FRIDAY, Jun 12 2009 — Imaginary surface coinciding with earth's sea level / Truffula tree defender / Manufacturer of boxy cars / Swordsmens grips

Friday, June 12, 2009

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: GEOID (42A: Imaginary surface coinciding with the earth's sea level) — n.

The hypothetical surface of the earth that coincides everywhere with mean sea level.

[German, from Greek geoeidēs, earthlike : , earth + -oeidēs, -oid.]

geoidal ge·oid'al (-oid'l) adj.

A glorious themeless puzzle. Not hard, but smooth and lovely. Nothing icky or overly esoteric in the fill, but still chock full of lively, interesting answers. The grid is very wide open, with the highlight of the grid being (to my mind) the massive, wide diagonal corridor that runs from SW to NE. Maybe there are more E's and R's in the middle of that corridor than you'd prefer to see on a Friday (this puzzle is fairly unscrabbly for a late-week puzzle in general), but I'm really in awe of how the puzzle traverses that much white space using only very solid, well-known words, names, and phrases. The NW and SE quadrants aren't bad either, especially the SE, which has the "Z" and double-"F" floating in the middle of it. The result is a zesty hodgepodge of words from very different spheres of knowledge. Aside from the fact that I wish it had been a tiny bit harder, I have no significant criticisms of this puzzle. Even the one potentially tire-blowing cross (MAGDA / GEOID) was gettable by inferring the "GEO-" prefix from the clue, 42A: Imaginary surface coinciding with the earth's sea level. Or you could have known that MAGDA was a valid name (I wasn't quite sure, frankly) (38D: One of the Gabor sisters). That "G" was the last letter I put in the grid.

I realized while solving this puzzle that there I am much more comfortable starting my puzzle in the NW and working down / out than I am starting anywhere else. First word I ut in the grid was DESI (32D: Portrayer of TV's Ricky), down in the ESE, but aside from RAD (30A: Excellent, slangily), that got me nowhere. So I just rebooted in the NW, and it was like I was doing a completely different puzzle — started at 1D: Deadly desert denizen (asp) and never significantly slowed down after that. ASP gave me ACED (1A: Served well) and PREMIERES (17A: Red carpet events), and the hunt was on (like my metaphor? I thought it went well with SETTER hunting the HARES there in the NW — 22A: Hunting companion, maybe + 24A: Main ingredients in hasenpfeffer). If there was one section I struggle with more than others, it was the SE, where BANZAI (39A: "Char-r-rge!") was looking really weird there with just the terminal "I" in place (needed PRISONER OF ZENDA to bring it down — 11D: 1894 adventure novel, with "The"). Also TOPE had that nice noun/adjective hologram thing going on with "empty" in its clue, 35A: Empty bottles. Plus, TOPE ... very crosswordy, but not exactly the first word that comes to mind for "drink" (well, for constant solver, I'm not sure that's actually true. TOPE might be right up there).

Check out the various inter-related word sets in the puzzle. I already mentioned SETTER / HARES. Then there's the bulk of the "D"-words in the puzzle, all of which are pretty dismal and depressing:

  • DEMOTES (4D: Puts in a bad position?) — better than AXING, I guess (13D: Giving a pink slip)
  • DISLIKE (34D: Find objectionable)
  • DUMPED ON (29D: Bad-mouthed)
  • DESPOTS (29A: Unilateral decision-makers)
  • DUFFER (41A: Lousy driver, say)

FAIL (5A: Without _____ (religiously)) and MISSPENT (38A: Wasted) add complementary richness and color to this depressing subtheme. To counterbalance the gloom, we have the euphonious SOUP'S ON / SEEPS IN crossing in the NE (10D: "Come and get it!" / 20A: Enters via osmosis), and then a simple ASP / SERPENT (23D: Midgard _____ (monster of Norse myth)) pairing to round things off.


