MONDAY, Nov. 16 2009 — 1945 conference site / Military strategy during 2003 invasion of Iraq / Marijuana slangily

Monday, November 16, 2009

Constructors: James Mulhern and Ashton Anderson

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: -OCK AND something — three-word phrases where second word is AND and first word rhymes with SOCK

Word of the Day: YALTA (55A: 1945 conference site) — The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, was the wartime meeting from 4 February 1945 to 11 February 1945 among the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union—President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and General Secretary Josef Stalin, respectively—for the purpose of discussing Europe's postwar reorganization. Mainly, it was intended to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe. (wikipedia)


Pretty flimsy excuse for a theme, but the grid is super-non-crappy (except PREXY — 39A: Veep's superior — go back into hiding, PREXY!) despite having a raft of 3- and 4-letter words, and that in itself is a kind of accomplishment. BLACKLIST (34D: Secretly ban from employment) and LIFESAVER (11D: Candy with a hole in the middle) are nice as Long Downs go. ANALOG is also interesting (46D: Like a clock with hands), and its symmetrical counterpart NELSON (10D: Mandela of South Africa) would have been a lot more so if it had been clued as ["Simpsons" bully] or [Lisa Simpson's ex] or [Pal of Jimbo and Kearney] or ["HA ha" exclaimer] or the like. Not a ton to say about the puzzle overall, as I was in and out in under three (very fast, for me, for a Monday).

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Like a story that can't be believed (cock and bull) — tried COCKAMAMIE here at first. Didn't fit.
  • 27A: Military strategy during the 2003 invasion of Iraq (Shock and Awe)
  • 45A: Subject of a 1950s "revolution" (rock and roll) — clue seems odd to me. Very gettable, but the clue did not point clearly to "ROCK-AND-ROLL" for me. "Rock-and-Roll Revolution" isn't a very familiar phrase. Poor Google action, too. Lots of hits for some metal song by a band called "Saliva." Maybe the phrase was famouser (!?) when it was happening.
  • 61A: Prepare to use a rifle (lock and load)

Thought 1A: _____ wool (soft material) (lamb's) was a really awkward way to start things off. My brain went scrolling through possible words and came up only with STEEL (opposite of "soft"). Worked the Downs in succession up there and honestly didn't get LAMB'S until I had the "B." Even with LAM- in place I was thinking "LAM ... LAMÉ? LAMÉE?!" But LUCKY (1D: Like a rabbit's foot or four-leaf clover) for me those Downs went down fast, each one on the first guess with no crosses, so I got out of the NW in a hurry and never really slowed down. Wrote in two wrong answers along the way: I'M OUT for I FOLD (52D: "Too rich for my blood") and BLACKBALL for BLACKLIST. Other than that, I shocked and awed this puzzle. Sent it into ORBIT (65A: Spacecraft's path). Made it say "YES, DEAR" (24A: Spouse's servile words). Etc.


  • 37A: Currier's partner in lithography (Ives) — stock clue. See June 15, 2009. Mix it up!
  • 8D: France before it was France (Gaul) — Caesar conquered GAUL, despite the best efforts of Asterix and Obelix, if I remember my high school history correctly.
  • 30D: Marijuana, slangily (weed)recent article at "The Daily Beast" all about which stars smoke WEED, if you're interested in that kind of thing.

Gotta go. I've been told that my daughter is downstairs doing the (syndicated) LAT crossword. This is a first. She's 9, so I can't wait to see what she's decided are right answers. "Mom, I think you have a wrong answer." And she's off ...

See you tomorrow

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Elaine 8:05 AM  

For some reason, this puzzle was already up on the website at 9 PM EST...and I had meant to print the Sunday puzzle (trying to catch up.)

Hand up for BLACK BALL and IMOUT..and a slight hitch while I realized I was trying to use the DOWN clue for 1 ACROSS....duh.

I could not believe PREXY made yet another appearance! I think constructors are now choosing to include words that Rex and Company find objectionable or out-dated.

Must TOTALLY disagree on NELSON... much prefer a clue related to something with wider import vs a TV cartoon. (I've seen KING OF THE HILL, but don't know those characters...and don't want to be tested on them. And doubly so for a show I've never watched.) NELSON Mandela, now, could be clued variously-- and is someone we ought to know more about, eh? Just a thought....

PIX 8:24 AM  

OK for a Monday.

