Irish statesman Cosgrave —FRIDAY, 11/20/09— Only private non-American to address joint session Congress 1989 / Cape Cod components / Net Nanny no-no

Friday, November 20, 2009

Constructor: Alan Olschwang

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: lots of phrases with "UP" in them (or, none)

Word of the Day: LIAM Cosgrave (24D: Irish statesman Cosgrave) Liam Cosgrave (Irish: Liam Mac Cosgair; born 13 April 1920) served as the Taoiseach of Ireland between 1973 and 1977 and is the son of W. T. Cosgrave, Head of Government from 1922 to 1932). [seems his father, William T. Cosgrave, was a much bigger deal ... and why have I never seen TAOISEACH in a puzzle?] (wikipedia)


A fine Friday outing, though the stuff that's supposed to be flashy (JAZZERCISE — 1A: Tae Bo alternative / ZOLAESQUE — 4D: A la the founder of literary naturalism) is stuff we've seen before, so the wow factor is a bit dampened. Also, three phrases with "UP" in them (RE-UP, STORE UP, ANTES UP)? What's that about? At two, I thought, "well that's no good." At three I thought there might be a theme I was missing. You'll let me know if that's true. In addition to the UPs, there was an IN, an ON, and an OUT. I was going to say that JAZZERCISE is not and never was a [Tae Bo alternative] in that nobody did JAZZERCISE after 1985, but I'm wrong. Somehow, it still exists. As for ZOLAESQUE, it's one of the more memorable answers in the movie "Wordplay" — when Trip Payne (solving on stage in the finals) finally figures it out he exclaims something like "Oh dear god!" in a completely disbelieving tone. Good stuff.

Only section that was truly effortless for me was the W-to-SW passage. Even without knowing LIAM, I was able to ride the momentum from ZOLAESQUE straight down the western seaboard. Picked up ZIPLOC (51A: Baggie biggie) off just the "O," and since KRIS was a gimme (63A), I had the "Z" and the "K" that would have made OZARKS easy even if I hadn't seen it (and almost this identical clue — 45D: Buffalo National River locale) only a month or so ago.

NW took a little work because even though JAZZERCISE was a fat gimme, GABLE ROOFS sure as hell was not (17A: Cape Cod components). Thought "Cape Cod" might be, I don't know, a drink? TABLE ROOTS? House type somehow didn't occur to me, and even if it had, I don't know that I could have told you the kind of roof such a house involved. Had JAB instead of JOG for a bit, which didn't help matters (1D: Nudge). SAFE was also invisible to me for a while — 9D: First call? is a pretty sweet clue. How in the world I remember ERSKINE Bowles's name, I have No idea (10D: 1990s White House chief of staff). Lucky me.

Last stand and toughest part for me was the SE. Despite having had a very public bout with "Ochlocracy" in a previous puzzle (I lost), I could Not remember its definition today. You win again, "Ochlocracy!" I had to piece MOB RULE together, which took some time. PETRI DISH was easy (33D: Germs grow in it), but I had CORE for CRUX (38D: Central point) and clearly had no idea what to make of 50D: Double whole notes (breves). I think BREVES are fancy coffee orders to me. That first "E" in BREVES was the last letter to go in the grid, and I just stared at that blank space for many, many seconds, wondering what in the world kind of word CU-D could make. CUAD? Maybe some letter in BREVES was wrong ... Finally just ran the alphabet. CUED! (56A: Ready to be played) D'OH! At some point I had ON CD for this answer. Also, for 56D: Firm wheels, for short, I had LIMO.


  • 11A: English pop duo _____ & Dave (Chas) — though I'm sure I've said this before: "Who???"

[those poor kids have no idea what to make of the song ... they're just standing there]

  • 22A: Only private non-American to address a joint session of Congress (1989) (Walesa) — the year Really helped here. "Private non-American" is a weird phrase.
  • 25A: Sharpness gauge (IQ test) — needed "EQUUS" to get this one (21D: 1977 Richard Burton film)
  • 34A: Net Nanny no-no (smut) — I can't wait for the musical adaptation of this clue: "No, No, Net Nanny!"