  • 16A: Truffula Tree defender, with "the" (Lorax) — had the "X" from AXING in place already, so this Seussian creature was a cinch to uncover.
  • 23A: Uninteresting voice (sing-song) — still having trouble processing the fact that a word that sounds lovely and lilting is supposed to mean "boring."
  • 26A: Manufacturer of boxy cars (Otis) — zing! Elevator cars. Clever, if not terribly tricky.
  • 33A: Frequent subject on "Desperate Housewives" (adultery) — never seen a single ep, but got this instantly off the "A" (after flirting for a split second with ALIMONY...)
  • 36A: Like some jewel cases (slimline) — the kind that hold DVDs or CDS (45D: Certain investments, for short).
  • 37A: Bygone players (hifis) — had EXPOS.
  • 43A: Alopeica sufferer's purchase (hair tonic) — I've played it before, perhaps more than once, but this answer is forcing my hand, and I think I have to play it again. HAIR TONIC brings this cartoon to mind, instantly ...

  • 46A: "Donnie _____" (2001 cult film) ("Darko") — a gimme, though I haven't seen it.
  • 49A: Communism battler, with "the" (West) — again, tricky. Much broader than I would have expected.
  • 3D: Potential blackout cause (electrical storm) — had ELECTRICAL SHORT until I checked that "T" and realized the cross had to be ADMEN (48A: Pitching staff?); STORM followed from there.
  • 8D: Central concept of minimalism (less is more) — seems kind of trite, but it's straight out of (crossword stalwart) MIES van der Rohe's mouth.
  • 12D: Putting away (caging) — had EATING.
  • 35D: Early phonograph cylinder covering (tin foil) — had no idea. We made solar ovens using TIN FOIL in first grade.
  • 36D: Musical O'Connor (Sinead) — "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" is a lovely album:

  • 37D: Swordsmen's grips (hafts) — a gimme that helped me turn EXPOS to HIFIS.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


male chicken 8:34 AM  

Yee ha! I think I say this on a yearly basis but ... I have new internet connection. It seems to work. I might be able to get the puzzle and comment on more than a weird Phnom Penh biannual basis (I paid for a year's subscription online last time I thought I had a good internet connection and then bye bye internet).
So I tried a Friday puzzle (never used to bother past Thursday) and did the whole thing in one go. I'm wondering if it's because I'm brillianter than last year or if I've just entered a whole ream of consonants without a care in the world. (It's Friday night here, after a tough week, so wine is being had.)
Liked seeing Sinead O'Connor, and hearing Nothing Compares. Reminds me of when I had a crush on a man whose name was Ng.

Leslie 8:36 AM  

Loved it! This is the fastest I've ever done a Friday crossword, but I know it's because today's was easy, not because I suddenly developed extra brain power.

I couldn't remember if alopecia was the condition where one loses hair, or the one where one's skin loses color in patches.

Jeffrey 8:38 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
nanpilla 8:39 AM  

Lovely, easy puzzle. Only rewrites were Octagonal for OPENSIDED and eating for CAGING. The G in Magda was my last letter also, and I used the same thinking - it has to start with GEO. I don't think I've ever had a Friday with so few erasures. Oh, and I had Bonzai for BANZAI for a few minutes, too. It turns out the little trees are spelled bonsai, so I seem to have combined the two words into one, nonexistant combination. Expos were my first thought on 37a - I'm sure crosscan will have something to say about that!
The cartoon was a wonderful way to start the day!

Jeffrey 8:42 AM  

I had planned no EXPOS references today but look at you. I already had the H in HIFIS so they never occurred to me (go figure).

This was my fastest Friday ever. Gimme at one across, gave me one down and off to the races. I kept getting answers from one of two letters, like BEST IN SHOW from the BE.

GEOID and DARKO were unknowns but crossing-friendly.

Good one.

Wayne Rhodes 8:45 AM  

For the older generation, "Musical O'Connor" gave us "Donald" (think "Singing in the Rain"), which unfortunately had the "n" and "d" in the same places as "Sinead" so that messed us up for a while (becasue it helped with "antlers" and "admen"). Never heard of Donnie Darko, but eventually worked out the correct answer.