Do not like Prexy

Agree with Elaine that Mandela is perfectly valid and much better than another cartoon reference.

chefbea 8:28 AM  

Easy Monday puzzle.
Prexy again
I watched the Simpsons last night. Hadn't seen it in years. WOW and it's a family program??? Was quite funny

treedweller 9:05 AM  

I still don't like PREXY, but I got it in a few moments after last time.

I've watched the Simpsons for years, and never once would I have said it is a family show. I think some parents assume that, since it is a cartoon, it must be for kids, but I would certainly not agree. I have long considered it to be one of the most subversive shows on television.

Dough 9:06 AM  

@Rex, your advocacy of cluing "Nelson" in ref to the Simpsons is fascinating. If the clue referred to Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, would you argue that it is dated? Is TV always a better source than Nobel Prize winners? Is he too serious for a crossword? I, personally, always find references to current and transient TV and movies tawdry and would prefer names from the real world. It does seem that some constructors tilt toward TV/pop and others prefer to avoid them. Just musing.

PurpleGuy 9:09 AM  

Hand up also for BLACKBALL. Add me to the PREXY hating crowd.

Puzzle was easy, but fun. Agree with Rex about the pleasant fill.

Thanks for a good writeup, Rex.

SethG 9:18 AM  

The cock of the walk, baby. My fastest puzzle ever, and I didn't even notice the OCKs while solving, just the ANDs.

Other missed tv cluing opportunities included YES, DEAR, REBA, ESPY. TLC is a whole channel, and KENT could have been clued via Simpsons _or_ Real Genius. I really hope it all happens someday just to see how you all react...

mac 9:19 AM  

Snappy puzzle and snappy write-up. Blackball for me, too, and I must have missed the earlier "prexy" puzzle. The ugliest word right smack in the middle.

I disliked that line: "shock and awe" then, and I still do.

@Rex: good for her! She'll be hooked in no time.

retired_chemist 9:28 AM  

In general, nice Monday fare. Hand up for I'M OUT.

A harrumph to two answers:

24A - So what's necessarily servile about "Yes, Dear?" Sometimes it's just loving and polite.

46D - Digital clocks can have hands. I have had several such - a Timex wristwatch and the clock on our bedroom wall right now.. A digital timer advances the second hand six degrees every second, with appropriate gearing for the minute and hour hands. I know, I know - the dictionary says the clue is correct. And the hand does move continuously, if jerkily, but still...

Judith 9:32 AM  

One thing I think is interesting about the Simpsons is that they are the only TV family I see that seems to have a spriritual life. They may make subversive comments, but church is actually part of their life, and the whole family--especially Lisa--wrestles with spriritual concepts.

You really don't see that on any other TV shows.

Matt 9:32 AM  

Pretty easy puzzle (except for PREXY. Wha??)

Mandela is a good clue for NELSON, but do we really need the of South Africa? How many other Mandelas are there? I know it's a Monday, but really?

Denise Ann 9:33 AM  

The next generation . . . I love it. I learned that a great-aunt, a nun, was an avid NYT puzzler -- it's genetic!

Ulrich 9:39 AM  

Yes, very easy--and my hand goes up, too, in support of the NELSON clue.

Like Seth, I didn't notice the rhyming first words, but the almost-symmetrical placement of the ANDs. Wouldn't it have been great to give up on the rhyme (which doesn't do anything for me) and NIP and TUCK the puzzle with some GIVE and TAKE to make all the ANDs symmetrical? By replacing the 5 and 3 SOCK and AWE with another 4 AND 4, or CUT and PASTE a 3 AND 5 in the symmetrical position (hate to see ROCK and ROLL go, though)? That would have resulted in a tight structure pleasing to the architects among us.

@ret.-ch.: When I hear "Yes, dear", I think of W.C. Fields, and it sounded servile when he said it. To the present day, I use it in that sense, i.e. to "annoy" non-puzzle wife.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

IFOLD for "Too rich for my blood" was the one clue-and-answer that really amused me in today's puzzle.

I had no problem with PREXY -- just wanted you to know that at least one person was okay with it.


Meg 9:48 AM  

I had the SH for 27A and almost wrote in SHOW AND TELL, which in my mind, would have been a much better military strategy.

Mondays are just not my favorites. Too easy and too fast. I know they are necessary, but just not fun. Maybe I should start timing myself.

retired_chemist 9:52 AM  

@ Ulrich re "Yes, dear:" - you are a brave man. Braver than I.