  • 36A: Breaking capacity, briefly (SRO) — "breaking" = over, I guess.
  • 53A: TV neighbor of Ralph and Alice (Trixie) — Norton's wife on "The Honeymooners"

  • 2D: Baptist leader? (Ana-) — nice clue.
  • 11D: Umbrella bird's "umbrella" (crest) — man, that's a stupid-looking bird. The Elvis impersonator of the bird world.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Leslie 7:11 AM  

Wow--Rex and I had opposite solving experiences, although I also think this is a fine puzzle!

Although I had KRIS immediately, I didn't know about the Buffalo National River and threw down "Alaska" instead of OZARKS. That stood until ZIPLOC appeared.

My easy-peasy area was the East Coast, which flew by quickly. I loved the clue for 58A and the RESERVISTS answer.

Re themes, I thought "Tons of Qs!" was going to be the theme for a while there.

Joe 7:50 AM  

I thought Cape Cods were drinks, too, so I had GINGERALES sitting there for decades before I convinced myself that SAFE had to be right. NW was my last stand by far. I think the B in ZEB/GABLEROOFS was the last letter for me.

I also had ONCD instead of CUED and CORE instead of CRUX for a while.

I don't think Rex mentioned it, but this is the second pangram in a row.

The clue at 34A was freaking hilarious.

And 11A?? WHO and WHY?

dk 8:30 AM  

Failed this IQTEST.

Started out with a whimper and a bunch of random fill: TRIXIE, ONEOVERPAR, EKESOUT and ANTESUP to name 4.

I thought: Cool an up, over and out theme???

Over thought Cape Cod and focused on the geological structure of the cape with occasional thoughts of potato chips. GABLEROOFS was confirmed by coming here as I was still stuck in the sand.

MOBRULE and BREVES killed that area (Mississippi) of the puzzle.

In short, SPOTTY performance for me and a feeling the clues/fill are herky-jerky.

*** (3 stars)

Elaine 8:33 AM  

I surprised myself by getting this puzzle done with no Googling at all--it was 1:30 a.m., cold upstairs where the computer lives, and so I just kept plinking away. ANA (Baptist) went in first, and LIAM went in last.

Clever clues made this fun. I was impressed by SSS in 66A--since I put in the Downs first there and was sure it had to be wrong. My favorite answer: PEAR for 55D Kind of brandy. I think a better clue would have been "Williams Schnapps;" and I heartily recommend your trying some to celebrate Friday.

Oh, and what is an Olschwang?

joho 8:34 AM  

@Joe ... I thought it was odd to have one pangram follow another. Is that random?

I loved the clue "Extend one's service life" and the answer REUP. But not so much for "Ones who might get service calls" for RESERVISTS ... deja vu. Add HEROES and IRAQ and you've got a mini-theme.

"Dons effortlessly, as footwear" screams for slipsON. I got EASESON but reluctantly.

Completed the puzzle with no mistakes, so that's always fun, especially on a Friday.

Thanks, Alan Olschwang!

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

Cape Cods screamed house styles to me, having grown up in one. Couldn't figure out how to fit some variation of "Tiny, cramped, non-descript" into the space provided. Turns out GABLEDROOF is exactly that - the simplest, most non-descript type of roof possible.

MsCarrera 8:41 AM  

Rex, you made my day with your "Elvis impersonator of the bird world" description. I actually laughed out loud and I am still smiling at how apt it is.

Rex Parker 8:42 AM  




PlantieBea 8:59 AM  

Drat--I didn't remember the meaning of ochlocracy and ended with the single error of MOG RULE/GREVES. I should have cheated and looked up the word. Besides that, the other answer I stared at for a long time was 44D, top finisher "pee". Finally the simple connection clicked.

Nice puzzle Alan Olschwang...funny bird comment Rex, and I had the same thoughts about Jazzercise being finito. Besides having lived in a saltbox, we have lived in a cape (in PA). Love the name Trixie, formerly a common nickname for Beatrice.

nanpilla 9:00 AM  

@joho : Slips ON for me too. It took me a long time to give that UP. Couldn't believe ZOLAESQUE was in there, and the three SSS in the bottom also reminded me of Wordplay with the "cross swords" clue that Merl put in almost the same spot.

Of course, I liked the mini equine theme : EQUUS, GROOM and CREST.
I have been a groom many, many times for friends and for years as a 4-H Mom - shows almost every weekend. Got so you could hook up the trailer in the dark.