Daryl 8:57 AM  

Nice one and easy. But was no one else bugged by the fact that LESS appeared in both a clue and an answer?

retired_chemist 9:01 AM  

Easier than the average Friday for me, remarkable considering that most of the words have 7 or 8 letters (or more!). Very few outré words, and none of those without reasonable crosses. Or guesses at same – with 38D MAGDA, 42A GEOID, and 46A DARKO, the SW was a bit scary. ASPCA/LORAX/LUIGI in the NE might also be for some. I was lucky there.

Not happy with the 20A clue “enters via osmosis” – we’ve been through the semipermeable membrane requirement for osmosis, and SEEPS IN is at best a clumsy fit. But it was gettable.

Good misdirection cluing: 26A OTIS, 25A TOPE, 41A DUFFER, 40A ANTLERS. Sweet.

@ RP – setters are bird dogs and not normally used for hares.

Very enjoyable. Thanks, Patrick.

Alex S. 9:20 AM  

Turns out I've always had pretty much the exact opposite definition of SING SONG than the correct one. Dictionary says:

"A monotonously rising and falling inflection of the voice."

My personal definition would have been about the same except lacking the word monotonously.

Putting in BEST OF SHOW instead of BEST IN SHOW caused more trouble than it should have.

Also had EXPOS of the S in DESI but fortunately it didn't hang me up.

Hobbyist 9:35 AM  

Really easy for me today and I learned a new word for drink, as in tope.

John 9:36 AM  


Am I the only one here who has seen DONNIE DARKO??
Strange but captivating movie.

The song Mad World is Fantastic!

Brendan Emmett Quigley 9:39 AM  

Patrick Berry can do no wrong. Unless of course he mails it in it, then he can do wrong. No $.42 stamp on this baby. Insanely easy, but who gives a shit? Double plus approved times infinity.

Donnie Darko sucked, IMHO. Movie, not the entry

Dough 9:40 AM  

Kudos to Mr. Berry for an outstanding construction. It was easy for a Friday, but lots of great words and fun clues. I knew the Gabor sisters, and it wasn't Zsa Zsa or Eva. I didn't know Donnie Darko, but have looked it up. Its plot is described as "A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes." Elwood P. Dowd goes to the dark side?

Alex S. 9:46 AM  

Yes, I've seen Donnie Darko. Didn't do much for me.

Elaine 10:14 AM  

Hi -- I know this was easy for a Friday, because I finished unaided by Google! However, it was a lovely puzzle, lots of fun.

Rex -- thanks for the picture of Thor and the Midgard Serpent -- I was an avid reader of Thor comics MANY years brought a smile.

(And speaking of "many years ago" -- I also put "Donald" for "Musical O'Connor at first...)

fikink 10:20 AM  

I was too long wedded to BEST "OF" SHOW (and thought of you, R-C) and had DESPISE instead of DISLIKE (common occurrence in the life of a drama queen), so I had the hardest time figuring MISSPENT and SLIMLINE.

Loved this puzzle!
Wonderful, Mr. Berry!

(One funny entry I kept for a while: OTSHOTS, instead of DEPOTS, thinking of basketball, which I know nothing about.)

Don't think of DUMPEDON as something you say about a person, rather you do to someone.

Welcome back, male chicken - I remember you!

Doc John 10:25 AM  

I did it all in one sitting so it had to be easy for a Friday. Lots of fun fill, as Rex already alluded to. I did know MAGDA, though- the things that stick in my brain!

joho 10:27 AM  

Like @Crosscan I started with ACE/ASP and cruised on from there.

I agree with others that this was easy for a Friday but also one of the most enjoyable Fridays in a while.

I wanted Donnie Brasco at first but got DARKO through crosses. I will watch anything with Johnny Depp in it.

My new thing is to guess the word of the day before coming here ... I'll bet I'm not the only one. Today I picked GEOID. Sort of like winning the lottery without the money.

Thanks Patrick Berry!

bambricktionary 10:34 AM  

Lots of INs and ONs in the puzzle.

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

Put me down as a Donnie Darko fan. It is seriously creepy and thought provoking and sometimes hilarious.