PlantieBea 9:58 AM  

Bah, just say no to PREXY...My only rewrite was LAMB'S. I saw the L for LUCKY and stuck in LLAMA. I did this so quickly that when my husband asked me what 23D, LA DIDA meant, I went back to look at it for the first time before I could parse out LA DI DA for him.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:01 AM  

Easy puzzle, decent for a Monday.

But, oops, threw in Ad-HOC before Ad-LIB (purists will point out that the hyphen was determinative.)

But 68 A was a GIMME.

slypett 10:07 AM  

Starting out with thanks to Rex for the Sleater Kinney clip (those ladies are pure fun) and the "Daily Beast" link (Morgan Freeman a viper! what a gas!). Louis Armstrong was a big pothead in his day.

That said, following my debacle last week that began on Friday, I'm so tense that it would take on ounce of good smoke to unwind me (unfortuneately, I'm between dealers), so today's puzzle made little impression

Martin 10:09 AM  


I'm not touching "yes, dear" but your reading of "analog clock" seems to be at odds with all the dictionaries. A clock is digital if it displays digits and analog if it uses hands, regardless of whether the works are mechanical or electronic. You are asserting that an electronic movement ("digital timer") determines the category but the dictionary says, reasonably I think, that you don't have to take the timepiece apart to determine if it's analog or digital.

I had one of those early digital clocks with numbers on paddles that clacked a change every minute. Driven by a regular synchronous motor, there wasn't a bit of electronics in it. But it would be silly to say it wasn't digital.

Conflating the notions of analog and digitial computers and watches via the notion of continuous versus discrete movement is also problematic. Purely mechanical clocks do not move continuously, although they can appear very smooth. Even that cheap analog electric clock with a synchronous motor makes discrete movements every sixtieth of a second.

ArtLvr 10:17 AM  

@ r_c -- Well said! The "servile" in the YES DEAR clue was snide.

The clue Ad- ___ with hyphen bothered me, but I see it is accepted slang. Yes, long-time, age-old slang. [Ad libitum, Latin for "at pleasure"; is often shortened to "ad lib" or "ad-lib".] What next? Ad-hoc, ad-hominem, pooh. I even found a game Adlib, all one word. I'll need a wee Dock an' Doris to get over the SHOCK...

All told, though, it was a nice debut puzzle.

@ mac -- I agree, the discredited Shock-and-Awe label was overweening, nearly as offensive as the high-handed arrogance of a "pre-emptive war" itself. The awe turned out to be in the dire lack of planning resulting in the world's greatest exodus ever, with 4.5 million refugees now stranded outside Iraq's borders.


Chorister 10:18 AM  

Blazed through this in record time (well, I don't time myself, but surely it must have been) using only (okay, mostly) the downs. When I saw PREXY I was sure my little camel would say I had "an error in my puzzle somewhere" but he didn't, obviously. He should have said it to the constructors.

Yay on the Parkerlet doing her first xword! My spawn never caught the bug :-(

retired_chemist 10:23 AM  

@ martin - You're right, but I still wanted to whine.

Jeffrey 10:28 AM  

I like the word PREXY and want to see it every week.

janie 10:33 AM  

elaine -- the monday puzzle posts at 6:00 on sunday. lucky us, huh?

and i may be in the minority here, but i like PREXY. it's probably used most in "the showbiz." a poster over at the wordplay blog offered this link to the use of the word in variety. for some reason, it's a word i also associate with high school and college campus elections for class officers. for those who are disappointed because we saw this (not-so-much-in-the-[general]-language) word so recently -- well, that's a whole other story...

and put me in the COCKAMAMIE camp, too!

thought this was a snappy monday and a really terrific debut puzzle.


CoolPapaD 10:35 AM  

Hand is up for I'M OUT, BLACKBALL, and COCKAMAMIE. PREXY killed me a few weeks ago, but I got revenge today!

To bad the Simpson's bus driver has an "O" at the end of his name -if he hadn't, we could say goodbye to baseball-playing Mel for a while.

