop PEKE (though I didn't recognize PEKE -- perhaps the combination of this and 31D:APSO resulted from a double dog dare); the symmetrical placement of 43A:OLDSOUL with 27A:DASHING; and the all-consonant 55D:CNBC next to 58A:AAA somewhat tickles my funny bone. Happily 5D is not CORONATE, which was the only 8-letter word I could see at first, but is just a prolix way to write "crown".

I too fell at first into the -S trap at 17A, which with the F from 20A suggested 6D would be MISFIT. DOOFUS is much better. Surprised that Ulrich did not complain that 14A:ELNIÑO doesn't cross 5D:EÑTHRONE ;-)


Anonymous 1:17 PM  

@glitch, @doug -- I suspect Ulrich said nothing about no umlaut in Gute Nacht because there is no umlaut in Gute Nacht.

Bob Kerfuffle 1:22 PM  

@PIX - I am not a philosopher (nor do I play one on TV), but I have read that Descartes would have been closer to The Truth if he had said, "I think, therefore thinking is."

Think about it.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  


You are right, Natick is not to be called lightly.

Just because I could not see ADS, tLGID was clearly wrong, and I should have worked a little harder after confirming that all the other letters in the Orlando area were correct. If I had just run through the alphabet, the light might have dawned, but I certainly would have had to look up ALGID.

Mee's suggestion to think of it together with gelid ought to keep it in my internal X-word file.


Quentin 2:21 PM  

Cool Puzzle, like the theme a lot! Favorite parts were LISZT next to ANTZ, and the fact that the OO's in DOOFUS and KANGAROO are almost symmetrical.

AANDE, NARD, and GUTE killed me though... had AAN?? and just had no idea.

And UNDAY looks pretty funny in the grid. "Night," I keep thinking.

Good stuff!

fikink 2:41 PM  

RT, thanks so much for responding. I wasn't trying to be a smart-ass, I honestly thought I didn't understand Rex's Theory of Natick. Okay, I think I've got it.

I always thought DOOFUS was spelled like Rufus, i.e.,(ID EST) "dufus."

With credit to Miriam B, I must here repeat something she once posted when we got in trouble with Rex for posting jokes on this blog and they were deleted:

@Bob Kerfuffle, apropos Descartes, a bartender once asked him if he would like another glass of wine. Descartes said, "I think not," and disappeared.

Miriam, I can't tell you how many times I've repeated that joke. ;)

Anonymous 2:53 PM  

Love the double letters: MANN, JETT, FUZZ, AANDE, SMEE, HOSS

Megan P 2:56 PM  

Rex, you might like THE KING OF KONG, a wonderful documentary movie about people who play Donkey Kong competitively.

I liked the puzzle, too.

As always, ta everso,

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

@Xavier: there are about 100 entries in the Wikipage for Hungarian composers. The most crossworthy ones I've heard of are Leopold AUER (whose name did recently appear in the NYTimes crosswords a couple of times) and Franz LEHÁR. Until checking this I had no idea Lehár was Hungarian (nor that he spelled his name with an á) -- thanX, Xavier! Others whose music I remember playing or hearing are Ernő Dohnányi (who often used "Ernst von" instead of "Ernő"), Zoltán Kodály (ask a cellist about his solo cello sonata), György Kurtág (hm, not sure I've actually heard any Kurtág), and György Ligeti, in addition to the familiar Bartók and Liszt. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ligeti in the puzzle; his Atmosphères was used in the movie 2001.

ERNŐ is usually clued via Rubik, not Dohnányi. I wonder what Ulrich would say if ERNŐ were crossed with, say, SCHÖN (as in "Bei mir bist du ...") ;-)


Anonymous 3:12 PM  


No offense taken. Too much respect for Commander Rex, and all of his loyal Lieutenants.


Denise Terry 3:23 PM  

I didn't get my puzzle at 10 p.m. on Monday night. Was there a problem? I hope this is not a new policy.

archaeoprof 3:24 PM  

One more here whose last letter was the A in ALGID.

I wonder if I can work that word into a conversation today...

Ulrich 3:26 PM  

@NDE: It would make my day. If it would cross Köln, it would make my week.

Denise Terry 3:27 PM  

A and E -- I think it is Arts and Entertainment TV -- it's where you can find "Cold Case Files" and other highbrow shows.