@Rex - thankyouverymuch - loved it!

PuzzleGirl 9:00 AM  

My first pass through the clues was looking pretty dismal but once I got started I flew through this puzzle. I realized pretty quickly that there were going to be a lot of scrabbly letters, and that really helped. I had forgotten about Trip's exclamation at ZOLAESQUE. It always just makes me think of poor Al ....

I couldn't get the Trixie Delite clip to play for some reason, but I'm going to go back and try again. That's one of my favorite movies of all time.

Great puzzle! Great write-up!

Ben 9:00 AM  

Decent Friday puzzle. Not overwhelmingly tough, but not a gimme either.

As is often the case, Rex's writeup reminded me of my similar moments:
-Also got Ziploc off the O
-Also knew ERSKINE, it's so memorable (he's a Clinton guy but sounds GOPish with that foppy name)
-Also got WALESA from the year
-Also don't know BREVES
-Also recognized ZOLAESQUE from "Wordplay"
-Also baffled by Ochlocracy and CHAS

But then there were differences. CUED I got fine from C__D. CRUX was my first guess there. Didn't know EQUUS but IQTEST was no problem and once armed with EQ___ the Richard Burton movie was clear (I know he married Liz and liked to drink, that's about all I got).

@Joho: Agreed, I too (and many others I'm sure) wanted SLIPSON before remembering how often EASES and its variants appear in xwords.

Being born in 1971 and lacking a solid command of the Babs weepers of the 1970s, I cast RYAN (as in O'Neal) instead of KRIS. Once I got that sorted out it was smooth sailing even though I still don't know what ANA means.

retired_chemist 9:08 AM  

Medium-challenging here. Enjoyed it thoroughly. 34A clue and Rex's comments there and @ 11D were highlights. Hand up for ON CD @56A. Liked the 61A clue for the Wizard of Menlo park.
Realized, when the SE was my last unfinished section, it was just a V short of a pangram. A first for me: I used that info. Given the hypothesis that the constructor wouldn't stop just one letter short got me RESERVISTS through some wrong fill. Didn't like NO TAXIS @ 42D anyway. I had PBS or HBO for 60D. Either one gave me EAT ONE'S BAT @ 64A. A baseball expression I had never heard? An unappetizing winged mammal? Probably not.....

46D TIN ORE - didn't we have that exact clue recently?

44D was top TEN and PEE was hard to understand. Just before I gave up and completely redid that area I figured it out. D'oh.....

My lion @ 29A scored an EMU first. Are lions and emus ever even on the same continent?

Thanks, Mr. Olschwang.

Retired_Chemist 9:19 AM  


Comment re yesterday's chat about SLEEP APNEA: If your spouse snores and then is silent for 5-10-15-(more!) seconds before starting up again (perhaps with panting), insist he or (less likely) she have a sleep study done ASAP. Undiagnosed, as was the norm in the seventies, sleep apnea probably cut ten or more years off my father's life. I am convinced the CPAP I have used since 1998 will put at least that many years onto mine.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:28 AM  

Good puzzle.

Just one write-over: had TEED before CUED.

Nice to know we couldn't be fooled twice by Cassiterite!

pete1123 9:28 AM  

Did anyone else have (Mother) TERESA where WALESA was supposed to be? That tanked the center-left for me.


Ulrich 9:42 AM  

Couldn't get anything going for a few minutes, and then Kris got me started. Went through two flower names (Lily, Iris) before settling on the correct one. Solved the whole thing in two sessions during the night while the rain was pounding on our lovely (partial) Cape Cod. Didn't get the clue for a long time, though, since here in CT, these houses are simply called "Capes". My word of the day is ochlocracy, even if it occurs in a clue.

No google = great Friday--pangram icing on the cake. Oh, and I, too, love that Elvis impersonator...

CoolPapaD 9:44 AM  

@ Elaine - Good to know I have company in the 1:30 am club!

Again, I slept soundly thinking I had finished a Friday error-free, only to wake up to Rex and find out that TABLEROOFS are not a feature of Cape Cods! We had JOT recently (which I missed), and so I was pleased to have known it last night...

Hands up for SLIPSON.