Charles Bogle 11:23 AM  

another hand up for BLACKBALL, as well as dislike for PREXY...otherwise, good solid fill and gettable theme; worked for me! Now onto LAT before RP's nine-year old eclipses me

bookmark 11:24 AM  

YES, DEAR: My husband tells everyone those two words are the clue to our happy 44-year marriage. Servile it's not. He laughingly goes on to say that with the comment out of the way he then does whatever he wants to do... or not!

dk 11:30 AM  

A pox on PREXY.


Monday, Monday, can't help that day. This one had some fun and interesting new fill.

*** (3 stars)

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

I noticed a more than a few answers that were weapon related, though some implicit-- LOCK AND LOAD, SHOCK AND AWE, and MACES.

Did anyone else think of Nancy Kerrigan when KNEES crossed with MACES?

I did have a problem with the clue for YES DEAR. It isn't servile in the least-- as my brother-in-law advised me before I got married, "Happy wife, happy life."

Glitch 11:36 AM  

Prexy was last used only a bit over a week ago -- Friday 11/06.

You can check out the discussion in the archive ;)

As to why it reappeared so soon, maybe an extension of @Martin's hypothesis of yesterday 6:17 pm applies.


(I have hands therefore I must be analog)

mac 11:43 AM  

@Glitch: I guess I didn't look it up. That or I need to do more crossword puzzles to train my brain...... Even mentioned it in my comment!

xyz 11:52 AM  

Prexy not too sexy
liked GIMME, in proper golf it is like asking for candy ...
And yes, it was a Rock 'n Roll REVOLUTION, even before #9

Van55 12:11 PM  

As I grew up in State College, PA, the home of Penn State, the word "prexy" was common slang for "president," whether of the University, the student government or one of the many fraternities. I have no problem with it in crossword puzzles.

I do have a problem with Simpson's trivia in puzzles, as I have never watched a whole episode, to the best of my memory.

Nice, easy, mostly non-crosswordese puzzle today.

Noam D. Elkies 12:29 PM  

As a mathematician I figure any physical device like a clock hand moves continuously, even if not at a constant rate...

(Then there are "digital pianos": with what else would one play a piano besides one's digits? Well you could play it with your elbow, or you cat could play with its feet if you're Scarlatti, but that works about as well on a Kurzweil as on a Steinway.)


Leslie 12:33 PM  

I had one of those early digital clocks with numbers on paddles that clacked a change every minute.

HA! Same here. Thought I was SO tech-savvy!!

Glitch 12:39 PM  


I wasn't commenting on anyone in particular ... was just trying to make a connection so I could refrence @martin.

It's a slow day, not much to comment on, so I expect a lot of "prexy" comments anyway. Both from those who haven't read the 11/6 comments, and those who haven't read today's before posting :-)


Greene 12:39 PM  

@Janie: Bingo! I know PREXY as "Variety-speak." It is very show-bizy and doesn't bother me at all. Not sure what all the fuss is about.

Seeing IRA Gershwin in the grid reminds me that he rhymed PREXY with sexy in the political satire Of Thee I Sing. The convoluted plot involved a politician who runs for the presidency on a platform of Love (thus, the Gershwin standard "Love Is Sweeping the Country.") He is to marry the winner of a beauty contest in Atlantic City who will, of course, be the new first lady. Naturally, the show featured an elaborate display of bathing beauties at the pageant who sing:

Who is the lucky girl to be?
Who is to leave the bourgeoisie?
Who is to be the blushing bride?
Who will sleep at the President's side?
Strike up the cymbal, drum and fife!
One of us is the President's future wife!

We're in Atlantic City
To meet with the committee.
And when they've made their mind up
The winner will be signed up.
The prize is consequential -
Our bodies will bear witness
To our fitness!
If a girl is sexy
She may be Mrs. Prexy!
One of us is the President's future wife!

The two sections are then sung in counterpoint creating a nifty quodlibet.

Despite all this outrageous silliness, the satire in the show is actually razor sharp as it blasts depression-era "New Deal" idealism, political corruption, and governmental incompetence (this sounds plenty relevant to our own era). The critics and public ate it up and Of Thee I Sing became the first musical play to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (way back in 1932).

jeff in chicago 12:40 PM  

Easy. Almost too easy, but all-around great fill. (PREXY? meh.) I, too, wish the theme fill had all been 4-3-4, but it wasn't a big deal that it wasn't.

I had BUCKET for BASKET and almost clicked the time, but found the mistake in my double-check of the crosses. Somehow ELLU and ETAC just didn't look right. HA!

mac 12:41 PM  

@Glitch: I know.
Love your avatar, very optimistic!

joho 12:52 PM  

I won't mention the word PREXY.