John Hoffman 3:40 PM  

For what it's worth, an iPOD isn't an MP3 player. iPOD has its own format -- and the sound is quite a lot better sound than MP3 due to different compression. If you buy songs for the iPOD, they're in a format that ONLY the iPOD can read but MP3 players cannot. But Ipod software will convert MP3s to its special format, and for that reason it's OK to say that the iPOD is a popular MP3 player. OK got that off my chest.

chefwen 3:41 PM  

I loved the puzzle and got the theme almost at the gitgo, even thouogh the person at the switch made me wait until 7 instead of 4 to receive it.

I was watching Chief Rex's favorite show DWTS while I was solving and instead of DASHING through the snow I filled dancing. Silly me, and yes, I did vote for Julianne Hough.

For some strange reason I knew ALGID and NARD but I have no idea why.

DEICE didn't bother me at all as that is what you turn on to warm the windshield to get rid of that nasty stuff.

Fun puzzle, we need more Mr. Harrison

Kurisu 3:51 PM  

NARD to me is not that obscure because of its biblical use in a fairly well-known section (the Anointing at Bethany, which appears in Bach's Passions, for instance):

Mark 14:3 "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head."

Greene 4:49 PM  

ALGID? GELID? I've been a practicing internist for 24 years and I have never used these terms or heard them uttered by a colleague, even my stuffy medical professor friends.

I am always amazed (but probably shouldn't be) by just how much crossword constructors expect the general public to know. Don't get me wrong, I love a challenge and ALGID was very gettable from the crosses. Still and all, that word seems a bit rarified for a Tuesday.

Anonymous 5:10 PM  


OIL removes RUST

when the oil is scotch and the rust is arthritis


Anonymous 5:18 PM  

@Ulrich: my point was that the O's in ERNŐ and SCHÖN/KÖLN don't quite have the same accent.


Rex Parker 5:40 PM  


Now that's a folk remedy I can use. Thanks.


retired_chemist 5:50 PM  

I found this easier that RP's med/chall. rating even though I bet my 8 min was about double his time.

@ several - Oil does not dissolve rust. I don't like the clue for that reason. The crosses make RUST the indisputable answer, so maybe no harm no foul.

Mechanics use oil on tools to prevent rusting, which oil does by providing a layer that insulates the metal from water it might otherwise come in contact with. As a lubricant, it also might facilitate rust removal with an abrasive cloth. But neither involves "dissolving." Harrumph.

fikink 6:01 PM  

@retired chemist, the "oil dissolves rust" hypothesis seems based on the same thinking that causes one to say "Cold water removes soap" basing the conclusion only on the observation that suds disappear faster when rinsed in cold water. Is this not faulty reasoning?

Ulrich 6:16 PM  

@NDE: I completely missed this--my eyes are getting old. But if the two letters are pronounced the same way, I'd be happy nonetheless--do you know?

Orange 6:31 PM  

It was only the Across Lite file that was delayed last night (and made available at the Wordplay blog before it made it onto the Premium Crosswords page). The online applet worked just fine, right on time. I do the NYT in Across Lite only when the applet is out of commission (which is maybe once or twice a year).

Hey! People! I am the 9th greatest crossword puzzle solver in the universe. If you have some honorifics to dispense, sheesh, send a few my way. I'm partial to pasha.

Sandy, I blog the Saturday themeless Newsday but not the other days. They're so dang easy, I can't bring myself to even do them most of the time. Life's too short and I have too many other crosswords to do...

retired_chemist 6:34 PM  

@ fikink - I would agree that the reasoning is faulty.

Blanche 6:38 PM  

"Bei mir bist du. . ." is Yiddish, not German, and it's pronounced "shayn." No umlaut.

Anonymous 6:59 PM  

I had TDS and VEDAY so it took me longer than usual to complete for a Tuesday, but I didn't have to look up anything, unlike Monday. I didn't know EDA yesterday, which is the first time I had to look up a Monday clue in a long time.

Though ipods do transfer music in mp4 format, I still knew what the clue meant. I wish all the clues were that easy, despite not quite being correct.

mac 7:43 PM  

I don't know about you all (y'all) but I'm beginning to mix up the two puzzles, scooting back between the two sites. Now where was little Joe's brother?

@fikink: I also loved Miriam's joke and have passed it on.

@Orange: take your pick:
- Lady Amy of Orange
- Major Orange
- High Priestess of Puzz
- Her Majesty the Puzzle Queen
- Amy Regina
- Amy Reina Aldo

mac 7:44 PM  

Can't do Pasha. How about Orange Pashmina?

joho 7:48 PM  

@Green: I know what you mean. ALGID? GELID? I always just say my fingers are turning white.