I happen to have "De Lorax" on my shelf. It is my only Dutch book. "Ik ben de Lorax. Ik spreek voor de bomen. Ik spreek voor de bomen, die hebben geen tongen."

On the bias: SHOE clued as "Mule, e.g." -- One for the girls?

ArtLvr 10:39 AM  

Me too, Wow! I don't think I've ever done a Friday so fast. Just wrote in the NW, went down the west coast, up the main diagonal, down the east side and finished with the cry of BANZAI!

My only tiny hesitation was HAIR what? Might have been hairpiece -- but DUFFER led to HAFTS, so it had to be T for TONIC... Thank heavens for Mr. Berry and his minimum of guff, though I admit that MAGDA saved me from a total blank on Donnie DARKO and that imaginary GEOID at sea level. New to me. Rex picked out the dark-side answers, but I relished the animal humor.

I did love the Head set clue for ANTLERS and the ASPCA animal facility, the HARES in the Hasenpfeffer, the SETTER for one's Hunting companion, and APIARIES as Things getting a lot of buzz. Even the Mule as a SHOE here, a verb to APE as meaning to Caricature, and the Seussian LORAX. Not to mention the ASP and the SERPENT... Fantastic zooiness. BEST IN SHOW, for sure.

Clark 10:41 AM  

(Anonymous 10:37 was actually me. Chance of accidently hitting publish instead of preview at some point if you comment regularly? 100%)

Two Ponies 10:47 AM  

What fun!
I expected the alopecia purchase to be a prescription and the Norse monster to be something less obvious than it was.
I know I'm improving in my solving when I immediately write apiaries and know some body part is coming for head set.
Never heard of that Heller work but I was familiar with authors of that time so nailed that one.
Inferred the G of the unknown Gabor sister from the earth clue but the D of Darko was my last letter. Could have been an L for all I knew but guessed right.
Thanks for a wonderful Friday Mr. Berry.
Bugs Bunny in my hasenpfeffer?
The horror!

PlantieBea 10:48 AM  

Thanks Patrick Berry. I enjoyed solving this easier than usual Friday puzzle and learned a few new words (TOPE, GEOID, HAFTS) in the process. I didn't know SINGSONG was uninteresting.

I too had Best OF Show and BONSEI which messed me up temporarily. I thought the cluing for this Friday was just right.

Ulrich 10:58 AM  

Very good Friday experience also for me, even if I couldn't decide which vowel to put in at the crossing of BANZAI and HAFTS, having never heard of the latter (apparently, I have to add to my internal xwordese dictionary).

One small nit: As Hasen means "hares" in German, doesn't the clue already contain the answer, and isn't this a no-no? I have no time right now to look up the recipe...

fikink 11:20 AM  

@Ulrich, agree with you on the Hasen overlap.

Also had "hilts" for HAFTS, which, I'm sure, is what Patrick Berry was hoping for.

slypett 11:23 AM  

List me as a "Donnie Darko" fan. It;s the atmosphere of dread combined with a certain gentleness that I remember best.

Anyone who worked at Aberdeen Books in New York in the 60s would know "Prisoner of Zenda" from the initial p and r. We had a double face-out of the paperback (long out of print).

No googles. Fastest Friday.

jae 12:06 PM  

Easy and delightful. I too had DONALD, BESTOF, and SHORT but all were easily fixed. Fun Fri.!

John 12:38 PM  

It's always alarming when some piece of jargon that only you and four other people know ends up in the puzzle: GEOID. My thesis advisor wrote his thesis on the variability of the GEOID. It doesn't actually correspond to sea level every where. Or, sea level doesn't actually correspond to the surface of equipotential on the planet -- i.e., there are places where sea level isn't actually level! That's why it's "hypothetical". Isn't the Earth crazy?

Loved the puzzle today.

Will Nediger 12:45 PM  

My God, Patrick Berry is a genius.

DJG 12:47 PM  

Donny Darko was okay. Decent flick, but nothing terrific, unlike this puzzle which was terrific -- another Patrick Berry gem.