Not crazy about STOREUP - why not just STORE? I really loved just about everything else, though. Even though Word Play is what got me addicted, I didn't remember ZOLAESQUE at all. Had PORN for SMUT, and TEED for CUED for a while.

Please tell me - why is a CEO a wheel??

Dough 9:48 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle, but like @Rex, I remember solving a puzzle not so long ago that had JAZZERCISE at 1-Across. And then ZOLAESQUE should now be retired and affixed permanently on the centerfield fence in honor of Trip and Al. But all the fun letters all over the place was great. Knowing one additional word makes all the difference; for me, the SE was made simple by knowing BREVES.

Badir 9:49 AM  

What is this, National Up Week?? That's the second day in a row with three UPs in the grid! I mean, I liked the movie, but...

I also thought of Trip at ZOLAESQUE. Poor little umbrella bird--I think it's cute!

PlantieBea 10:04 AM  

@Ulrich: beautiful cape!

imsdave 10:04 AM  

There's also a tacit UP in the puzzle - I think the answer for CUED should include UP.

Great puzzle, very enjoyable solve.

As an ex-bartender, the drink would have been a cape codder (though google argues with me on this).

As an avid golfer, ONEOVERPAR could be my middle name.

Elaine 10:22 AM  

I also had SLIPSON, and I think it was a better answer for that clue, too! Perhaps I can blame my putting that down on vibes from pedsng?

Ochlocracy was a new word to me...and I didn't know TRIXIE; however, the crosses kept me going in this puzzle.

I think it was slightly harder than a Medium for me, yet I did solve without I bow to Rex's Rating.

mccoll 10:25 AM  

I liked it! One google was required for WALESA, but pretty smooth sailing otherwise. It seemed medium/challenging for me. I had TEED for CUED for a while but CEOS straightened that out. I learned what ochlocracy means, as well. Thanks AO and all.

OldCarFudd 10:26 AM  

@Ben: ANAbaptists were a sect that disavowed child baptism as ineffective (the child hadn't agreed to the deal) and believed in strict separation of church and state. Amish and Mennonites are present-day offshoots, I think.

@pednsg: Wheel=big wheel=executive, hence a chief executive officer (CEO) is a wheel.

imsdave 10:27 AM  

I've decided my avatar should be the house of the week - since we have CAPECOD, here's mine (pardon my pseudo son-in-law cleaning his car.

ArtLvr 10:40 AM  

Why "Private non-American"? Because the most famous otherwise was Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, not just citizen...

I was generationally challenged in other spots too, thinking of Chester Bowles before ERSKINE, Omar before KRIS. My gimmes were GABLE ROOF, PETRI DISH, CRUX, REQ and other Q words. Not much to start with!

Congrats to Alan O. for a nifty one!


SethG 10:46 AM  

Like Shalala, Erskine is in academia as the president of UNC. I didn't have Mother Teresa, but I did try to fit the Dalai Lama into 6 letters. Thought about trying Edward Norton, but I just waited for the crosses. What is position if there is no contortin'?

Saw Up last weekend, didn't love it. Saw UPs in the puzzle, didn't love them. ORS crossing SRO is cute, though. Wish the IQ TEST had been clued with MENSA.

If you're not a vegetarian, here's a lion with a gnu. Don't know if he scored it on his own or by stealing it from the hyenas.

Two Ponies 10:56 AM  

Very funny write-up from Rex and r_c.
Living in Vegas I see people around town who look a lot like that bird. If it only had big sunglasses and a shirt with a big collar we'd have a perfect match.
One guy even has a pink Caddy!
Nice Friday puzzle.
Trixie set the SE free for me.
Jazzercise took awhile as I fell for the ruse of looking for an Eastern dicipline.
Just how many Oto languages are there??
I had gable rooms for too long making 9D Same. It made no sense and that F was the last letter in my grid.
Late comments last night from someone complaining about what he felt was a new trend of phrases (such as the -up & -on) as well as the crossing of too many proper names. I guess I've gotten used to it but it bugs me sometimes too. That guy probably hated today's puzzle.
I wish 44D was clued "Number one?"
I mean, who didn't think of that?

Meg 11:01 AM  

I loved this puzzle! I had all but 2 letters for GABLE ROOFS, and I still had to go through the alphabet.

I wanted TUNE for 56A with "ready" as a verb. Thinking of "proofs" as a noun was a big problem, so for me the NW was the last to fall.