Seemed like a solid enough Monday, not too exciting, though.

Here's hoping for a terrific Tuesday!

Doc John 1:02 PM  

Just a fun Monday for me.
Say what you want about Asterix, Rex, but his theme park outside of Paris has (IMHO) one of the worlds best wooden coasters, Tonnere de Zeus. Its entrance has a big Zeus straddling the queue line and when you pass underneath it you can see his underpants!
As for digital watches, my dad got one of those first LED watches, the kind with the big black face and tiny red numbers. We thought he was the coolest guy in town!

SethG 1:23 PM  

NDE, with your feet. Or your balls.

chefbea 1:24 PM  

@Greene thanks for the info on "of thee I sing"

chefwen 1:54 PM  

Prexy sounds like somebodies cutesy nickname. Got me last time but not today.

Hand up for blackball, my only write over. Very easy Monday puzzle, didn't even get to all the clues and voila, I was done. Should have timed myself on my ANALOG clock.

Clark 2:24 PM  

PREXY is like an old friend now. I thought it was worth it to get KIX on the grid. I've never eaten KIX and probably never will, but it's an excellent word.

Stan 3:06 PM  

Fine for a Monday. Punchy enough theme, made easier by the ANDS. Nice, smooth fill: LAMBS' wool and SLEEK FUR BOAS.

Hey Rex: Since you seem to like Sleater-Kinney, you might be interested that Carrie Brownstein is now a blogger, for NPR

william e emba 3:14 PM  

This may or may not have been a record easy puzzle for me. I was interrupted helping someone with their calculus. Total time including math help was still pretty fast.

Did someone point this out? There's an extra AND in the lower right corner of the grid: ANDES.

Wow! Good going Rex. That was a perfectly appropriate choice of an Asterix and Obelix picture: it's from Asterix and the Great Crossing, when they are trying to mime an explanation to Native Americans of GAUL.

As a mathematician, I am disappointed. Yet again EXT is in the grid, and the clue is not "first derived functor of Hom". I know, it's Monday.

@NDE: I know someone who solves those marble labyrinths (you know, where the marble has to dodge a dozen or so holes as you twist the level controls) with his toes.

@Greene: How on earth can a 1931 musical be a satire on "New Deal" politics, which did not begin until 1933?

I remember our high school had a calculator with vacuum tube digits. Inside each tube would be wires for 0-9, and one of them would glow orange. And the "computer room", actually two teletypes that timeshared into a remote Honeywell 6000. In addition to that yellow roll of paper and pink punch tape, the telephone could only be dialed with a specialized plastic punch card. That was so cool!

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

Like so many others, I first wrote in BLACKBALL for "Secretly ban from employment". But I think BLACKLIST is the more precise answer. Blackballing has a very long history and can refer to such things as exclusion from membership in a club. Blacklisting seems to have a narrower reference -- the McCarthy era practice of banning certain people from employment comes to mind.

Wikipedia calls the Hollywood blacklist, which stemmed from the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigations, "... one of the most famous examples of blacklisting ...".


sanfranman59 4:13 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)

Mon 6:37, 6:54, 0.96, 42%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:29, 3:41, 0.95, 40%, Medium

Shamik 4:17 PM  

@Judith: Saving Grace has spirituality as a main theme...with spirituality meaning church going for some characters and meaning so much more for others. Check it out.

Easy-medium on the puzzle. Good fill. Waiting to hear how Rex's daughter did on the LAT puzzle????? Any update yet?

Martin 4:33 PM  

@william e emba,

You are probably remembering a Wang 300 series calculator. The display used nixie tubes. The glowing numerals were cold cathode elements in a neon lamp. Very high-tech in the sixties.

archaeoprof 5:12 PM  

Hand up here for COCKAMAMIE.

@Sanfranman: your statistics made me feel better about this one, which seemed harder than the usual Monday to me.

PREXY not sexy? Au contraire!

Having recently presented a video clue on Jeopardy, I would like to say that ALEX Trebek makes it look a lot easier than it really is.

kumar 5:35 PM  

Finished this in a few minutes, as did almost everyone else, I imagine. As in most things that are over quickly (Monday crosswords, a shot of liquor thrown back quickly, a one night stand etc.), did not enjoy it much.