Sandy 8:06 PM  

@Her Pashiness: The Newsday puzzle is something to do while I catch up on Mary Worth. They're easy easy until suddenly on Saturday they're brutal.

retired_chemist 8:16 PM  

@ Blanche - "Bei mir bist du schön" is certainly German, with the same meaning as the Yiddish transliteration: You are beautiful to me." I am emboldened to mention this only because Ulrich may be unavailable now.

Eeyore 8:39 PM  

An iPod IS a MP3 player. It can play that and several other formats as well.

davidb 9:33 PM  

Every Tuesday when I do the puzzle, I think back on an accurate and hilarious reference from Rex (or maybe it was Wade filling in) some time ago characterizing Tues as the red-headed step-child of puzzles, the one that just doesn’t fit in and no one-likes.

That was totally NOT my impression of today’s puzzle, however. This was the most lively, exciting and enjoyable Tues puzzle in my memory (which admittedly does not go back that far).

All the specifics that I liked have already been pointed out. None of the criticisms that have been expressed bothered me much. ALGID was the only word that was completely baffling to me, but was gettable from the crosses. I like the idea of the highlights from a sporting event not being from the event itself, but rather from the hype and hoopla that surrounds it.

Rex Parker 9:48 PM  


The "red-headed" part is me, but the hilarious and elaborate characterization / personification of Tuesday as a troubled child is All Wade:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

liquid el lay 10:09 PM  

I've been doing the NYT a few months now, and this is the first early week puzzle that I have really enjoyed.

Man, I like this puzzle. It wasn't hard, but it was kind of tricky- and a real pleasure to solve.

People have mentioned the letter couplets. I noticed them too and liked them a lot. Good sounding, good looking words. Good conjunctions and associations. Delightful cluing.

I liked LEAPT and LAUDED for some reason, and the cluing for each.

ADDSTO looks cool, I don't know why... PEACHFUZZ x DOOFUS x HOSS, I like that.

MRT between ANGST and DASHING. Kind of encapsulates his "I pity the fool" thing. MRT x HE MAN. MANN x ..HEMAN, the way KMART accentuates the K


STEWARDS took a long time, but it was worth the wait.

I even liked DUSTMOP. Great puzzle.

Oh, and ORIGIN? It was a give-me, and a really really cool one.






Just fun.
give a COP some ROSES; COP
DEICE, man; chill.

DASHING was my favorite clued, too.

liquid el lay 10:13 PM  

(my columns justified left,oh well)

Anonymous 2:37 AM  

Poor Pancho!!!!!!!!!
ALGID wasn't his word! He had ORALES where ORIGINS was (Maybe that would have provided as much S&%t as ALGID gave everyone)

I remember learning ALGOR for Scrabble (which meant COLDNESS!!!!)
so I guess ALGID is the adj.

I'm sorta surprised Pancho didn't write in to say so himself...(and for the record, neither was NARD)
(And I hope it's ok that I am relaying something he wrote to me, it's just that SO many folks commented, it seems this is a good place to set the record straight!)

yes, I know Rex likes them Google searches, but Pancho is such a great name, it should never be abbreviated!

LOVED LOVED LOVED the theme...

It's interesting that HEAT is the police, and packing some HEAT is a gun (or is it heater? All related?)

It's not the police, it's the humidity!

Anonymous 3:30 AM  

I was crusing right along but froze at ALGID. NARD was a blast from the past for me. Is ROEG a name made in crossword heaven? Fun puzzle!
Joan Jett let's her chin jut when she's wailing on the guitar.

SethG 11:09 AM  


Two Ponies actually used the phrase davidb mentioned on Tuesday, November 11, 2008. I agree that Wade's characterization was hilarious (and accurate), but to davidb I am the red-headed child of puzzles.

Silly brunets.

Waxy in Montreal 11:37 AM  

From syndicateland -

For once, can't agree with Rex's rating of Medium / Challenging (even for a Tuesday) as I found this puzzle a breeze.

Except of course for the execrable ALGID. (Thanks to ACME for getting Pancho off the hook on this one.) Another ugly ALG word oldtime IT people like me would be familiar with is ALGOL, a brutal programming language hopefully now long gone (like one of Stan The Man's dingers).

Lime D. Zeze 4:31 PM  

Also from syndicateland -

ALGID = ugly ugly word.

However the one I kept having trouble with was ALSORANS

I kept reading it as ALS OR ANS and that made no sense to me. Finally picked up on it but it took me a few looks.

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