I thought 61D might be Harry Potter, but I couldn't come up with a middle name. I have, however, seen him naked in EQUUS. Woo-hoo!

slypett 11:03 AM  

Nanny Google and I had a lovely dance today.

Stan 11:25 AM  

Great crunchy letters!

The 'up's are okay but I'd like to see a new featured-adverb next week.

Hands UP for a) living in a Cape b) never having heard of Chas & Dave c) loving the Elvis bird.

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

Not one, but three Wordplay references here (just showed the movie to my class yesterday, ironically):

1) Zolaesque
2) Three s's in a row (as in crossswords)
3) IQ Test (Trip was talking about the "Q" and said that you couldn't take the ensuing "u" for granted (e.g. Qatar, I.Q. Test).

Anonymous 11:40 AM  

@ retired chemist. Amen to the CPAP shout out. Great puzzle and put me in the slips on camp. Golfballman.

Susan 11:48 AM  

I am a specialist in nineteenth-century French literature (yes, that's a thing), so ZOLAESQUE was a total gimme and with a Z and a Q, made it my fastest Friday ever!

Love the Elvis bird, Rex! My child has an animal alphabet thing with umbrella bird for the U but it's a cartoonish drawing that gives you no sense of what it really looks like. So thanks for the pic.

And hey, aren't we going to argue about how it ought to be GABLED ROOFS and not GABLE ROOFS? Please?

Unknown 12:07 PM  

Hate to go medical school but the talus (39 down) is a bone in the foot, not ankle.

Bob Kerfuffle 12:10 PM  

@Susan - Early results show (on Google):

GABLE ROOF - 257,000 hits

GABLED ROOF - 113,000 hits

joho 12:18 PM  

@OldCarFudd ... it's nice to see your comments as they are very educational. I'm glad you came out of the shadows.

@Ulrich and @imsdave ... don't know what you'd call our house but I like the idea of making it my avatar. It's not a cape, though.

retired_chemist 12:19 PM  

From Wikipedia:

"The talus bone or astragalus is a bone in the tarsus of the foot that forms the lower part of the ankle joint through its articulations with the lateral and medial malleoli of the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula."

So, if it is part of the foot, but articulates to the leg bones, where does that leave the ankle? Boneless?

I have no problem with the clue as it was, even if there is a technical argument the other way. It's a cruciverbal gimme, even as a Latin plural.

edith b 12:53 PM  

A real sense of deja-vu with this one. The last Klahn puzzle we had last week, I read Rex's sidebar article "The wrath of Klahn, so MOBRULE was a neon for me. It was a wonder I remembered that much as, like Elaine and Pednsg, I am a member of the 1:30AM Club. I opened in the SE, rode the diagonal thru EQUUS into the NE, saw TRIXIE in Georgia.

I had a mistake to fix in the SW at PLUM and once I did, I was able to suss out EATONESHAT and made my last stand in the NW. I spent the longest time trying to get Cranberry to fit in the Cape Cod clue. I finally remembered ZEB as the Walton's grandfather and the ANEW/CROW cross let me see **B**/ROOFS and voila! victory.

william e emba 1:10 PM  

Definitely challenging for me. One hour and I only had the west and center filled in, and a few scattered gimmes. I particularly liked TINORE: did we have that particular mineral before? All I knew was it ended in "-ite", it was a weird word, ergo, it was ---ORE, and that could only be TIN.

After about an hour, I suddenly figured out the SW and NE, and soon after, the SE. I had been hesitant about way too many things. Was ROSA actually a girl's name? It took me way too long to recall the notorious ROSA Klebb.

For "First call?" for some time I wanted MAMA or DADA. And for "Proofs, say", looking at -E--ADS, I couldn't get RELEADS out of my head, thinking of clinics and hospitals relining their X-Ray rooms or something (or Superman his lead underwear). And I wasted an incredible amount of time trying to think of an English author to put in front of -ESQUE? Blake? No, wrong movement. Poe? No, too short.

The TALUS is indeed in the foot. But it happens to be nicknamed the "ankle bone". It's called such in Gray's Anatomy, which I quote:

The Talus (astragalus; ankle bone) (Figs. 270 to 273).—The talus is the second largest of the tarsal bones. It occupies ... etc.