Justin 1:28 PM  

@BEQ: Wha? Constructors mail in the puzzles via paper submissions? Isn't the NY Times puzzle department automated, using electronic files? It's 2009 . . .

Bob Kerfuffle 1:50 PM  

I saw the movie Donnie DARKO once. Didn't understand it then; don't remember it now. Also didn't help anyway: Like joho, I thought of Donnie BRASCO first and started putting the letters in until I noticed I would have run out of space!

Excellent Friday puzzle.

archaeoprof 2:13 PM  

Never saw Donnie DARKO, and based on the comments here, I can't really decide if I should. But I loved Donnie Brasco.

G in MAGDA/GEOID was my last letter, too.

Lots of fun clues today, like "pitching staff" for ADMEN, and "wasted" for MISSPENT.

I really enjoy cluing like this. Thank you, Patrick Berry.

edith b 2:19 PM  

Started in th NE with LORAX and ASPCA which suggested PRISONEROFZENDA and BANZAI confirmed.

It allowed me to sweep across the Vast Midlands into the SW. As I indicated before, old Hollywood is a weakness of mine and MAGDA Gabor was a neon to me.

This let me breakout out of the SW, move up the west coast to a solve.

This was not too difficult but still an enjoyable solve. As far as I can tell, the clues weren't quite up to weekend standards. Not a crunch in a bowlful.

I read "Something Happened" in the '70s and it was possibly the most claustrophobic novel I ever read. I'm glad I read it once but I don't think I'll read it again. Too depressing.

chefwen 2:33 PM  

Had a great time with this puzzle, I don't often get to say that the Friday puzzle was most enjoyable. Fell into the same trap as many others, best OF show, monotone for singsong, eating for caging and octogonal for opensided; but all easily fixed. Loved the head set clue.

andrea banzai michaels 2:41 PM  

Thank GOD Will accepts the puzzle not only by mail, and even with a hand-drawn grid!

That said, I'm trying to come into this century, but the how would I have known MAGDA without blinking?!

Come to think of it, I use an 8 x 11 envelope, so it's more than 42 cents (Actually BEQ, postage is now 44 cents, but who knows how long this sat on a pile! Patrick may have submitted this with a 32- cent stamp!)

(Wow, I just noticed my keyboard doesn't even have a cent sign anymore!)

I feel like ACED or ACES was a one-Across just this past week or two, and it made me feel this puzzle was a bit on the easy side (which seems to be the consensus)

Also CONFLATED bansai/bonzai = banzai and wondered why they would shout about a tiny tree before entering into battle!


Years ago, I got to go to the Oscars and it was the year Sinead O'Connor had made the big deal about boycotting the Grammys as artists shouldn't compete, blah blah blah...
but then one month later she shows up at the Oscars!!!!
Bob Hope was trotted out to make jokes, he must have been 104, and kept calling her sin-ee-ad.

Anyway, she was Daniel Day-Lewis's date and they both stood around very awkwardly and shyly, not speaking to each other or anyone else.
They made quite the pair...she tiny and practically bald, he tall and gorgeous with shoulder-length hair.
I was madly in love with him and desperately trying to think of something to I went up and said "Hey! The Irish contingent!"
(more awkward silence, as I realized that despite "My Left Foot", etc. that he had grown up in London.)
Then I asked him total Hollywood cliche question (still kicking myself)what he was working on now?
He smiled sweetly and mumbled he had just gotten back from filming in North Carolina making "The Last of the Mohicans".
SO I blurted out, "Ah! Thus the hair!"
Sinead just glared and I slunk away.

Unknown 3:02 PM  

@andrea black irish michaels

Maybe you should have said to her, I don't think much of the Pope, either and told Daniel that you were there with William Night Horse Campbell and that his date was the difference between night and day.

fergus 3:05 PM  

Being well-versed in Bugs Bunny also helped with the hasenpfeffer clue.

PuzzleGirl 3:07 PM  

Love love love this puzzle. What a fun romp! Super easy, but a beautiful easy puzzle is nice on occasion.

For some reason I knew of MAGDA Gabor, but I'll raise my hand for EATING and EXPOS (sorry, CrossCan).