Led me to think that all those who finish the Friday/Saturday/Sunday puzzles in a few minutes (not me!) must get as little pleasure out of those as I do from the Monday puzzle. Too bad.

Anonymous 7:10 PM  


I've often thought the same thing. Exactly.

Slow Solver

Greene 7:12 PM  

@william e emba: How indeed? You had me absolutely stumped for a while there as I felt sure Of Thee I Sing spoofed the Roosevelt administration, among other things. How could a 1931 musical do this when Roosevelt didn't take office until 1933?

Well, my faulty memory is partly to blame, but there is also more than one script for Of Thee I Sing. My remarks were based on my knowledge of the script for the 1952 Broadway revival which appears (in retrospect) to have been "updated" in order to cast a slightly wider satiric net than the original production. Sure enough, when I got home from work this evening and consulted my library, I found a copy of the 1931 script and, naturally, there is nary a reference to the Roosevelt administration. Actually, in rereading this evening, I think the 1931 version is even funnier than the version that played in 1952. Sometimes it is just better to leave award winning material alone.

I sincerely regret the error, but commend you for your observant eye. You sir, are sharp as a tack.

andrea clock and um... michaels 7:13 PM  

WHat???!!! do tell more!

I loved this puzzle. Wish I had thought of it...very nice to have the rhyme and all familiar and new to this century SHOCKANDAWE.

Two Ponies 8:02 PM  

@ archaeoprof, I'm very impressed and would love to make sure I see that show. I'm a regular viewer. How cool.

@ Kumar, I hope I never get to that point.

Nice Monday. Enjoyed it.

michael 8:15 PM  

I got boas from crosses and then looked at the clue, hoping that it would be as an anthropologist. But I guess that would be Friday-Saturday level...

archaeoprof 8:20 PM  

@ACME & Two Ponies: well, we filmed the video clue back in June, and it aired late last week. It was part of the publicity for an upcoming tv documentary.

The hard part was to get the emphasis and phrasing right. Plus they wanted me to walk and talk at the same time, which has always been a challenge for me.

Ulrich 8:33 PM  

@archaeoprof: It never was for Lee Iacocca:-)

Greene 8:41 PM  

@archaeoprof: or Gerald Ford.

mac 9:21 PM  

@Greene: but wasn't that why Gerald Ford/King tripped a lot?

Sfingi 10:24 PM  

Lord Nelson, great Brit hero, unknown to US Americans; I'm reading a huge biography on him. He has the Sicily connection, too.

@ Greene - wonderful!

@ I have a husband like that. Forty years ago, he did everything wrong so I wouldn't ask again.

I was blackballed before I was BLACKLISTed.
@Anon Charles. Blacklisting seems to differ also in covering a longer time, though a narrower application.

@Michael - when will they mention Claude Levi-Strauss? Boas has a Sicily/Russia connection - he claimed the head shapes of the second generation of each of these groups adjusts to be more American, i.e., "average." It's been discredited. Or maybe there was hanky-panky.

Interesting discussion on analog/digital. Is a living heart analog or digital? Don't lose any sleep.

JannieB 10:59 PM  

Surprised Puzzlegirl hasn't suggested a wrestling hold to clue Nelson.

Anonymous 12:43 AM  

let's see how special this theme is:


not very

sanfranman59 1:24 AM  

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, 43%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:27, 3:41, 0.94, 38%, Easy-Medium

Anonymous 3:44 AM  


the rhyme in the first would is -OCK, not -ICK. Although the puzzle does not give a fully exhaustive list (BLOCKANDTACKLE comes to mind), it is much more "special" than you give it credit for.

Waxy in Montreal 11:13 AM  

From syncity: Rex's unease about the panty-waisted term "ROCK AND ROLL" describing a 1950's revolution is well-founded - it was "ROCK 'N' ROLL"! Those gnarly apostrophes were part of the revolution, man!

And just saw pro golfer Fred Funk three-put from about a foot so don't think he'd describe a one-footer as a GIMME. (I sure wouldn't.)

Singer 11:37 AM  

From syndication:
1. I don't see a problem with PREXY. It is perfectly good, if dated, slang, and no more off limits than cutting edge street slang or any kind of jargon that only a limited number of folks use in normal conversation.

2. Hands up for trying cockamamie (as rp said, didn't fit), black ball and ad hoc. Other than that, pretty straight forward.

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