The only "Cosgrave" I could think of was the mathematical cartoonist (with even less ability than xkcd) who flourished in the 70s and 80s, in a lowbrow math publication called Manifold and possibly later The Mathematical Intelligencer. You can see one example here. (Only high school Algebra II is required to get the lame joke.) (And in the great Bourbaki style, Cosgrave did not actually exist.)

OldCarFudd 1:52 PM  

@william e emba

For a more positive example, think Rosa Parks!

Susan 1:57 PM  

@BK I just wanted an argument and now you've gone and spoiled it with your petty "facts"! (No, in fact I didn't want an argument, but thought there would be one is all.)

Glitch 2:24 PM  

@Susan &@ Bob K.

Going by definition rather than popularity, per the Princeton word site:

gabled - (of a roof) constructed with a single slope on each side of the ridge supported at the end by a gable or vertical triangular portion of an end ...

Google hits aside, since a *gable* is just the triangular section on the end, a Cape Cod *gabled roof* would have 2 end gables and seem to be the correct nomenclature.

I'm with Susan.


Clark 2:29 PM  

Ah the BREVE. MY favorite note. It's the one that can be written as a whole note with two short vertical lines on each side (looking like they are trying to keep it from rolling away) or as two whole notes just touching each other side by side, or as an open square, well, rectangle, I guess. Slightly wider than it is high.

JAZZERCISE and ZOLAESQUE were new to me (as far as I remember). That corner took some work. Letting go of the idea that Cape Cod had something to do with 'rooms' opened it up for me.

Elaine 2:43 PM  

And here I was, so proud that I had NOT gotten on my charger and ridden into battle about the GABLE ROOFS (recalling that previous kerfuffle during which someone might have accused me of nit-pickery --moi?--)...
Susan is right! But if no one will argue with her, no foo-fer-raw.

cat butler 3:02 PM  

I just found your site (googling about Walesa actually).

I did surprisingly well with this puzzle, considering I was on an airplane on about 5 hours sleep, but I was frankly stuck on the jazzercise (assuming as you did that it had been consigned to the junk bin of history) and gable roofs bit---I've always considered gable roofs more of a Salem thing.

I got zolaesque from the movie as well.

All in all, a pretty good puzzle though.

Nathaniel H 3:02 PM  

Pardon me for being a little old and out of date here, but how does one erase pages and/or sites from this new-fangled internet? I'm feeling that I have to eliminate the thousands of reputable seeming sites which discuss the design, construction, history, etc of GABLEROOFS.

Ulrich 3:04 PM  

@imsdave and joho; You gave me ideas...

@joho: Popular housing styles or types was one of my specialties--in fact, the most popular paper I ever wrote was titled "More than the sum of parts: The grammar of Queen Anne houses"--but I myself couldn't tell from your avatar what type of house yours is.

Anonymous 3:08 PM  

Boy, really slow news day if the only big complaint is about a roof!
De foot bone connected to de ankle bone, de ankle bone connected ...
Alan O. should be proud.

Drea Michaels 3:09 PM  

laughed my head off (crest?) at Rex this morning...
favorite Rex comment re: UP (REUP?):
"What's that about?"!!!!!!!
Subtle. funny shit.

Speaking of shit, why is there both PEE and SHAT staring at me from the grid :(

There were so many refs to other puzzles I thought maybe Alan O
(@Elaine LOL!) was doing an "homage" to other puzzles as opposed to having subconsciously just repeated everyone else's stuff.

Yay for all the pangrams, I think EVERY puzzle should be one!!!!!! Lets not JinXQZ it!

@Plantie Bea
Never made the connection between TRIXIE and Beatrice!!! Now it all makes sense! Bec you never hear "Trixie" any more, unless it's some beleaguered waitress at Johnny Rocket's or Mel's DIner forced to wear a retro name tag, yet the busboys are always still "Jose".

It must be that Euro-thing of doing the second half of the name for the nickname...William: LIAM
Beatrix: TRIXIE. Nicolas: CLAUS.
(I could go on, you know)

Has triple SSS been a puzzle theme yet?
I want a D on my Gable and a K on my Ziploc.