Anonymous 3:43 PM  

Sad that my first entry in this blog is a whine, but I have to comment that 'SEEPSIN' is not an appropriate answer for something entering by osmosis.

Bob Kerfuffle 3:59 PM  

@andrea -- I guess you'll have to use (lower case) Option/4. It makes cents to me.


Actually quite logical, since Shift/4 is the dollar sign!

joho 4:19 PM  

@andrea banzai michaels ... I, too, once ran into Sinead O'Connor at the MTV Music Video Awards some years back. I couldn't believe how tiny she was! And, of course, almost bald ... but not quite. Funny enough we were right next to Telly Savalas. I want to go on the record here, I'm not being disparaging about baldness, I think bald is beautiful!

Noam D. Elkies 4:25 PM  

Yesterday we had "three" in the clue for 69A:TREY (which I meant to mention, and still had one post to go in my allotment of three, but forgot about it). That seems closer than today's Hasen/24A:HARES, but I might have felt differently about it had I been fluent in Deutsch...


Stan 4:38 PM  

Really fun solving this one. When I got to the end and checked the blog, I was so happy that TOPE was actually a word!

andrea singsong michaels 5:25 PM  

@ulrich, fikink

re: Hassenpfeffer = hares...

(Ulrich, is it one S or two or do you do one of those cool double S thingies?)
whether it's legal/redundant if it's the same word in another language...
I defer to the editors, but I would think it's ok.
It counts as a synonym...
I mean you should be able to clue something as "Hare, in Hamburg".

"Hey waiter! There's a hare in my hassenpfeffer!"

(I was half-expecting a clip from Rex of Laverne and Shirley's
"Schlemeil, Schlemazel, Hassenpfeffer Incorporated!" )

Speaking of little bald ones, this puzzle really had a full head of hair/hares, not to mention lots of furry creatures.

Loved all the creatures @artlvr and Rex dug up! Definitely a subtheme!

Actually know a guy named Les Moore...but you are right, less LESS in the grid/clues would have been more.

mac 5:27 PM  

Thank you Patrick Berry! Great puzzle, no problems at all that couldn't be solved by crosses. I had "bad" for 30A, isn't that a term? For a few seconds I had the rest instead of the West!
Got goosebumps hearing Sinead sing after all these years...

@Ulrich: I don't have much of a problem with Hasenpfeffer and hares. I've seen plenty of French clues that include the English word, such as "French friend".
Gotta run, "Children" at the Westport Playhouse.

retired_chemist 7:39 PM  

@ anonymous 3:43 - the osmosis battle of a few weeks/months ago was about pretty much what you said. I'm not hopeful it will ever be used in a clue that we will like.

capesunset105 8:01 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
capesunset105 8:04 PM  

Sinead O'Connor's eye makeup in that video is perfection. I know you were all thinking the same thing.

I also noted the "dark" theme of this puzzle while in progress.

BONZAI!!! it was for me as well until i realized my mistake. Next time i grab my trusty sword by the HAFT...BANZAI!!!

@Rex: I'll be in Truro tomorrow. I will convey your warmest regards.

sanfranman59 8:25 PM  

Here are this weeks's numbers. The number in parentheses is the number of solvers.

Mon (all) 6:55 (856)
Mon (Top 100) 3:43

Tue (all) 8:09 (878)
Tue (Top 100) 4:06

Wed (all) 14:33 (626)
Wed (Top 100) 7:26

Thu (all) 14:08 (613)
Thu (Top 100) 6:45

Fri (all) 17:30 (547) last week: 33:08 (428)
Fri (Top 100) 7:52

Judging from the posted times, this week's Friday puzzle is much easier than last weeks's (median solve time this week = 17:30, last week = 33:08) and only marginally more difficult than this week's Wednesday puzzle.

joho 8:43 PM  

There are so many more people solving than commenting here. C'mon people, speak up!

michael 8:56 PM  

My last entry also was the g in Magda/geoid. I wonder what percentage of people this was the case for...