"What's with that?"
STILL laughing!

jae 3:28 PM  

Easy medium for me with NW being the toughest, although, ONEOVERPAR was my first entry when BOGEYGOLF wouldn't fit. I did try HBO before SHO and TARI (thinking it might be some sort of plural of TARSUS) briefly obscured MOBRULE but, other than those, I didn't really get hung up. Fun puzzle!

archaeoprof 3:40 PM  

Non-puzzle wife does JAZZERCISE five days a week.

SW was toughest for me, until I got ROSA (my paternal grandmother's name).

@Bob Kerfuffle: I also "teed" before I CUED.

sanfranman59 4:15 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 26:09, 26:06, 1.00, 53%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Fri 12:43, 12:28, 1.02, 63%, Medium-Challenging

CoolPapaD 4:19 PM  

@OldCarFudd Thanks for the explaination. I still don't really like wheel used like that!

@Elaine - only positve vibes from now on!

SethG 4:32 PM  

Sometimes Google hit counts aren't the most convincing source for me. Continuing Glitch's theme:


Anonymous 6:23 PM  

I believe it is common for the name "Liam" to be used as a stand alone, particularly in Ireland. Maybe the origin was William, but not necessarily the case now.

edith b 7:07 PM  

I remember in the early days of cable tv, my brother and his friends used to watch JAZZERCISE, not for the exercise but to watch the girls jumping around in their little suits. My mother was not amused.

Elaine 8:07 PM  

I actually enjoyed this puzzle simply because the grid gradually did yield to my chipping away at it... unlike so many!
I am pretty sure your vibes were fine and I was just being crabby! It's always better to blame someone else, is it not? (at least for the short term)
The puzzles are giving me seriously necessary respite as we deal with MIL's dementia and relocation....very fraught! I look forward to my midnight forays into PuzzleLand!

Anonymous 8:51 PM  

As an old musicologist "breve" was a gimmie

mac 9:40 PM  

Good puzzle, but I was wondering about the language about halfway through. Some of it seemed old, some non-American English. It was a medium for me.

I love the dress shoes, and I've always heard and used "gabled roofs". Our first home was a Cape Cod. Could not figure it out this time, though. I also thought drinks....

To ease on: that sounds like a handicapped or sore person being dressed. I too had Ryan instead of Kris, not a great Babs fan, plus I started out with HBO and PBS.

Great write-up today; loved Madeline Kahn.

Hey Andrea: my grandfather and uncle were both called Nicolaas; they used Nico on a daily basis (never Nicos)

andrea curba michaels 11:10 PM  

I'm just saying that that's why it's Saint Nick here but Santa Claus there. Most people have never made that connection.

The Niko vs Nikos thing was for Greek names.

I'm starving...a friend arrived for dinner, miraculously found a place to park IN FRONT of my building...I told her she needed to curb her wheels ($50 fine on these SF hills), she screamed that she was hungry and not going to get into a control thing with me and drove off in a huff!
I'm in shock.

sanfranman59 11:58 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:38, 6:54, 0.96, 42%, Medium
Tue 9:02, 8:37, 1.05, 66%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 11:25, 11:46, 0.97, 46%, Medium
Thu 18:46, 18:33, 1.01, 58%, Medium
Fri 26:11, 26:06, 1.00, 55%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:27, 3:41, 0.94, 38%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:20, 4:25, 0.98, 52%, Medium
Wed 5:52, 5:47, 1.01, 61%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 8:11, 8:57, 0.91, 23%, Easy-Medium
Fri 12:23, 12:27, 0.99, 55%, Medium

Anonymous 12:04 AM  

I hope to see, someday, a music-themed puzzle with he likes of:
Breve (double whole-note)
Semi-breve (whole-note)
Minum (half-note)
Crotchet (quarter-note)
Quaver (eighth-note)
Semi-quaver (sixteenth-note)
"eighth" is such a cool word...

slypett 12:10 AM  

andrea curba michaels: Your friend was in a place in her story where she feels she is the target of people who want to control her--whether for her own good or for their own ends doesn't matter. You just happened to be there. I call that state 'fulmination'.

Anonymous 7:16 PM  

The mention of the "ups"- reup, store up, antes up, made me realize the "up" theme. I didn't see anyone really mention this, but many of the first words in the answers can be followed by up:

jazz, dress, one, eat, zip.

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