Ulrich 9:32 PM  

@mac (and NDE): I see your point. There is a difference, though: Today, the German word was in the clue, and the answer was English--go figure...

@Andrea: I'd sooo like to please you, but no dice: hassen means "to hate", i.e. those double esses have to be treated sometimes with caution.

mac 10:19 PM  

Just returned from the Westport Playhouse where Judith Light did a superb job (and the other 3 actors were not bad either).

@michael: my last letter was the G at that crossing as well.

If you haven't seen "Best in Show" yet, you're in for a real treat!

DanaJ 11:11 PM  

This satisfying puzzle kept me entertained during a painfully long commencement ceremony today. And of course there's the ego-boost of solving a Friday puzzle! You gotta love LORAX directly over LUIGI.

I'm definitley Donnie Darsko fan, especially the soundtrack by Echo and the Bunnymen. This is obviously related to Hassenpfeffer and Hares.

Anonymous 12:29 AM  

From a newbie to the other silent newbies out there, I had flows in for seeps in (osmosis), monotone for singsong, Expos, hilts for hafts, and I wanted Fiat for boxy cars and Cheney for hunting companion, maybe. Hair tonic is of no use in Alopecia so I fell for hairpiece and went charging into battle as someone has noted above with a small tree (bonsai). You can imagine where all that got me.

As a paper/pen jockey where does Sanfranman get those weekly numbers?

Thanks, Rex, for Sinead to console me and geoid to add to my vocabulary.

Happy weekend.


Unknown 12:38 AM  

Solved late but quickly, and enjoyed it thoroughly. A perfect way to end Friday, thank you Mr. Berry.

sanfranman59 12:46 AM  

The numbers come from the NYT online premium crosswords page. They list the times of everyone who has successfully solved the current puzzle in order from the fastest to the slowest. Medians are easy to determine. The median is the 50th percentile value ... the value at which 50% of the times are higher and 50% lower. So if 500 solve the puzzle, the median value is the 250th fastest time. Technically speaking, it's a little more complicated than that because you're supposed to take into account ties, but for our purposes I don't bother with that.

kathy d. 2:06 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Easy, fun, great way to start off a Friday.

No mistakes and no googling.

It just all clicked.

Kathy D.

andrea bunny michaels 5:19 AM  

so, ich hassen hasen...I hate hiphoppers??

liquid el lay 6:20 AM  

"Infiltrates", I think, would be good cluing for SEEPS IN.

I would be okay with DRAWS IN answering for "Enters via osmosis" Chemists?

But I would prefer to see it written "Enters by osmosis" as "via" sounds weird to me here.

I almost left it with
ALL EUROS "Quick movement(s)",

SINUS ONE "Uninteresting voice".

Kind of works.

I'm glad he didn't use the EURO. I hate seeing that.

Wanted ANTHERS for "Things getting a lot of buzz about them" but it was too short. APIARIES was a hard fit not for length, but because they don't get a lot of buzz, they have a lot.

Each was hard to see, each gave me pleasure.

Kinda STOKED to see RAD in the puzzle.


Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Wrote down Misha for Gabor sister until I finally had geoid. Sounds lovelier, dahlings.

Anonymous 3:04 PM  

I enjoyed this remarkably easy Friday puzzle a lot more than yesterdays. Only real trouble was the SW corner where I had electrical short for a long time. I had Sinead immediately, and was ultimately saved by admen. I had Helman instead of Heller for a while, but that sorted itself out at the end. Best of Show was there for too long. All in all much too easy for a Friday, but a very satisfying puzzle nonetheless.

shrub5 12:23 AM  

I loved this puzzle so a big thank you to Patrick Berry. As some others have mentioned I had HILTS, BONZAI, EATING and HAIRPIECE which slowed me down but most were easily corrected. I knew Truffula Tree defender was a Dr. Suess character but put in LOMAX, until PRISONEROFZENDA fixed it.

@all of the Andreas: You crack me up.

This is the first Friday I completed with no look-ups of any sort; just one error BoNZAI/HoFTS.

@RP: I really appreciate the time and effort you put into these write-ups. You are truly an educator with a very large class.

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